Alexandra Halliday - Biography
Although I am legally blind from birth, I have always been intensely fascinated with photography. I received my first Kodak film camera on my 12th birthday, and a couple of years later, for a short time, was drawn in by the Polaroid craze. From negatives to watching a white blank resolve itself into a Polaroid image fascinated me briefly. Growing up in the Austrian Alps, I was equally fascinated with our beautiful mountain vistas, Alpine lakes, creeks and vegetation, which resulted in me spending much time hiking with a friend and my little Kodak camera, always filled with a roll of film and a couple of extra rolls, in case I needed them.
For my many years of raising children, homeschooling and self-employment, unfortunately my passions, playing the piano, singing and photography took a backseat to the hectic pursuits of everyday life.
When, some years ago, my daughter, Miriam, discovered the art of photography, I supported her along the way in every way I could.
With the leaps and bounds of progress in digital technology, photography no longer resembled my early days with my little Kodak camera. Digital cameras of every calibre, with zoom lenses, and digital editing programmes opened up brand new vistas of artistic exploration, and, of course, moving from the view finder to digital display screens changed the world of photography for me, as a legally blind photographer, altogether.
My photographic training started in my childhood, but more recently includes, alongside my daughter, Miriam, several seasons of online training through the Turn It Up Conferences presented by the International Academy of Wedding Photographers and many online seminars by world renowned photographers of various disciplines, including Justin & Mary Marantz, Matt & Carissa Kennedy, Katelyn James, Hope Taylor, Montana Dennis, Amy & Jordan Demos and many more..., and several seminars on editing and small businesses. Taking these trainings together allowed us the advantage of comparing our books of notes, experiences and to practice together. I have entered several photo contests, including 2017, 2018 and 2019 International Shoot & Share Photo Contest where I have placed multiple photos in Top 20% and Top 30%. My photos have been displayed in the local Community Gallery twice. My latest photo project is Kaslo's Seasons Through My Eyes, an inspiring collection of seasonal landscape photographs from a legally blind photographer, and is on display May 26th, 2019. Miriam and I admire and find inspiration in the landscape and wildlife photography of some of our local photo artists such as Jim Lawrence, Mel Bryce, Robyn Skobalski...
When I started taking my own digital images, I soon discovered, that I could produce quality work, both in my photography, as well as in digital editing.
I also discovered, that my eye sight afforded me some very unique visual perspectives, which might not be readily available to people with, what is considered to be, normal visual acuity.
As a legally blind photographer, I work more with textures, colours and light patterns, that present themselves to me, I concentrate on positioning and depth of my images without interference by smaller details, which, to my eyes, simply don’t exist. And I am generally happy with my results.
I've learned that I really enjoy photographing events and landscapes. I can find unique vantage points and angles and use my camera's amazing zoom to capture unique colour and textures patterns, action and excitement, which, with my bare eye, I cannot even see.
It is a funny fact, that many people with low vision are actually visual learners. I am one of them. Well, if we learn visually, we can also produce unique and often powerful visual art for everyone to enjoy. And what greater joy can any artist experience, than to share the joy they experience with their audience?