The Fine Art of Photography

In response to a letter submission to The Hamilton Spectator suggesting that photography has no relevance to the arts, one writer responded:

That must be quite a revelation to the members of all the local camera clubs and artists.

Still and video cameras are not only a highly specialized art form requiring specific skills, but also an integral part of the arts in general. Cameras of any kind not only capture timeless moments, breathtaking scenery, history, crimes, every other art form, plus the sciences, they also provide permanent visual documentation to help us to understand what’s going on in this world.

Where would our understanding of events, real or imagined, be for writers, journalists, researchers, the military, astronomers, anthropologists, archeologists, medical sciences and a myriad of others, but for the camera? The camera has a more far-reaching effect on society than any other art form because it encompasses and reinforces neraly everything else, the images can be digitally transmitted anywhere in a second, and is also a wonderful way for the photo artist to express himslef.

If anyone doubts this, I encourage them to visit the website of any good camera club and have a look at what those photographers do with their cameras. Then tell us that photography has no relevance to the arts — if you can.

Letters, The Hamilton Spectator

Letter submission by Tom Bochsler supporting the defense of photography being an art form:

What a revelation by the letter writer. Well described. She has highlighted the merits of capturing the moment in time with photography.

Art is a diverse range of human activities and the products of those activities, which include the creation of images or objects in fields including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography and other visual media.

Art began with a brush or chisel; the artist had to know light. Photography began with capturing light. Digital photography is so commonplace now and content doesn’t seem to matter.

It’s not the camera that creates the images, it’s the photographer. Cameras only record. Internationally respected painters such as Robert Bateman use photography as a reference to detail his famous paintings.

Photojournalists pride themselves on visual content. The good photograph stops viewers so they read the caption or story. News photography is real, not retouched. A photo-artist can create wonderful art through skill and manipulation  that’s the advantage of technology  but the true art is achieved by understanding light.

There are articles written about the art of photography and also the art of industry. One might feel that it is a remote place to find art in industry. But what we see and how we choose to capture it can be art. “Art (beauty), is in the eye of the beholder.” Plato (428-348 BC)

Tom Bochsler, Photographer – Burlington, Ontario

Tom Bochsler Interview on CHCH Morning Live

Historically Significant Photographic Donation to the Hamilton Public Library

BP imaging founder and professional photographer Tom Bochsler made an appearance on CHCH Morning Live to talk about his photographic contributions to the Hamilton Public Library and show viewers some of his photography. The donation collection of 500,000 negatives comes from his 50+ years as an industrial photographer, some of which are used in his photographic biography The Art of Industry. Joining Tom is the library’s archivist Margaret Houghton who has had a busy task organizing all of the donated negatives for the Hamilton Public Library.

Be sure to read the Media Release of Tom’s donation and watch the video above or on the CHCH website “Historic photos on way to Hamilton Public Library.”

Media Release – Generous and Culturally-Significant Donation to Hamilton Public Library From Photographer Mr. Tom Bochsler

Art of Industry Hamilton Public library media release Tom Bochsler photography

Note to Assignment Editors & Photographers:
Special Event in honour of Mr. Tom Bochsler to take place in September.

HAMILTON, ON – June 17, 2014 Tom Bochsler, a well-known industrial photographer, has donated one of the largest Canadian collections of images from an individual photographer to the Hamilton Public Library—a total of 500,000 negatives and files spanning a 50-year career.

Mr. Bochsler’s more than five decades in his industry allowed him to achieve the designation of ‘Outstanding Significance and National Importance’ by the CANADIAN HERITAGE- CULTURAL PROPERTY EXPORT REVIEW BOARD.

“We are absolutely thrilled about Mr. Bochsler’s generous donation,” shared Paul Takala, Chief Librarian at Hamilton Public Library. “The people of Hamilton will now access and benefit from this culturally-significant collection and we are truly happy to care for it.”

Mr. Bochsler’s collection will rest in the capable hands of Hamilton Public Library staff in the Local History & Archives Department. In the fall, the Library plans to share a sneak peek at Mr. Bochsler’s collection in a special presentation to take place during Supercrawl weekend.

Mr. Bochsler’s historical photographs cover a multitude of industries and topics. In the 1950s, he used the then workhorse of cameras, the Speed Graphic, weighing 10 lbs, using one-shot flashbulbs as a lighting source. Black and white was the norm, which then evolved into the use of colour film in the1960s. Early photographic clients created the experience of diversity from social, to press and commercial industrial photographs. Local industries and businesses benefited from the use of the Dramatic images of processes and product applications to inform the public of the diversity of local industry.

In addition to his extraordinary collection, Mr. Bochsler published a book, The Art of Industry, to provide a permanent collection of black & white and colour images of various assignments in his career.

For More Information About Tom Bochsler
The Art of Industry, A 50-year photo-biography by Tom Bochsler

Bochsler Photo Imaging
BP Imaging is a full-service commercial photography studio serving the Greater Toronto Area(GTA) and beyond. Areas of photographic expertise include: food, product, lifestyle, portrait, architectural, automotive, industrial and aerial photography. Setting BP imaging apart is incomparable in-house post-photography digital imaging talent.

About the Hamilton Public Library
The Hamilton Public Library system is internationally recognized as an innovative leader in adopting new technologies, as well as offering new services and seeking partnerships that help us better serve all our diverse communities.

HPL currently serves the residents of the City of Hamilton with the revitalized Central Library, 22 branch locations and two bookmobiles. With over 3 million in person visits and 2.8 million online visits, Hamiltonians will borrow over 7 million books, CDs and DVDs from HPL this year. For more information, visit

Remember to Remember

This title is related to a message that is often taken for granted.

Tom’s presentation is timely because of Remembrance Day. It is also a personal way of showing recognition and thanks to all military and service personal that make Canada the best place to live.

Tom Bochsler Professional-Photography Juno Beach Sculpture Canadian MemorialTom Bochsler Professional Photographer Beny sur Mer Memorial Normandie

It is a moving message with images made on trips to France and Belgium, including Vimy, Juno Beach, Menin Gate and other War Memorials and Cemeteries. Tom calls it the trip that has meant the most to him out of all the trips to Asia and many countries in Europe (for professional and personal reasons) over the past 45 years. It illustrates the respect that many citizens there still show for the efforts of our Canadian troops that gave us our freedom.

Through Tom’s 60 plus years of a professional photographic career, he has captured many aspects of work, life and culture throughout Canada and beyond. He founded his studio in 1956. Bochsler Photo Imaging, in Burlington, is one of the leading studios in Canada today specializing in commercial photography. He has also published a book, ‘The Art of Industry’, covering over 50 years of his work in news, commercial and industrial photography.

Tom Bochsler Photography Vimy Ridge MemorialTom Bochsler Photo Vimy Ridge Memorial


2014 Venues for Tom Bochsler’s Presentation ‘Remember to Remember’ a Tribute for November 11th

Remember to Remember – Burlington Women’s Probus Group – November 3, 2014

Location: Art Gallery of Burlington, 1333 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON

Remember to Remember – Oakville Probus Club – November 5, 2014

Location: Oakville Probus Club, Water Street, Oakville, ON

Remember to Remember – Burlington Historical – November 10, 2014

Location: Burlington Public Library, Centennial Room, 2331 New Street, Burlington, ON

Now Offered At The Hamilton Spectator SpecStore

Tom Bochsler The Art of Industry on sale at The Hamilton Spectator SpecStore

The Art of Industry is now offered on The Hamilton Spectator SpecStore

“Award-winning photographic icon Tom Bochsler presents a selection of stunning historical images ranging over 50 years as a top commercial and industrial photographer. With great skill and empathy for his subjects, Tom crafts dramatic images of turbines and transformers, giving scale to workers in exquisite photographic composition. Includes over 200 images of many events, personalities, and industries in Hamilton and Southern Ontario.”

The Hamilton Spectator SpecStore is a resource for readers to make orders for reprints of their favourite pages from past newspapers.

Tom Bochsler In November/December Probus Club of Burlington Newsletter

Tom Bochsler The Art of Industry Vimy Ridge Memorial photography

You may have heard that attendance is increasing every year at many Remembrance Day ceremonies at cenotaphs and cemeteries. One of the reasons this is happening is because of people like Tom Bochsler. Tom is using some of the skills acquired over his 65 + years as arguably the areas best photographer, to bring us some magnificent pictures of some important Canadian military sites in Europe. Locations that mark our very important contribution to the Allied victory in both World Wars, plus how we commemorate that achievement here in our local communities.

Unlike some people who have had relatives in the services and have been a part of Remembrance Day services over the years since childhood, Tom has never had a family member in any branch of the military. And Tom’s only connection with weapons, or violence of any kind, was shooting a couple of troublesome varmints with a small gun while a young lad on the family farm.

Tom Bochsler Art of Industry John McCrae Memorial and Juno Beach Sculpture photography

So, take in this program of peaceful, powerful, and educational images. I’ve seen this presentation and I highly recommend it. I hope you will also find it moving as you remember our heros through Tom’s eyes.

Read the full article…

Tom Bochsler’s Photography Used In The Traffic Safety and Police Services Series For Russell T. Kelley (Founder of JAN Kelley)

BP imaging Tom Bochsler JAN Kelley Safety Police Servies Advertisements Art of Industry

I photographed the Traffic Safety and Police Services Series for Russell T. Kelley in 1960. The ads and booklets were used to promote cycling safety, community/police awareness, school crossings, school bus safety, personal safety, the introduction of the slow moving vehicle sign and more.

I chose many of the locations, amateur models and even borrowed a school bus from Hillfield College. The bus was driven to Burlington and filled with the neighbourhood children and my friend as the bus driver. For the steering wheel advertisement I went to City Chevrolet and had them remove a steering wheel specifically for the shot.

When I exhibited my 50 years of photography at the Art Gallery of Hamilton in 2006, I asked retired Sgt. Ed. Selinski (the Hamilton City policeman on the motorcycle) to cut the ceremonial ribbon. BP imaging continues to supply photographic services to JAN Kelley.

Below are two images from my photographic biography The Art of Industry. On the left is a photograph that I took for The Traffic Safety and Police Services Series in 1960, Sgt. Ed. Selinski was the key subject in many of the photos for the series. On the right is a photograph I took in 1968 for the same series, I gathered some kids in my neighbourhood outside a local school in Burlington to pose for a simulated school safety scene.

BPimaging Tom Bochsler JAN Kelley Safety Police Servies Advertisements Student Crossing Sgt. Ed Selinski Art of Industry

“The Art of Industry”

November 20, 2013

Time: 7:30pm
Location: Oakville Historical Society – Meet at St John’s United Church at Dunn and Randall. Enter by the Randall St. entrance.

Photographer/author of the book, Mr. Tom Bochsler and Bob Chambers (former Senior press photographer of the Hamilton Spectator). Highlighting the press, celebrities, politicians, steel, forest, nuclear, mining and much more through photography. There will be comparisons between 50’s equipment and the digital photography of today.

Tom Bochsler & The Art of Industry Featured at 2013 PHSC Fall Trade Fair and Exhibit

October 27th, 2013

Photographic Historical Society of Canada, Fall Photo Fair
Time: 10:00am-3:00pm
Location: Soccer Centre 7601 Martin Grove Road, Toronto (Woodbridge), Ontario
Admission: $7

Photographer and author Tom Bochsler is being featured by The Photographic Historical Society of Canada at its annual Fall Trade Fair and Exhibit. Tom will have an exhibit of 40-50 images on display of both industrial and mining photography, many of his images having won international awards. Copies of his book “The Art of Industry” and autographs will be available for purchase.

The Art of Industry Photographic Historical Society of Canada Newsletter October 2013

Upcoming Presentation By Tom Bochsler and Bob Chambers: 119 Years of Professional Photography

October 15, 2013

Time: 6:30pm
Location: The Art Gallery of Hamilton, Fischer Gallery
Hosted by the Women’s Art Association of Hamilton

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