Saturday, September 19, 2015

My TEDxFukuoka 2015 Talk: WYSIWYG -Snap That Moment with Flash Sonar Echolocation TEDxFukuokaに登壇しました

On September 19th 2015, I made an appearance at TEDxFukuoka 2015 as an adventitiously blind photographer. 

My original intention, preparing for other TEDx event, was "Seeing through the lens" but I changed the theme to "WYSIWYG", despite the fact that many people did not get it as a former IT warrior myself, I believe there are at least some people, especially in IT, web creators and designers, get what I want to say, and this allowed me to cover all Technology, Entertainment and Design.

The talk covered the fact that I was into technology and photography, I lived in un-Japanese-like life, value my independence, responsibility and freedom, that were suddenly taken away by a stroke caused by my inheritent and incurable heart disease. As soon as I lost my vision, I taught myself how to use a computer, luckily I had a MacBook Pro and iPhone with VoiceOver screen reader technology. Soon after, I learned about echolocation that bats and dolphins use, and Daniel Kish, who is the first one that I know of, to apply echolocation for human use, calling it "Flash Sonar." Though the surrounding "society" were skeptical about it, I decided to get out from the bed and went for the journey of discovery and recovery, meeting Daniel for Flash Sonar training.
Since then, I enjoy my independence, responsibility and freedom of expression, travelling around and taking pictures. With a appropriate help, and support, right tools and understanding of family, friends and society, the possibility of people of disability becomes unlimited.

What I couldn't cover, but intended to cover, werehow my life before losing sight was, the detailed information about how sonar works (replaced by demonstration at the talk)and surprisingly, I didn't mentioned any details of how the heck I take photos even though I'm blind! When I was going through the demonstration of "seeing by hearing" using a sonar, thought I won't finish it in adequate time, I instantly summarised the photoshooting technique part from few paragraphs to 2 sentences as I talked. That's why I was nervous and worried if I can convey my message by making it too short. In other words, I saved something to talk about if I'm given an another opportunity to talk at other TEDx event in future! (I said "by "my knowledge and instinct" to set shutter and aperture, or leave them Auto instead of giving any senses I use, framing and measuring distance, shooting moving subjects, a hidden technique called "the sixth sense" to shoot a landscape photo and so on)

I have given many presentations in Japanese, but I guess it's been the first time I gave a speech inn English since I became blind. I would say if I had more time to prepare, I'd done it better, but I'll leave it up to you, seeing is believing. You'll find out what I mean when the video comes on YouTube soon.

What You See Is What You Get.

Thank everyone who has supported me through this project. Special thanks to
Jonathan Mann
 for the awesome theme song!


話の内容としては、小さい頃からテクノロジーや写真に興味を持っていたことから始まり、失明に至った理由、たまたま所有していたMacBook ProとiPhoneにVoiceOverというスクリーンリーダーが入っており、入院中に独学でつかえることになったこと、インターネットで
エコーロケーション(反響定位)とダニエル・キッシュ氏のことを知り、周囲が心配する中で一人でロサンゼルスに訓練を受けたこと、地元紙LA Timesから取材を受けたこと、写真を撮るようになったことを通して、適切なサポート、適切なツール、そして家族や友人、周囲や社会の理解があれば、障害者はじりつし、責任を持って、自由に行動できる、そう思います。それを結びつけてくれたのが、私にとって写真だったわけです。