The Rhode Island Portrait Project Erich Manser Blind Triathlete
I have another installment of my very exciting portrait project. I love my community and there are some amazing people making Rhode Island a wonderful place to live. I have decided to photograph the people who are really making “IT” happen here in my community in a (hopefully) creative and fun way that tells a story about who those people are and what they are doing for their little section of the world.
This most recent portrait is of Erich Manser. Erich is an extra-ordinary individual. Not only is he a world-class athlete, but he is legally blind. When I 1st saw Erich in the “Firm Man” triathlon I was mystified 1st at how incredibly fast he was moving but also my mind spun thinking about the difficulty of what he was doing (swimming 1.2 miles in open ocean, running 13.1 miles and biking 56 miles) with out the sight that you and I enjoy and use to navigate the world. He has a limited vision and describes what he can see as looking through a pair of toilet paper rolls with wax paper covering the ends, and he is loosing his eyesight more with every passing day.He is guided through these races by another racer of equal or better athletic ability, they tie a rope to each other for the swim and he runs with his hand on the guides shoulder, and then they ride a tandem bike.
I really wanted to honor Erich with this portrait. We met to talk about the concept and he explained that before he has starting loosing his eyesight he had been a swimmer and now swimming is his strongest section of the race for him. So we decided to create this portrait in the water. We got up in the dark and went down to the Ocean and waited for the sun light to emerge. So the portrait was actually created before the sunrise in the pre-dawn light.
Here is a link to Erich’s Blog and some more info on his inspirational story.
Dig his tag line, “You don’t need eyesight to have vision” I can only hope my vision does justice to this great man.
Click on the photo to see it at its proper size and watch the video below to find out more about the project.
Posted on October 14, 2012, in landscape photography, nature, night photography, Ocean photography, portrait photography, Rhode Island Portrait Project and tagged healthy-living, landscape photography, Nature photo, night photography, photography, portrait photography, portrait project. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.