Although 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 my little Kodak camera always filled with a roll of film and a couple of extra rolls, in case I needed them.
Photography and my other interests of piano, singing, poetry and writing, took a long pause, while I embarked on a new journey raising my 8 children and pursuing my active involvement in Early Childhood Education, home schooling and self-employment. When my daughter, Miriam, discovered the art of photography, I supported her, and as we trained in and explored all the various aspects of photography together, my interest was rekindled.
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 and digital editing programmes opened up brand new vistas of artistic exploration, and, of course, the addition of the digital display screens and various lenses changed the world of photography for me altogether.
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.
I have entered a number of International Photo Contests, where I have placed multiple photos in the Top 20% and 30%. A few of my photos have been displayed in our local Community Gallery, during Nothing Without Us, at the Cultch in Vancouver, and my CBC 10x5: Artist Talk presentation. Among my community photo projects was Kaslo's Seasons Through My Eyes, a community and Art Walk display of an inspiring collection of seasonal landscape photographs from my perspective as a legally blind photographer. On my current community project roster are: Building Kaslo Piece by Piece, a large photo collage puzzle consisting of photographs of Kaslo landmarks, to be built by the community and presented to the Village Council and my favourite: The Secret Life Of Kootenay Wildflowers, a fascinating black-light photography project exploring the unique perspective of our vast collection of regional wildflowers as seen by bees and other pollinators, for which I have recently designed and printed an 18 month calendar.
When you don't find me hiking with my family and our Border Collies, taking landscape or wildflower photographs, or as second shooter on a client photo session with my daughter, or busy in my volunteer roles as Vice Chair of the Kaslo Housing Society, on the Southern Interior board of the CNIB or any other community service, you will find me in our large organic garden, knitting, researching, cooking and processing herbs and fruits and vegetables, cuddling the kittens, horseback riding or, let's be honest, washing the dishes or folding laundry!