Extreme Echolocators

Pranav Lal – The Blind Photographer

Last Updated on August 13, 2020 by Darshan Modi

Pranav Lal
Pranav Lal


Pranav Lal is completely blind and always has been, but takes beautiful photographs by using sound.


Pranav was born in 1980 in Delhi in India.

Early Life

Pranav loves science and technology and built his first lab at home when he was in Grade 6.
Pranav suffered form Retinopathy of Prematurity at birth which has resulted in him being completely blind ever since.

About Pranav Lal

In 2001 he discovered software called the “vOICe” that helps blind people see through sound.
Pranav taught himself remotely how to use the software by communicating with other users via blogs and mailing groups.
By using the software, Pranav can determine position, brightness and height of objects and people.
The contrasting sounds help him determine the expected outcome of the Photo. Using auto focus he can then take the picture.
His regular job is as a professional cyber security analyst.
Pranav is a regular blogger and can be followed on his blog, www.techesoterica.com which focuses on sensory substitution.
He prefers to take photo’s of landscapes, machinery and nature.
His parents are his greatest source of inspiration, teaching him from young that his disability should never prevent him from achieving his dreams.
He chose photography as his hobby because he wanted to do something that was totally visual.
He has been invited to do TED talks on the vOICe software and how he uses it.
Pranav was also a speaker at the Indian Inclusion Summit in 2016.
He is currently the subject of an in progress documentary called “ As I see It” which looks at the challenges of the life of blind people and the effect technology can have .
For Pranav the end product is not as important to him as the process around the creation of the photograph.
Pranav is a passionate traveller and has done many tours of India, including climbing the Himalayas

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Genetic Or Learned

Pranav was born blind but his ability to take photo’s using sound is learned.

Official Website


Featured In

  • www.blindwithcamera.org/2010/07/23/pranav-lal/
    See as no other: Photographs by the visually impaired. Partho Bhowmick – 2015
  • The Blind Photographer – Julian Rothenstein – 2016
  • The Better India – newspaper – 10 August 2017.
  • Youth Ki Awaaz – newspaper – 17 October 2016.
  • Hindustantimes – newspaper – 15 July 2017.