Our wobbly photography competition – judged by David Katz

We want to raise as much awareness of nystagmus as possible this year and make sure that everyone has a chance to take part, so we’re running our wobbly photography competition: The View From My Window

We know that lots of people who have nystagmus are also keen photographers. Most notably, of course, is internationally acclaimed photographer, David Katz (pictured).

David revealed only in recent years, in his film “Through my Lenses” that he has ocular albinism and nystagmus and is actually registered blind. Nevertheless he has enjoyed a stellar career in photography and has created some of the most iconic press images.

When we asked him to judge our competition, David said “I would be absolutely delighted and very honoured to judge the Nystagmus Network competition … It has constantly amazed me since making my story public how many of us with VI are into photography.”

Whether you have nystagmus or not, whether you have the latest camera or just a phone, and wherever you are in the world, you can take part.

Email your entry to [email protected] 

Photographs must be your own work, be taken from a window at your home, in high resolution, copyright free and in landscape format. They should not show any people.

Good luck, everyone!

An inspiring meeting with David Katz

The day before Nystagmus Awareness Day 2018, Information and Development Manager, Sue, and trustee, Peter, travelled to London to meet a very inspirational man – internationally acclaimed ‘blind’ photographer, David Katz. Several exciting nystagmus-related projects were discussed – more of those to come.

David will, of course, be the charity’s guest speaker at Open Day in September, bringing us stories of his long and illustrious career in photography, the experience of making his film, Through my Lenses, and, most recently, his assignment of a lifetime to the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics.

David Katz – our special guest speaker at Open Day 2018

We are delighted to announce that David Katz, the internationally acclaimed photographer, will be joining us as our special guest speaker at our annual Open Day on 29 September.

David was with us all in spirit last year, of course, when we were honoured and privileged to have been granted permission to premier his amazing film, Through my Lenses. In the film David reveals that, throughout his success behind the camera, he managed to conceal the fact that he is actually registered blind. He speaks personally and very movingly about his upbringing, the gift of a first camera from his father and the support from his mother, in particular, who taught him a lesson that will stay with him for life – there is no such word as can’t.

David is currently enjoying yet another official photography assignment, one which we know will hold a very special place in his heart. He is in Pyeongchang, covering the Winter Paralympics.

We look forward to seeing David, again, in Birmingham on 29 September.


World Film Première – Through my Lenses

The Nystagmus Network was proud to be granted permission to hold the first public screening anywhere in the world of a brand new short film about nystagmus at our 2017 Open Day in Birmingham on 30 September. Almost 200 members of the nystagmus community were present to watch the film. The film’s creator is a member of the Nystagmus Network.

Internationally acclaimed photographer David Katz shares his story in the film Through My Lenses which describes his journey from being diagnosed as blind at three months old to becoming one of the top sports photographers in the British national press by the time he was 20.

Through the film, David shows how he excelled in his chosen career of over 30 years, working as a highly respected and accomplished photographer for national and international newspapers and media, while keeping the fact that he is legally blind from almost everyone who knew him.

Remarkably, this career at the highest level of international media encompassed not only press photography, notably capturing shots of the British Royal Family including the Queen, and intimate images of celebrities such as Elton John and Amy Winehouse, but two long-term photographic documentaries, three political campaigns, and being chosen to be the personal photographer to a Prime Minister.

David created Through My Lenses in order to show what is possible with the right encouragement, persistence, dedication and commitment, and the spirit that anything is possible. His belief, based on his personal experience, is that there is no such word as ‘can’t’, and for anyone with a disability or impairment who is told that something is not possible, to know that it is.

“I was given my first camera when I was seven years old and have been in love with photography ever since,” he says. “I see things in a different way to other people. As a child I found it difficult to express what I saw through drawing or painting – a camera was the next best thing.”

Until now David hasn’t spoken about his condition as he didn’t want to be treated any differently to anyone else but feels the time has now come to share his story in the hope of helping others.

“There is some fantastic work being done out there, by organisations including the #valuable campaign, headed by Caroline Casey, which calls on businesses to recognise the value of one billion people with disability, and the Nystagmus Network. My hope is that I can add to that work and use my experience, knowledge and understanding to show children and their parents that they can achieve anything they want to. I hope my story proves that.” David Katz, September 2017