cole thompson photography
Issue 105 - February 15, 2019
Death Valley Dunes No. 2

In this newsletter:

  • New Images from Maui
  • An Addition to the Dahlia Series
  • New Images from Death Valley
  • Blog Post: "It's Worthless"
  • Recent Sightings
  • The Story Behind the Image - Audio
  • Print Drawing
Linda Ronstadt recently released a new album, Live in Hollywood, that was recorded almost 40 years ago. I'm a big fan of Ronstadt's music and this live recording really makes you appreciate her voice, even though the recording was made on a cassette tape. The album is spectacular!

I read a recent interview with her and was struck by this comment:

"I mean, it's nice to be acknowledged, nice for your work to be acknowledged. But it's not what you do it for. You do it for the work. And if you're doing it for prizes, you're in big trouble." 

If you'd like to to skip the newsletter and go straight to the new images, you can do so here:


New Images from Maui
Windmills on Maui No. 2

Windmills on Maui No. 3

Barely There, Waianapanapa

Barely There, Maui

Rising from the Sea No. 2

An Addition to the Dahlia Series
Flaming Dahlia
Years ago I was photographing flowers in a local greenhouse. On the ground I found a Dahlia (above), it has been deemed imperfect in some way and was discarded. I photographed it as it lay and then took it home and created a very small Dahlia series.

That was my first introduction to this flower and I fell in love with it. I then started purchasing Dahlia bulbs for my wife and we have them growing throughout our yard.

Last year during out first snow, I photographed this Dahlia in our yard (below) and added it to the series, which you can see below.

Dahlia and Snow No. 2

Dahlia and Hidden Face

Mason and the Dahlia

Mason and the Dahlia

Dahlia Petals

Dahlia and Old Hands

New Images from Death Valley
Dunes of Nude No. 235
Every winter I head to Death Valley and for the last two years I've said: "I'm done with photographing the dunes." I had so many images that I felt the project had run its course.

But each time I go, I fall in love with them all over again. There is something special about being on the dunes all alone during that last two hours of sunlight. Sometimes I'll go extra early and just lay on the sand and listen to music.

Here are some new images from Death Valley and the dunes.

Three Lone Men

Isolated No. 20

I didn't expect to find an addition to my "Isolated" series in the middle of the dunes in Death Valley! You can see the other "Isolated" images here:

Dunes of Nude No. 234

Dunes of Nude No. 233

Dunes of Nude No. 231

This is one of my favorite Dunes of Nude images from this trip.

Dunes of Nude No. 230

For some reason, on his trip I was seeing and creating a number of these types of images. These are several dunes compressed with a very long lens. But it's so abstract that even I cannot make sense of them after the fact!

Dunes of Nude No. 229

Dunes of Nude No. 228

Dunes of Nude No. 227

Dunes of Nude No. 225

Death Valley Sunset

Snow Above the Salt Flats

Blog Post: It's Worthless
Copyright Peter Lindbergh

A young artist is exhibiting his work for the first time and a well-known critic is in attendance.

The critic says to the young man: "would you like to hear my opinion of your work?"

"Yes" says the young man.

"It's worthless" the critic says.

"I know" the artist replies, "but let's hear it anyway."

Did you laugh when you read this? I did, loudly!

If you've read many of my past blog posts, you'll know that this is exactly how I feel about the opinion of "experts." Their opinion is worthless. Why?

Because no matter what they are expert in, they can never be expert in one thing: Your Vision.

And if you are being true to your Vision, then no expert's opinion can ever change your mind or change your course. You must create what you see inside of your head.

But if you have no Vision, then you are left to flounder about, not knowing which way to go and will be tempted to look to others for direction. And the problem of course, is that their advice will be based upon their Vision, their preferences and their opinions.

To be confident enough to ignore the advice and opinions of others, you must have a conviction of your direction...and that means you must have your own Vision.

I choose to create according to my Vision and to produce work that I love and am proud of. Because at the end of the day, what I think of my work is the only thing that really matters. Accolades last for only a short time, but personal satisfaction lasts forever.

Each of us possess this amazing ability to create, but we are often held back, not because we lack ability, but because we doubt ourselves. We create how we think we should create, how others have created, we create to follow the rules and we create to meet the expectation of others.

Letting go of all of that, and creating what you see and feel, is the key to unlocking your potential and producing work that you love.

Others may not understand or appreciate your work, and that's okay, it's not for them.

Recent Sightings

Exhibition of "The Ghosts of Auschwitz-Birkenau" in Yekaterinburg, Russia

The Story Behind the Image - Audio
Did you know that I have recorded a number of the stories behind my images and made them available on my website? I've added a new one telling how the "Ceiling Lamps" project came about.

You can listen to them here:

Print Drawing
Harbinger No. 22

The winner of my last drawing is Henry Heerschap who will be taking home a print of "Ancient Stones No. 12"

Congratulations Henry! Please contact me and arrange for your print to be delivered.

To enter the newsletter drawing for Harbinger No. 22 (above), send an email to and put "Harbinger No. 22" in the subject line.

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