Having shown much artistic talent at an early age, Tom’s mother enrolled him in programs at the Cleveland Museum of Art while he was pre-school. At about 5 he received a plastic Donald Duck camera from his grandmother, but really didn’t use it until around age 10 when he began developing 120 roll film in an open print tray. An avid model airplane builder, he soon began to photograph his models on a makeshift runway in his backyard, using his Donald Duck camera. He felt it was a good camera as you could intentionally make double exposures.
Tom received his first 35mm camera while in high school. Formal photography training came while studying architecture at Kent State University. Immediately after graduation Tom left for Peru as a Peace Corps Volunteer Architect and taught his first photography class to his fellow trainees. Tom returned to Peru 4 years later as part of an Earthquake Relief Team, which evolved into an instructor contract for a training program. As well as creating a curriculum on Peruvian Construction Techniques, Tom taught his second class in photography to those trainees. While teaching in the Virgin Islands he bought a Super-8 movie camera.
When Tom returned to Cleveland he apprenticed with several architects, winning a design award for an office addition to a factory. But, Tom’s thoughts were in the film world. So he retired from architecture, and moved to the San Francisco Art Institute. Yes, although he rented a room in the tenderloin, he spent every waking hour (and many sleeping hours too) at the SFAI, obtaining BFA & MFA’s in Filmmaking.
After 10 years making films, and receiving numerous national and international awards, with video already in and computers on the horizon, Tom, again, sought another challenge. He packed up his film equipment and returned to school to study electronics, digital logic, and computer programming. The next 18 years he worked with the best in the computer industry, from assembly, to designing printed circuit boards for Lucasfilm, to lab manager in software test engineering.
Recently, he returned to the art world with photography as his medium. Immersed in the new digital photo realm, Tom began winning awards from magazine competitions, exhibited in galleries, and took 50 years of photography as a hobby to a professional level.
His experimental photography is in the third dimension. Using cameras with 2, 3, or 4 lenses he makes 3D stereo images and lenticulars.
Tom has received Brisbane’s Mayor’s Award for Recognition in the Arts, and teaches digital photography through the Brisbane Recreation Department.
Check out his work at http://www.heinzight.com