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In October, 2003
I was diagnosed with Parkinson's.

"It's progressive
and there's no cure"
said the Neurologist.

"Uh oh"
said the photographer.

(story continues below)


Since the late 1960’s,
I’ve been doing my own brand of fine art photography
and it’s always been a great source of joy for me.
Drop me almost anywhere there’s nice light
and I can happily get lost for hours in the visuals around me.

That began to change when the movement disorder
known as Parkinson's Disease (PD) arrived,
like a loud, uninvited house guest who won't ever leave.

First I got a hand tremor.  Oh, great.  Shakiness.
Just what a photographer needs.

Then, my photography muse, who’d been with me for years,
took off without leaving a forwarding address.
The bitch! 

I soon lost interest in the whole thing.
Rarely venturing out to shoot and bored with the results.
Darkness filled my viewfinder.

Then one night,
on the Las Vegas Strip of all places,
I began to see the light!

And there, before me, appeared a new, improved muse,
who leaned in and whispered,

"Silly boy! Don't fight it - use it!"


I began to let the tremor have its way as I clicked the shutter.

Neon Shift

Oh wow!!

The visual gumbo of flashing lights, multi-tinted neon and watery reflections became wonderful smears, blurs and streaks of color.

Now THIS was fun!


The camera, a point and shoot digital,
was unconvinced,

beeping and moaning as it vainly tried to find something solid to focus on

while being shaken
like a paint can at the hardware store.

  Dopamine Down
The Portal  

But the mojo was working
and I made some
great images that night.

More importantly,
I felt something shift in me

changing the way I see my photography,
my PD, and for that matter, the world.


from the photo dogma
of “still”ness and sharpness,
I’ve experienced a rush
of creative freedom
like never before.
Who needs

  Ferris WHeel

And ironically,
by giving up trying
to control the tremor,
I’ve taken back a little control
from a mostly uncontrollable situation.
Very empowering!


Best of all,
the fun and joy are back,
thanks to that pesky
Parkinson’s tremor!

Is that weird or what?

The damn disease
has given me a terrific gift!


I wonder what else is in there?