Cole Thompson Photography

Issue 69

September 4th, 2015



New Images


The Story Behind the Image



Dear Cole,


In this newsletter:


You'll find five new images.


I tell the story behind one of my favorite Harbinger images.


I introduce my ten image folio.


And of course there's my free print drawing.






P.S. Here's a great video about helping wheelchair bound people go paragliding in "The Flying Chair" project.




New Images



Spiral Jetty- The Great Salt Lake, UT - 2015







Spires on the Columbia River - Portland, OR - 2015







Searching - The Great Salt Lake, UT - 2015






Overshadowed - Utah Desert - 2015





Power Lines - Idaho - 2015







Monolith No. 62 - Iceland


Did you know that I offer a ten image folio and that you can choose the ten images?


You can choose ten from a single portfolio such as "Harbinger" or you can choose any ten from any portfolio.


Your choice.


I print the images on 8-1/2 X 11 Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 archival paper, sign and enclose them in a simple archival folio case.


Price: $300


This is an inexpensive way to own ten of your favorite images. And the beauty of the folio is that you get to hold the prints in your hands, which is a much different experience than looking at the image on a screen or even framed on the wall. 


There is something special about holding a print and closely examining it.


To order, simply email me with the names or thumbnails of the images you're interested in.





The Story Behind the Image


Harbinger No. 22 - Easter Island - 2015



When I created my first Harbinger image in 2008, I never dreamed that there would be another. When people would ask if I was going to create a series of them my response would be: "Seriously? What are the chances that I'd stumble upon another single cloud in an interesting setting?"


But here I am in 2015 with 18 Harbingers.


This image above was created on Easter Island at Ahu Tongariki. Tongariki is the largest ahu on Easter Island and these fifteen Moai were toppled during civil wars around the 17th century and then swept inland by a tsunami in 1960. In 1993 a five year project began which restored the Moai on their ahu.


Tongariki sits on the edge of the sea and it is, in my opinion, one of the great wonders of the world. It's not just the sheer physical size that astounds, but the unanswered questions as to why they were crafted, by whom and how. But by far the greatest mystery for me is why the work suddenly stopped, tools were dropped and dozens of Moai left unfinished.


When I was on Easter Island, I had a daily routine which was dictated by the sun. In the early afternoon I'd end up at Tongariki and would sit for hours waiting for the right clouds and conditions for long exposures.


Because I was so focused on long exposures, I was not on the lookout for a Harbinger. Then one day as I sat there listening to a book on tape and waiting for conditions to change, I suddenly realized that there was this single cloud over the ahu!


Was I excited? Boy howdy! I mean, what are the chances???


There was a problem however: the cloud was so close that I had to use a very wide angle lens for the shot which severely distorted the Moai. I was able to fix this distortion in Photoshop, but unfortunately that fix caused another distorted the cloud. 


I had to find a way to fix the Moai without ruining the cloud, which I did.


Most of my Harbinger images have the cloud centered, like this one. However I do not have a rule about where the cloud should be, I just go with what feels right and centered felt right for this image.


There is something about this Harbinger image that fails to give you a sense of the tremendous size of the Moai. Maybe it's how small the Moai are in relation to the cloud or perhaps it's because there's nothing in the image that we can compare their size to.


To give a sense of their size, look for the horse in the image below:



Can you see it?

The Moai on the left is about 35 feet tall...these guys are really big!

I love the the Harbinger series and feel so lucky that I came home with this image. This series may take years and years to complete, but I now have faith that I'll come across more solitary clouds in interesting places.





Monolith No. 62 - Iceland


The winner of this month's drawing for "Wrenches" is Scott Smith. Please send me your addresses Scott, and I'll get this right off to you! 

The next drawing will be for a signed print of "Monolith No. 62" above.


For those of you new to my newsletter drawings; simply email me at and put "Monolith No. 62" in the subject line.  




About Cole Thompson Photography

Eight Trees - The Big Island, HI




Phone:      970-218-9649


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