Farewell, Thomas Sullivan

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by lex_jenkins, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. I just heard via Facebook that Thomas Sullivan died this week, Wednesday, June 24. He was 63. A New Jersey native, Tom enjoyed street photography in NYC and Philadelphia, and he was good at it. I wrote on his Facebook page that he had "an eye for the offbeat, that sidelong glimpse of humanity that reveals empathetic interest but was never exploitative."
    Tom left no portfolio here on photo.net, but you can view his work on his website: http://tssullivan.net/. I particularly like the section titled "In Between Moments", and those in a similar style elsewhere in his portfolio. His strength was not in the direct, confrontational or unblinking style -- although you can see from reactions to those types of photos in his portfolio that he must have conveyed a sense of empathy and warm connection -- but in recognizing abstractions, movement, graphic appeal and the human dance. He painted with motion blur in a way that looks like music sounds. These are the photos of a man who loved his fellow human beings just as they were in that moment.
    If I'm recalling correctly Tom retired only a year or so ago. He occasionally mentioned some health problems but didn't belabor the issue. Mostly he posted about music on Facebook, and the occasional amusing bit of news or humor from the internet. In one of his last Facebook updates, on May 30, he wrote: "Ya know what the best thing is about being retired? I'm finally getting those 7 day week ends I dreamed of."
    Tom is one of those folks I've "met" online and chattered with for years whom I wish I'd met in meatspace.
    From his Facebook page Friday, updated by his family:
    "Tom is survived by two children, Christine Sullivan and Ian (Diane Moore) Sullivan; his father, John Sullivan; his brother, David Sullivan and four grandchildren.
    Visitation will be Thursday 6-7 pm at Norton Funeral Home 1232 S. Black Horse Pike, Williamstown, where service will begin at 7 pm.
    In lieu of flowers, family requests donations to International Center of Photography 1133 6th Avenue, New York, New York, 10036"​
     
  2. Tom was a great guy and a great street photographer. We kept in touch during photonet's earlier years,
    and I was lucky to have hooked up with him in 2003 for a day of street shooting in NYC. Really sorry to
    hear he has passed away.
     
  3. Seems like I had heard of him but was not familiar with his work. I wish I had seen it before now. Not all of it but there is some work on that page that reminded me of Brassai. Makes me wish I spent a little more time in large cities.

    Rick H.
     
  4. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Wow, very sorry to hear this. Went out shooting with Tom several times in both San Francisco and New York. Great guy.
     
  5. What sad news! Sixty-three is too young.
    (Lex, I agree completely with your assessment of his portfolio.)
     
  6. Lex, thanks for the link that helped to introduce me to Tom's work. I just browsed through his monochrome street images, and notwithstanding the photographic features you described, it seems to me that he was a master of lighting.
     
  7. Lex, thank you. His portfolio is indeed rich, of considerable individual creativity and with a clear message of human interest, affiliation and concern. I love the portfolio you mention and that of Women and will no doubt enjoy seeing his other work. Those of you who met and knew him, and photographed with him, are fortunate. I hope that his work and approach will figure in future exchanges about photography and magic contained in images.
     
  8. Yes, he did have an eye for shooting pretty women. I enjoyed his overall style. Sorry about his untimely death.
     
  9. Alan, that was just what I was thinking--and he preserved their elegance and dignity in doing so.
    http://tssullivan.net/gallery.htm
    Then click on "Women--Black and White."
    --Lannie
     
  10. Gallery down at the moment.
     
  11. Wonderful images!
     
  12. Thanks for this Lex. Sad to hear of anyone's death, but someone of similar age, and working in a similar genre...I don't know. I'm sorry that I'm only now seeing his work thanks to the link to his gallery. Yes, he was talented and some of his photos are inspiring to me. A slightly different touch and feel. Subtle, but strong and very polished. Sorry I'm only getting acquainted with his work now.
     

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