Colorblind student captures colorful photos

boy at the beach

Wilson Haynes is determined to capture the beauty of light and color in a photograph, even if he can’t see them himself.

The 18-year-old photographer from Jacksonville, Florida is currently a freshman at Queens University of Charlotte studying communication and competing on the Triathlon Team.

While Haynes’s true passion lies behind the lens of a camera, he is no ordinary photographer. He has the visual impairment of colorblindness.

He first realized he saw the world differently in kindergarten when he experienced difficulty learning his colors. It was later that year his parents realized that he was actually colorblind and could not see red and green.

“Christmas is a hard time of year for me,” he said jokingly.

Haynes first became interested in photography back in 2016 during a family road trip out west, visiting states such as Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. Inspired by the natural scenery, Haynes began experimenting with landscape photography and fell in love with the ability to capture nature’s beauty.

“Photography is one of the only things I do in my life just because I love it,” he said.

More recently, Haynes traveled to Alaska, where he shot many spectacular locations and decided he wanted to showcase his work to the world. He began sending his photos to different online businesses and has been published by many travel companies, including Travel Alaska, Orca Spirit Tours, and Kenmore Air.

When Haynes is not traveling he also enjoys photographing the beach near his home, specifically action shots of surfers.

“Being in the water with the camera, on the waves, allows me to get in the action and experience the emotion,” he said. “It’s a rush to capture these moments as the surfer is coming right at you.”

Haynes’s surfer pictures have been published by a few magazines, including Pacific Longboarding and Void Live.

Moving to Charlotte allowed for Haynes to become a more versatile photographer and broaden his skill set.

“Because there is no beach here I had to find something else inspiring to shoot,” he said. “I have really enjoyed taking photos of my teammates swimming, biking, and running.”

These action shots caught the attention of big organizations such as USA Triathlon, who published his work for thousands of people to see. Haynes was also hired as a race day photographer by Charlotte’s own Major League Triathlon.

Good friend and teammate Allie Dominicali supports Haynes’s passion and finds his photography captivating.

“His passion and drive for always becoming better at something he genuinely loves will take him very far,” said Dominicali. “I look forward to watching him grow and inspire so many people as an artist.”

Haynes has recently launched his own photography company, Gray Media. Ironic, because gray is the color he sees in place of red and green.

“Being colorblind allows me to see the world differently,” he said. “I hope my photos will inspire people to care about the world we live in and I believe I have the perspective to do that.”

Check out Haynes’ Photos on Instagram @haynes308 or visit his website: https://haynesw4.wixsite.com/graymedia

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Published by students of Queens University of Charlotte, 1900 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, N.C. 28274.