Apr 29 2016

Put it on your calendar: June 24, 25 & 26

2009-9 Mourning Dove Ranch in the Summer MEDIUM

Each year Fort Collins hosts a Studio Tour where artists open up their galleries and studios to the public. After a two year absence, I will again participate this June 24th, 25th and 26th.

If you’re in the area or planning on visiting during that time, I’d like to invite you to stop by my home and gallery. 

This year I’ll be focusing on showing larger works. Also, I have received back a huge number of framed and unframed images from exhibitions that I’ll be selling at a discount (I have far to many images here and really need the space!)

So, please stop by and say hello.

My house can a bit hard to find the first time, but if you’re using GPS you’ll be okay.

Just be sure to look for the Mourning Dove Ranch at 4780 Totonka Trail, Laporte, CO 80535

Hope to see you!

Cole

 


Mar 31 2016

Fifty New Images

2016-1-7 dunes of nude no 146 - final 3-28-2016 1000

I’ve just released fifty new images from my recent trip to Death Valley, including “Dunes of Nude No. 146” above  

They are included in my April 1st, 2016 Newsletter  

Are you subscribed? If not, you can sign up here:

http://www.colethompsonphotography.com/NewsletterSignup.htm

Cole

 

 


Mar 30 2016

Denver Presentation on April 26th, 2016

2009-10-21 Diminishing Cliffs - Final 11-8-2009 750Diminishing Cliffs

 

I will giving my presentation “Why Black and White” to the Broomfield Photo Club on Tuesday, April 26th at 6:30 pm. 

If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you. And if you do attend and we’ve communicated before, please do come up and say hello! At my last Denver presentation there were two internet friends in the audience whom I did not get to meet and I felt bad about that.

What’s the presentation about? Well, it starts off talking about “Why Black and White” and I believe that I make a compelling case that b&w is good for any type of image or genre of photography. But what the presentation is really about, is finding your own Vision, following your Passion, forgetting about what others are doing and creating images that you love.

The presentation is 1 hour and 15 minutes long and as is my tradition, three prints will be given away at the end of the presentation.

Here are the vitals:

  • Who:            The Broomfield Photo Club
  • What:          Why Black and White
  • When:          Tuesday, April 26, 2016
  • Time:           6:30 pm
  • Where:        Broomfield Community Center, 280 Spader Way, Broomfield, CO 80020

Thanks all, I do love giving this presentation because I truly believe in the message I am delivering! 

I am lucky to love what I do and love what I create.

Cole

 


Mar 25 2016

SHOCKING! Nikon, Canon to End Camera Development!

From the New Camera News (http://newcameranews.com/2015/04/01/shocking-nikon-canon-to-end-camera-development/)

NikonCanon1074x483-700x315

 

In a rare joint statement, industry giants Canon and Nikon have announced that both companies will cease all camera development, effective immediately. At a hastily arranged press conference both Nikon and Canon stressed that they are not getting out of the camera business per se, but rather will continue with their existing product lines for the foreseeable future “and quite possibly forever.”

When asked why the two companies were making such a radical decision, Canon said, “Hey listen, our current camera lineup is good enough. As a matter of fact, internal research has shown that our cameras are better and more capable than 99% of the people that own them. With data like this, the only logical thing to do is to stop improving our cameras until our owners become better photographers.”

“That’s so true!” Nikon interjected. “For years we have peddled this notion that the only thing keeping you from becoming a ‘professional’ photographer was access to the latest and greatest gear. ‘Buy this new camera!’, ‘Buy this new lens!’ we’d say in our advertising, ‘and you’ll take better photos immediately!’ Great food photos. Great puppy photos. Great photos of a perky young Japanese lady near a cherry blossom or by a water fountain or something quintessentially Japanese. But deep down inside we knew that you were just going to be the same crappy photographer you’ve always been but with more megapickles.” After reflecting for a moment, Nikon added, “It feels so good to say this. To finally get this off our prism.”

“Right!” added Canon. “I’m so glad that we are taking this moment to say, ‘Hey owners of Canon and Nikon cameras, you’re most likely a crappy photographer so we are just going to wait for you to stop talking about that damn rule of thirds, take a real photography class, and get a clue before we make better stuff. Otherwise we’re just wasting our time.’”

“You feel good?” Nikon asked Canon.

“Wow. Better than I’ve felt in decades.” Canon replied.

“You wanna go get a beer?”

“Sure.”


Mar 6 2016

How to Critique Another Person’s Image

2006-3-1 Urban Starfish - Final 9-4-2007 1000Urban Starfish

 

My philosophy is: Don’t. Ever. Never.

Why? Because my opinion, no matter how well intentioned or experienced, is bound to miss the mark.

Why? Because my advice comes from my point of view, my Vision and my definition of success.

Not yours.

If I really want to help someone, I’ll offer encouragement instead of advice. If I do comment I’ll say only positive things and qualify my comments with a “what I like about this image is…”

I’ll never tell another person what they should have done or what I would have done with the image. This is not useful, no matter how well intentioned I am.

If the person presses me for an opinion, then I’ll simply say: What I think is unimportant. What do you think of the image? How well does it express your vision?

Generally I find that a person asking for an opinion does so because they have not yet found their Vision. This now opens the door to talking to them about the  importance of Vision as the driving force behind an image and not relying on the opinions of others. 

And above all else I try to be kind and encouraging. I try to remember that each person is on the same path as I am. Today they may be behind me on that path, but tomorrow they could be ahead of me.

That’s a great reason to treat each person as I would like to be treated: as one who has tremendous creative potential and is seeking to find their Vision.

Cole

 

 


Feb 26 2016

Tell Me About Your Vision: Here’s My Response

2016-1-7 Dunes of Nude No 119cDunes of Nude No. 119 (from my recent Death Valley trip)

 

Last week I asked the following question:

Someone is looking at your work and says: tell me about your Vision.

How do you respond?

Here’s my response:

When you look at my images, you are seeing my Vision.

Why use inadequate words to describe my Vision when the image says everything?

~ ~ ~

Only once in my life have I tried to put my Vision into words: a friend, blind from birth, asked me to describe my work and Vision to her. I asked how could I describe things which she had never seen? She said that she created mental images based on my descriptions. I’ve always wondered what my images looked like to her.

~ ~ ~

I enjoyed everyone’s comments and could see that semantics, different perspectives and honest differences of opinion were all in evidence. May I offer my viewpoint?

Vision can be elusive and hard to discover, yet I believe it to be an incredibly simple concept:

Vision is simply how I see things, based on my life experiences.

Because we’ve all had different life experiences, we all have different Visions. But everyone has a Vision!

Vision is much different than a look or a style. And once you start following your Vision, your work will not all start looking the same. Vision transcends a look, a style and techniques. 

 

harvey3

Vision is expressed through our images and unlike Harvey the Pooka, your Vision can be seen by everyone (you have to be over 50 or a movie buff to get the reference).

Vision is the most important ingredient in your image, it’s what makes it unique and “yours.” It is more important than your camera, lens, process or any piece of software that you use. And no amount of technical perfection, unusual technique or unique subject matter can compensate for a lack of Vision.

An image without a Vision is just a…well, just a picture.

Cole

 


Feb 20 2016

How Do You Respond?

2016-1-7 Self Shadow, Barely There 1d

Someone is looking at your work and says: tell me about your Vision.

How do you respond?

 


Feb 12 2016

IT’S ALIVE!

It's Alive

The images on my dead memory card are ALIVE!

All of them were successfully recovered thanks to Disk Doctors (www.DiskDoctors.com). They were fast and communicated with me daily during the recovery process. 

After seeing the recovered images, I am so grateful that I chose to save them. Yes, it was expensive ($750) but that was much less than the other companies wanted and most importantly, I had a lot of good images on the card!

Here’s one of the images that I’m working on:

2016-1-7 Dunes of Nude No 169b


Feb 4 2016

Another Hard Lesson Learned in Death Valley

2016-1-7 Beneath the Clouds 1aBeneath the Clouds – Dante’s View, Death Valley

 

The wonderful thing about hard lessons is that they create such strong and lasting convictions. 

A couple of years ago on my annual Death Valley trip I was using my new Canon 5D Mk III and had hastily set it up before leaving on the journey. When I got home I realized that I had been recording in B&W JPEG mode and not in Color RAW mode. That was a very hard lesson because I lost many of the images and the remaining ones were not “what they should have been.”

And now Death Valley has once again been the location for another hard lesson. 

My Mk III has two card slots and I have always set the camera to write to both cards simultaneously, using the second card as a backup. But after years of never having a card failure, I switched the camera to record to only one card.

Ironically I made that change on this trip and as fate would have it, the card died mid-trip.

I could not read the card with the camera and I could not read it with the computer. Windows could not even see the card (never a good sign) and I tried using three different recovery programs on it…without success.

So I started calling around to disk recovery services and after hearing prices as high as $2000 to recover the images, I finally went with a company that charged $650 and only if they successfully recovered the data. That’s a lot of money for some images, but after all the time and money I had spent on this three week journey, it is worth it to me.

The company was able to recover some of the images and the card is on the way back to me. Soon I’ll know how many of my images were saved. The image above and about 25 other dune images were captured on my second card, the one that should have been a backup of my data.

I’m always lecturing my kids that decisions shouldn’t be based on probabilities, but rather on consequences. The probability of a card failing is very low, in fact I’ve never had it happen once since I started using digital in 2004. But the consequences are high “if” it fails (some say “when” it fails).

The probability of my card failing was low, but the consequences were high.

The lesson learned? Write to both cards even if there is only a one in a million chance that the card will fail.

Cole

 

 

 


Jan 28 2016

Moai, Sitting for Portrait Featured in LensWork

Lenswork Moai Sitting for Portrait Front Cover and First Page Medium

I’m honored to have my portfolio “Moai, Sitting for Portrait” featured in the January/February 2016 issue of LensWork.

This is my fifth body of work to be featured and I’m very proud of that because I consider this to be the highest honor my work could receive. I respect this publication very much. 

If you’re not familiar with LensWork, it is in my opinion the finest black and white publication available. The quality of the photography is matched only by the quality of the printing. It is simply worlds above any other magazine.

You can subscribe to LensWork or pick up a copy at Barnes and Noble. If you’d like a signed copy, I’d be happy to send you one for $10.

Cole