cole thompson photography

Issue 41
August 13th, 2010
Three Lamp Newsletter Header 3a

The Fountainhead
Writer Sought
Drawing Results
Tulsa, OK

Dear Cole,

It seems that the time between my newsletters keeps increasing.  It's not because I lack new work to share, but rather because I find myself spending so much time traveling and creating that there is little time left for newsletters!  Since the last newsletter I've been to Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City and Tulsa to create new images.

I always refer to my process as "creating new images" rather than "capturing photographs" or "taking pictures" because I believe that I'm "creating" something new rather than "capturing" something that already exists.  Just a slightly different perspective I know, but an important one.


In one of my recent blogs we were discussing how each of us define success.  Someone had used the word "amateur" and Keith Bond responded with this bit of instruction:

"...the very word "amateur" is derived from the Latin root meaning love. The original definition meant that to be an amateur meant that you did something simply for the love of it. Our language has since diluted the true meaning of the word to that of a hobbyist who isn't "good enough" to be "professional". I'd rather be an amateur who happens to sells some work than a professional who has lost the love/passion for the work."

I have never cared for the distinction between amateur and professional.  Do I really care about such things as I look at art?  Shouldn't the art say everything that needs to be said?


Summer is ending and fall is coming.  This reminds me of a few lines from one of my favorite movies, "Being There" with Peter Sellers.  It's a brilliant political satire where Chauncey Gardener, a simpleton named Chance who is a gardener, is mistaken for a brilliant philosopher in Washington:

President:  Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?

[Long pause]

Chance the Gardener:  As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.

The President:  In the garden?

Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.

The President: Spring and summer?

Chance the Gardener: Yes.

The President: Then fall and winter.

Chance the Gardener: Yes.

Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy.

Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!

Benjamin Rand: Hmm!

Chance the Gardener: Hmm!

The President:  Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I've heard in a very, very long time.

[Benjamin Rand applauds]

The President: I admire your good, solid sense. That's precisely what we lack on Capitol Hill.


The Butterfly Circus



The Angel Gabriel
(The Angel Gabriel - Newport Beach, CA)

One of the first rules you're taught in photography is to not center your subject and ironically I have always been drawn to the centered subject.  For years I felt bad that I didn't feel bad about breaking this rule, and others.

Finally I came to the realization that there are no experts and no rules when it comes to your art, only guidelines and opinions.

Please enjoy a sampling of my centered images below.

Harbinger No. 1
(Harbinger No. 1 - Nowhere, UT)

Foot Bridge No. 2
(Footbridge No. 2 - Tokyo, Japan)

Plate of Leaves
(Plate of Leaves - Livermore, CO)

Lone Man No 35
(Lone Man No. 35 - Guanaja, Honduras)

(Packard - Livermore, CO)


Portfolio Page

I've recently made some changes to my website and have organized my portfolios a bit differently.  If you've not visited for awhile, you will find something new.

Click here to see the Portfolio Page.

The Fountainhead

The Fountainhead No. 68, OKC
(The Fountainhead No. 68 - Oklahoma City

In the last six weeks I've visited Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City and Tulsa in my search for new Fountainhead images.  I created over twenty new images, here are four samples or you can click here to view all of The Fountainhead images.

I've also included some of my favorite quotes from the novel The Fountainhead, for which this series is named.

The Fountainhead No. 51, SLC
(The Fountainhead No. 51 - Salt Lake City)

"My dear fellow, who will let you?
That's not the point. The point is, who will stop me?"

The Fountainhead No. 65, OKC
(The Fountainhead No. 65 - Oklahoma City)

"Sometimes, he was asked to show his sketches; he extended them across a desk, feeling a contraction of shame in the muscles of his hand; it was like having the clothes torn off his body, and the shame was not, that his body was exposed, but that it was exposed to indifferent eyes."

The Fountainhead No. 41, SLC
(The Fountainhead No. 41 - Salt Lake City)

"One can't love man without hating most of the creatures who
pretend to bear his name."

Writer Sought


Hugeaux is a prolific traveler, photographer and documenter of cultures that I greatly
admire.  I have never seen anyone produce so much work out of so much love!

This fall Hugeaux and I will be collaborating on a project tentatively titled  "CONCEPTUAL Photography" and we are looking for a writer with a refreshing writing style to assist in this project. 

If you would like to be a part of this project, please contact me at

Visit my friend's website at

Poster Drawing Winner

The Corner of the Pier
(The Corner of the Pier - Crystal Beach, CA)

The winner of this month's drawing is Jenny Boone from North Carolina.  I'll be sending her a poster of "The Corner of the Pier" pictured above.

Next month's drawing will be for a signed copy of the LensWork issue that featured my portfolio "The Ghosts of Auschwitz and Birkenau."  To enter the drawing please email me with "Ghosts" in the subject line.

Exhibition in Tulsa, OK

Auschwitz No. 4
(Auschwitz No. 4 - Poland)

My work at Auschwitz and Birkenau was recently honored by Living Arts gallery in Tulsa, OK.  It is a beautiful and spacious gallery and I was warmly welcomed by an extremely informed and active arts community. 

If you're in the area, the exhibition continues through August 26th. 

About Cole Thompson Photography

Old Sarum Castle No. 4
(Old Sarum Castle - England)

Phone:      970-218-9649

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