January 25, 2010 | 02:05 AM
Tom Gill has a different way of looking at life.
For almost 35 years it's been through the lens of his camera, which Gill usually has in tow whenever he leaves his home in Tinley Park.
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Gill’s "Last in the Lake" photograph captures ...
"I got my first camera when I was 8 years old and started shooting pictures of our family vacations," Gill said. "Now, I capture about 15,000 images annually. A lot of my free time is spent outdoors photographing nature."
Two dozen of Gill's best shots will be showcased next month as part of "Sanctuaries," a photo exhibit sponsored by the Indiana South Shore Convention and Visitor's Authority. The exhibit will boast pictures of more than 150 sanctuaries in northern Indiana shot by 25 area photographers.
Gill was invited to showcase his work by the director of the South Shore Convention and Visitor's Authority who came across a few of his photos online, he said.
Sanctuaries represents the first time Gill's photos have been part of a display. The exhibit will run from Feb. 5 to March 4 at the W.F. Wellman Exhibit Hall, 7770 Corinne Drive, Hammond, Ind.
"I'm pretty excited," the 42-year-old said. "I've been taken photos for years and years and for someone to see them and invite me to show them in this exhibit is very special."
A majority of Gill's photographs in the exhibit are landscape and nature scenes taken in either northern Illinois or Indiana. He especially enjoys photographing the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the Illinois and Michigan Canal, canyons, and lighthouses.
Starved Rock State Park in Utica is another of his favorite locations to photograph.
"I don't think I can go to Starved Rock or Indiana Dunes without my camera," he said. "I don't like the cold weather, but I think I enjoy visiting [the Dunes and Starved Rock] even more in the winter because everything is so quiet and still."
Gill graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a fine arts degree in industrial design. For the past 14 years, he has been the instructional media coordinator at North Central College in Naperville.
Several of Gill's photographs have been published in books and magazines. His picture of an iced-over lighthouse was featured on the cover of the December 2009 issue of "Northern Indiana Lakes Magazine." He also had a picture of a waterfall included in the CBS 2 coffee table book "Capture My Chicago."
Gill will have framed photographs available for purchase at the exhibit. For more information on "Sanctuaries," visit www.southshorecva.com. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission is free.
To view an assortment of Gill's best photos, visit his Web site at http://lapstrake.blogspot.com.