“On my tenth birthday my parents gave me my first Nikon camera. Soon after, my pictures were being published in our neighborhood newsletter.”
Tom’s mother and father were both passionate about photography. Growing up in Scenic Colorado, it was only natural and perhaps inevitable, that as a young boy, he, too became fascinated with photography.
“We had a darkroom in the basement where I spent many late nights processing film and printing pictures.” says Tom. “On my tenth birthday my parents gave me my first Nikon camera. Soon after, my pictures were being published in our neighborhood newsletter.” At the tender age of twelve, Tom exhibited his first print in a local art gallery, an image of a snow covered bridge near Vail, Colorado.
After attending college as a business major, he decided photography was the career he truly wished to pursue. Tom also developed a keen interest in extreme outdoor adventure sports: Skiing, Kayaking, paragliding, SCUBA diving and spelunking, to name a few.
In 1994, Tom applied and was accepted to the world renowned Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. After studying commercial photography for a year and a half, Tom was hired to join an exploration team to film and photograph the deepest cavern in the world in Mexico, for the Discovery Channel.
After that experience, Tom realized commercial photography was not for him and he decided to pursue photography that offered more in way of adventure and independence.
In 2011, he opened Kendall Mountain Gallery on Blair Street in Silverton, Colorado. He made the switch from film to the new digital technology, specializing in stunning, enlarged photographs of the Durango to Silverton Railroad. This narrow gauge train is a local tourist attraction that brings thousands of visitors to Silverton each summer season.
As Thomas explored the back-country of the San Juans, he discovered the unique photographic opportunities that surrounded him. He also uncovered the areas fascinating history. The remote country still contains numerous abandoned mine and town sites dating from the late 1800s. Tom wanted to create a visual record of these sites. The project slowly took on a life of its own as he set out to photograph nearly all of them. Some locations had little or nothing left of the early mining era to photograph, but many others offered spectacular photographic opportunities as proven by the images in this body of work.