EARLY in 2022, some members of Dawlish and Teignmouth Photographic Club (DTPC) entertained members of Newton Abbot Photographic Club (NAPC) with the photography projects they have been working on, writes Heather Davies.

Bob Clowes of DTPC talked about his special area of interest – Street Photography – and how he approaches taking pictures of complete strangers, talking to them and showing them the photos to hopefully obtain their co-operation and permission.

Bob showed a few images of people who had agreed to be photographed, and one of them was a deaf/blind lady in Finland who he had met professionally some 20 years ago. But Bob made the comment that sadly, this was one subject who would never be able to see the image he had taken of her with her interpreter.

At the end of the meeting NAPC’s Dave Geeves spoke to Bob and told him that he had a way that Ritta, the deaf/blind lady, could possibly ‘see’ the image. 

Dave explained he could make a Lithophane from Bob’s image which creates a raised/textured example of the image which could be ‘felt’ by Ritta enabling her to ‘see’ the image. 

The only problem was would Bob be able to track Ritta down after a 20-year gap! 

Ritta and her interpreter from 20 years ago
Ritta and her interpreter from 20 years ago (-)

However, luck was on his side and by October 2022, Bob had made contact.  

Ritta was now in her 80s and in a residential home in Finland, and with the help of a staff member at the home, they arranged for Ritva the same, long retired interpreter, to visit Ritta in the same room as the original photograph was taken and introduce her to the Lithophane of the original image.

This was a very special and emotional meeting, a great success, and one that will stay in the minds of those who made it happen, for a very long time.  

Huge credit to Dave Geeves and Bob Clowes for developing this story and producing such an amazing result, with great local photography club collaboration.

And to finish the story for members of both clubs, Newton Abbot members will soon be visiting the Dawlish & Teignmouth club and Dave will present this story from beginning to end, with help from Bob of course.