Tom’s love affair with photography began with an old Petri 35 mm rangefinder back in 1963 while serving in the U.S. Air Force. Kodachrome II slides became the diary of his travels and adventures. As he moved through careers as a flight instructor and government geologist, photography became more important and integral to his life. It has allowed him to combine the creative expression of photography with his love of the outdoors and travel. In 1985 he left the U.S.G.S. to devote himself full time to photography.
His travels have taken him to Europe, Asia, and Africa as well as most regions of the U.S. however he can be just as inspired photographing the Washington, DC area.
He tries to keep his equipment selection very simple and portable – the one concession to extravagance is time. Light is everything and usually the larger the investment in time (along with a good helping of luck!) the higher the creative return. Watching weather patterns, keeping track of the moon’s phases and the rising and setting locations, astronomical events- all are part of the adventure.
His work is sold primarily at juried art shows in the East, local galleries, through his website (tomwachs.com) and as note cards, posters and publications of the DC area. He also works with local and regional interior designers, publishers and corporations. He was the principal photographer for the book Washington, DC, participating photographer in the book Country, U.S.A. and has worked for or published work with The Folger Shakespeare Library, Autumn Publishing, U.S. Capitol Historical Society, National Park Service, AAA, ADC Maps, Walt Disney Publications, The Smithsonian Institute, and The Washington Post.