Our Vision Project: Join Duncan Nicholls in using art to help the visually-impaired

The thought of losing my own sight absolutely terrifies me. It’s easy to take our vision for granted.

For a number of years now, I’ve shot campaigns and raised funds for charities that support the visually impaired. Meeting so many wonderful people on these shoots and hearing their inspiring—and sometimes heartbreaking—stories strengthened my desire to help improve their lives.

As soon as I realized that 80% of all people living with blindness could have their sight restored or improved, I felt compelled to do something about it. I wanted to create an inclusive project with the largest possible impact; one in which the world’s creative community could easily take part.

Fellow creatives, I have a win-win proposition for you that combines showcasing your work with raising funds to tackle avoidable blindness around the world: the Our Vision Project.

Blindness affects 39 million people worldwide—a staggering 80% of which can be treated or prevented with cost-effective interventions.

The capacity to transform so many lives has served as a huge inspiration for me to create for this project. In the first few weeks, we raised enough money to fund sight-restoring operations for 19 people with curable blindness. I’ve been totally blown away by everyone’s kindness.

The impact we could have as a global creative community would be truly extraordinary, and I’d love to feature as many fellow 500px members as possible.

Here’s the deal: I’ve created GIFs / 5-second looping videos from a still photograph, which represent the restoration of vision (i.e., the impact we can have with this project) and posted them on Instagram @our_vision_project. These materials help to promote the cause and Our Vision fundraising, as well as showcase the work of creatives that have donated.

All of the money raised goes to the charity Seeing is Believing, which since 2003, has reached more than 130 million people and has helped prevent blindness by funding more than 150 projects in poor communities around the world. To me, a successful project means improving as many lives as possible, so I chose this charity for the impact they have around the world. Standard Chartered is also matching every dollar we raise, doubling the impact we can have!

Ready to get involved? Here’s how you can help:

  1. Select a photo of yours (minimum width 2000px, .jpeg or .tiff), and email it to me at ourvisionproject001@gmail.com. So far, creatives have been sharing images that mean something special to them: moments that would have been completely different, or may not have even happened at all, if they were visually impaired. Examples include favorite travel shots, portraits, landscapes, shots with friends, behind-the-scenes images—a whole range. It’s your call.
  2. Make a donation of your choice to the Our Vision Project page.
  3. I’ll create a 4-5 second looping video from the photo(s), like the ones you see on the Our Vision Instagram page, and email you back with the video(s).
  4. Share the video(s) on your social media channels to let people know that you’re participating in the Our Vision Project, including the tags @our_vision_project and #ourvisionproject. I’ll feature you and your work on our Instagram page. I’m aiming to feature as many different creatives as we can each week!

Restoring sight for just one person is worth all the effort—but what if we could establish a creative community who, every year, restores the sight of thousands of people around the world? Wouldn’t that be something?

My heartfelt thanks,
Duncan