The most important thing about photography is light. Without light, we would have no pictures. Without light, there would be no life. Without light, we wouldn’t be able to see.
For photographer Steven Erra, a life without light is fast becoming a reality. In 1979, Steven was in art school when doctors told him that he would lose his sight within 20 years due to an eye disease. For anyone, that diagnosis would be devastating, for a photographer it’s unimaginable.
“Light is something very powerful for me, yet it’s also something that I’m desperate to hold on to.”
So for the last 20+ years, Steven has been making his art, sharing his vision with the world before he loses his. Steven can only see very bright light and has a very narrow sight, only able to see a small area about “half the size of [his] thumb” with nothing around it. “It just doesn’t exist,” he says.
Steven works with The Seeing With Photography Collective with other sight-impaired photographers that use a light painting technique to create their images. He uses a very long exposure in a pitch black room a subject and a flashlight. Even when he becomes completely blind, Steven will be able to continue making his art and creating his vision using this method. And though he will not be able to see it and appreciate it, we can look at this inspiring man and still see his vision.