Find out more at tim o'brien photos or follow me on Twitter.
I am a legally blind photographer, based in Chapel Hill. My photographs have been featured in newspapers (the Chapel HIll News), magazines (including an interview in RE:UP Magazine) on websites, on blogs on a CD cover and on several book covers. Though I am always looking for that 'decisive moment', I take photos with a variety of styles and subjects, with a focus on people, both candid and portrait. To view more of my work, visit my website,, or contact me directly at

oberazzi. Get yours at
The negative is comparable to the composer's score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways. (Ansel Adams)
My Photo News (updated 10/13/08)

Hillsborough Handmade Parade: Blue Heron was chosen as WUNC's State of Things' Photo of the Week for the week of October 13, 2008. A very nice birthday present!

I have been doing some freelance work for my local Chapel Hill News.

Istanbul Birds in Flight (Color) is now the cover art for a new album by Eric St-Laurent, Dimensions d'Istanbul

The Open Eye Cafe in Carrboro, NC hosted an exhibition, Sight Unseen, of my photos for the month of March, 2008. The photos were also part of the 2nd Friday Artwalk on March 14, 2008. Here is a shot of the exhibit.

Franklin Street Jazz B&W was published in the Chapel Hill News' "Your Best Shot" series on February 10, 2008.

Istanbul Birds in Flight was published in the Chapel Hill News' Travel Photo series on February 10, 2008.

All Aboard was chosen for the cover (and for November) of the local Town
calendar for 2008. Check out the Cover image.

Game Over was published in the "Your Best Sports Shot" series in the local Chapel Hill News on November 14th, 2007.

Bulls Pitching Change was published in the Chapel Hill News for "Your Best Sports Shot" on September 5th, 2007. [Note: My name is spelled incorrectly as Tom instead of Tim.]

Several photos and an accompanying interview have been published in issue 14 of RE:UP Magazine. Check it out here.

profile won Kris Kros Contacts Contest 46 on 8/29/07.

Looking at You II made it to the top position in Top 20 People Photos on April 28, 2007.

Smile voted third place in Portrait Classics' Seventh Competition - Head and Shoulders Shots on April 15, 2007.

Professor was used in two articles on a site run by La Taurillon, whatever that is, once on Januaty 27, 2007 and once on April 11, 2007.

Istanbul Birds in Flight has been highlighted in A Big Fave's blog on April 7, 2007. Pretty cool. It was also blogged here on April 5, 2007.

Questions was used in a story on De Smog Blog on April 2, 2007.

Hacienda Alberca was named The Photo of the Week for The Photo of the Week group on March 25, 2007.

Hacienda Alberca was also named Kris Kros Contacts' Week 29 Pick of the Week on March 18, 2007!

Family Ties was published in the Bostonist on February 28, 2007. I only found out by accident.

Feeding the Pigeons II appears (among many others) in a NowPublic news story: Remote control pigeons? China thinks so on February 27, 2007.

Chess Move ppears on the Brussels Chess Club website.

Photography and Me (updated 8/1/08)

I saw an Ansel Adams exhibit not too long ago at Boston's MFA, but found the above quote at a tiny, temporary exhibit in the basement of the Art Institute of Chicago a couple of years ago. The exhibit, titled From Darkroom to Digital, really grabbed my attention and affected my thinking about photography.

I edit my raw images a lot on the computer (not major photoshopping, but framing and color fixes). This comes less from Ansel Adams' philosophy than my inability to see well what I am shooting. My 'negatives' are rarely that good, becaus of my vision, but a little straightening, cropping and other minor adjustments occasionally uncover a gem.

To sate the technlogically curious, until last fall I used an older Sony DSC-F717 5MP camera, then processed a bit in Picasa (not PS) on a PC with a 20'' widescreen monitor. I have upgraded to a Nikon D40X with a couple of inexpensive lenses and also to Adobe Lightroom. I have no formal training whatsoever in photography, but have learned much from friends (Dave C. especially), Flickr and the occasional book.

My Eyesight and Me (updated 8/1/08)

FYI, I am legally blind, having been born with Startgardt disease, a form of juvenile macular degenration, which has affected the shape of my life in some strange ways. Since I still have sight (20/200), I have been able to explore one of my newer hobbies, photography. I am intugued by how my pictures must reflect my vision (or lack thereof) and would love to discuss this with others.

Groups That I Actively Run (updated 4/25/07)

* Blind Phtotographers

Blind Photographers. Get yours at

I have started a Flickr group, Blind Photographers, for blind and visually-impaired photographers to showcase and discuss their work. Come check it out.

* Candid Portrait Photography

Candid Portrait Photography. Get yours at

According to Wikipedia, "Candid photography is snapshot photography that focuses on spontaneity rather than technique, on perfecting the immersion of a camera within events rather than focusing on setting up a staged situation". This group will highlight images catching naturally smiling faces, catching ordinary people, catching life in the act.

* VisionWalk

Visionwalk. Get yours at

Visionwalk is an unofficial group about the fund raiser sponsored by the Foundation Fighting Blindness. The walk will be done in several cities across the states. Check to see what cities are participating in your state.

The goal of this group is to bring awareness to the general public about the eye diseases that affect so many; macular degeneration, Retinitis Pigmetosa, Usher, Stargardt's among many others. We hope to encourage people to get involved by either sending someone to a Visionwalk, volunteering time or sponsoring someone in doing a walk.

Symptoms of Flirckitis (updated 9/5/07)

View my DNA at

Statr for Flickr daily graph

Using My Photos/Contacting Me (updated 3/30/07)

I can be contacted via oberazzi (a) gmail . com. Please do so if you would like to use my shots. I will likely give permission, but require the option to decide. Thanks!

Follow me on Twitter.

Find out more at tim o'brien photos!

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    Larry_Rothfeder says:

    "Tim has the unique ability to capture the most interesting moments in every day events. With a few wonderful exceptions – his Istanbul pictures for example – most of Tim’s photos are of activities that we all go through every day: games of Frisbee, dogs drinking water, local parades. So browsing his photostream is a little like going through one’s day – but with all the boring parts removed leaving only those sparkling moments that create those great memories that stick with us.

    In addition, he has great technical capabilities: his pictures’ exposure, lighting and focus are superb.

    Tim is also active all over Flickr and the Web in general moderating Flickr groups, raising awareness on blindness and helping people with low vision find enabling technologies."

    November 17th, 2008

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    Brian Negus says:

    "Tim has posted many really great photos to Flickr. His subjects are varied and interesting. It's well worth looking at his "personal favourites" set at

    But there's more. Tim, like me, is a visually impaired photographer; We visually impaired photographers owe a lot to Tim for setting up and tirelessly promoting the blind photographers group on Flickr. As I write this, the group has recently topped 100 members. Congratulations, Tim!

    Thanks to Tim, we're all learning a lot from each other and maybe even encouraging some visually impaired people who think they can't do it to give photography a try. You only have to read some of the discussions in the group to see how much joy photography has brought to so many visually impaired photographers.

    So, Tim, on behalf of all the 100 and growing membership, thanks, and please carry on with the good work."

    November 3rd, 2008

October 2006
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tim o'brien photos