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July 21, 2012

Doc Time: Dark Light: The Art Of Blind Photographers (HBO)

Weekends are often a good time to catch up with favorite TV shows and movies, but how about watching something photography-related? This week's assignment (it will be included in the final!) is the HBO documentary "Dark Light: The Art Of Blind Photographers" (31-minutes runtime, 2010). It spotlights three blind photographers, Pete Eckert (uses braille light meter), Henry Butler (accomplished New Orleans pianist as well) and Bruce Hall (underwater macro photography).

In addition to profiles of the three blind photographers, the documentary intermingles before-and-after reactions-on-an-artsy-couch of five accomplished photographers (including James Nachtwey and Mary Ellen Mark) when introduced to the world of blind photography. Spoiler alert: they go from disbelief to a better understanding. Curator of "Sight Unseen" exhibition Douglas McCulloh gives background information in between scenes.

Director and co-producer Neil Leifer discusses his documentary is a post at AOLington Post. A review of the exhibition at the LA Times Culture Monster blog.

For content-sensitive audiences, this documentary includes brief female nudity (female model in a behind the scenes light-painting photo-shoot). For Flash-sensitive audiences, the HBO website is all Flash. The latter is decidedly more offensive than the former ;-)

Here is a 53-second trailer:

Where to Watch
The documentary is free to watch for HBO subscribers through the HBO website or the HBO Go (iOS/iTunes and Android apps) or your cable/satellite provider iOS/Android apps, or your cable provider's On Demand system.

The documentary is also available on DVD at The HBO Store and by Best Buy and various at Amazon. From what I could surmise by googling, the DVD initially came out as Full Screen (1.33 aspect ratio) and later came out in Widescreen (1.77 aspect ratio), so be sure to check the product listings if you have a strong preference on format.

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