AN inspiring exhibition in Penarth is giving people suffering with vision impairment the opportunity to exhibit their photography skills.

You might think that being visually impaired means you can’t take photos, particularly you can’t take photos and have them exhibited, however charity Sight Life have proved this wrong, hosting a gallery of photos taken by people with visual issues.

Penarth Times had the privilege of meeting two of these individuals, Fiona Hall and Des Radcliffe.

Ms Hall, 66, of Penarth, suffers with optic atrophy - damage to the optic nerve – however this hasn’t stopped her taking photos.

One of the photos she showed us was of the Dawnstalkers, and as well as being a talented photographer, Ms Hall also likes a bit of free swimming.

She explained how she gets around her issues with sight impairment.

“It’s just trial and error really,” said Ms Hall. “Even though I have limited sight, I can still see the image, even though I cannot see the detail. Probably why I like shooting landscapes.”

Penarth Times: Fiona Hall with some of her workFiona Hall with some of her work (Image: Newsquest)

Des Radcliffe, 75, from Cardiff, has an extensive career in photography. He’s had to battle with visual impairment for 30 years after radiotherapy for cancer of his nasal damaged his eye sight.

Despite this, he has taken photos that have been hugely admired including a powerful photo of Cardiff city centre in lockdown and photos from hot air balloon rides.

His favourite style of photography is street photos and black and whites.

Mr Radcliffe summed up his love of photography by saying: “It’s like a drug. Something I can not give up.

“It keeps me active and fit because you are out and about.”

Penarth Times: Des Radcliffe, a keen photographerDes Radcliffe, a keen photographer (Image: Newsquest)

Chairman of Sight Life, formally Cardiff Institute for the Blind, John Sanders, is also an avid photographer despite his condition; nystagmus – uncontrolled, repetitive movements of the eyes.

He explained photography helps him see things.

“It gives me a chance to see detail I cannot normally see,” said Mr Sanders. “I can take a photo, put it on a computer and see things close up.”

Penarth Times: All photos are taken by the visually impairedAll photos are taken by the visually impaired (Image: Newsquest)

Penarth Times: The exhibition is put on by Sight Life; a charity that support the visually impairedThe exhibition is put on by Sight Life; a charity that support the visually impaired (Image: Newsquest)

Going back to Mr Radcliffe, he put in perspective what it means to still be able to photograph after coming through his health battles.

“I am alive,” said Mr Radcliffe. “I’ve survived over 30 years and with that I have seen my daughter married and grand children born.”

Now that’s got to be inspiration to stop putting it off and get the camera out if you’ve always wanted to.

Sight Life’s photography exhibition is on at Penarth Pier Pavilion until April 29.

To find out more about Sight Life go to, clicking here.