Alan Babbitt's Un-Still Photography - The Art of Motion Within a Still Image
Project info

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.

Since the late 1960’s, I’ve been doing my own quirky brand of fine art photography and it’s always been a great source of joy. Put me near nice light and I can happily get lost for hours.

Then the movement disorder called Parkinson's Disease (PD) arrived, like a loud, permanent houseguest. Brought a gift - a bad hand tremor! Just what a STILL photographer needs.

Soon, my muse, who’d been with me for years, took off without leaving a forwarding address. The bitch! I lost interest in the whole thing for a couple years. Darkness filled my viewfinder.

Then one night, I saw the light! Of course I was on the Las Vegas Strip! But there, before me, appeared a new muse, who leaned in and whispered, "Silly boy! Don't fight it - use it!"

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

The visual gumbo of lights, colors and reflections became wonderful smears, blurs and streaks. Now THIS was fun! My point and shoot camera disagreed, beeping and moaning as it vainly tried to find focus - while being shaken like a paint can at the hardware store.

But what really got shook up was me. Turning my tremor into something useful was an incredibly empowering game changer - boosting my confidence, mood and energy. It freed me up and allowed me to reach new levels of creative expression.

I soon realized the artistic potential went way beyond the tremor to include any kind of movement. I call it “Un-Still Photography: The Art of Motion Within a Still” because, well, that’s what it is.

But best of all, the fun and joy are back. All thanks to that pesky Parkinson’s tremor! Is that weird or what? The damn disease has given me a terrific gift!