cole thompson photography
Issue 122 - February 1, 2023
Lone Man No. 62
My Friend!
In this issue:

  • Print Sale

  • Why a Print Sale?

  • Article: I don't make art to sell; do I still belong in the art world?

  • Out of Chicago LIVE!

  • New Images

  • The Story Behind the Image

  • For Sale: My Canon 5D Mk IV and four lenses

  • Print Drawing

Some of my favorite inspirational quotes:

"I am, as I am; whether hideous, or handsome,
depends upon who is made judge."

Herman Melville

"I yam what I yam, an' tha's all I yam."


"What matters most, is how you see yourself."


"Don’t bother trying to be better than your contemporaries, or
your predecessors, try to be better than yourself."

William Faulkner

"He didn't want to be great, but to be thought great by others."

Howard Roarke, from Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead"

Print Sale
Fire Damage

During the month of February, ANY of my images will be available for $125.

8X12 image on 100% cotton rag, delivered in a tube.

Shipping is included to the US and Canada, with an extra $20 for international sales.

Simply browse my website, and then email me with the images you are interested in.

Why a Print Sale?
Two Kimonos
I rarely promote sales in my newsletters, webinars or workshops, and there’s a reason why: I love creating images, but I don’t care for marketing and selling.

I feel that if someone admires my work, they‘ll approach me if they're interested in purchasing a print. I don’t need to sell them on it.

So why then, am I having a sale? For two reasons:

First, I need to fund my art. Travel and equipment has a cost, and I need a certain level of sales to fund this.

And second, I believe photography should be affordable and accessible.

Edward Weston said:

“Photography is a poor man's art and anyone who wants
an original print should be able to own one.“

A number of years ago, I was considering offering my images as limited editions. All the "experts" I spoke with suggested that limiting supply was the best way to maximize income. And while that made sense logically, there was something about this approach that didn’t feel right.

And so I solicited another opinion from someone I respect, and he asked me this question:

"Would you rather say that your prints sold for thousands of dollars
or that they were in thousands of homes?"

I immediately knew which approach I would take.

I offer my prints for sale at a price that most people can afford, and I am honored when someone hangs my art in their home.

Article: I don't make art to sell;
do I still belong in the art world?
Art Basel Miami Beach in November, 2022.
(graphic Nancy Zastudil/Hyperallergic, original photo Valentina Di Liscia)
Cole’s Note: I found this to be an interesting article about artists who create, but don’t focus on sales. it makes some interesting points.

Paddy Johnson answers your questions about art fairs, visibility, and frustrating studio visits.

I don’t make artwork to sell, and I’m starting to feel invisible. The media only covers art market stars, which is gross, but I can’t help feeling alienated. I don’t have a place at the Miami fairs, and I’m feeling down about my prospects in this industry. What can I do? — An outsider in an insider’s world.

Out of Chicago LIVE!
As you are reading this, I'm driving home from Death Valley and will immediately be jumping into Out of Chicago LIVE! on Friday 2/3.

This is a an online Zoom event and I'll be doing two sessions; one on Friday 2/3 and one on Saturday 2/4. I'll be doing one of those sessions and hosting a party with: "he who must not be named."

There will be over 50 different speakers including about 20 that I personally know and respect. When you sign up, you'll have access to all of their recorded sessions for one year, so no need to worry about missing a live session.

Here's the link to sign up:

See you there!
New Images
Powerlines No. 54
This first set of images were created during a recent trip through CO, UT, NV, AZ and NM.
Powerlines No. 53
Beauty in Death No. 9
Windmills in Nevada
Clouds No. 10
Chimney Rock Under the Sun
Powerlines No. 52
Powerlines No. 55
New Mexico Sun and Clouds
Powerlines No. 58
This next group of images are from Maui.
Haleakala Observatory 
Ho'okipa Lookout No 4
Isolated No. 28
Stand of Trees, Maui
View from Kihei
Windmills on Maui No. 6
"The Story Behind the Image"
Moai at Rano Raraku No. 2
This story is about my portfolio: The Moai at Rano Raraku.

When I was 17, I read all of the books by the great Norwegian explorer, Thor Heyerdahl. His books included Kon Tiki, The Ra Expeditions and Aku Aku.
But it was Aku Aku that really fired my imagination, and it was my lifelong dream to visit Easter Island. But it was one of those dreams that one never really expects to fulfill. After all, Easter Island is known as the most isolated inhabited place on earth.

But then 2014 my wife and I were creating our bucket list when I happened to muse out loud: I'd love to go to Easter Island...but of course that's impossible.

And my wife said: Why is that impossible?

And so off we went.
It turns out that getting to Easter Island is not really that difficult, it's just expensive and takes a long time. We flew from Denver to Toronto to Santiago to Easter Island.

And while there, I created three portfolios:

Moai Standing
The Moai at Rano Raraku
Moai, Sitting for Portrait

Rano Raraku is the quarry where the Moai were created. Cut from the volcanic rock, the Moai were slid down the hill and placed in holes so that the faces could be reached and completed.
I have no words sufficient to describe how I felt there. To see dozens of Moai, incomplete and unfinished, and never to be completed or finished.
Many writers, Thor Heyerdahl included, love to talk about the great mystery of Easter Island: how did they move these 15 ton behemoths across the island?

But I have never thought of this as the great mystery, after all, it's "simply" an engineering challenge. And many theories and experiments have been done to explore this mystery (I'm in the "Moai walking" camp).

I believe there is actually a greater mystery, and one that will never be solved: why did the Rapa Nui, seemingly in a day, stop work on the Moai and walk away? Their stone working tools were dropped at the feet of the Moai, forever to remain unfinished...and no one knows why.
I spent many days at the quarry; walking amongst the Moai, and sitting and observing them. As I did that, I could not help but let my mind wander back in time, and imagine that I could see the Rapa Nui working to create the Moai.

And then, trying to imagine what events might possibly explain the sudden interruption of their work. Why did they lay down their tools and walk away? Why didn't they continue the work later?

For me, that's the real mystery of Easter Island, and one that we will never have an answer to.
For Sale
I'm selling my Canon 5D Mk IV along with these lenses:

  • 16-35 F2.8 LII
  • 24-104 F4 LII
  • 100-400 F4.5 LII
  • 1.4X extender

I could sell this to B&H or the like, but I'd rather see someone get a good deal who will really appreciate it. And you get the benefit of knowing who owned it and how they took care of it. And you get the extra benefit of knowing many of the images this camera helped me create!

Just send me an email if you're interested in one item, several or the whole kit. Include your phone number too, please.

Print Drawing
Ancient Stones No. 31

The winner of my last print drawing is Mary O’Neill who will be receiving a print of "Grain Silo No. 93."

Congratulations Mary! Please contact me and arrange for your print to be delivered.
For this month's print drawing, I'll be giving away "Ancient Stones No. 31" (above). This is one of my favorites from the Ancient Stones” series.

To enter: send an email to and put "Ancient Stones" in the subject line.

Thanks for entering!