Photographers contact Playboy daily, hoping for a chance to shoot models and become part of the Playboy legacy. Two prominent blind photographers—Bruce Hall and Peter Eckert—contacted Playboy expressing their interest in working with us. We thought it was an interesting idea and agreed to give them the opportunity to photograph a Playmate, Miss June 2004 Hiromi Oshima. Shooting for Playboy turned out to be even more exciting than both Hall and Eckert had imagined.
Bruce Hall is legally blind with five percent normal eyesight, complicated by a constant movement of the eyes that can't be corrected with glasses. "Cameras, technology and other optical devices are a way to see detail I would otherwise never see," says Hall, who has 30 years of underwater and nature photography experience. This Playboy shoot required use of his intuition and imagination. "As a scuba diver and a person who is at home in water, I wanted to shoot in, around and under water. Some of these photos were taken at night. I am night blind, so I knew this would be a challenge—if not impossible," Hall says. "Hiromi was a joy to work with. She is a total pro: exotic, beautiful and very comfortable in water."
A trained carpenter and sculpturer, Peter Eckert lost his vision as an adult due to the eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. He discovered photography after going blind, experimenting with the infrared setting on a 1950s Kodak camera. Eckert uses touch and "echo-locates" while shooting his subjects in the dark. Many of his conceptual photographs depict colored electric charges and light radiating from behind his subjects. "I wanted to stand on Playboy's ideas and push further," he says of this assignment. He does not read the Braille edition of Playboy although he notes that its availability in 1970 was a "pivotal point" in blind history. As one of Playboy's first blind photographers, Eckert makes history himself by photographing Hiromi, whom he describes as an "angel spirit."
For more information on the photographers, click on their names to visit their websites: