cole thompson photography
classic images in black & white
April 1, 2009
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Dear Cole,

I was just notified that I have received the "The Presidential Award for Meritorious Photography." First established in 1830 by President John Adams, this award has only been given out 41 times to photographers who "exemplify the photographic spirit and style of the French photographer Vincent Damon Furnier."

As a recipient of this award, my color work will be exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in Washington, DC. You may preview the work that will be featured by clicking here.

Thank you to those of you who helped make this possible by writing the "Congressional Roundtable About Photography" on my behalf.


Please view this month's Inspirational Video!


If you cannot properly see or read this newsletter, please view it online by clicking Here.

What's So Special About Black and White?
Monolith No. 1

(Monolith No. 1, Oregon Coast)

What's so special about black and white? I'm often asked this question and have always answered that "for me color records the image, but black & white captures the feelings that lie beneath the surface."

I thought I'd research it a bit and see what others had to say;

  • A friend related that he had read someone say that color causes them to"look at the photograph" while black and white causes them to "look into the photograph."
  • "To see in color is a delight for the eye, to see in black and white is a delight for the soul." Andri Heri
  • "Because black and white has an inherent dignity." Robert Bruce Duncan
  • "It's been said that there is something sexy about black and white photography that you just can't get from color. I think it's true. Once you remove the color, it is like stripping a scene down to the bare bones, removing the layers and leaving the form." Wendy Folse
  • Chet Raymo in The Soul of the Night, says "In New England in October anyone can take a pretty picture, and most do. The blue sky, the lead white of the church spires, the bold brushstrokes of deciduous reds and golds...few places in the world can be more beautiful. Point the camera in any direction, snap the shutter, and the image is certain to please." Raymo then implies that much greater attention to selection of subject matter, lighting, composition, tonality, and even color, are required to make a good B&W picture.
  • "When I go to photographic exhibits, I spend more time looking at B&W than color prints. It isn't I don't like color, I find many color prints strikingly beautiful. However, I almost never go back to look at them again. I often view some B&W prints three or four times before leaving the exhibition." Onas C. Scandrette
  • "It is B&W photography that demands of the photographer close attention to the world of color, while color photography permits him to forget it." Janet Malcolm

What are your thoughts on why black and white is so special?

Write me at

Moab Photo Symposium
Monolith No. 2

(Monolith No. 2, Oregon Coast)

Did you try to enroll for my workshop "Seeing in B&W" only to find that it was sold out? Well it was, but now there's one vacancy due to a cancellation. I know it's late notice, but if you're able to attend, I'd love to see you there.

The Moab Photo Symposium is being held in...well...Moab. It goes from Thursday April 30 through Sunday May 3rd. There are a number of great speakers (including myself) and 20 pretty exciting workshops.

Warm weather, a stunning location, great speakers and interesting workshops make for the perfect photography weekend.

Camera Obscura Magazine, Romania
Monolith No. 3

(Monolith No. 3, Oregon Coast)

I am part Romanian and so I was very happy to hear that my portfolio "The Ghosts of Auschwitz and Birkenau" will be featured in an upcoming issue of the the Romanian photography publication "Camera Obscura."

Camera Obscura is a monthly publication and its objective is to promote great photography and to portray "pictures that tell a story" with minimal accompanying descriptive text. It's a beautiful publication and I'm very happy to be featured in it.

Monolith Folio
Monolith No. 4

(Monolith No. 4, Oregon Coast)

The images in this newsletter are from my portfolio entitled "Monoliths." I created these images in Bandon, Oregon this last summer and it's a part of the larger "Oregon" portfolio.

For a limited time I am offering the Monolith Portfolio in a folio of eight images (view here).

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.

Monolith No. 5

(Monolith No. 5, Oregon Coast)

  • My Blog is up and running at
  • I've been asked to jury the 2009 IMAGE Photography Exhibit at the West Nebraska Arts Center. The exhibition will be opening on Friday June 5th.
  • The article in PDN "Selling Your Work Online" has generated a great deal of interest from photographers who would like to bypass the traditional gallery system. You can read and listen to an online version of the article here.
  • Two of my creations are being shown at the "Imagine" Photography Exhibition, Deborah Martin Gallery, Los Angeles, California. Juried by Susan Burnstine.
  • I'll be speaking and conducting a workshop on black and white at the Moab Photography Symposium from April 30th through May 3rd. Read More.
  • "Hug Me Mum, a rock band from Poland, is recording their first album and have asked to use my image "Old Car Interior" for their cover. Listen to their music.
  • My portfolio "Ceiling Lamps" is currently showing at Sideshow in Dolores, CO. If you're in the Durango area, please stop by.
  • "Ceiling Lamps" will also be exhibited at The CACHE Gallery in Fort Collins during the month of May, and opening on First Friday, May 1st.
  • On Thursday April 16th, I'll be conducting a short seminar on "Submitting Your Work for Exhibition and Review" at The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins. Promoting yourself can be a daunting task, I can help clarify and simplify the process. Read More.

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