My photo treasures: Cole Thompson

I have discovered the much acclaimed photography of Cole Thompson a while ago and have been following his blog ever since. Cole Thompson is a sophisticated black and white fine art photographer and a master of long exposure photography. For example, have a look at the impressive captures of The Ghosts of Auschwitz-Birkenau: Regular visitors at this memorial of horror have been turned into ghosts by long exposure times. The photographs are also presented in a YouTube clip and Cole Thomson tells the story of this portfolio in writing here (you have to scroll down quite a bit). If you like such beautiful but also reflective and weighty photographs you may also want to look at the Portrait of Breast Cancer. 
However, most of Cole Thomson's photographs do not include humans and feature visions and compositions from man-made or natural environments. A wonderful example is the symmetry and unexpected beauty of ceiling lamps when looking at them straight up. I also particularly like the Dunes of Nude and Harbinger portfolios and last but not least the Fountainhead album, which is an ingenious collection of photographs of distorted reflections of sky scrapers on ferrotype plates.  The procedure is explained in an interesting interview of Cole Thompson that is worth being read. The name of the portfolio is borrowed from the novel The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, which apparently was an influential book for Cole Thompson and similarly so for myself. 
Photograph © Cole Thompson. The Fountainhead No. 4 - Minneapolis, MN - 2010.
 
In general, I like the careful and thoughtful composition and development as well as  the diversity of themes in the photography of Cole Thompson. It is a perfect example for the value of themes or series! By looking at these portfolios (many photographs can also be enjoyed on YouTube) and while thinking about what to write I have come to the conclusion that collections of photographs with a coherent theme add authenticity to the photographer and her or his vision. In addition, the photography of Cole Thompson may appear so authentic because it is a work of passion - Cole Thompson purposefully decided not to pursue a career in photography but to photograph out of love, meaning as an amateur. Last but not least and on a personal note, I can very well relate to the writing and "photosophy" (maybe even philosophy) of Cole Thompson, which is of course not necessary in order to appreciate a photograph but nevertheless worthy of mentioning (you can learn more about Cole Thompson in further interviews here, here or here). 

I hope you enjoy!

Florian.

2012/08/08 by Florian Freimoser
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