Will exhibits his picture perfect photographs in Portsmouth

20 June 2018 11:00

Our blind veteran Will has recently wrapped up an exhibition in the central library in Portsmouth city centre. What sets this exhibition apart is that all photographers have a vision impairment.

Will is one of six photographers who have been working with a new Portsmouth-based charitable organisation Losing My Sight, and are participants in its photography club. Photo subjects in the exhibition ranged from wildlife to landscapes, but Will has a tendency to create abstract and architectural images, often focusing on the textured detail.

Will Phillips stands to the right, in front of his photographs as part of the VI Photography exhibition in Portsmouth
Will stands in front of his photographs in the VI Photography exhibition in Portsmouth
"I am possibly the only person in the club who has a background in photography, which shapes what I look for in a photograph. I studied at Portsmouth College of Art and Design, and what they taught me to look for was texture, shape, colour and contrast, which I still apply now."

Will started being supported by our charity in 2013, having served in the Territorial Army after completing his course at the art college. Due to his deteriorating sight, he took early retirement from his role as collections officer for the Historic Camera and Military collections at a museum in Winchester. Not only did this affect his career, but also his passion for photography.

"I have a genetic eye condition, which I have had from birth, and which has become worse over the years. I had a cataract operation on my right eye, then followed a detached retina. After four operations, I have been left with distorted vision in my right eye. This is also the eye I use to take photographs with, which made the whole situation worse for me!"

Will was encouraged by our art and craft instructors to continue with his photography, and shown techniques to allow him to take photographs again. He also enjoys ceramics and other creative art. It was the help of fellow blind veterans that made the difference to Will, many of whom meet up in Brighton during the charity’s annual photography week. This year, Will enjoyed the opportunity to talk through his work with renowned photographer David Bailey.

Our art and craft instructor Lou Partridge says: “Photography week is a chance for our blind veterans to rediscover their passion for photography and learn how to take photographs with their vision impairment. It’s all about showing veterans that with a few adaptions, a hobby like photography is still very much possible."

Bravo Will on your wonderful exhibition, a true example of life beyond sight loss.