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  • Chris McMillan

Twin brothers 'see' through a dark camera lens


16th February 2022

Twin brothers 'see' through a dark camera lens

By Yang Yang

The moment of twin brothers Yin Tianbao and Yin Tianyou trying to take a picture at a peach orchard is captured by their teacher Tao Zhijun.

Flowers have frail petals, so if you're taking a picture of one it's better not to touch them.

Using a tinkling bell is a better choice.

Yin Jingjing, mother of twin brothers Yin Tianbao and Yin Tianyou, puts a bell around the position of a targeted flower, jiggles it a bit and tells her sons to adjust their postures and cameras they're holding to follow the sound. She then removes the bell.

The brothers press their shutters and capture the flower in the frame.

Six months after the twins were born prematurely, Jingjing realized they were blind. Rescue work of putting the twins into an incubator after the delivery damaged their vision.

"They were weak and often fell ill. Sometimes when Tianbao got sick in the morning, Tianyou would be infected and got sick in the afternoon. So before they went to kindergarten at age 5, we separated them to prevent cross-infection. Younger brother Tianyou stayed with us, and older brother Tianbao stayed with his paternal grandparents in neighboring Songjiang District," said Jingjing, a resident of Wujing Town in Minhang District. "We rented toys at that time – one week we sent them to Tianyou, the next week we sent them to Tianbao and the third week we returned them to the store."

Later, Yin Weijun, the father, quit his job and looked after his sons full time.

A shutterbug himself before he gave up his hobby to take care of his sons, Yin Weijun arranged summer trips and encouraged the boys to record their journeys with a camera. They enrolled in a photography class at their school for the blind. Later a professional photographer came to assist.

"The brothers rely on their sense of touch, sounds and scents to locate their objects and adjust their postures and cameras. It's easier for them to take pictures of humans. People speak and the brothers judge the distance and their heights through the sounds they utter. While taking pictures of flowers, they can choose to touch and smell their scents before shooting," said Tao Zhijun, a photographer who teaches at Minhang Mass Art Center and Minhang College for Retired CPC Party Members.

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