Amateur Sheffield photographer defies Parkinson's disease to capture stunning shots during lockdown

These stunning shots are the work of an amateur photographer from Sheffield who has defied Parkinson’s disease to become somewhat of a local celebrity during lockdown.

By Robert Cumber
Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 2:07 pm

Sam Wragg, from Chapeltown was diagnosed with the degenerative brain disorder in 2017 and experiences shaking, aches and muscle stiffness.

But the 59-year-old dad-of-two says his photography has actually improved since he developed the condition, as it has given him more of an eye for what makes the perfect shot.

Since being furloughed in November from his job as a machine operator, he has spent countless hours capturing some amazing photos of everything from the local wildlife to Sheffield landmarks and sharing them to great acclaim on his neighbourhood Facebook forum.

Sam Wragg with some of his favourite wildlife photos (pics: Sam Wragg/Melissa Wragg)

He says he is often stopped while out with his camera by people who are familiar with his work and want to know if he is the man behind the lens.

"I’ve been interested in photography for years but since I’ve been furloughed it’s the thing which has helped to keep me sane,” he said.

"That gave me the impetus to expand my hobby and invest in a decent camera – a Panasonic G9 – and the reaction I’ve had since sharing my photos has been amazing and a little bit humbling.

Sunset at Elsecar Reservoir (pic: Sam Wragg)

“When I’m out with my camera, I’m often stopped by people asking if I’m Sam and telling me to keep posting my photos.

"My Parkinson’s is slowly getting worse but staying active really helps, and when I’m walking or cycling I’ll always take my camera with me.

"I use a tripod, which helps, and since being diagnosed I’ve found it’s actually improved my eye for a photo and made me more artistic.”

A robin looking at its reflection (pic: Sam Wragg)

Sam has even started selling his photos to friends, helping him to raise £400 towards improvements to the communal garden at the sheltered accommodation where he lives.

One of his favourite photos of a jay in flight was actually captured in the garden, where he says he spent 20 hours over three days in a portable hide waiting for the perfect shot.

His daughter Melissa shares his talent, having photographed Rotherham Pride, among other events.

A kingfisher by the pond in Chapeltown (pic: Sam Wragg)
Sam Wragg with his camera (pic: Melissa Wragg)
A kestrel looking for its next meal (pic: Sam Wragg)
A blue tit leaving its nest (pic: Sam Wragg)
A jay in flight (pic: Sam Wragg)