How @blindfilmcritic Uses Instagram

Tommy Edison (@blindfilmcritic) has been blind since birth, but that hasn’t stopped him from sharing photographs of the world around him with Instagram. Tommy’s viral video, “How Blind People Use Instagram,” explains exactly how a blind person takes photographs with the application. He’s also shared a few more details into his experience and process directly with us.

"I’ll take a picture if I hear something interesting to me, like a big truck or maybe a bird, or when I go somewhere I haven’t been before," says Tommy. "If I’m with someone who’s sighted, they might make a comment about something they see and that will inspire me to take a picture of whatever they’re talking about."

Tommy provides a fascinating view into what the filter selection process is like for someone who can’t see the effect a filter has on a picture. “I pick a filter based on its name and what sounds good that day—whatever the kind of mood I’m in at that moment. For example, I’ve heard that Inkwell makes the photos black and white so I use that on special occasions, Sierra and X-Pro II sound like high quality filters, and Lo-Fi sounds like a cheap, old camera.”

Being blind also introduces a twist to how Tommy interacts with his followers: he relies on the people who view his photos to describe and provide feedback on them. “My favorite part has to be reading all the comments because I get to find out what the photo is. People will describe what they see in the picture and tell me if it’s a good angle, or if it’s too dark. It’s like a game to me—point, shoot, and wait to see what it is. It’s really interesting that people want to see what a blind person does with a camera.”

Be sure to follow Tommy on Instagram, and leave descriptive comments and feedback on his photographs at @blindfilmcritic!