I am partially colour-blind since birth, and there are times that it’s difficult for me to identify specific hues and shades. My mom discovered it when I was still a child while helping her sort laundry by colour. Later on, we found out that my elder brother is also colour-blind, and such colour vision impairment could be hereditary.
For most of my friends, it’s a fun fact and we tend to always laugh about it. A lot of them would usually tag me in colour tests and games in social media, perhaps just to tease me. Some are asking how I am still able to pursue travel photography despite my inability to completely differentiate colours.
However, being partially colour-blind didn’t stop me nor did it prevent me from doing what I love.
Imagination is greater than impairment
Years before I had my first camera, I used to live close to a bookstore and I would usually spend my weekends in its photography books section (free-reading because I got no money to buy any) just to read how to take great photos, how to use an SLR, what experts usually advise to newbies, even down to how to use specific camera models and brands.
When I was finally able to buy my own camera, I was so happy and excited to apply all that I learned from my reading. I tried every tip and trick that I could remember. For me, it’s one of the best investments I have ever made, and one of the best memories I’d long cherish.
Now, looking back, I realised that not only was my colour vision impairment that seemed to limit me, but also the fact of not having a camera. But that never stopped me from learning, or from imagining, and even from dreaming.
Little did I know that, subtly, while trying to learn photography by reading, my love for traveling has been reignited, too, in my mind unconsciously.
A vivid and colourful 2017
Through reading, my interest’s got fixed mostly to landscape photography. The images in the books I read unconsciously became part of my dream, and I never thought that mere photos, despite not fully seeing every hue and shade, would eventually make my world much bigger. And this year, my life has become more colourful than ever.
In 2017, I have seen Hyogo’s majestic Himeji Castle — a heritage site I first saw only in books. I also got to explore one of the Philippines’ pride and nature’s wonder — Caramoan Islands. I also had an awe-inspiring time in Thailand and was amazed by its magnificent temples, the most breathtaking temples I have seen so far.
Likewise, South Korea gave me and my friends a Seoul-ful experience, while Boracay did not disappoint and has boasted that sunsets are one of nature’s most vibrant gifts to mankind.
These experiences and travel destinations filled not only my eyes, but also my soul, with colours I’ve never imagined I’d be able to see and feel.
Indeed, 2017 has never shortchanged a colour blind like myself. Because what it did was to generously show me every spectacular hue and view that I couldn’t normally see. It gave me the special opportunity to take advantage of the entire wavelength of cultures spread out across countries and places I’ve been to. It made me a humble witness to the vividness of every human being in the world’s spectrum.
This year has ended with my eyes filled with orgasmic colours, and with my heart pouring with vibrant life lessons, joy, and experiences.
Going beyond our limits in 2018
In 2017, I’ve proved that my own imagination could be limitless and is far greater than my physical impairment. Our impairments and personal challenges may try to hinder us from doing what we are truly passionate about but, without any doubt, we can remain in full control if we only set our minds and hearts right.
It is true that, at times, we’d feel limited and vulnerable. For sure, each one of us is challenged or limited in some way. You’re probably thinking, too, right now of an impairment quite similar to my colour blindness. But no matter what they may be, believe me: life goes beyond them.
Together, let’s continue to surpass our limits. Let not our limitations stop us from dreaming. Accept and overcome impairment with our even far stronger human determination.
Because 2018 promises another colourful year, even more than the previous one, but it’s all up to us to unveil its vibrancy and vividness.
Have a colourful and vibrant new year!