cole thompson photography
classic images in black & white
May 29th, 2009
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Dear Cole,

Since I announced that I was going to England, many people wrote to say "I cannot wait to see the new images, I know they'll be great!" You cannot imagine the pressures those expectations puts on me, I couldn't stop thinking "what if I don't get anything?"

I did go with certain intentions; to photograph Stonehenge and to do a series of Ghost images at the Castles of Great Britain. However sometimes your plans and fates' are in conflict, and you know who always wins (smile). More on that later in the newsletter.

It's been a while since I've shown new images, I hope you enjoy them and I'd love to hear your thoughts. You know that I always value your opinion.



You probably know that I'm a sucker for inspirational videos, and especially the ones that show the determination of the human spirit. Well, this month I had two and could not bring myself to eliminate one, so here they both are:

P.S. Ben Underwood died of cancer on January 19, 2009.


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(Stonehenge - England)

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. (From "To a Mouse" by Robert Burns)

>From the moment I decided to go to England I had a vision of photographing Stonehenge; and also from the very start I had problems arranging it. By the time we were to leave, I had basically given up on the possibility of getting into the inner circle, nothing had gone right and I felt consigned to photograph it from the distance of the pedestrian walkway.

But surprisingly we met a man who worked at Stonehenge and who just made things happen for us. He arranged an appointment at that very late date, and it seemed the game was back on!

Two days later we arrived at 8 am for our one hour in the inner circle. I was pretty excited and hoped this would be my chance; the weather was perfect, cloudy and dull, and as we entered the circle I thought...this is it!

And then it started to rain, no pour, for the next hour. I suddenly realized why people in England have umbrellas, it wasn't a light rain like we get in Colorado, it was a constant downpour.

It rained so heavily that I could hardly keep the lens clear to get a shot. After the hour was up I walked back to the car soaked and frozen, and it then stopped raining for the remainder of the trip.

True story.

For whatever reason, I didn't feel too badly about it. I just accepted it and hoped that I'd get at least one shot out of it all, and I did. Ironically the image above, was taken from the distant pedestrian walkway on the first day.

The Ghosts of Great Britain
Old Wardour Castle

(Old Wardour Castle - England)

Another idea I had envisioned was photographing Ghosts at the castles of Great Britain. Unlike "The Ghosts of Auschwitz and Birkenau" where I used the unsuspecting visitors as ghosts, for this trip I came armed with my wife, daughter and a white sheet.

The results? Well, let's say that I learned a great deal about what doesn't work and only a little about what does. I did successfully create a few images for this new series and so now the question is, what will I do to complete it?

Perhaps another trip and a new white sheet might be in my future.

View the Ghosts of Great Britain.

Image at the Moab Photo Symposium
Mill Creek Falls

(Mill Creek Falls - Moab, UT)

I sure had a great time at The Moab Photo Symposium! Great scenery, perfect weather and wonderful people. If you get a chance to attend next year, please consider it.

While conducting my workshop, I took an image with the group and then processed it to demonstrate my techniques. This is the image.

Pongsatorn Sukhum - Underwater Fine Art Photography

(Abyss by Pongsatom Sukhum)

Outside of my family, my two great loves are photography and diving, and so I was awestruck when I saw the work of Pongsatorn Sukhum. He creates Underwater Fine Art Photography and I love it. He was born in England, raised in Thailand and has recently created a photo essay titled "Bringing Wrecks to Life."

Visit Pongsatorn's Website

Old Sarum Castle

(Old Sarum Castle - England)

  • Silvershotz has published my portfolio "The Ghosts of Auschwitz and Birkenau" in the current issue (Volume 5, Issue 5). This is the third major publication to feature this work and of all three, I enjoyed the article in Silvershotz the best. Published out of Australia, it was until somewhat recently, a silver publication. It's reproductions are excellent and it is an honor to be featured there.
  • After much delay, I've finally chosen a writer to work with on the "Ukrainians, With Eyes Shut" magazine article project. Karen Marcus of Final Draft Communications lives close to me and has a wide range of writing experience. We met last week and I was very happy that she is excited about the article. My sincere thanks to everyone who offered assistance, I appreciate the many friends that I have.
  • The Sun Magazine has accepted my "Ukrainians, With Eyes Shut" images for publication. When and how they will appear is still not known, but the work is usually coupled with a complementary literary piece.
  • I've been asked to jury "Image 2009" at the West Nebraska Art Center on June 4th.
  • I've been invited to exhibit my portfolio "Light Emanating from Darkness" at the University of Minnesota in April of 2010.
  • I'll be presenting at the Loveland Photographic Society on June 8th, the topic is "Why Black and White?"

Cole Thompson Retrospective - Folio Sale
The Angel Gabriel

(The Angel Gabriel - Newport Beach, CA)

People seemed to enjoy both the images and the pricing of my "Monoliths" folio from the previous newsletter. So this month I'm offering a ten image retrospective folio, at the same price of $150.

I consider these ten images my best and my favorites. Picking only ten is difficult, but I felt these images demonstrated the range and variety of my work. I love each one of them.

The images are printed on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308, a heavy 100% cotton rag stock, and the images are either 6.7 X 10 (horizontal) or 7.5 X 7.5 (square).

The folio is priced at $150, please contact me directly for further information or to purchase the folio.

View the Images in the Retrospective Folio

A Parting Shot

(Smile - London, England)

While in London, I stumbled across a College graduation and took a shot over the shoulder of the picture taker. After a few of these, at various locations, I started enjoying it.

Perhaps there is a future portfolio here.

Cole Thompson Photography

Phone: 970-218-9649

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