The Perfect Focus

Finding focus in a blurry world…

Letter Published in Rangefinder: Followup

From the Letter Published in Rangefinder I got this nice reply from a reader…

Hi Richard,
Saw your letter in one of the photography magazines we get and had to write. I’m a photographer and I have 2 sons who were born legally blind. They have Nystagmus and also have Albinism.

Though born white as ghosts and legally blind, the pigmentation has increased in their hair and a little in their skin and I guess in their eyes as well because their eyesight has improved over the years. They are still very light compared to most people but they have learned how to deal with their physical shortcomings.

Both boys have been treated for years by doctors from Wills Eye in Philly and have had glasses and contacts to help their vision. The fact that they have monocular vision – they see with one eye at a time – I think helps when they take pictures with a camera through which we all see with one eye. A clear advantage in my eyes!

My older son, Ian, is now an attorney with a beautiful wife and 2 little boys and my younger son, Gabriel, just took over my photography business and has a beautiful wife and daughter.

I checked out your website and you have a great ‘eye‘, regardless of your vision stats. Just as my sons could never see the ball but adjusted their other faculties to compensate, you’ve learned timing and anticipation and used them to your advantage. Like my sons, I suspect your other senses are magnified to make up for any vision loss.

Anyway, your work is real nice and it was great reading your story. We’re located in Newtown Square just below King of Prussia and if you’re down this way, it would be a leasure to have you stop by the studio.

Best Holiday Wishes

Thanks Phil… 🙂

Letter Published in Rangefinder

Rangefinder: December 2008

Cover Photo by: Rich-Joseph Facun

Well seems I’m famous, I guess… A letter I wrote a few months ago was published in Rangefinder Magazine. The letter was published in the December issue of Rangefinder, page 21 “Problems and Solutions“…

From: R. Favinger (Me)~

I came across an article in Rangefinder when I decided to search for people like me.

Seems an odd search when you Google “Legally Blind Photographer” doesn’t it? I am legally blind; I have Nystagmus (CN). I’m 20/200 with glasses, and 20/400 without. I use a -3.0 diopter adjustment on my viewfinder and rely heavily on AF. But I don’t pick the easy subjects of portrait and landscape.

I’m a sports photographer. Funny enough, my favorite sport to shoot is baseball (Little League), and I am the official game photographer for our local league and district here in PA. I can’t see the ball, everything is timing and anticipation, though through the camera I can see almost perfectly. I watch the pitcher, time his motion, and fire for the swing. I listen to the players and coaches and know their plans before they do. Guy on 1st? Best watch 2nd! Guy on 3rd? You better cover home!

My only dilemma is almost never getting outfield shots. When the ball is hit, to me it is as good as lost because I can never see where it goes. I watch for the kid setting up in the in-field to catch the ball as it’s returned.

I don’t always announce my vision disability to potential clients because I fear they may overlook me or question my skill. But I feel it’s time for others to know. Some photographers really are blind.

If you’d like to learn more, feel free to contact me. My website is:

Thanks for the very inspiring letter. I assume the article you found was about Michael Richard in the January 2007 issue. He too was legally blind and could only see light and dark, but produced startlingly beauti-ful imagery. ~ Editor

Kind of cool I think, a letter in a major national photography magazine. 🙂

This issue also displays some of the best pictures in 2008, check it out!

Children made of glass…

Do you need help, here let me do that for you…

As I sit and talk with my aunt (god mother) on the way to Forksville, PA to visit my dad the day after Christmas. I have come to the realization that some in my family are truly nuts. Or at least clueless.

As we talk on the near 3-hour drive. I mention that I’m now getting services provide by the Montgomery County Association for the Blind, and am receiving Orientation and Mobility training. As I explain to her; so I can learn to travel independently, use bus and public transportation. To this she replies, “Why would you want to do that?“…

As I pause for a moment and think to my self … WHAT THE FUCK! (Sorry kids…) But really, why would some one who cares for you be so cluless?

The objective of this all and the reason I am, the way I am today; scared to travel, and scared to go any place alone. Don’t know how to ride a bus, or use public transit is BECAUSE of over protective parents and relatives. I’m desperately trying to get away for that. I’m tired of relying on other people to take me the places I want to go.

As I had mentioned in one of my very first posts in this blog. I had O&M training to a limited extent in school. Listened to all the counselors tell my mom  I should go on camps and bus trips ect. But because of the advice of other well-meaning adults to my mother, I did not.

And I can still hear the counselors say… “You can’t protect him for ever“… Well guess what… THEY WERE RIGHT! Maybe that Ph.D. does mean something after all?

I’ve come to my own conclusions … mom won’t be here for ever, friends and family move away, and other family members have there own life and own children to look after … I’m not made of glass. Why did it take almost 30 years to realize this? And why are people still so thick…!

I should mention not all in my family are so thick, some understand and support me, and the encouragement is helpful. Remember to post your thoughts as comments too, that is what this blog is for!

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