cole thompson photography
Issue 116 - November 25, 2020
Monolith No. 66
My Friend!

Now I realize that not everyone reading this newsletter celebrates Thanksgiving Day as we do in the United States, but any day is a good day to be grateful and to give thanks.

It's been a hard year, the hardest I can remember in my 66 years. And in recent months it's been easy to recount our many problems, sometimes forgetting that there's still plenty to be thankful for.

I'm grateful that the virus has caused me to slow down. I'm grateful that it has allowed me to spend so much time with my grandsons as I help them learn remotely. I'm thankful for you and my many photographer friends who have stayed in touch with me during this time of isolation. And most of all I am thankful for my wife, my five children and their spouses and partners.

I heard this quote recently and it really resonated with me:

Counting our blessings is far better than recounting our problems.

Russell M. Nelson

I have much to be thankful for and I hope you do also.


In this issue:

  • My Favorite 15 Images on Sale

  • Three New Audio Recordings for "The Story Behind the Image"

  • Permission...

  • Animals

  • Video and Audio Interview

  • Where You Can See/Zoom me next

  • Print Drawing
My Favorite 15 Images on Sale
The Angel Gabriel
Picking my 15 favorite images is hard! And the images I choose today will not be the same ones I'd choose next month. But here they are, my 15 favorites as of today.

Through the end of the year these prints (8 X 12 image, print only) will be on sale for $115 which includes shipping.

Just email me with your choice and I'll work to get these to you in plenty of time for Christmas, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, Three Kings Day, Kwanzaa, Yule, Omisoka, St Lucia Day, Saturnalia, Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe or Festivus (for the rest of us).
Old Car Interior
Swimming Towards the Light
Harbinger No. 1
Melting Giants No. 22
Auschwitz No. 14
Lone Man No. 20
Tongariki No. 6
Jim Bridger Power Plant
Diminishing Hills
They Walk Among Us
Powerlines No. 10
Death Valley Dunes No. 2
Trees From a Train No. 86
Ancient Stones No. 12
Three New Audio Recordings for
"The Story Behind the Image"
Nipper the RCA Victor Dog

I've added three new audio recordings to "The Story Behind the Image."
Genetically Identical
I've been doing a lot of Zoom presentations to Camera Clubs and recently I've been getting feedback that I've never heard before...and it really surprised me:

Thank you for giving me permission to create what I love

Thank you for giving me permission to ignore the rules

Thank you for giving me permission to listen to myself

My first reaction was horror! Who am I to give anyone permission? I worried that I had presumed too much and crossed a line in my presentation.

My second reaction was bewilderment. Why do people think they need permission to do what they want?

My third reaction was sadness. It seems that the message so many people come away with after taking a photo class or joining a camera clubs is: here are the rules that you must follow to create good images.

And then they hear my message:

Don't follow the rules

Create what you love

Don't listen to other's advice

And their reaction is often relief and excitement. Relief that they don't have to follow the rules and excitement that they can follow their own instincts and create for the pure joy of creating.

But of course following this path comes with a price: others may not like your work, they may even be critical of it and you probably will not please judges or reviewers who believe in following rules.

But what would you rather do? Follow their advice and create images that they love but you don't...or follow your own heart and create images that you love.

If it helps, you have my permission to ignore the rules, follow your Vision and create images that you love.
Faroe Islands No. 130
Wiggles Roaring
Dark Sheep
Family Portrait
Ingrid Surrounded
Two Sheep
The Mountain Goat
Mountain Goat
Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep
La Jolla Birds and Cliffs No. 5
White Sea Lion and Gull
Two Sea Lions
Video and Audio Interview
Where You Can See/Zoom Me Next
Lone Man No. 35

Here's where I'll be Zooming!

  • 12/9/2020 I'll be presenting to the Olde Town Photographic Society in Arvada, CO. This was just cancelled as a live presentation and we are hoping to keep the date as a Zoom.

  • 1/20/2021 - 1/24/2021 A workshop with "Out of Chicago" in Death Valley. When the date gets closer, contact Out of Chicago here: Due to Covid, attendance is much lower than expected and they have asked if some instructors would voluntarily drop out, and so I will not be participating this year.

  • 4/1/2021 Speaking at the Essex Photo Club in Caldwell, NJ. "Why Black and White" (and why Vision is the only thing that matters)

Often people ask if they can "attend" one of these Zoom presentations. Because I am only a guest at these events, I don't have the authority to say yes or no. A few of these events do charge an attendance fee, but from my experience most do not and are willing to let outsiders attend.

If you know of a group that would like to have me speak, please have them email me at:

Print Drawing
Rushing Waters

The winner of my last drawing is Zoltan Puskas who will be receiving a print of "Four Silos."

Congratulations Zoltan! Please contact me and arrange for your print to be delivered.
For this month's print drawing, I'll be giving away "Rushing Waters" (above).

To enter: send an email to and put "Rushing Waters" in the subject line.

Thanks for entering!