Thursday, September 13, 2007

Gabriel's gift to everyone. . .

Even at an early age living in Rochester, NY, Cole Thompson knew he would be a photographer. Drawn to the black and white images of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, his impressive fine art images reflect that time when television, movies, and the news were all black and white. Now, at age 51, Cole lives in Laporte, CO, and continues to shoot black and white, but now it's digital RAW imaging--often aided by his Singh-Ray Vari-ND Filter.

"I love the Vari-ND," says Cole, "and I tell everyone it really has changed my photography. I use it to take long exposures during the daytime"--like his photo of Gabriel.

Cole writes, "this is the Angel Gabriel. I met him on the Newport Beach pier as he was eating french fries out of a trash can. He was homeless and hungry. I asked him if he would help me with a photograph and, in return, I would buy him lunch.

"The pier was very crowded and I wanted to take a 30-second exposure so that everyone would disappear except Gabriel. We tried a few shots and then Gabriel wanted to mess up his hair and hold his bible. This was the best image and the only people you can see besides Gabriel are those 'ghosts' who lingered long enough to register for the camera.

"Gabriel and I then went into a restaurant to share a meal; he ordered steak with mushrooms and onions and when it came he ate it with his hands. I discovered he was Romanian and so am I, so we talked about Romania. He was simple, kind and a pleasure to talk with.

"I asked Gabriel how I might contact him, in case I sold some of the photographs and wanted to share the money with him. He said I should give the money to someone who could really use it; that he had everything that he needed.

"Then the Angel Gabriel walked away, content and carrying his only two possessions: a Bible and a bed roll."

Cole says that before the Vari-ND, working quickly was not possible. "The ND filters were so dark I had to remove them to compose and focus. I could never get a dynamic shot with people in it because the preparation took too long, there was no chance to be spontaneous. Even when I am not photographing people, the convenience of the Vari-ND is invaluable. I have outfitted all of my lenses with step up rings so that I can use my Vari-ND at any time.

For more of Cole Thompson's classic style black & white photography, visit

1 comment:

Bianca said...

Love the precisious moments.....