cole thompson photography

 Issue 50       February 10, 2012   
Harbinger No. 15

(Harbinger No 15 - Joshua Tree - 2012) 

Dunes of Nude
Print Vs. Screen?
Charcoal Kilms
Ancient Stones
Simple Experiment

Dear Cole,

When you spend two weeks alone in the desert, you do a lot of soul searching.  You think about what's important in life and what's not.  Eventually you come to realize that much of what we worry about is ultimately insignificant; it just doesn't matter in the end.


I've added a new image to my Harbinger Series (above) which was created in Joshua Tree National Park during one of their infrequent storms.  Traditionally my Harbinger images have featured only a single cloud, but as I thought about the intent of this series I decided to include this one. 

View the Harbinger images.


As many of you know I love inspirational videos, especially ones that demonstrate the strength of the human spirit.  Here's one that really touched me about a champion bass fisherman.!


Dunes of Nude, From Death Valley

Dune Detail No 43
(Dunes of Nude No 43 - Death Valley - 2012)
Death Valley has the most wonderful sand dunes; they are large, and extensive, and beautiful.  But because the dunes are so magnificent they attract tourists who climb and play on them, unaware of how hard they make the photographer's job!  Fortunately most tourists are only willing to venture out so far, and by hiking deeper and deeper into the dune system each day, I was able to find "virgin" dunes.

I like how the dunes look just before sunset, which only gave me about 30 minutes of optimal light each day.  At lights last breath, the shadows are very long and the dunes take on new and sensuous shapes.

This image is my latest addition to the "Dunes of Nude" series which is an intimate look at sand dunes.

View the entire Dunes of Nude portfolio here

How Does A Print Compare to a Computer Screen?

Death Valley Dune Abstract
(Death Valley Dune Abstract - Death Valley - 2012)

One of the great benefits of the internet age is that our images can now be seen by millions of people from all around the world. 

And one of the unfortunate side-effects of the internet age is that now people primarily view photographic images on a computer screen and rarely see a "real" print. 

It begs the question; does it matter?  Is there a difference between seeing the image on screen versus seeing a beautifully crafted print?

My view is that there is no comparison; the print offers so much more in every respect that it's difficult to describe the difference.  It would be like reading about a kiss versus experiencing one for yourself.  The description may be accurate, but it would pale in comparison to the experience!

And so it is with a print.  A beautiful and well printed image is alive and can convey subtle detail and emotion that no computer screen can match.  To a photographer, holding a great print in your hands is an almost sacred experience!

If you're considering purchasing one of my prints but are not sure if they look as good in real life as they do on screen, I assure you they look much better.  Please email me and request a sample print before you make your decision.

Charcoal Kilns

(Charcoal Kilns - Death Valley - 2012) 

These unusual beehive-shaped Kilns were built in the 1870's by the Chinese and American Indians to make charcoal for the Death Valley silver mines.  They are tucked way back in Wildrose Canyon and it takes a bit of a drive to get there. 

See this image and all of the others from Death Valley and Joshua Tree on my New Images Page.


Struggle No 1
(Struggle No 1 - Death Valley - 2012) 

Strug-gle (struhg uh 'l)
Verb (used without object)

1. to contend with an adversary or opposing force
2. a war, fight or conflict
3. an open clash between two opposing forces

View the "Struggle" images.

Ancient Rocks - Joshua Tree

Ancient Stones No 9
(Ancient Stones No. 9 - Joshua Tree - 2012)

I've added this new "mini-series" to my website but I'm not yet sure if I'll pursue it.   When in doubt I usually let new images sit for a bit, come back and work on them, let them sit a while longer and then decide how I feel about them. 


 You can view all of the "Ancient Stones" images here 





Las Vegas "Simple" Experiment

(Las Vegas Detail No. 3 - 2012) 

While traveling to Death Valley I went through Las Vegas and thought I'd prepare for the workshop I'm conducting at The Center for Fine Art Photography.  The class is on simplifying your images and processes, and I thought I'd practice what I was about to teach. 

I went to the heart of the Strip with its millions of lights, signs, people, peddlers, trinkets and chaos, and set out to create some "Simple" images. 

Go to my New Images Page to see these and all of my images from Death Valley and Joshua Tree.



Las Vegas Detail No 1
(Las Vegas Detail No. 1 - 2012)

*  Read my LENSCRATCH interview.
*  My work was featured on ProNature Photographer

*  You can read my interview in Adore Noir magazine here.

Singh-Ray  produced a short video tutorial that features Tony Sweet, Adam Barker and myself.  It is called "In the Field with Singh-Ray Filters" and you can view it here.

*  Read about my "Ten Tips for Long Exposure Photography." 

*  Update on my two instructional DVD's: Master Photo Workshops apologizes for the delay and says they have hired additional editors to complete the project.  So we are now hearing they will be ready in the Spring.

*  Check out some of my YouTube videos, I think that adding music and effects can enhance the viewing of a portfolio.
*  I'm working on setting up a Black and White workshop that we hope will take place in Holland this upcoming May, and possibly another one in England later in the year.  Stay in touch for more news!



Struggle No. 3

(Struggle No. 3 - Las Vegas, NV - 2012)

The winner of this months drawing is Becky Chapman who will receive one of my favorite prints, "Bent Grass Against Barn." 

The next drawing is for a small signed print of your choice.  For those of you new to my newsletter drawings, all you need do is email me at and put "Print Drawing" in the subject line. 

Of course if you'd like to also say hello or make a comment, that is permitted too!

About Cole Thompson Photography
Joshua Tree Rock Detail Tryptic
(Joshua Tree Rock Detail, Tryptic - 2012)

Phone:      970-218-9649

Portfolios         About         Contact         Resume         Purchase         Links         Comments         Wallpaper         Newsletter

Cole Thompson Photography Blog