Sonia Soberats is blind, but that doesn't stop her from taking pictures. In fact, the single immigrant mother only picked up a camera after losing her sight in the early 1990s, a loss that in an absurdly tragic twist, was bookended by the deaths of her son and then her daughter. A New York Times profile from this week recounts the unreal career path of the now 77-year-old amateur photographer, who lives and works in Queens and is a member of the New York-based collective Seeing With Photography.

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Courtesy Seeing With Photography


Soberats' sessions start in darkness, part of a century-old photography technique known as "light painting." The technique has been attempted by everyone from Man Ray to Motorola, but the Times details Soberats' particular way of following it: After feeling out her subjects' shape with her hands, she moves deliberately around them holding various light sources (e.g., "flashlights and Christmas lights"), all the while instructing her assistant when to open and close her camera shutter. Her movements determine the look of the image by directing the way the light hits her subjects. The results are otherworldly and often frightening.

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Courtesy Seeing With Photography

We've compiled some of Soberats' photographs in the slideshow below. Click through, and let us know what you think of this photographer's skill.

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  • Seeing With Photography

    "Manna" <a href="www.seeingwithphotography.com">Seeing With Photography Collective</a>

  • Seeing With Photography

    "Voodoo Shaman" <a href="www.seeingwithphotography.com">Seeing With Photography Collective</a>

  • Seeing With Photography

    "Huberto makes arch of energy" <a href="www.seeingwithphotography.com">Seeing With Photography Collective</a>

  • Seeing With Photography

    "Ribs" <a href="www.seeingwithphotography.com">Seeing With Photography Collective</a>

  • Seeing With Photography

    <a href="www.seeingwithphotography.com">Seeing With Photography Collective</a>

  • Seeing With Photography

    <a href="www.seeingwithphotography.com">Seeing With Photography Collective</a>

  • Seeing With Photography

    <a href="www.seeingwithphotography.com">Seeing With Photography Collective</a>

  • Seeing With Photography

    <a href="www.seeingwithphotography.com">Seeing With Photography Collective</a>

  • Seeing With Photography

    "Jessica Jones" <a href="www.seeingwithphotography.com">Seeing With Photography Collective</a>

  • Seeing With Photography

    "Sillouette ala Matisse" <a href="www.seeingwithphotography.com">Seeing With Photography Collective</a>

All images appear courtesy Seeing With Photography, a collective of visually impaired artists. Head to the web site for more of Soberats' work, as well as the portfolios of other inspiring artists.