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‘I’m visually impaired, but I got to see my unborn baby’: Blind photography exhibition World Unseen features incredible ultrasound scan | Ents & Arts News

Running her fingers over her scan for the first time, Karen Trippass could feel straight away that her unborn baby had her husband’s nose.

Born with bilateral coloboma, a rare condition also known as cat-eye syndrome, she never thought she would experience this pregnancy milestone in the same way that sighted expectant mums do, the excitement of seeing the shifting black and white shapes of a growing embryo appearing on screen for the first time.

It was something she missed out on while pregnant with her eldest daughter, Phoebe, 10 years ago. Questioned by medical staff and social workers on her ability to care for a newborn at that time, Karen says being visually impaired meant she was treated differently and she suffered from depression, finding it difficult to bond with her baby before her birth.

Karen Trippass's raised baby scan helped her 'see' her unborn daughter while she was pregnant. Pic: World Unseen
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Karen’s raised baby scan helped her ‘see’ her unborn daughter while she was pregnant. Pic: World Unseen

This time round, she was able to “meet” her baby through her 29-week ultrasound thanks to technology that creates a raised image, providing a tactile feel of her child wriggling in her womb. She says having this, and also being able to hear the heartbeat, helped her feel more connected.

Karen’s second daughter, Ruby, is now eight weeks old, and her scan hangs up at their home in Surrey.

“The first thing I remember noticing was her nose,” she says. “She’s got my husband’s nose. I could feel the top of her head, her nose, the dip of her eyes… I’ll always treasure it.

Karen Trippass, who is visually impaired, 'sees' her baby scan for the first time by feeling a raised image. Pic: World Unseen
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Pic: World Unseen

“Both my babies are IVF, it took us a long time to get there. So the whole thing’s emotional anyway, but then getting to see your baby like everybody else does… I just hope that every visually impaired woman who has a baby could get that opportunity.

“I don’t expect the NHS to be rolling it out, but even if you had to pay a minimal charge, I think a lot of people would prefer it. I just think it’s amazing, the concept of having family pictures from now on would be pretty cool.”

According to the NHS, there are more than two million people living with sight loss in the UK, with around 340,000 registered as blind or partially sighted.

Karen’s scan of Ruby was created by camera firm Canon, and is being featured as part of its new World Unseen exhibition, launched in partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) – “the photography exhibition you don’t need to see”.

The World Unseen exhibition features photos paired with braille, elevated images and audio descriptions, as well as obscured versions of the photographs to show how they might be seen by those who are blind or visually impaired. Pic: World Unseen/Canon
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The World Unseen exhibition features photos paired with braille, elevated images and audio descriptions. Pic: World Unseen/Canon

Designed completely with the experience of blind and partially sighted people in mind, the exhibition features a series of pictures taken by world-renowned photographers, some who are visually impaired, accompanied with elevated prints, audio descriptions, soundscapes and braille.

For sighted people, traditional images are obscured in different ways to convey different types of visual impairment, from glaucoma to diabetic retinopathy. It is an insight into the difficulties faced by blind and partially sighted people, a challenge to see life through their lens, and a reminder of the vision those of us with sight rely on and take for granted every day.

At the launch event, even the canapes play with your senses – we are encouraged to put on headphones playing sounds of the sea, a scent spray filling the air with salt and vinegar, as fish and chip nibbles are presented.

The World Unseen exhibition features photos obscured in different ways, to show how they might be seen by those who are blind or visually impaired. Pic: World Unseen/Canon
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Pic: World Unseen/Canon

Among the photographers whose work is featured is Ian Treherne, from Essex, who is known as the Blind Photographer. Born with the condition RP Type 2 Usher Syndrome, he has been deaf since birth and over the years has lost almost 95% of his sight.

“I hid my blindness for years,” he says. “I acted as a sighted person for a very long time. When I was growing up, disability was a very, awkward, difficult topic. Only my close friends knew about it. Then in my 30s, I sort of ‘came out’ as a blind person and it’s done me the world of good to be open and honest about it. And I think by doing photography and working alongside other people with disabilities, you can really improve the bigger picture among the general public.”

The World Unseen exhibition features photos paired with braille, elevated images and audio descriptions. Pic: World Unseen/Canon
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Pic: World Unseen/Canon

Ian says he has always been creative and photography allowed him to capture moments in time as he was losing his sight. But there was also a rebelliousness behind his desire to get behind the camera.

“I knew that doing photography and being blind was going to hurt some minds, hurt some brains,” he says. “I knew it would raise some questions.”

So he taught himself, practising with his camera and researching on the internet. “With the condition I’ve got, I have to work probably 10, 20 times harder than a fully sighted person,” he says.

“It’s all a learning curve. I think that’s really the biggest boundary in society, it’s changing the mindsets, or adjusting the mindsets. I think people are sometimes just afraid to ask the question.”

These images of Lioness Chloe Kelly's Euro 2022 final goal are obscured to show how a person with a visual impairment might see them. Pic: World Unseen/Canon
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These images of Lioness Chloe Kelly’s Euro 2022 final goal are obscured to show how a person with a visual impairment might see them. Pic: World Unseen/Canon

The World Unseen exhibition feature works from world-renowned photographers and Canon ambassadors from around the globe, including Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Salgado, Nigerian photojournalist Yagazie Emezi, sports photographer Samo Vidic, fashion photographer Heidi Rondak, and Pulitzer-winning photojournalist Muhammed Muheisen.

A photograph from Kenya of the last male northern white rhino, taken by award-winning South African photojournalist Brent Stirton, also features. You can feel the roughness, every groove of the animal’s skin, as you run your fingers over the elevated image.

Photographs of Lioness Chloe Kelly’s decisive goal in the Euro 2022 final at Wembley, by Marc Aspland, are also on display, with an audio description reliving the moment of the win.

But Ruby, of course, is the star of the show, cradled by her mum in front of her scan. “It’s funny to think of people feeling Ruby’s picture but I love the idea that quite a lot of visually impaired people will feel what a scan picture is like, because I didn’t know what to expect,” Karen says.

“To have this memory, this opportunity to ‘see’ – I say see, or feel – my baby before she was born was awesome. And to have a record of it and get to show Ruby when she’s older, it’s so special.”

The World Unseen exhibition has opened at Somerset House, in central London, and runs over the weekend

Previously unseen photo of Queen released after private burial takes place at Windsor | UK News

The Royal Family has released a previously unseen photograph of the Queen after she was laid to rest in a private burial.

The image of the monarch was taken at Balmoral in 1971, with the caption often borrowed from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.”

“In loving memory of Her Majesty The Queen.

“1926 – 2022.”

The royal family released a never-before-seen picture of the Queen hiking in moorland. Pic: Lichfield
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Pic: Lichfield

It comes shortly after the Royal Family said the Queen had been buried alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, part of St George’s Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The family’s website said the burial service, attended by close family members, was conducted by the Dean of Windsor.

Before the burial, some 800 guests attended a committal service in St George’s, which concluded with the crown, orb and sceptre – symbols of the Queen’s power and governance – being removed from the coffin and placed on the altar.

The Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official in the royal household, then broke his ‘Wand of Office’, signifying the end of his service to the sovereign, and placed it on the casket before it slowly descended into the Royal Vault.

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Earlier in the day, 2,000 people, including foreign royalty and world leaders, attended the Queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey in central London.

During his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury told the congregation the outpouring of emotion for the Queen “arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us”.

Read more:
Queen’s funeral: Elizabeth II is buried beside Prince Philip
Royals and world leaders: Who was at the Queen’s funeral?
Things you may have missed from the Queen’s funeral

He told mourners: “People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer.

“But in all cases those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are forgotten.

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's Orb and Sceptre, is carried from her State Funeral at Westminster Abbey in London. Picture date: Monday September 19, 2022. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via REUTERS
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The Queen’s state funeral

“The grief of this day – felt not only by the late Queen’s family but all round the nation, Commonwealth and world – arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us.

“She was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives.”