I have a hereditary eye condition called achromatopsia. You can google it, but I will spare you the boring details.
The short version is that I can’t see very well. Actually I can’t see well at all. My eyesight is pegged at about 20/200 which makes me legally blind. I also have a hard time distinguishing colors and am very sensitive to light. This is all a result of having too many rod cells and not enough cone cells in the back of the eye.
To make matters more complicated, none of the above are correctable by lenses.
The irony is not lost on me. I am an automotive enthusiast when I can’t drive legally and I get payed to take pictures when I have a serious ‘limitation’ that should affect my performance.
I’ll attempt to answer the Defender thing first. I have wanted one since grade school. Back then, a kid was allowed to dream, to have faith in the future of modern medicine, and to put reality out of site and mind. Now, in my late 20’s, reality has set in: I won’t drive a Defender across Siberia. But the dream is still alive and it has flourished. My future wife will have to drive a Defender. It will be in the wedding vows. Its none negotiable.
The photography question is a little different. My dad was a photog back in the USSR. I have fooled around with cameras for as long as I can remember. And as long as I can remember, I have been told that photography was out of my reach and beyond my physical limitations. The problem with such talk is that it lights a fire under my ass.
Then came along the affordable DSLR. That was fuel to the fire. All of a sudden, it was cheap to experiment, to play, and to learn. Digital cameras brought us instant gratification. They also brought instant feedback.
Also, when the camera comes up to my eye, it becomes my eye. It really does work like a visual aid.
So there you have it. I fooled around with a d40, taught myself, tricked some people into paying for my pictures, and never looked back. I have come a long way from a d40 and from those days, but now you know the truth. Don’t tell anyone.
Naturally, when David and Jessie started their journey, I was immediately hooked. He was literally living out my childhood dream. A dream that, from any practical point of view, was unrealistic if not foolish.
This is why, when Jessie got stranded in Atlanta, I couldn’t just sit on the sidelines. Amazingly, David didn’t think I was flat out crazy.
Speaking of David, I’m so thankful for this opportunity. I have seen a glimpse of the love and the support that he has been blogging and tweeting about for months. It is refreshing and quite humbling.