Frank’s challenge this week is fuzzy. The example image Frank shows in his post is what my left eye sees at the moment. Almost like looking through a dirty pair of spectacles.

While I have recovered from the physical trauma of orbital decompression eye surgery, I have a new complication for my vision. I have double vision.

At my post-surgery follow-up, the doctors performed some tests confirming that I have double. The good news is that this is temporary. The bad news is we don’t know the meaning of temporary. Is it two months or six months? Will I do better with corrective lenses, or will I require more surgery? We don’t know. I have another followup with the ophthalmologists in Philadelphia in the last weeks of November. I’ll know more then.

I would be lying if I said I am not frustrated and feeling dispirited by this news and the challenges before me.

I alternate between wearing an eye patch on each eye. Several years ago, I had cataract surgery in the left eye and laser surgery in the other eye. My left eye is used for distance vision, e.g., driving, and my right eye is used for reading and using the computer. Together my eyes gave me a full range of view. With the double vision, this is broken.

Walking is challenging since I need both eyes to measure depth. I will not be driving. My spouse, although she has done much for me during this time, can only help so much, and I do not want to overwhelm her. She has her health challenges. She will not be able to drive me to work each day, or to the early morning, photography workshops and photo walks, that I usually do at this time of year.

I am a freelance consultant. I have no vacation days and no paid time off. On Monday I will have a big ask of my client. Will they allow me to work remotely until my eyesight improves? It’s not a technical issue. Until my eye surgery, I worked remotely two days a week1. The client has systems and technology to support this. It’s more of asking for a policy exception.

I know what I can’t do. I can’t drive or go on photo walks. I can work, but I need frequent breaks to rest my eyes. As I mentioned, I alternate between putting an eye patch over the left eye and then the right eye but even with that, by the end of the day, my eyes hurt from trying to focus on the text on the screen. I have been using Siri dictation to send emails and text messages. It's not an ideal solution.

After work, I spend a lot of time on the couch with my eyes closed. I registered for an online self-paced course, but I found watching the content to be exhausting, especially after a day of work. I cancelled all of my outdoor photography workshops.

To remain positive, I am focusing on what I can do. If/when she leaves the house to do errands, I go with my wife, and I photograph whatever I can see. I have mostly used my iPhone 7 for this as the Fujifilm X-T2 is too large to take on errands. If you see a man staring straight ahead while holding on tightly to his wife's arm, that is me. I'm paranoid that I'll bump into people and objects.

I have included a few photos that were captured using the double exposure feature of my Fujifilm X-T2. I think these images give some idea of what it feels like with my vision. The double exposure feature is easy to use. I select the double exposure feature on the command dial, shoot the first image, and accept the result on the LCD when the camera prompts to do so. The camera then overlays the first image on the live viewfinder so that I can see how the double exposure will look. Pressing the shutter then captures the second image overlaid on the first.

The images are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs.

Sep 22, 2019, Early autumn — FujiFilm X-T2 +XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR


  1. Initially, it was just one day a week, but last summer, staff were quitting from the US ad UK teams citing the unbearable commute at the reason. The manager allowed another day to stem the losses. 

I keep repeating, but I had orbital decompression surgery on Monday. My face, especially around my eyes, looked like I had a rough night at fight club. After a week of alternating use of an ice pack for twenty minutes on, and twenty minutes off, and lots of bed rest, and being mentally unfocused due to strong pain medications, I can finally see out of both eyes. I am still on several medications, including whole-body anti-biotics and in-eye anti-biotics which I apply three times a day to both eyes. I have a double vision which the doctors expect will go away on its own or I will require additional surgery. I'll know more at my post-surgery appointment on Monday.

This week, I had not expected to submit a post for Frank's Photo Challenge. Until today, I had not even thought about the weekly challenge. I was focused on recovering from surgery. But I was skipping through the WordPress Reader, with a patch over my left eye, and saw a response to the photo challenge and out of curiosity, I looked for this week's keyword and started laughing. Focus!!

Due to cataract surgery on my left several years ago, I had to choose the type of lens I wanted. I opted for distance vision. With the left eye, I can focus on objects that are further than two meters or more from my sight. Soon after that, I had laser surgery, phase reactive keratotomy, in my right eye, which allows me to focus on the nearby objects that are two-metres or less from my right eye. My brain combines both images to enable stereoscopic vision so that I can drive safely, read a screen, a book, and watch a movie.

Of course, seeing two of every car as I drive isn't ideal. With my post-surgery diplopia, I can't focus on anything in front of me unless I close one of my eyes. My wife gave me an eye-patch to alternately cover each eye. But when you can see out of one eye only, you lose stereoscopic vision and the ability to determine depth.

So what to do? I wanted to submit an entry.

I decided to save up my energy; it takes a lot out of me to cover one eye long enough to type these words so that I could submit two images. I captured both pictures on my Fujifilm X-T2 with a manual focus 35mm film lens, my Asahi SMC Takumar 55mm f/2. For the first image, I used the focus-peaking feature of the Fujifilm X-T2 to help me find the proper focus for the image. For the other, I focus on using just my eyes. I expect one image is sharper than the other.

The out-o-focus image is a decent depiction of what my vision was like a day after surgery.

I used Luis Costa's monochrome film simulation recipe, which I found via Ritchie Roesch's [Not] My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Tri-X Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe post. The last time I shot a monochrome film was in college in the mid-'80s. I don't remember explicitly shooting Tri-X, but I do remember capturing a lot of monochrome images. I don't know if this Tri-X recipe is close to Tri-X or not, but I like the way it looks.

Sep 14, 2019, Chive Flower — FujiFilm X-T2 + Asahi SMC Takumar 55mm f/2

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Fall by Frank Jansen (Dutch goes the photo)

Soft light comes to us

It's early fall here in New Jersey, perhaps too early to visit the Grandview section of the Rock Brook, but I hopped in the car and drove over to Hollow Road anyway Nope. Nothing. Not a single yellow leaf. Not on a tree. Not on the ground.

But some of the leaves have changed colour, not enough to be noticeable in the sea of green, but enough that some leaves have fallen off from the maple tree in the front yard. The heavy rainfall from the thunderstorm effects of Hurricane Dorian had drenched the tree knocking the yellow leaves onto the grass, the car and the driveway.