Cole Thompson Photography Newsletter

Issue 96   -   March 22, 2017



Jim Bridger Power Plant




Dear Cole: 


I was heading to Death Valley by way of Wyoming when I spotted a huge steam plume to the north of I-80. It turned out to be the Jim Bridger Power Plant.


It was a cold and sunny day and the white water vapor almost glowed against the dark blue sky. I shot three exposures. My practice is to name my image the first thing that pops into my mind and so I named this "Jim Bridger Power Plant." But what I wanted to name it was:


"No You Can't, Yes I Can." 


And here's why.


I was photographing for only a short time before a security guard drove up and said that I was not allowed to photograph the power plant. I'm used to this protective (yet ignorant) behavior and politely asked if I was on a county road or a private road, to which he responded "a county road." 


I then explained, still politely, that I was allowed to photograph the plant as long as I was not trespassing. The next exchange went like this:


"No you can't. Yes I can."


I could see that I was getting nowhere and so I asked him to call out the Sheriff to settle this dispute. I was hoping that he would be better versed in the law than the security guard, but from past experience I was giving it only a 50/50 chance. 


About 20 minutes later several men arrived and one approached, introducing himself as the plant manager. (I was feeling bad now, for disrupting his day over something like this)


He proceeded to tell me that I could not photograph the plant, and I again asked if this was a county road or a private road to which he responded "a county road." I again made it clear that I could photograph anything I wanted as long as I was not trespassing. Again the verbal dance:


"No you can't. Yes I can."


It was clear that this conversation was going about as far as the other and one so I offered to show him the images, to put his mind at rest that my activities were harmless. He accepted my offer and was quickly satisfied that there was no "clear and present danger."


We ended the encounter by him explaining his post-911 concerns and I acknowledged those as legitimate. But I said, I still have the right to photograph the power plant....and around we went again!


"No you can't. Yes I can."

And that is why I wanted to name the image 


"No you can't, Yes I can."


We ended the standoff, by agreeing to disagree.


I'm going to send him a print of this image, he was a nice guy who was just trying to ensure the safety of his power plant.






Five New Harbinger Images



Harbinger No. 29, Borax Hills



The Harbinger series has been in the works for years, the first one having been created in 2008. When I created that Harbinger, I never believed it would become a series. 

Why? Because creating a Harbinger takes a lot of luck and patience, finding a solitary cloud in a favorable location is not very easy. And so adding five new images from a single trip to Death Valley is very exciting. 

You can see the full Harbinger series here.


Harbinger No. 28, Death Valley





Harbinger No. 27, Mt Whitney






Harbinger No. 29, East of Lone Pine






Harbinger No. 29, Death Valley






Studio Tour - April 28, 29 & 30, 2017


The Mourning Dove Ranch


I would like to invite you to my home and studio for the annual Fort Collins Studio Tour. I'll be exhibiting my latest project "Melting Giants" that was created in Newfoundland in 2016.


Here are the dates and times:

Friday, April 29, 2017 from 4 - 9 pm

Saturday, April 30, 2017 from 10 - 5 pm

Sunday, April 31, 2017 from 12 - 5 pm

My address is:

4780 Totonka Trail, Laporte, CO 80535

Note: I am in a remote location, so please use a GPS! 

I realize that most of you will not be able to attend, but if you do happen to live in the area or will be visiting, I'd love to meet you.

If you have any questions, please contact me at: or 970-218-9649. 



Photographer's Forum




Photographer's Forum is using my image for the cover of the Spring 2017 issue, along with an article entitled "Cole Thompson's Vision."



Print Drawing





The winner of the last newsletter drawing for "Three Pickets" is Kevin Barry! Kevin, please send me your mailing address so that I can send the print to you.


For this issue I'm giving away a print of "Skogafoss" above. To enter the drawing, simply send me an email with "Skogafoss" in the Subject line. 


My email address is:



Cole Thompson Photography








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