Image-95: Chains in St. Abbs, Berwickshire - Studio Karel © 2003/05

About Karel ...

I have been a freelance graphic designer for some 25 years, working for a local print works as well as well as for many other clients. In addition I designed and coded websites for over 20 years. All that now lies behind me and, in retirement, I can create for my own pleasure, as a designer and a photographer.

Karel is a pseudonym, of course, and for those who know me it is not hard to figure out who I am. However, there is no harm in making that just a little harder for everybody else. Nothing sinister, just an extra layer of privacy.

Sight Changing Experience

Just as an aside. Apart from working in a hospital pharmacy and electro-encephalography department I have never spent much time in hospital as a patient. I have always been (and still am) in excellent health. However, a few years ago I became urgently aware what it means to loose your eyesight and how amazing it is to have good vision, so easily taken for granted. For some reason I was faced with a retinal collapse in one eye and damage to the retina in the other. Although the tears in the left retina could be repaired with laser treatment in the eye-pavilion, the detached retina, on the right, had to be surgically reattached. In that procedure, a vitrectomy, the gel (vitreous) in the eye is removed and replaced with a neutral gas that pushes the retina back into place. It takes a number of weeks for the vitreous to come back naturally, but there is no clear focussing vision in that period, just light that shines through a slowly filling eyeball. After that it was dealing with distorted vision issues, a cataract and a secondary cataract (posterior capsular opacification) and also further work on the left eye. All very unsettling, but also an experience that makes you appreciate the pleasure of sight (and health in general). Strangely enough you start looking at the world differently, you appreciate vision just that little bit more when you're out there with the camera or the sketchbook.

If it wasn't for the excellent care and expertise of the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion (PAEP) I would have been blind in one eye. I just hope that they will soon get a new building. Follow the updates on that project here.

Contributing in the UK ...

Every little helps and by making a contribution you will support those with far more serious vision issues than those I encountered.

Doneren in Nederland ...

  • In Nederland kunt U ook helpen met een bijdrage aan het Oogfonds.
Reichtag Dome by Norman Foster (1999), Berlin