Press Release

Oliver Jensen Gallery: Tom Nanos’ Hidden in Plain Sight

Posted on October 15, 2016

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat opens an exhibit of
Tom Nanos’ New England Railroad Photography

The exhibit will open from November 9 to December 29, 2016 in the
Oliver O. Jensen Gallery on Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Campus.

ESSEX, Conn. (September 22, 2016) – The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat welcomes “Hidden in Plain Sight,” an exhibition of the photographic work of Thomas J. Nanos of Lebanon, CT. The free exhibition celebration and opening will be held on Wednesday, November 9 from 5-8 p.m. in the Oliver O. Jensen Gallery at River Valley Junction. The exhibit will run until December 29, 2016. Admission to the gallery is always free, and is open during Essex Steam Train’s normal operating hours.

“Railroads can be a somewhat unexciting photographic subject – large machines traversing ribbons of steel passing through the world in plain sight.  But if one looks deeper into the scenery of the railroad, they can find some gems of art hiding right there in front of their eyes – in plain sight,” states Nanos. “The term ‘deeper’ doesn’t necessarily singularly mean a microscopic look at a particular detail of the railroad, but can also be defined as looking at the railroad from a different viewpoint all together.  Whether that is the viewpoint of someone working on the train and what they see, or the perspective of someone in the distance, absorbing the landscape before them, which just happens to have a train rolling through it.”

The work of Nanos is not altered in any way. “Everything from the motion blur of the tracks, to the heat rising from the locomotive exhaust, is real and appears as the camera saw it the instant I pressed the shutter release.”

The exhibit will consist of approximately twenty-five photographs revealing those artistic highlights from around the southern New England area, and beyond.  Some will be looking closer at the components of the railroad, finding visual stimuli in the details of two interlocked couplers.  While others take a wider view, integrating the train as a part of the landscape as it rolls by.  All will attempt to make the viewer look at railroads in a different light.

Shows in the Oliver O. Jensen Gallery at Essex are seasonal, usually featuring an exhibition in summer and winter. Find more information on Oliver Jensen Gallery at Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, visit


Tom Nanos’ dedication to the art of photography had ebbed and flowed until late 2001 when he began photographing railroad operations.  Mixing his passion for photography with a childhood love of railroads has proven to be the right formula to sustain his interest.  Over the years he has shot a variety of media: black & white and color, print and slide, and in  35mm and medium formats.  At present, he primarily shoot digital, but occasionally breaks out the Rolleiflex for some medium format black & white.  When he shoots film, he processes it himself. For more information, visit