Tom O'Connor's cameras may not be the most expensive contraptions (he mostly uses Canon cameras: a PowerShot S95, an EOS 60D, and a Rebel 1100D (with either a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 or Canon EF 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 or Opteka 420-800mm or Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II). The 60D and 1100D are his current faves mainly because Magic Lantern firmware is enabled on them. And mainly just for fun, he likes to play around with vintage cameras - including a Canon AE-1, a Minolta X-700, a Minolta srT 201 with a Tamron SP 35-80mm lens, and an old Six - Twenty Brownie Junior that his grandparents used to own. But he likes to think that he makes up for all gear limitations with a calculated impulsiveness (he's willing to stand in the middle of the street or in an abandoned building to get the exact right angle for a shot).
Recently, Tom also got some good news: his first published photo, "Hard Times," has appeared in The Swamp Lily Review. You can view it now in his "Low Down" gallery. One of Tom's major influences in the world of photography is Ralph Eugene Meatyard, who played masterfully with the formal aspects of photography (e.g., "the pencil of nature") so as to capture wildly fresh emotions, inspirations, and narrative arcs. Like J Henry Fair says, "whether it's Mayan ruins or a ruined factory, they both are icons of the civilization that produced them, and they tell a story." Tom also agrees wholeheartedly with W.J.T. Mitchell who claims that, in order to truly grasp the power of images, we shouldn't understand them solely as inert objects; instead, we need to experience them as living beings in their own rights--ones who possess their very own needs, drives, and desires.
When he's not hunting for new pic-worthy locations, Tom is a university professor and poet who wrote a critical book on contemporary poetry and its relationship to computer-driven new media (Poetic Acts & New Media, UPA 2006). His poetry has been published in zines such as MARGIE, Soundings East, Notre Dame Review, Columbia Poetry Review, and Poetry Southeast; his critical articles have appeared in Pedagogy, The Journal of Film & Video, Disability Studies Quarterly, Horror Studies, and the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, among others.