Tom Parker

Like books, lives happen in chapters.

One chapter might represent my early days as a boy growing up in Albuquerque. I didn’t know it at the time but the juxtaposition of blue mountains with flat desert created within me an abiding love for the vertical and the horizontal planes of this earth.

Another chapter would deal with an extended sojourn in Colorado, where mountains were my constant companion—until I discovered birding, when suddenly the Great Plains beckoned with their exotic birdlife and an expansiveness that literally opened new horizons for me.

Other chapters would explore the transition from cheap 135 cameras to high-end digital SLRs, from chemical darkroom to digital darkroom, and all the rest, marriage, children, careers, the usual.

From an artistic standpoint, there are really only two chapters: what came before, and Kansas.

In 2000, my wife, Lori, and I traded the Denver metro area for a small rural town in NE Kansas. Starting over from scratch was liberating, and it was here on the northern edge of the Flint Hills that I discovered my calling. It started with the written word and progressed organically to the visual image.

After several years of struggling to capture this new terrain, my vision has focused on what I call rural rust, and scenes of abandonment and decay. And wild rabbits!

But in terms of what really matters, again there are only two chapters in my book. There was everything before Lori,  and everything after.

My writing and my photography can be found at my Web site, www.dispatchesfromkansas.com.

The Rabbits

Scenes of Abandonment