Mar 7 2015

Come Join Me This Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Color and B&W World

People ask: “Why Black and White? You were born into a color world.”

I respond: “No, I was born into a Black and White world.”

 

If you are in the Fort Collins area this Tuesday, March 10th, I’ll be speaking with the Fort Collins Digital Camera Club.  Here are the details:

  • Topic: Why Black and White?
  • Tuesday 3/10/2015
  • Fort Collins Digital Camera Club
  • 6:30 pm
  • Meeting at Ridgeview Classical School, 1800 S Lemay Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80525

As always, I’ll be giving away three prints at the end of the presentation.

I hope you can make it!

Cole

 


Mar 6 2015

Moai, Sitting for Portrait

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 2 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

In January of 2015 I spent two weeks photographing the Moai of Easter Island. This fulfilled a lifelong dream, one that started when I was 17 and read the book “Aku Aku” by Thor Heyerdahl. I became fascinated with the Moai and they have been on my mind and influenced my art for these many years.

As I traveled to Easter Island and tried to imagine what I would encounter, something interesting happened: I dreamt that I had invited the Moai to come and sit for a formal portrait.

When I awoke I thought “why not?”

I knew there would be challenges: the Moai are reserved, aloof and almost unapproachable. They had suffered greatly at the hands of outsiders and the question was: would they come to trust me?

Distance was the first hurdle to be overcome: the island is small by automobile standards, but when we are talking about the Moai who walk everywhere, traversing the island to get to my makeshift studio could be difficult. Then there was the Moai’s physical condition: many were incapacitated by war and the ravages of time and could not make the journey. And how would I accommodate the size of the Moai, with some towering 33 feet tall?

Facing these challenges and armed with nothing more than a dream and hope, I issued the invitations…but would they come?

Initially only a few came; the younger and less suspicious ones. But slowly, as word spread of their experience, others started to arrive.

Photographing the Moai created some interesting situations: one older Moai refused to allow me to photograph his face and turned his back on the camera. Another arrived with a hawk and insisted on having his portrait taken with the bird atop his head. Several Moai with bullet holes inflicted by outsiders insisted that I document those scars.

And there were tense moments, as two rival Moai came together face-to-face in the studio, but which ended well when they agreed to be photographed together. And there were touching moments as old friends were reunited after years of separation.

The Moai are quiet, stoic and could even been described as “stone-faced.” And it’s true, not once was I able to photograph a Moai smiling, but instead they have a dignified poise that transcends time.

 

See the entire series here

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 38 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 31 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

 

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 27 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 25 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 19 - Final 2-20-2015 1000

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 17 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

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

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 4 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 1 - Final 1-20-2015 1000


Feb 20 2015

2/20/2015 Newsletter, Moai at Rano Raraku

2015-1-1 Moai at Rano Raraku No 4 - Final 2-20-2015 1000

This newsletter focuses on the quarry at Rano Raraku, the birthplace of the Moai.

It is amazing to think about how these mighty works of art were created, as you see 45 foot behemoths partially carved out of the stone in the quarry.

But more interesting to me is why everything suddenly stopped. What happened to these great people to cause them to walk away from dozens of partially completed Moai?  And why were all the Moai toppled? 

I have no answers, only images.

View the newsletter or sign up here: http://www.colethompsonphotography.com/Newsletter.htm

Cole


Feb 13 2015

2/13/2015 Newsletter, Moai Standing

2015-1-1 Ahu Anakena No 2 - Final 2-12-2015 1000

 

I’ve just published my latest newsletter which has the first of three sets of images from Easter Island. The first group are “Moai Standing.”

The other two groups will be released via my newsletter over the next two weeks.

If you’re not signed up for my newsletter, you can do so here: 

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

Thanks!

Cole

P.S. It’s Friday the 13th!

 


Feb 8 2015

I’m Not Talking To You…I’m Talking To Myself

2015-1-1 Ahu Tahai 2d

People write to thank me for my blog, saying they can relate to the topics I write about. And while I’m glad my thoughts resonate with others, make no mistake about my motivations: I write this blog for myself!

What I’m doing is writing down my self-affirmations.

Why?

Because my tendencies are to be insecure, to copy others, to care what others think of my work, to seek praise, to compare my work to others, to stray from my Vision and etcetera and etcetera and etcetera.

To become the artist I want to be, I must constantly remind myself of the things that I believe in and what I hope to become.

So you see: I’m not talking to you…I’m talking to myself.

Cole

P.S. The image above is entitled “Ahu Tahai.”

 

 


Jan 29 2015

Popular vs. Great

 Harbinger vs AuschwitzHarbinger Vs. Auschwitz

 

Last week I pointed out that my Harbinger image had almost 40 times more Flickr “favorites” than my Auschwitz image and I asked:

What do you think it means?

I heard a lot of great ideas and appreciated some new ones that I hadn’t thought of. And now I’d like to tell you what I think it means…

It means that more people like the Harbinger image.

What it doesn’t mean is that Harbinger is a “better” image. Popular does not mean better.

Who decides which images are good, bad, better or great? I do, but only for myself…and you do, but only for yourself. What I need to decide is:

Am I going to pursue popular or great?

Creating an image that is popular can be a fleeting pleasure. But when you create an image that you love, that’s a deep satisfaction that stays with you.

Here’s an image that I’ve just finished of the Moai at Tongariki. 

2015-1-1 Tongariki Panorama Matted

I love this image and so what other’s think about it, is not important to me.

As I love to say: nobody is more of an expert than you when it comes to your Vision!

Cole

 


Jan 23 2015

Harbinger Vs. Auschwitz – What Do You Think It Means?

2008-7-26 Harbinger No 1 - Final 1-17-2009 750

This is Harbinger No. 1 and it has 731 “favorites” on Flickr.

2008-5-10 Auschwitz No 14 - Final 2-1-2009 750

This is Auschwitz No. 14 and it has 20 “favorites.”

 

Harbinger has nearly 40 times more “favorites” than the Auschwitz image. Does this mean that it’s 40 times better?

What do you think it means?

Cole

 


Jan 18 2015

For Sale: Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5/5.6L IS USM Lens

100-400

 

I just purchased the new version of this lens (II) and am selling my original. I am the original owner and it’s been well taken care. It includes the Canon box, case, lens caps, two lens hoods and manual. The lens was lightly used and everything else has been in the box since I purchased it on 10/31/2007.

I was going to keep as a backup it but my son just got home from the Netherlands and had his camera and laptop stolen, and so I’m donating this lens to him to help him buy a new camera. If you have a well cared for Canon T3i and lens you’d like to trade, I’d consider that!

If you purchase the camera and find anything about it you don’t like, I’ll be happy to refund your money. You have my word.

Price: $850

Contact me at Cole@ColeThompsonPhotography.com

Cole

P.S. Here is an image I’m working on that I created with this lens.  It’s a 6 image stitch!

2015-1-1 Tongariki Panorama 1e


Jan 16 2015

You shoot a lot, you hope a little and you’re grateful to get just one or two.

Harbinger No. 22g
Harbinger No. 22 – Tongariki

I’m back from Easter Island and have begun working on the several thousand images I shot. Many were very long exposures and that gave me lots of time to think, and one thought that I had was:

You shoot a lot, you hope a little and you’re grateful to get just one or two.

And that’s the truth: I shot a lot of images and while I’m hoping for several good ones, I’ll be grateful to get just a few. It’s funny how when you’re viewing images in the field every one looks like a killer, but the reality is that the public will only see about 1 out of every 250 images that I shoot. 

And while it’s important to create great images, it’s almost equally as important to only show the good ones!

~~~

I’ll be presenting my work to the Alpenglow Camera Club in Granby, Colorado on Wednesday, February 4th.

My presentation is entitled “Why Black and White?” and we will be meeting at the Granby Public Library at 7 pm.

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

Cole


Dec 26 2014

Easter Island – Excited and Nervous

2011-9-10 Monolith No 33 - Final 5-3-2014 1000Monolith No. 33

 

I’m heading out for Easter Island Sunday morning and I’m both excited nervous.

Excited because I’ve wanted to visit Easter Island ever since I was 17 and read the book Aku Aku by Thor Heyerdahl. It really captured my imagination and I would dream of the Moai and those unknown peoples who created them. Going to Easter Island has long been a dream of mine.

But I’m also nervous because when I go on a trip like this I worry that I’ll come home empty handed and not meet people’s expectations. And each time someone says “I can’t wait to see what you get!” I become even more apprehensive.

And the more apprehensive I get, the more pressure I put on myself. And the more pressure I put on myself, the less creative I am because I’m focused on what others expect and not my own Vision.

So here’s what I have learned to do, to minimize that apprehension and maximize my creativity:

First: I remind myself that I’m visiting one of the most exciting places on earth and a top destination on my bucket-list. That alone is enough to make this a successful trip, no matter what.

Second: I tell myself that if I create just one image that I love, I’ll be happy.

Moai

Third: I will not look at anyone elses work from Easter Island. I do not want to have any preconceived ideas of what I should create.

Fourth: I’ll spend a lot of time alone contemplating the Moai. I am confident that if I can relax and spend time with them, my Vision will appear.

And Fifth: I will keep reminding myself that I am creating for myself and I’ll put out of my head any internal or external expectations.

What I have learned is that worrying is not only ineffective, it’s actually harmful to my creative process. I just need to relax, enjoy the trip and have faith that something will come to me. 

See you in a few weeks!

Cole