October 28, 2011

Cole Thompson Portfolio Video

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

I’ve just created a short video to introduce people to the diversity of my portfolios.

Over the years I’ve been advised to pick just one subject and work to become known for that.  However that approach has never appealed to me and I’ve always enjoyed pursuing a variety of subjects and styles.  I have always believed that you must do what you feel and love because in the end your opinion of your work is really all that matters.

17 thoughts on “Cole Thompson Portfolio Video

  1. I am so glad you refuse to be put into one category or style of photography. This is something I’ve had to resist, myself. As Mr. Whitman said: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

    Or as Mr. Heinlein said: “Specialization is for insects”.

    Yet, Mr. Thompson, throughout your career’s work, you have a very distinctive presentation of your multitude of subjects. It’s all *you*.

    Thank you!
    Edie Howe

  2. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who can’t seem to stick to any one particular photographic subject. What’s the fun in that? Maybe the professional downside of not sticking to any consistent theme can be mitigated by coming up with a high-falutin’ name declaring variety as a specific genre of photography–maybe something like “neo-eclecticism.” 🙂

  3. hi cole,

    i would like to watch the video, but you used MUSIC in your photography portfolio. and that music is under copyright and so in germany nobody can watch the video.
    wich arises the question – why use music anyway in a photography portfolio? and why not use music you have full rights to use in a worldwide medium?
    i have a strange feeling looking at portfolios where the photographers felt they have to put in music to make their photos watchable. in my eyes thats more a sign of weakness – because with the right show – music, maybe even beautifull dancers and fireworks and why not candy – even the most boring picture can be made into a star.

    so i just can leave sorry for not having the chance to watch the video.


  4. I apologize to those who cannot view my video because of the music, it’s an issue I am just learning about. When I choose a song, I pick it because it fits my images and conveys a feeling that enhances the work (in my opinion). I do not see it as a crutch that props up poor images, but just another part of the creative process. If one says I should not use music, then they could also say that I shouldn’t modify my images in Photoshop. Where does it end and who makes the rules? The artist does.

    When I check the copyright, I am only told who the owner is and if I can use it, but it doesn’t specify that I cannot use the song in certain countries. I do not know how to find this information, does anyone know anything about this?

    Thanks to those who have raised this issue; this experience and answers will benefit many others.


  5. Great synopsis of your work! I really enjoyed the journey.

    But frankly, I don’t see the issue… you have varied “subjects” (doesn’t everyone?) for your photography but a very clear and distinct style. I see no reason for debate.

    Regarding the music… I understand the frustration with an inability to view the video because of digital rights, but certainly for others, the music can easily be muted and the images can be enjoyed in total silence (if they prefer!

    Feel secure… your work stands on its own as a fine body of art.


  6. “Over the years I’ve been advised to pick just one subject and work to become known for that.”

    It would seem it’s just human nature to advise others as to what should be done.

    A favorite comic of mine is a depiction of several men standing outside around a barbecue grill watching another man cooking.

    The caption reads, “suddenly they all become chefs”.

  7. Cole: A great montage of your photography. Early this morning I found myself moving in my rocking chair to the Byrds music. The copyright issues I’m not familiar with. BUT, one image,one big fat title in the middle of the screen put me off a bit from the pleasure of the experience. Your themes demand more images to be appreciated. The answer maybe more videos on similar themes without the emphasis of the title(s).So my suggestion is if it’s a theme of “nature” loosly defined, do a 10 min. montage. Say objects, loosly defined, let the montage cover many of the themes you have photographed. Same with people, I want to see more of them in a particular sequence. I guess what I’m saying here is the “titles” aren’t the important thing,the images take me away. In any setting from gallery to video, it’s the photograph(s) that put me in a hypnotic state of ecstasy. Lump the titles of any video clip at the end? Freeze it so we can absorb what we just experienced by title? Does any of that make sense? Just my first coffee and your terrific images.

  8. Howard, what I do is run the music through YouTube, and they tell you who the copyright holder is and more importantly if you can use it.  I’ve had them say “no” and I’ve had them say “yes” and I’ve even had them say “yes, but the price is that we can put ads on your YouTube page.”

    Sometimes I go with music such as The Byrds because it just fits so well and helps express a sentiment.  In this case they said I could use “Turn, Turn, Turn” and I’m guessing here, but I suspect the copyright holder sees some benefit to keeping the song in the public eye.

    Other times I use Royalty Free Music which asks that I give the musician credit and give a suggested $5 donation, such as in this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ue9iWgaP9Y

    Other times I pay $30-$40 for Royalty Free music such as this one; 

    And I also believe that YouTube has a library of free Royalty Free music which you can choose from.  So there a lot choices and in each case, YouTube will let you know if you can use the music or not.

  9. Thanks Ulvis, for your very experienced input!

    Yes, it is unfortunate that I could not show more images from each of the different portfolios. I needed to keep the video to around three minutes long, as people tend not to watch longer videos. What I had hoped to do is pique the interest of my followers on FaceBook and Google+ to leave the confines of those sites and visit my website where they can see complete bodies of work. So it was a Whitman Sampler of sorts (does anyone under 40 know what that means?)

    It’s all a fun experiment to see what works!


  10. Cole, once again your work has amazed me and brought a smile to my face.

    Thank you for sharing your artistic eye with the world.

  11. ok, the youtube error message reads: “Leider ist dieses Video, das Musik von SME enthält, in Deutschland nicht verfügbar. Die GEMA hat die Verlagsrechte hieran nicht eingeräumt.” meaning something like: sorry, this video, containing music from SME, is not available in germany. the GEMA [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gesellschaft_f%C3%BCr_musikalische_Auff%C3%BChrungs-_und_mechanische_Vervielf%C3%A4ltigungsrechte] has not granted the publishing-rigths.” could be, this is only an issue in germany … i don’t know. maybe this information is helpfull, maybe it’s not.

    regarding the music: sorry, but it’s nonsense to put my remark in the same category as the “don’t use photoshop”. photoshop (hence the name) is a tool for photography – and so it has something to do with you being a photographer and taking controll over your work. music on the other side is something very different from photography. it’s not visual – it’s another dimension of things. AND you’re not a musican (aren’t you?). so you take the work of some other artist to make your art something that it’s not on its own.

    you called it your portfolio. in my opinion a portfolio is the work of an artist. and not the work of an artist suggarcoated with the work of other artists (who dont even know their work is put into this context). if you called it “my slideshow” (or whatever) thats something different.

    i’m just saying that when you name something in a way, that tells everyone “this is my work” and then this work depends on something other than your work – that weakens your standpoint as and artist. it’s like stepping into the boxingring for a man-to-man fight but taking your bigger brother with you. you might win – but it’s a sissy way to win. and as an artist your portfolio is your best punch – without aid from anyone. because if you need someone on your side to show up at all at the most important part of your life as artist it just shows that your work can’t stand on its own.

    i don’t think your work needs the support. and neither do you. if you call it “portfolio” take the glitter and ornaments of and show your pure work. be bold – not a sissy. or be honest and call it “artsy-fartsy multimedia slideshow”.


  12. Great to see your work in a video environment. It was funny but when I saw “favorites” popping out from the screen I was thinking about the same photography! Looking forward to see more works from you. Best Regards!

  13. I see that Vimeo is addressing this issue too, they are now have a music store to help with selecting music that is not restricted. If you’ve not used Vimeo, it’s a nice slideshow creation service that I sometimes use to create my videos.

  14. Hello Cole,

    So nice too meet you, I have grown too love Black and White. I really think this is wonderful. I have a very hard time asking people for shots, that is odd, since I was a sales women and sold too engineers and production, the electronic field for many years, I had “nerves”!
    My best Black and White, I think, and I love looking at them are of the Central Valley of California, I take them while my husband is driving, he will not stop. I have my a point and shoot. I put it on super blast, I shoot through the glass, no kidding! I must post something! The valley is better than it was, I love nature even more, and the camera taught me too know animals, I am so grateful..carol “point lobos girl”
    (i am not well, and have a lot of issues, waiting for back surgery,)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *