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Photography and Essential Tremors

Photography and Essential Tremors

In normal circumstances photography and Essential Tremors or ET do not mix. Essential Tremors is just that, you have uncontrollable tremors which influences your whole life.

According to Mayo clinic: “Essential tremor is a nervous system (neurological) disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking. It can affect almost any part of your body, but the trembling occurs most often in your hands — especially when you do simple tasks, such as drinking from a glass or tying shoelaces.”

Just looking at this description makes you realize that it will be impossible to take photographs. Today I want to tell you a story of hope and small miracles. 

My Husband Reuben and Essential Tremors

Reuben was diagnosed a couple of years ago with essential tremors. A illness that has become progressively worse over time.  Stress, fatigue, all play a part. You can follow on his journey by clicking this link.

He married into my family who are a bunch of photographers. When you see a Labuschagne, you will always see a camera. He learned to love photographs and is my best companion when we take a walk to take some photographs. As a artist he has a keen sense of light, composition and colour. It was devastating when he realized he could no longer practice his art or take the occasional photographs.

Normally his photos would be blurry and sometimes so bad that you could hardly make anything out.

Reuben's Artwork

Two examples of Reuben's Artwork

Reuben's Artwork

Struggling with Photography and Essential Tremors

Photograph taken By Reuben showing how hard it is for him to obtain a sharp photograph.

Note that when he took the photograph he was calm and relaxed.

Struggling with Photography and Essential Tremors

Then a small miracle

I will let him tell it in his words.

These are photographs of a butterfly that visited our yard in Lady Grey, Eastern Cape, South Africa. I suffer from Essential Tremors and those that know the disease, knows that to take any photograph is a feat accomplished. Most are blurred beyond recognition. I was so stoked when I saw the butterfly that I ran without thinking, grabbed my wife’s camera and took the photographs.

I was too scared too even look at them and I think she was too. I told her about the photos and she only looked a couple of days later. She asked me if I even looked at them. To tell you the truth I was too scared.

I wanted the vision that I saw to stay there and did not want it ruined with blurry images. She called me over and I don’t know who was more shocked. Me or her as even the smallest details were sharp. She encouraged me to make this video so that the world could see my vision.

We may be shaky most of the time, but small miracles happen.

You just have to embrace the seconds of no shaking.

So enjoy.

Gallery of Photographs by Reuben

Photography and Essential Tremors Butterfly
Photography and Essential Tremors Butterfly

Lessons Learned

Take every day as it comes.

Embrace small moments.

Happiness is not 100% or every day!!

Having a disability does not stop you from living.

Have fun

Always encourage your loved ones to do what and when they can.

Overall – Embrace life!

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