7 min read

Coasting along the coast

Thoughts on accessibility [issue 34]
Coasting along the coast

hello friend

Hey. How are you? I had a nice time yesterday talking with a friend, socially distanced of course. It’s not something I’ve consciously missed during lockdown but it was nice to sit on the beach and have a real conversation. Turns out I do sort of miss moments like that. At least in the right time and place. I am in no way desperate to go back to having a beer in a noisy bar. Sorry. Noise and chance of death != something I want in my life.

I continue to enjoy cycling. I did a 17 mile bike ride this week. I found a cafe at the mid-way point doing bacon butties. Something I might try out next time. It’s these simple pleasures I’m enjoying. Open and calm spaces where I can ride and go places I rarely go to see new things. It’s great. Of course there’s no structure to the world. I mean, there are signs suggesting some sort of structure but no-one seems to follow them. Pedestrians in the bike lane. Bikes in the pedestrian lanes. We could live in a nice organised world free from chaos but people don’t seem to think that is a fun activity. I am very glad I don’t live in a big city with cars to contend with. I can cycle along the coast. If I go early or when it rains then it’s just me. I love it.


photography

Of course I’m taking my camera when I go for bike rides. I’m taking a big lens just to get a different photo than my normal work. So these photos were produced along the Hoylake coast line looking at some extreme levels of social distancing. You really have to be careful of the tide around the Wirral coast. If you are careful it’s an amazing place to walk. Though you can easily get stuck in the mud out there. Very very easily.

There are people in some of these photos. You may need to make them bigger to see. I was using a 200mm lens and they were still miles away.

DSC_1595-pete-carr.jpg
DSC_1602-pete-carr.jpg
DSC_1605-pete-carr.jpg
DSC_1607-pete-carr.jpg
DSC_1609-pete-carr.jpg
DSC_1610-pete-carr.jpg
DSC_1611-pete-carr.jpg
DSC_1612-pete-carr.jpg
DSC_1630-pete-carr.jpg

autism

I’ve been thinking about accessibility the past day. It is something I used be concerned about as a web designer 15 years ago. I was passionate about making accessible websites. People would argue differently saying it is only a small percentage of your audience so why cater to them? 1% of 1 million people is still a lot of people but more importantly it’s simply the right thing to do! It annoyed me that people didn’t get it. This was a time when I wasn’t aware I was autistic but just felt different to what was “normal”. The internet helped me find like minded people. It gave me access to information, ideas and communities I wouldn’t normally have access to. I strongly believed in an open web for all. I still do.

Today I have an autism diagnosis and I am coming to terms (2 years on) with the fact that I am disabled. Accessibility is now a real thing that affects me on a daily basis. Oh sure I don’t need a ramp or a hand rail to get into a shop but maybe I need other things like noise cancelling headphones with voice pass through so I can hear important words but not annoying sounds. I wear sunglasses to reduce the brightness of the sun so the outside world becomes accessible to me.

I’ve started to reframe my iPhone and Apple Watch in my mind to be better tools for accessibility. I don’t fully know what this means yet. It’s a seed that will grow over time (in case you were unaware of what seeds do). Apple is proud of their accessibility features. They put a lot of time and effort into making their products as accessible as possible.

I had no idea that Apple made a feature called Live Listen that meant I could use AirPods in a restaurant and my phone as a mic to allow me to block out everything but my wife talking to me. That’s amazing! I’m not going to a restaurant any time soon but it’s good to know that there are options.

Thing is though. I’m new at being disabled. That sentence alone is strange to type and I have no idea if it’s even the right way of saying it. But I am new to this. I’ve got a lot to learn and a lot of issues to get past. It is great to know I can wear headphones in a restaurant and be able to talk to my wife but I’m going to feel silly doing that. I have to get passed that in order to be happier in day to day life. I have to remind myself of my disability and be ok with doing what needs to be done to be part of the world.

So I have to start seeing myself as disabled and I have to start looking at technology from this perspective to help. These tools enable me to write, to make photographs and now I need them to help me through the day. I’m excited to hopefully read some articles on autism, executive function disorder and the iPhone / Apple Watch. I’ll let you know what I find next week.


video

There should be a video here. I’ve been trying to do them weekly and it started with a simple idea. Film me talking about a book. A simple thing I could do in an afternoon. Shoot. Edit. Publish.

In typical me fashion I’m now doing multimedia productions playing around with ideas in Final Cut and enjoying being creative with video. This has lead to me trying to pull together all kinds of things I’ve shot over a trip to create something like last weeks Venice video.  I’ve been working on one for Amsterdam. I thought it would be easy as the content was all ready to be dropped into FCPX but I decided I needed to re-edit the images which lead to me playing with panoramas and further distractions. I’m easily distracted. Squirrel!

I’m sorry there’s no video this week. There will be a new one next week. For now please enjoy a costal themed video from 2016 which fits in with the photos up above. My wife and I walked around the Wirral costal path. A nice 10 mile walk to a restaurant. Back when I could walk that far and there were restaurants.


got cash?

I have a selection of Icelandic photographic prints for sale with my friends at Dorothy.

There is no paid subscription to this newsletter but there is a tip jar.

BuyMeACoffee_blue@2x.png

beam out

g03jta160f751.jpg

Lightning strike in Chicago captured from multiple angles.