Blind veteran proves anything is possible with stunning images
PUBLISHED: 12:03 17 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:03 17 August 2018
A blind veteran from Beccles has shown how to overcome obstacles and make the most of life after sight loss.
And ahead of World Photography Day this Sunday, August 19, a number of images captured by Nick Barber are showcased here in celebrating the global event that aspires to create positive change in the world through photography.
Saluting the photography of blind veteran Mr Barber, 57, he has praised the support of Blind Veterans UK in rekindling his passion for photography.
Mr Barber started his career as a professional golfer, before joining the RAF as a Police Dog Handler, which included deployments to the Falkland Islands and Germany.
It was upon finding out about his imminent tour of the Falkland Islands that Mr Barber bought his first camera with the aim of documenting his time over there.
This hobby for photography stayed with him until he was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa and Bull’s Eye Maculopathy.
Describing his condition, Mr Barber said: “If you imagine a normal sighted person’s sight is like a beach ball, mine is like a ping pong ball.
“I’ve got some sight in the centre of my vision but absolutely no peripheral vision.”
It was post-diagnosis, and on a shopping trip to Norwich, when Mr Barber decided that it was time to rediscover his love of photography.
He said: “I was walking past a camera shop with my wife and I decided to go in but my wife couldn’t understand why. I bought a digital camera on that day and it’s the best decision I ever made.”
Praising the support of the Blind Veterans UK charity, which supports vision-impaired ex-Service men and women and has a dedicated community team in Suffolk, Mr Barber said: “The support I’ve had from Blind Veterans UK with my photography has been second to none.
“I’ve been attending photography weeks at their Brighton Centre where I’ve honed my skills and got my confidence up.
“They built me a photography studio in my back garden and I even had the chance to meet my hero, David Bailey. I can’t thank them enough for helping me rediscover my passion for photography.”
It was earlier this year that Mr Barber had the chance to meet his hero – photographer David Bailey – at the Brighton rehabilitation and training centre of military charity Blind Veterans UK.
Mr Barber attended the event as part of a photography-themed activity week run by the charity.
At the time Mr Barber said: “David Bailey is one of the main reasons I picked up a camera.
“They say it’s not always good to meet your heroes, but you can forget that - he’s photographed royalty, models and film stars, but he’s just a normal bloke.”
With World Photography Day a global event, which aspires to create positive change in the world through photography, the works of Mr Barber are celebrated here.
By bringing together millions of photographers around the world, Sunday’s event aims to connect people in a global celebration that invests back into local and global communities.
Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915 and the charity’s initial purpose was to help and support soldiers who were blinded in the First World War.
But the organisation has gone on to support more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, spanning the Second World War to recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.
The charity has a dedicated community team in Suffolk who provide support including training, equipment and social events for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women in the local area, no matter when they served or how they lost their sight.
■ If you know someone who has served in the armed forces and is battling sight loss that could receive their support, please get in touch on 0800 3897979.
■ Alternatively you can visit www.blindveterans.org.uk/support to learn more about the charity and how you can support its vital work today.