It seems that no matter
how old I get, I am still learning new life lessons.
In February I spent two
weeks on the dunes in Death Valley. On this trip I turned off the
camera feature that writes my images to two different memory cards.
This feature works as a backup, in case one card were to fail.
I thought because I had
never seen a card fail, it would be safe to turn off this feature.
I'm sure you can guess
what happened: the card failed and now I did not have a backup!
Fortunately I was able
to recover those images by sending the card out to a service that
specializes in such disasters. And while I am thrilled that I was
able to recover my images, it was an expensive lesson to learn...or
In this newsletter you
can see those "almost lost" images.
~ ~ ~
I arrived in Death
Valley right after the big snow storm and by the time I left, the
flower bloom was occurring. It was spectacular to see the desert come
But alas, I took no
pictures of those colorful flowers for I am but a poor black and
P.S. Here's a great
video of historic old photographs, colorized:
"Dunes of Nude" Images
I have been working on
the "Dunes of Nude" series for several years now and many
of the images were created in Death Valley at the Mesquite Flats Sand
Dunes where I've recently returned.
For some reason the
dunes seemed different to me this year...or perhaps I simply saw them
differently on this trip. It's hard for me to tell the
I have tried to put into
words how they were different, but I cannot. They just felt
So here are the
"indescribably different" new images from the Dunes of Nude
Dunes of Nude No. 171
Dunes of Nude No. 170
Dunes of Nude No. 169
Dunes of Nude No. 135
Dunes of Nude No. 168
Dunes of Nude
of Nude No. 163
Dunes of Nude No. 162
Dunes of Nude No. 154
Dunes of Nude No. 151
Dunes of Nude No. 149
Dunes of Nude No. 148
Dunes of Nude No. 145
Dunes of Nude No. 142
Dunes of Nude No. 141
Dunes of Nude No. 140
Dunes of Nude No. 139
Dunes of Nude No. 138
Dunes of Nude No. 137
Dunes of Nude No. 136
Dunes of Nude No. 134
Dunes of Nude No. 133
Dunes of Nude No. 127
Dunes of Nude No. 126
Dunes of Nude No. 125
Dunes of Nude No. 124
Dunes of Nude No. 122
Dunes of Nude No. 121
Dunes of Nude No. 120
Dunes of Nude No. 119
Dunes of Nude No. 118
Have My Correct Email Address?
As many of you know, I
recently retired from my full time job. Many say to me: I thought you
were a full time photographer, what did you do for a living?
My answer is this: I did
it for almost 40 years and I don't talk about it any more!
But one thing that I do
need to talk about is my old work email addresses. Please, discard
that and contact me at my photography email address.
The correct email
address to use is:
Images from Death Valley
Death Valley Twig No. 1
The Dune Most Traveled
Self Shadow, Barely There No. 1
Mud Art No. 1
Lone Man No. 55
Isolated No. 15
Fast Clouds on a Slow Desert
Death Valley Sand Detail No. 4
Valley Sand Detail No. 1
in Denver on Tuesday, April 26th, 2016
Moai, Sitting for Portrait
I'll be giving my
presentation "Why Black and White" to the Broomfield Photo
Club on Tuesday, April 26th at 6:30 pm.
If you're in the area,
I'd love to see you. And if you do attend and we've communicated before,
please do come up and say hello! At my last Denver presentation two
friends were in the audience and did not come up and introduce
themselves to me, and I felt bad about that.
What's the presentation
about? Well, it starts off talking about "Why Black and
White" and I think I make a compelling case that B&W is good
for any type of image or photography. But really what the
presentation is about is finding your own Vision, following your
Passion, forgetting about what others are doing and photographing
what you love.
My presentation is 1
hour and 15 minutes long and as is my tradition, three prints will be
given away at the end of the presentation.
- Who: The Broomfield Photo Club
- What: Why Black and White
- When: Tuesday, April 26, 2016
- Time: 6:30 pm
- Where: Broomfield Community Center, 280 Spader
Way, Broomfield, CO 80020
Thanks all, I do love
giving this presentation because I truly believe in the message I am
delivering! I love what I do.
Your Vision in Black and White Video
Moai, Sitting for Portrait
In case you hadn't
heard, my video tutorial "Discovering Your Vision in Black and
White" is now available. It's a two CD set: one shot while I'm
working in the field and the other at the computer showing my
very simple Photoshop techniques including dodging and burning with a
pen and tablet.
My biggest concern while
shooting was: What if I don't see any good images? I'll be
documenting myself failing!
Fortunately we found a
few including "The Road to Nowhere" above. This video will
show you how I saw it, shot it and processed it.
You can order the video
This video is an honest
representation of what I believe, how I see and the way
that I work. I sincerely hope that you will find it interesting
Sitting for Portrait featured in LensWork Magazine
My portfolio from Easter
Island: "Moai, Sitting for Portrait" was featured in the
January/February issue of LensWork.
If you'd like a signed
copy (the cost is $10) just email me at
Here is my artist
statement for the project:
Moai, Sitting for Portrait
Easter Island is a
Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, 2300 miles from
Chile's west coast and 2,500 miles east of Tahiti. In January of 2015
I spent two weeks photographing the Moai; monolithic human figures
carved by the Rapa Nui people between the years 1250 and 1500 CE. This
fulfilled a lifelong dream, one that started when I was 17 and read
the book "Aku Aku" by Thor Heyerdahl. I became fascinated
with the Moai and they have been on my mind and influenced my art for
these many years.
As I progressed the 4,700 miles from my home in Colorado to this tiny
island that is half the size of Denver, I tried to imagine what I
would encounter. During my long travels I had an unusual dream that I
had invited the Moai to come and sit for a formal portrait.
When I awoke I thought "why not?"
I knew there would be challenges: the Moai are reserved, aloof and
almost unapproachable. They had suffered greatly at the hands of
outsiders and the question was: would they come to trust
Distance was the first hurdle to be overcome: the island is small by
automobile standards, but when we are talking about the Moai who walk
everywhere, traversing the island to get to my makeshift studio could
be difficult. Then there was the Moai's physical condition: many were
incapacitated by war and the ravages of time and could not make the
journey. And how would I accommodate the size of the Moai, with some
towering 33 feet tall?
Facing these challenges and armed with nothing more than a dream and
hope, I issued the invitations and waited.
Initially only a few came; the younger and less suspicious ones. But
slowly, as word spread of their experience, others started to
arrive...alone or in company. There were touching moments as old
friends were reunited after years of separation.
Photographing the Moai
created some interesting situations: one older Moai refused to allow
me to photograph his face and turned his back on the camera. Another
arrived with a hawk and insisted on having his portrait taken with
the bird atop his head. Several Moai with bullet wounds, inflicted by
outsiders, insisted that I document those scars. And there were
tense moments, as two rival Moai came together face-to-face in the
studio, but which ended well when they agreed to be photographed
As you can see from their
expressions, the Moai are reserved, stoic and dignified. With nearly
900 Moai inhabiting Easter Island, I was honored that a number of
them accepted my invitation to sit for these portraits -
thereby fulfilling a dream that has been on my bucket list for some
The winner of this month's drawing
for "Time No. 2" is Nick Upton. Nick, please send me your
address and I'll get this print right out to you!
The next drawing will not be for a print, but for a prototype book I
am exploring (above).
For those of you new to
my newsletter drawings and would like to enter: simply email me at Cole@ColeThompsonPhotography.com and
put "Moai Book" in the subject line.
About Cole Thompson Photography