Cole Thompson Photography

 Issue 57     

August 1, 2013   


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Ancient Stones

The Story Behind the Image



Dear Cole,

Recently I was asked "what is fine art?" and I responded "who cares!"

All I need to know is: Do I like the piece and would I hang it in my home?

~ ~ ~

I also was asked what advice I would give to someone who wanted to pursue "fine art."

I'd ask them why they wanted to get into fine art and if the answer was "to make money," I'd have a good long laugh and wish them well. 

~ ~ ~

We like to say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so why do we then try to describe it and put into words what it means?  

How can a few paltry words do better than the image that is worth a thousand?

~ ~ ~

I find that most things in life, including art, are much simpler than we make them out to be.  




P.S.  Here's a fun video called "Mariachi Connecticut Serenades a Beluga Whale."

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Ancient Stones


Ancient Stones 16 Composite


I started the series "Ancient Stones" two years ago while travelling through Joshua Tree, which is best known for its prolific Joshua Trees (Yucca brevifolia) and large boulder structures that were created 100 million years ago.  


I have always been fascinated by formations such as these and imagine them as conscious, benign beings that stand watch over the land. In my mind I see them observing mankind as they scurry about, full of self-importance and engaged in transitory activities.  


They sit, they watch and they smile.


Ancient Stones No 1


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Ancient Stones No 2


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Ancient Stones No 3


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Ancient Stones No 4


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Ancient Stones No 6


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Ancient Stones No 7


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Ancient Stones No. 8


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Ancient Stones No 9


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Ancient Stones No 10


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Ancient Stones No 12


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Ancient Stones No. 13


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Ancient Stones No. 14


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Ancient Stones No. 15


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Ancient Stones No. 16


Ancient Stones No. 16





Balance - The Story Behind the Image



Balance - Split, Croatia


Normally it takes me just minutes to create an image, or perhaps a bit longer if I need to wait for the right conditions. I have a short attention span and if things don't fall together quickly, I generally lose interest and move on.


However, the image above broke all records and really tested my patience because it took me six hours just to get the shot.


I was walking along one of the popular swimming beaches in Split, Croatia when I saw this scene. Beyond the reach of most swimmers were eight pilings, centered in the bay and protruding just above the surface of the water.  I took a few shots and moved on.


The next day I came back and found a better vantage point and set up for another shot. Because I had already photographed the scene and knew what I wanted, I expected to be there for only a few minutes. But just as I was getting ready to click the shutter, a boy swam out to the pilings and sat on them. I thought he'd leave soon and so I waited.


And I waited and waited and waited. I'm not sure what this kid was doing, but I could see him talking and waving his arms in a full-blown conversation with himself.


Boy on Piling 

Soon an hour had passed and this kid was still talking! I was starting to get impatient and attempted to do a remote Vulcan mind meld, willing him to leave. 


Boy Standing on Piling 

It must have worked because he then slipped into the water. I'm getting all set to make the exposure because I think he's leaving...but no, he's gotten back onto the pilings and has continued his conversation.


At this point I've got two hours invested into this shot and nothing to show for it, and this kid is still yakking away! I think about leaving, but stay and hope that he'll run out of things to talk about. 


Now three hours have passed and this kid is still out there! In my head I'm screaming "GET OFF THE PILINGS" as he continues to talk to himself.


Finally after about four hours he swims away. Now I can get continue!


Two Boys on Pilings 

But no, two new people swim out to the pilings. I tell myself that this last kid was an anomaly and that these two will not stay for very long.


Oh, but I be wrong! One hour later and those two are still out there and I can't believe this. What should I do, leave and cut my losses or protect the time I've already invested and wait? 


I decide to wait, knowing that with my luck, just as soon as I leave they would too. 


It's now been six hours since I first set up for that "quick shot." I'm hot, hungry, dehydrated and almost delusional. I'm like Humphrey Bogart's character in "The Treasure of Sierra Madre," ranting and talking to myself. 


Passer-by's are staring at me and giving me a wide berth. But there's no way that I can leave now, it's a matter of principle, I must get this shot!


Finally the two leave and I am able to create the image "Balance" after six hours of waiting.


What lesson did I learn from those six hours?  Wear sunscreen, I really got burnt.











The winner of this month's drawing is Jon Witsell who will receive a signed print of "Exploding Wave." Jon, please contact me to arrange delivery!


The next drawing will be for a signed print of "Windsurfing" above.  


For those of you new to my newsletter drawings; simply email me at and put "Windsurfing" in the subject line.  




About Cole Thompson Photography

Dahlia Petals

Dahlia Petals




Phone:      970-218-9649





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