For Love of B&W: Cole Thompson’s Ethereal Landscapes

Editors note: I discovered Cole Thompson’s beautiful photography and website while wandering the net. Cole is a true artist whose passion for nature photography is very obvious. He does not ‘shoot for the markets’, he just shoots and his imagery is presented in a manner we often don’t see and I am sure you will agree. Many of images would in my opinion, not be as powerful in color as they are in B&W. I had to know more about him and his work so I asked him if he would tell us about himself and his photography.

I am an amateur as measured by the old definition of the word; I am self taught, I create out of love and do not use my art to earn a living. I feel extremely fortunate to create only that which inspires me, without regard to how the markets or critics will receive my work. My only measure of success is how I feel about my art.

I am often asked, why black and white? It may be because I was born into a black and white world. Television, movies and the news were all in black and white. My heroes were in black and white and even the nation was segregated into black and white. Perhaps my images are an extension of the world in which I grew up.

I cannot categorize my work since my subject matter is so varied and diverse. In addition to several traditional landscape and seascape projects, my portfolios have ranged from “The Ghosts of Auschwitz-Birkenau” in which I portray the spirits of the dead who still linger at the death camps, to a distorted architectural series entitled “The Fountainhead.” From a street portrait series entitled “Ukrainians, With Eyes Shut” to unique look at “Ceiling Lamps” which were photographed from directly below.

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Robert Rodriguez Jr. Self Publishes a Calendar and Tells Us How

For the past 5 years I have produced a yearly calendar of my landscape photography, and apart from being commercially successful, is also one of my best marketing tools. My experience has shown me a successful calendar needs three things: compelling images, a good design and layout, and a good dosage of marketing.

The first step in making a calendar of course is choosing the images. I try to select from images I’ve made during the past year or so, making sure I’m not repeating any from past calendars. I create a collection for each calendar year in Lightroom, and this makes organization and processing a breeze. Once I select the images, I make virtual copies and place them into the collection (ie. Cal 2012), this way if I crop or otherwise modify them specifically for the calendar, I am not modifying my original RAW files.

I look for images that are appropriate for each month and season, and this seems to create a natural flow and continuity to the calendar that might not exist if the images were chosen at random. Because I also include 12 inspirational quotes, I may choose an image specifically because it adds a strong visual component to a particular quote.

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How To Emphasize Action When Shooting Outdoor Adventures

Sometimes images do well in the market if they convey a sense of motion and action. As photographers we are storytellers and our images need to convey that story.

If you are into photographing action subjects like skiing, mountain biking, running, water sports, or any moving subject, you can enhance an image and story by emphasizing that movement.

There are essentially two ways to show motion: you move the camera with the subject or you move the subject while the camera is still.

You might think that freezing a moving subject in place tells a better story and it will in some cases like a skier in the air or any subject better displayed as ‘frozen’ in place.

This image works better as a frozen subject:

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Dave Showalter Tells Us How He Writes and Photographs for Wilderness Magazine

Dave Showalter is a nature photographer from Colorado who also specializes in conservation photography. His clients include: Outside, Outdoor Photographer, National Geographic Books, Backpacker, Wilderness, All Animals, Crested Butte Magazine and many more.

Dave recently had a photo essay he wrote and photographed featured in Wilderness Magazine, the journal of the Wilderness Society. His article highlights a grassroots effort to protect Noble Basin in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest from industrial-scale natural gas drilling.

As today’s nature and outdoor photographers face smaller demand for still images, the need to find other ways to market photography becomes crucial to business success. Writing is one of many ways photographers can see their images published.

Dave has been doing that for years, researching ideas and generating proposals before submitting them to editors and it has resulted in an impressive list of publishing credits. We asked Dave to tell us about this article and how he generates ideas and magazine proposals.

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