cole thompson photography
classic images in black & white

Current Newsletter


cole Thompson Photography

 Issue 54      

November 21, 2012   


(Two Trees - The Big Island, HI - 2012) 


Bandon, Oregon


San Francisco

The Story Behind the Image



Dear Cole,


I'm generally known for creating dark images and there is a reason why; because that's how I "see" the world.  I've always been drawn to dark things, even in grade school I dressed in black clothing and wore black boots.  Perhaps it was the influence of the raging Beatlemania of the times, or perhaps there is some deeper meaning?


Speaking of deeper meanings, my younger brother Kip always wanted to imitate me but my mother would not allow a kindergartener to go to school dressed in black, and so he would use black crayons to draw pictures of our family. One day my mother received a call from the school psychiatrist who requested a meeting about Kip. She told my mother that his use of a black crayon indicated unresolved issues and wanted Kip to get therapy. My mother laughed and told her that he simply wanted to be like his big brother.  


So why do I create dark images...who knows...maybe I need therapy? 


But perhaps there is hope for me as I do occasionally create lighter images such as "Two Trees" above and "Monolith No. 54" below in this newsletter.




During this Thanksgiving season I do stop and focus on my blessings. I feel that I'm one of the luckiest people in the world, both for having a job and for being able to create images that I love.  My job and my art take me to so many beautiful places.


I hope there are many things in your life that you're thankful for. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!




P.S.  Here's a video to put "thankfulness" into perspective!  


Bandon, Oregon


(Monolith No. 52 - Bandon, OR)







(Monolith No. 54 - Bandon, OR) 







(Monolith No. 55 - Bandon, OR)







(Monolith No. 53 - Bandon, OR) 







(Dunes of Nude No. 46 - Bandon, OR)







(Dunes of Nude No. 52 - Bandon, OR)







(Dunes of Nude No. 53 - Bandon, OR)





(Bandon Bridge - Bandon, OR)







(Captured - Bandon, OR)







(Monolith No. 55 - Bandon, OR)









(Two Trees - Hawaii) 







 (Stone Jetty No. 10 - Hawaii) 







 (At Peace - Hawaii) 







 (Lone Man No. 45 - Hawaii)







 (Eight Trees - Hawaii)








San Francisco


(Monolith No. 51 - Santa Cruz, CA)



(Monolith No. 50 - San Francisco, CA)







 (Pigeon Point Lighthouse - Pescadero, CA)




The Story Behind the Image

(Blizzard - Washington, DC)


It was springtime and I was headed to Washington, DC. Packed with appropriate clothing for the season and my photo gear, I was anxious to create some new images. However once I arrived, a late snowstorm rolled in and my "appropriate clothing" soon became inappropriate. In fact, calling it a snowstorm is an understatement, it was a blizzard!


It was cold but it hadn't started snowing yet and so I decided to go out that evening to photograph. As I walked to the National Mall it started snowing heavily and soon the Mall was completely abandoned. I was literally the only one out that evening. It was eerie being in the middle of the city and yet it was so quiet that the only sounds I could hear were the crunch of my shoes and sound of snowflakes hitting my face.


I was so poorly dressed, with only a hoodie and no hat or gloves, that my hands were soon frozen and I feared frostbite. But as I prepared to return, I saw this scene and just had to have it. However the image was easier envisioned than executed as my hands were numb and failed to respond. It was painfully difficult to work the camera controls, but I was able to get this one shot which I called "Blizzard."  


I immediately started walking the several miles back to my hotel but soon realized that I could not make it without thawing out my hands and warming up. Unfortunately it was late and no stores or buildings were open but one. I saw what appeared to be a government building with a large lit lobby and security guard. I had no choice but to go in and hope they would take pity on my situation and allow me to warm up.


I entered the lobby of the FDIC and fortunately the guard who was to my right was preoccupied, so I went to the left to shake off the snow and recover. But after only a few minutes the guard discovered me, and apparently thinking I was a homeless person, headed my way with a loud "Hey! What are you doing in here!"  It wasn't really a question, but an accusation.


The guard was large and I was clearly no match for her! I tried to explain my plight but she would hear nothing of it and I was soon escorted back out into the blizzard by the scruff of my neck. Fortunately those few minutes of stolen warmth were enough to sustain me and I did reach my hotel without losing any fingers.


I'm sure glad that I went out that evening and that I stayed long enough to pursue this image. It's a very subtle image and viewing it on a monitor just doesn't do it justice. I'm sitting here looking at it as I write and wish that you could see the print also, it's printed on Premier Platinum Rag which has the most wonderful platinum sheen that makes the highlights sing!



P.S.  Here is a self portrait taken earlier that night, before I had walked over to the Mall.


(Self Portrait at 20 Degrees - Washington, DC)






(Skull on Stove - Poncha Springs, CO)


The winner of this months drawing is Kay Adamson who will receive a signed print of "Gull and Moon."  Kay, please contact me to arrange delivery!


The next drawing will be for a signed print of "Skull on Stove" above.  


For those of you new to my newsletter drawings; simply email me at and put "Skull on Stove" in the subject line.  


Of course if you'd like to also say hello, I'd love to hear from you!


About Cole Thompson Photography

Monolith Folio Cover

(Cover Image for the "Monoliths" Folio)




Phone:      970-218-9649




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