Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Watch out!

I've been lucky enough to shoot in a lot of manufacturing facilities, which can make really interesting photos. One thing you have to be careful for, though — these places are dangerous. At an aluminum plant, for instance, you can't see any difference between molten and solid aluminum, so the only safe thing to do is don't touch anything!

That's why I was so surprised when I went to a plant last week where workers cut material for military uniforms. I asked one of the workers to show me his machine. He walked over, ran his hands over the controls, gestured inside to where the blades were.

"Watch out!" I wanted to shout. You see, aside from the inherent danger of these machines, this worker was blind. Yes — this was at Blind Industries and Services of Maryland.

But it didn't matter. As I watched that worker and others do their jobs so I could decide whom to photograph, it became obvious I couldn't tell the sighted people on the floor from the legally blind. They all seemed equally comfortable, and effective, in an environment that for me was a little dangerous.



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