His love for photography started more as a means to record scenes for his future oil paintings than as photography for its own sake. Photography as an avenue of expression convinced him to peruse the art with an unrelenting passion. Many years working with traditional photographic techniques he views the advent of the digital camera age as an emerging force that is environmentally more sound and one that will rapidly improve with advances in technology. O'Neill says, "From the days of the camera obscura we have sought to capture fleeting moments in time. I wonder what Daguerre and Fox Talbot would think of today's latest and greatest digital backs and chips?"
As a vehicle of communicating over boundaries of language, culture and thought, photography offers a great envoy. "Considering the limitations that emulsion and oils place upon us, when recording or painting a scene, here we have at our fingertips the means to go further, beyond these limitations," he continues.
Over the past ten years, O'Neill has gained inspiration from the works of Adams, O'Sullivan, Shaw, Wolfe and many amateurs from all lifestyles. He has exhibited his photography successfully in shows and competitions and has sold too many collectors worldwide. He regularly gives slide shows for charity and is very much involved in the care and well-being of both wild and domestic birds and animals orphaned or injured. A critic wrote, "I have been viewing your images for many years now and still continue to be amazed. Your images all have a magical and mystical quality about them. You have a unique eye and a way of capturing life that can't be matched; a style that has to come from the heart before it ever hit the eye."
O'Neill explains "With the exponential growth in the use of home computers not only in advanced but also in third world countries, we have the ability to touch and be touched by the images of many diverse populations."