A blind photographer with no sense of light in his eyes.

Above: A photo of me in hospital in 2009, just before losing my eyesight.

A cheeky, sneaky and swanky photographer lost eyesight in 2009 and lost the sense of light in June 2010. And had my eyes removed in 2013. After all, I am totally blind.

Though my photography became all about myself with self portrait (I am tagging them with the word "selftake") but since I went to California to learn to "see by hearing" with human echolocation, I started confronting new subjects and started taking photos.

I intended to learn about human echolocation as a part of blindness rehabilitation for perceptual mobility, to help reclaim "freedom" "independence" and "responsibility" but I would like take human echolocation one step further , by applying it to blind photography.
Most blind shooters with no sense of light seem to shoot subjects that make noise, but I am finding the distance and size of subjects by clicking my tongue and hearing the sound bouncing off from the subject.
Though there are not many of those photos I shot using human echolocation, there are more of them coming out.
Meanwhile, I shoot with sound, such as panning shots of vehicles and people candid shots by following the sounds they make.

Besides "selftake" which I take a photo of myself without any help, photos I took without help, or a little help, I add "hirosan's blind photography" in description. These photo can be found in the dedicated set called "hirosan's blind photography."

My current cameras that I shoot with:

Fujifilm Finepix X100S, the largest, retro-fitting compact camera on the market.

Fujifilm Finepix X100

Besides APS-C sized sensor and fixed 35mm Fujinon lens, this compact camera features dedicated aperture rings, shutter speed dial and the exposure bias dials, which allow me to shoot manually even though I am totally blind.

Since most cameras on the market, including digital SLRs feature non-stop command dials with visual menus to control cameras, this camera is a rare model that allows me to shoot blind.

Ricoh Cameras - GX100, GR Digital and GR Digital IV:

Ricoh GX100, GR Digital and GR Digital IV

Ricoh GX100:
The first model of Ricoh's GX series, including GXR, to feature a passive AF sensor for full-press focus. For a compact camera, it is rare to have such an AF sensor that works great for street snap.
Though there are successor of this camera, such as GX200 and GXR with Lens Unit S10, this GX100 is one of my favourite of Ricoh cameras with 24mm-72mm zoom lens.

GR Digital:
This is my all-time favourite of all Ricoh cameras! The first generationn of GR Digital features the passive AF sensor for full-press SNAP focus, making it a perfect companion for street candid photography. Moreover, its wide angle, 28mm GR lens and a unique in-camera process with smooth engine software, it produces great blue in when sshooting in colour, great contrast and sharpness in black and white while retaining film-like grain when shooting at high ISO.
Since it came out on the market in 2005, I keep shooting with this camera, even when when I was losing my eyesight!

Ricoh GR Digital IV:
The salesperson I always buy my cameras from told me that the shiny white colour of the limited edition of GR Digital IV looks great with my white cane, I decided to replace my GR Digital II and GR Digital III with this white GR Digital IV.
The latest addition to my cameras, after trading other cameras I owned, including two Ricoh GXRs with all lens collection.
The latest GR Digital includes welcoming features of the passive AF sensor and smart software for auto exposure, while it retains GR Lens and SNAP focus which is very useful for street snaps and candid photography.

Thanks for checking out my profile.

Check out the following video of me if you have time -

Ryo Hirosawa (Blind Hirosan) (Song A Day #1644)


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    –tradewinds•> says:

    "Hirosan always entertains with his shots. He is exhaustive in what he shoots. His tech savvy and curiousity leads to interesting dialogs and helped me choose the RIcoh R8. A great guy and contact on Flickr!

    December 19th, 2008

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    andrewhiggins1 says:

    "hirosan is a very fine fellow, friendly and interesting. And I have never met anyone who loves taking photos, and his cameras, so much! Enjoy your photography Ryo!"

    May 19th, 2008

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    sɐanosaurus [ショーンオザウルス] says:

    "Ryo has a very unique way of documenting life through his photos. With his extensive collection of cameras and knowledge of photography he records daily life almost religiously. I can't imagine him without a camera in hand or at the ready. He's a great friend and one of the most generous guys I know. I look forward to more meetings in Japan and LA! Pretty much."

    May 7th, 2008

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    nebulous fnord says:

    "I came across Ryo's photostream through another contact of mine, Kevin (slworking) and found it very interesting. I like the manner of this photostream, the way he takes pictures of his daily life and the things he comes across and shares them. He also has many amazing pictures with interesting perspectives. Ryo also has a great sense of humor, I'm glad to be getting to know him through his photos!"

    March 31st, 2008

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    jimmyfuture says:

    "Hirosan is a great guy with a cheeky sense of humour and a talent for finding photo opportunities everywhere. He has more cameras and gadgets than anyone I have met before, and hanging out while he tricks them out is a bunch of fun!"

    May 28th, 2007

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    lcars says:

    "Ryo is a very nice fellow with a lovely obsession for photography :), I really have never seen someone taking so many pictures! But you know what, keep doing it because I really admire your dedication and passion about it!

    Kudos to you hirosan!"

    October 9th, 2006

Ryo Hirosawa
January 2006
Fukuoka, Japan
I am:
Male and Single
Retired. Living with disability pension
blind hirosan's hirosanblog!
ryo.hirosawa [at] gmail.com