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Seeing Beyond Sight Photo Challenge by Orion

February 17th, 2007 9:42 AM

INSTRUCTIONS: Seeing Beyond Sight has partnered with SFZero to challenge you to see the world differently - with more than your eyes.

Welcome new users: SFZero is an ongoing game in which you can choose to participate (or not) after you do the Seeing Beyond Sight Challenge.

Click here for new user registration.

1. Blindfold yourself.
(wear shades or tape your eyes shut)

2. Go out in public and make your way in the world.
(go 1 block, 1 hour or 1 roll of film; go with a friend or alone; make up your own process)

3. Photograph things you notice. And, just notice.
(What do you notice differently about objects, people, actions, interactions?)

4. Embrace the whole experience as much as the picture taking.
(Engage. Have a conversation with people you encounter. Take it all in.)

5. Share your story.
(For each photograph write a caption about your experience - a few lines or several paragraphs if you want.)

6. Challenge some friends to do it.
(email them the link:

Please don't post all the pictures from your shoot, but chose 1 to 3 that are the best images or are most telling of your experience. Caption the photos describing something about your experience - that is as important as the image itself. Longer stories are welcomed and may be added to

If you depend on your eyes to get around, then it is hard not to use them. Although you can tell us about how difficult it is to be blind, focus more on what you noticed about the world as you embarked on this journey.

This experience isn’t about blindness – it is about seeing, noticing and paying attention with more than your eyes.

This challenge was inspired by SEEING BEYOND SIGHT: PHOTOGRAPHY BY BLIND TEENAGERS, a new book published by Chronicle Books.

Sam gave me a few tasks to accomplish while blinded. He wanted Something Yellow, Someone I Didn't Know, and A Non-Human Animal. I got all three, plus another nasty little surprise.

Though I don't really have any pictures of the end of the night, a big highlight for me was walking blindfolded from Delores Park to The Lone Palm (22nd and Guerrero). Sam was my piggy-back guide for some of the way as I took a terrifying leap down a three foot ledge or so, wandered into a tree, and finally navigated the crowded bar to find my place at a table I thought was populated by total strangers. After the first sip of my sweet, sweet Shirley Temple, I took off my blindfold to find myself in a very different place than I started and actually having grown quite fond of the heightening of my other senses.

- smaller

Something yellow

Something yellow

I knew that the textured areas on all of the corners in the Lower Haight were yellow. As I was very aware both of street corners and textured ground, it was pretty easy to find a yellow grate like this one to snap a photo of.

Someone I don't know...

Someone I don't know...

I could hear this girl talking as I walked down Fillmore and thought she wouldn't mind if I took her photo. She pulled off my glasses and was shocked to find that I'd actually taped my eyes shut and then demanded that I be in the photo with her.

A non-human animal

A non-human animal

I heard this dog padding around a few minutes before I shot this picture. I asked aloud, in the direction of the dog, if I could take its photo and snapped a few shots. A few minutes later, a woman asked if I'd like to photograph her dog...this is that later photo. I absolutely thought until looking at the photos that this was a different woman walking a different dog. The thing is, I had photographed the dog in each of my earlier attempts as well. The same dog.

In pursuit

In pursuit

Ian is hot on my tail here as I snap a photo behind me.



This is the last photo I snapped before I was literally attacked by an angry man who did NOT want me taking his photo. I crossed the intersection while flashing this picture. The next thing I knew, I was being called names, spat upon, and violently shoved by a large man who smelled of alcohol. It was terrifying. I apologized and tried to explain that I didn't mean to grab his picture (which I apparently never even did) and that I couldn't see. He told me with another violent shove: "Damn right you can't see. You won't be able to see...I'll welt your eyes shut, $*#$." Lesson: Be careful where you wander at night without use of your eyes. I don't even know what my attacker looked like.

14 vote(s)


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5 comment(s)

Someone you don't know
posted by Yenoh Honey on February 17th, 2007 10:30 AM

Did you get to feel all over her face? That would have been sweet. Props for the cuteness factor of the girl too since you couldn't see her.

(no subject)
posted by Orion on February 19th, 2007 11:44 PM

I felt her face a tad, pretty much by accident, but she quite knowingly poked me in the eyes a few times.

(no subject)
posted by Raymond Luxury Yacht on February 21st, 2007 10:06 AM

How many eyelashes came off with the tape? I apologize for the pedestrian question, but the public demands to know.

(no subject)
posted by Orion on February 22nd, 2007 12:47 PM


(no subject)
posted by Ben Yamiin on August 29th, 2007 2:14 AM

Danger = vote!