Jun 24 2015

For Sale: My Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 5D Mark II for Sale

SOLD!  SOLD!  SOLD!

I’m selling my Canon 5D Mark II which includes only what you see in the picture above:

  • Camera Body (no lens)
  • Body cap
  • Strap
  • Battery
  • Charger 
  • Hoodman Eye Loupe
  • Pocket Manual

The camera works perfectly and cosmetically is in excellent condition. I purchased it new and it’s the camera I’ve used to create many of the images on my website. For the last couple of years it was the backup to my Mark III and so recently was only lightly used.

Why am I selling it? Because my primary camera is now the 5DSr and my Mark III is my backup camera.

There are two things about the Mark II that I preferred over the Mark III: First the menu system is much simpler and second, the noise seems to be lower.

Many will ask what the shutter count is, but unfortunately Canon does not allow the user to obtain that information. There are third party apps that may be able to access that info, but I’m not comfortable using them.

Price? Research this for yourself and let’s talk. 

I’d love this camera to go to someone I know and wants to go full frame. I’ll make the right person a very fair deal.

Cole

P.S. I’d prefer to keep this in the US due to shipping costs, but we can discuss this if you’re really interested.


Jun 19 2015

Here I Come Salt Lake City and Las Vegas!

2006-8-5 Isolated - Final 12-2-2007 1000(Isolated – Chuzenji-ko, Japan)

Hello Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, I’m coming to speak!

What will I be speaking about? Black and White and Vision, of course.

If you live in the area, I’d love to meet you!

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Nevada Camera Club in Las Vegas

Date:             Friday, July 10th, 2015

Time:            7 pm

Location:     Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, Auditorium

Address:      3186 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89109, (702) 731-8000

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Wasatch Camera Club in Salt Lake City

Date:           Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Time:           6:30 pm

Location:    Salt Lake City Library, Conference Room

Address:     210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, UT – (801) 524-8200

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My presentation is 75 minutes long and I’ll showing lots of images, telling lots of stories (some of which are even true) and talking about a lot of things including:

  • Vision
  • Passion
  • Why B&W Appeals to Me
  • What I Look for in a B&W Image
  • My Conversion from Photographer to Artist
  • Copying Ansel Adams
  • My Vision Epiphany
  • What is Fine Art?
  • The Role of Equipment and Processes
  • Listening to Other’s Advice
  • Asking Others for Advice
  • Simplify
  • Photographic Rules
  • Cole’s Rule of Thirds
  • Photographic Celibacy
  • How Long do Projects Take?
  • Some Before and After Images
  • My Six Photoshop Tools
  • Always Stop!
  • Comparing and Competing
  • How I Choose a Project
  • Be Open to New Possibilities
  • How I Found My Vision
  • Why do I create?
  • How to Make Money From Your Photography
  • And Many Stories From My Portfolios.

Whew…all this in 75 minutes!

And at the end, I’ll be giving away three prints.

I do hope that I’ll get a chance to meet you.

Cole

 


Jun 11 2015

Plate of Leaves – Before and After

2005-10-2 Plate of Leaves - Final 4-20-2007 1000(Plate of Leaves)

It was a rainy day up in the Colorado mountains and I decided to shoot indoors. I collected some seeds and leaves and placed them on this great wooden plate that I had purchased for such an occasion. I was shooting on the kitchen table using available light, which was the kitchen ceiling lamp.

So how did the image look to my camera?

Plate of Leaves Before and After(click on the image to enlarge and compare)

I think the color image is rather boring and unremarkable. At first glance and without Vision, you might be tempted to throw it out. But I had a Vision of what it was to be.

A lot of this image’s “look” was obtained in the black and white conversion process, where I play with the color sliders to bring out or hide details. Click on the image above and look at the leaf just left of center, see how the veins have been brought out? The green slider had a lot of affect on this image.

For me, the step of converting the image to black and white is a critical part of fulfilling my Vision. That’s why I never accept the default b&w conversion or simply desaturate the image. I know what I want the image to look like, Photoshop does not.

Then after I had done as much as I could with the b&w conversion, I dodged and burned to bring out the contrast and highlights. I worked with a very small brush and worked every leaf, seed and nut individually. Sometimes it’s tempting to use a global tool such as the contrast adjuster, but that affects everything in the image equally and it rarely can produce a look equal to good dodging and burning.

The challenge was to take that boring color image and transform it into the black and white image that’s in my head.

For me, a black and white image is so much more interesting than a color one! 

Cole

P.S. There’s something else interesting about the before and after image…it’s the sharpness. Did you notice that the b&w version seems so much sharper than the color image? It’s what I call “apparent sharpness” and it comes from contrast. This image has not been sharpened.


Jun 4 2015

Are You Signed Up For My Newsletter?

2009-1-14 Opposition - Final 2-1-2009 1000Opposition – La Jolla Cove – 2009

Are you signed up for my newsletter? If not, you’re missing out!

Why do I have a newsletter when I have this blog? My blog is where I talk a lot, my newsletter is where I show a lot.

My newsletter is where I introduce new images (three new introduced in the current edition) and I always have a Free Print Drawing (not everyone reads to the bottom and they miss that!).

And signing up for my newsletter will not overwhelm your inbox (I know how irritating that can be).  I typically send out about five issues per year.

Interested? You can sign up here: http://www.colethompsonphotography.com/NewsletterSignup.htm

Thank you for your support!

Cole


Jun 1 2015

Exhibition Print Sale

2006-5-20 The Angel Gabriel - Final 12-4-2011 1000

My annual Exhibition Print Sale has just been announced in my current newsletter:  6/1/2015 Newsletter

Each year I sell my gently used exhibition prints at a discount. These prints are in various conditions but the image and front matte are always in excellent shape. However the backs may have exhibition tags, framing marks and the unmatted prints may have pin holes in the corners. But nothing that will show once matted or framed.

The prints I have for sale are listed in the newsletter and as always it is first come, first served.

This sale ends June 30th, 2015.

There is a $20 shipping charge per order, regardless of how many prints you order. Payment is via PayPal or personal check.

To order, simply email me (Cole@ColeThompsonPhotography.com) with your selection and address and I’ll confirm if I still have the print and then get your selection on its way! 

Lastly, if you do not find your favorite print available on sale, I will extend a 40% discount on any matted print featured on my website.

Thanks!

Cole

 


May 28 2015

Look Inward

2015-5-26 Storm Cloud 1a

Storm Cloud, 2015

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I have been accused of being arrogant for suggesting that the source of my Vision lies within myself and is not dependent upon the outside world or those who have gone before me.

I don’t believe this to be an arrogant idea. But here are some additional thoughts that may convince the unconvinced that I am in fact, arrogant.

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Look inward.

Everything you need is already there.

Discover your Vision.

See for yourself.

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We are all creative as children.

But then we learn how to seek approval.

And something atrophies and almost dies.

We forget how to please ourselves.

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There is a difference between Vision and Inspiration.

Inspiration comes from without, Vision comes from within.

A person can only do so much with Inspiration.

Inspiration without Vision is an unproductive effort.

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Look inward.

Ignore what others are doing.

Do what you feel inspired to do.

Create work that you love.

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Art is very selfish.

Or at least it should be.

If you are creating for others,

then you are not creating your best work.

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Do not compare your work to other’s.

Judge your art only by how you feel about it.

Create art that you are proud of.

Create art that you love.

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Look inward.

You harbor that secret ingredient.

The secret to success.

Your Vision.

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May 21 2015

Photoshop and Six Tools…with a Video Demonstration

Arch

Yesterday my friend John Evans Jr. and I were talking about how I process my images. He shoots these great color shots of the St. Louis Gateway Arch and recently showed me the image above. He was trying it in black and white and called with a few questions about my processing techniques, and I was trying to describe some of my techniques over the phone.

It is difficult to convey some things with words and so I told him that I’d make a quick and dirty video of me processing an image. 

For years I hid my workflow from others because I thought it  unsophisticated and backwards. As I listened to other photographers talk about their sophisticated processes, I was embarrassed to let them see my rudimentary ones. What if they started asking me about layers…I don’t understand or use them!

Fortunately with time I came to the realization that it’s not about my processes, it’s about my images.  Nothing else matters.

There are many ways to use Photoshop and I doubt many photographers use more than a small percentage of its many tools.  There is no right way or wrong way to use it and not one workflow will be right for everyone.  

My procedure works for me and I’d like to share it to illustrate a point: that you don’t need to know a lot about Photoshop or have a complicated workflow to produce beautiful images.  

2015-1-1 Tongariki No 6 - Final 2-13-2015 1000

Here are the six tools that I use to process most of my images:

1. RAW Converter – I use Photoshop’s RAW converter to convert my RAW image into a 16 bit, 300 ppi TIFF file. There are also a number of image controls in the RAW converter and I try to do as much work here as possible.

2. B&W Conversion Tool – I like Photoshop’s b&w conversion tool and play with each color channel to see how it affects the different parts of my image. I tweak everything to taste. But be careful about changing the blue channels too much, they make your skies look great but add a lot of noise to the image. 

3. Levels – One of the most basic secrets to a great b&w image is to have a good black and white in the image. You cannot trust your eye and how the image looks on the monitor, you must look at your histogram to accurately determine this. I use “Levels” to set a true black and white point, then I adjust the midtone slider which can radically change the look of my image.

4. Dodging and Burning – This is where I do most of my processing and where I have the most fun!  I feel most at home with dodging and burning because that’s how I did things in the darkroom.  However the primary difference today is that I can take my time and exercise minute control over every part of the image.

I use a Wacom tablet to dodge and burn because you CANNOT do a good job with a mouse. It is difficult to describe with words how I dodge and burn and so I hope the video helps illustrate this.

5. Contrast Adjustment – Once the image looks great on the screen, experience teaches me that it will print flat, and so I add some contrast.  A monitor uses transmitted light and a print uses reflective light, so that means it will take a lot more work to get your print to look as snappy as it does on the monitor.  Contrast helps.

6 Clone Tool – I use the clone tool to spot my images.  Cloning is so much better than the old days when you had to spot every spot, on every single print and your mouth would taste like Spotone all day!

In sharing these six steps, my point isn’t that you should imitate my workflow, but rather that a workflow need not be complicated.  Did you notice that I didn’t make mention of special b&w conversion programs, plug-ins, curves or layers?  I also don’t use monitor calibrators, profiles, RIP’s or special inksets.  

I use Photoshop and six tools.  Ofttimes there’s beauty in simplicity!

Here is a quick and dirty video demonstration of my Six Steps.

Cole

P.S. My apologies for such an amateurish video, but I knew that if I waited until I learned to do it more professionally, it would never get done.


May 8 2015

Different Is Not My Goal

2015-1-1 Ahu Tahai 2d

When I photograph, I do not seek to create images that are “different” from everyone else’s, I don’t calculate how to create unique images and I don’t research what others are doing and then react.

Different is not my goal.

Instead, my objective is to produce work that comes from my Vision and that is honest and original to me.

2015-1-1 Moai at Rano Raraku No 2 - Final 2-20-2015 1000

My work is all that I focus on and have control over. As my mother used to say: what others are doing is none of your business!

When I went to Easter Island the only photographs that I had ever seen were the 1950’s documentary images contained in Thor Heyerdahl’s book “Aku Aku.” I never looked at anyone else’s images for two reasons; first I didn’t want to subconsciously copy someone else and secondly I didn’t want to consciously try to be different from someone else.

My goal, as much as it was humanly possible, was to work in a creative vacuum. I wanted to see the Moai through my Vision and find my own Passion.  

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 7 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

Are my Easter Island images unique? I may never know the answer to that as long as I practice Photographic Celibacy and do not look at other photographer’s work.

And to tell you the truth, I don’t want to know. I love my images and am content with the knowledge that they were created honestly through my Vision.

Cole


Apr 24 2015

Is Imitation the Sincerest Form of Flattery?

2009-6-25 Lone Man No 20 - Final 4-21-2014 1000

Last week someone asked if I was flattered when people copied my work.  I said no, but that I wasn’t offended either.

What I actually feel is a bit of sadness. I’d rather see that person putting their energies into finding and following their Vision rather than walking where I have already walked.

Now these are friends and well-wishers who send me these imitations and so I am sincerely touched by the kind gesture. Sometimes they send a Lone Man or a Harbinger and sometimes it’s an Old Car Interior.

But honestly, I’d prefer they sent me something that they had created from their own Vision.

2008-7-26 Harbinger No 1 - Final 1-17-2009 1000

I very well understand imitation because I’ve copied other artists too, sometimes unconsciously and unfortunately sometimes consciously.  For years I tried to copy Ansel’s work, and not just his look.  Once I went to Yosemite and tried to recreate specific images of his!

I look back now and see how silly that was. Was my goal in life to be known as the world’s best Ansel Adams copycat?

Someone once wisely said to me: “Ansel’s already done Ansel and you’re not going to do him any better.” It’s true.

I know that many believe that imitation is a part of the learning process. I have many photography students contact me to say that their assignment is to copy one of my images.

I must say that I strongly disagree with this approach. I believe that their time would be much better spent finding their own Vision, and that imitation actually retards their personal Vision progress.  

2004-12-20 Old Car Interior -  Final 2-27-2006 1000

Colefucius says: They who walk in another’s footsteps, never finds their own path.

Is imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? I don’t think so.

Cole

 


Apr 17 2015

Why Black and White? Presentation at the Vancouver Photo Workshops on May 4th

2014-2-1 Dunes of Nude 107 - Final 2-26-2014 1000
Vancouver Photo Workshops proudly announces this public lecture and presentation with black and white fine-art photographer Cole Thompson.

Cole’s presentation will revolve around images from his portfolios and is interspersed with some of the things he has learned about Vision, listening to himself, the role of equipment, the rules of photography and etc.

For Cole ‘…color records the image, but black and white captures the feelings that lie beneath the surface.’

Following his lecture, we will open the floor to any questions you might have and Cole will be giving away three of his prints.

Three Print GiveAway

Tickets are limited, so please be sure to register early! Register here.

(Please note that in an effort to save our environment, no paper tickets will be issued for this event. Please use our secure online registration system. We will have a list of all registered students on hand at the door.)

More Event Details:

Tickets are only $25 each ($40 for two). For volume purchase of 10 or more tickets, please contact the Vancouver Photo Workshops for details. Our office can be reached @ 778.898.5256 or via email: info@vancouverphotoworkshops.com

Please note: There will be a limited number of tickets available at the door on the evening of the event. Cash only please.

 

Date:                 Monday, May 4th, 2015

Location:         Vancouver Photo Workshops

Address:          14 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

Time:               7 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)

Tickets:           Available online

 Cost:                $25 per person, $40 for two