My name is Chris Swinton and I am the UK’s and we think the World’s only blind bike sport photographer, yes you did read that right!
I have been an avid race fan ever since my Dad took me to Oulton Park 40 years ago to see the Transatlantic Challenge and I saw the late, great Barry Sheene battle it out with ‘King’ Kenny Roberts even as a 7 year old boy I was utterly spellbound by the sights and smells of that day and my fire was lit.
In 2013, due to complications of T1 Diabetes I was classified a sight impaired and less than 2 years later I joined the ‘big leagues’ and was registered blind. As I sat there listening to my girlfriend of the time, now my wife and my amazing consultant Mr Ho discuss my options and what I could or couldn’t be expected to do in the future, my thoughts turned to what I couldn’t do either physically or by general consensus.
Fast forward to June and I find myself wedged in a bush just outside Milntown on the Isle of Man as Bruce Anstey flies toward me at 175MPH and I prepare to take my first ever photograph. Obviously it did not go well but I was utterly hooked on the idea and challenge, it would after all keep me involved in the sport I love. Now my work is regularly used in UK Clubsport and the local media and I have launched my own business and website Chris Swinton 2W’s Blind Photography www.CS2WsBlindPhoto.co.uk as I look to take on my sighted fellow photographers and in the year ahead I will be working at Oulton Park, Darley Moor, Aintree, Anglesey/Trac Mon, Donington Park and 3 Sisters and all my images will be available to purchase in a variety of ways on the website.
As well as the business I also wanted to try and give something back to the people who have helped me personally and to the sport I love so much and I am very proud to be raising funds for my local sensory loss charity Walthew House and The Billy Redmayne Memorial Fund, there is a Charity Gallery on the website featuring many of my images that have been hand signed by the rider in question, these shots can be framed if required and every penny is split 50/50 by our partners. There will also be occasional prize draws where an image will be raffled off at £1 a ticket and some exclusive items that we have had designed and created for ourselves.
If you are interested in the signed gallery, my other images or just my slightly odd story in general then please feel free to use our ‘Contact’ page on the website or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you see us trackside please come and say hello but remember, don’t wave, I won’t see you!!