In My Chair

Published December 6th, 2013

Portraits of friends taken in a chair at my studio.

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London i5

Published May 21st, 2013

Pics from the i5 and edited in Snapseed. Shots in and around London/Liverpool

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LA Shoot

Published May 8th, 2013

I was in Los Angeles over the weekend. Here's a mix of shots from a four hour window where we shot in Beverly Hills, PCH and Malibu. I used a variety of unorthodox techniques...a video to come!

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Mix of Pics from NYC and Dallas

Published May 1st, 2013

Mix of pics I've taken the past two weeks. All kinds of light set-ups, from simple to complicated.

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Approaching New Yorkers

Published April 19th, 2013

During the Lightenupandshoot Workshop we approached at least 50 different people over the course of two days. Here are some of my quick grabs with a Nikon 50mm 1.4 AF lens (older lens with slight chromatic aberration)

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My Attic

Published April 4th, 2013

The light pouring out the window in my attic is beautiful. It's a funky little space filled with air-conditioning ducts and insulation. But twice now I've ventured up there to do nude shots.

Shooting in dim light is tough. The auto focus blows, high ISO, and half the images aren't in focus because you're milking every ounce of slow shutter you can squeeze out. Forced to shoot with my Nikon D7000 because I couldn't find my battery for the full frame, I had some challenges. Rather than bitch and moan, I went for it like the pro that I am. No fear, confidence and ready to experiment...this is my fantasy...uhhh...shoot.

I experimented with all sorts of things to control light. I used my legs and arms as a gobo to block light. I used a reflector like a volume switch for light (simply using it as a gobo and turning until I got the right amount of light volume).

I played with my three new lenses 85mm 1.8, 35mm 2.0 and 50mm 1.4. I think the 85mm is a bit soft for my liking. ...

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Lines and Legs

Published March 17th, 2013

I play quite a bit just to get warmed up and while looking for "the shot"

I think we each have a creative eye; for some it comes more natural than others. I knew from the moment I picked up a camera that my brain muscles could see the image before I "click." I may not be the most technically proficient photographer, but I do have a vision. I get jazzed when I know I have gem, that's why I still love to shoot.

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attic nudes by michael thompson

Published March 11th, 2013

I was working at the house Monday morning, typical photographer stuff - editing, phone calls, blog writing, working with affiliate marketing, you know the drill and all of a sudden I get a random text message, "Mikey, you down for a naked shoot this afternoon?" Normally I would have ignored that message because my plate is really full at the moment and I don't have time to goof around. I got to thinking that I hadn't really shot just for myself in a long time. My reply, "Sure, what's the concept and you've got 30min of time"

Enough of the story of how it happened. Here's inspiration behind the images: I shot around the house and nothing really struck me as interesting. As I'm ready to wrap it up and not satisfied with a single image, one of the girls asked about the attic and proceeded to pull down the old wooden ladder and explore. I followed her up the rickety ladder and It was like one of those magic moments; I was instantly taken to another place. I imagined all those 70's Pla ...

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Jim's Garage

Published February 14th, 2013

Parrots, old cars, Harleys and vibrating seats.

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angela giraldo shoot - developing style

Published February 11th, 2013

In the summer of 2010 I was asked to do a shoot for a underwear designer in Medellin, Colombia. At the time I was just starting Lightenupandshoot and still in the beginning stages of my craft. It's fun to go back and look at images; sure there are tons of mistakes, but I like the raw feel of this series.

I've made notes on each image that shows my creative process and mistakes that I made at the time. I guess I shouldn't say mistake because it's the photographers vision. Let's just say certain effects that were created were unintentional and this was a pivotal moment in the development of my style today. Well, it continues to evolve on every shoot...but, here you see a style developing.

I'd also like to point out that I had the fortune of working with one of Colombia's most popular models, Angela Giraldo. Working with an experienced model allows me to push the creativity; there's less directing on my part and more focus on the vision.

Some things I would do differently n ...

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Published January 21st, 2013

I'm always up for a creative shoot when I'm not working. It gives me a chance to work on creative ideas, develop future concepts and a release from work. Yes, when I'm not shooting for clients or giving workshops I still find time to shoot for myself.

Montana and I decided to do a sunrise shoot. I basically picked out a location via google maps (without actually seeing it first hand) and we went for it. When I showed up I was thinking there would be more beach, but it was rocky and no beach. "Who cares, let's shoot the damn thing and have fun"

I was thinking I would do all natural light but it was cloudy and I couldn't get my scrim to light up the way I wanted. So, I broke out the beauty dish and ring flash. I used a 24-70mm lens (I wanted to use my 105mm but I elected to shoot wide to break out of my habit of going long).

The vibe was cool. One creepy fisherman came up and started asking questions "you shootin' a model? damn, my son is gettin' in trouble lookin' at yer mo ...

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iphone 5 Cartagena/Antioquia 2013

Published January 8th, 2013

It's been 5 months since I've traveled to Colombia. I started my journey on the Caribbean coast for two weeks before jumping on a plane for Medellin. I spent most of the time in rural areas and shooting primarily with my D700 and rolled video with the D7000.

While going through the iphone today, I ran across a few iphone shots. I had completely forgotten about these little gems. Here they are...I think it's worth noting and sharing. Never under estimate the dynamic range quality of the iphone.

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Tasajera - the fishing village

Published January 4th, 2013

Wednesday night we headed up the Caribbean coast on the way to the rainforest. We were starving and hadn't seen a place to pull over for food for miles until we reached Tasajera (a small fishing village with a large bay). The restaurant we stopped at had amazing seafood (I had a plate of what was sort of like paella...mixture of various seafood cooked in rice and Paco had a bowl of shrimp cooked in a creamy coconut sauce); Paco did get sick later that night.

While eating I noticed houses dimly lit by an almost full moon and thought it might be a nice place to shoot on the way back. We ditched an extra day of shooting in Taganga for the wild card (the fishing village of Tasajera).

Paco hired two fisherman that took us in their handmade canoe to visit several houses built over the water. We just pulled up and started shooting. Not a problem.

I envy the fisherman because there is no judgement from society; they live in the moment.

Being completely out of my element and engag ...

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jewel of carib (parte 2)

Published January 1st, 2013

More strange pics from my journey at the end of 2012-2013 shoot out along the coast of Colombia.

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the jewel of the carib

Published December 29th, 2012

street photography. I still haven't figured out what style I want to shoot on this trip. I've been knocking about and not really worrying about it. It will come...

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brandi editorial

Published December 9th, 2012

saw grass, docks, dolphins, no-see-ums, and beautiful women. i got back to my roots and did an editorial in tarpon springs, florida yesterday.

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Published October 21st, 2012

I went shooting with my friend, Jeff Medlin, in the Dallas area. We brought a model and since both of us use Paul C. Buff lights, we each brought one light. We then took turns shooting. Basically every 5 minutes we would switch. It was a mix of assist and shoot.

Be sure to become a member of to get exclusive behind the scenes from my shoots.

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shots around the world

Published October 19th, 2012

I love combining images that tell a story.

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Dallas Fuji X100 Deep Ellum

Published October 6th, 2012

I will shoot just about any damn thing. Experimenting with the X100 at night. I have discovered that I prefer to shoot in spot metering mode and then search for the correct exposure by metering on something different if the exposure isn't 100% what I want. Basically, if the scene is too bright, I'll spot meter on something a bit brighter to bring the exposure down. It's not a perfect fix, but this technique is working for me. No fiddling with dials!

The X100 does not focus that well in low light situations. But, the images that do focus come out looking nice.

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My first day with the X100, Ft. Worth, Texas

Published September 30th, 2012

I spent several hours figuring out the Fuji X100 camera and getting the images to look good "in camera." Yes, I shoot JPEG because the processor in this baby rocks! Everything you have read about the X100 is true, it's a quirky little bastard...but what relationship isn't a lot of work? Get over it. The X100 packs a lot of power in a small little's hot!

Someone told me it looks like iphonegraphy, okay...I take offense to that. But, the truth is this is nothing more than a glorified point and shoot trapped in a Leica wanna be body.

Bottom line, it's a fun camera and I'm keepin' it!

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portraits around the world

Published September 3rd, 2012

My work has taken my on countless journeys around the globe and below is a sample of portraits of people who struck me as fascinating. I shoot because I have to, without the camera I would go insane.

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Lightenupandshoot Tag Along - Colombia 2012

Published August 20th, 2012

I will be adding more shots as they are edited from the LUAS Tag Along, Summer 2012.

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los pueblos antiguos

Published August 2nd, 2012

my favorite old pueblos (450 years old and 10 hours apart by car)

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santa fe de antioquia

Published July 29th, 2012

Santa Fe de Antioquia is a 450 year old pueblo nestled in the mountains about 2 hours north of Medellin. I have been there many times and I decided to do some location hunting to gather ideas for a future shoot. Here's a sample of what went into my location folder and people I encountered while walking around.

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Published June 29th, 2012

shots taken during a creative piece while in DC, Baltimore, and Annapolis.

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JZ iphone

Published June 7th, 2012

JZ, my girlfriend, followed me around NYC and shot with her iphone.

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Cocoa Bch, Florida 1970's

Published May 23rd, 2012

I had a shoot at the pier with Jenna Z. While location hunting around the pier, I checked out the old bar/restaurant and ran across these cool pictures that look like the late 70's. These pics tell so many stories. You can see a modern day shot I did of Jenna at the end of this series.

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London - Michael Thompson during Lightenupands...

Published May 6th, 2012

I lived in London when I was 20 years old and attended a university in the heart of the city. 20 years later I return teaching a photography workshop. London has changed quite a bit since the early 90's and I can't believe I'm doing something creative with my life and l love it! These shots were all raw, all shotgun approach and on the fly.

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Bogota and Villa de Leyva

Published May 1st, 2012

B&H Photo Event May 30-31 followed Lightenupandshoot Workshop June 1-2 NYC with Michael "Mikey" Thompson (see site for sign up)

I had the opportunity to do some work in Bogota and then I spent a few days in Villa de Leyva. I really dig this place because of the history Spain and the new world. It's cool how you can visit all these museums for free (most of them). Inspired to shoot from the hip in my loosey style. Not worried about imperfections I shoot what I see. Putting this series together was an after thought. 500px inspired me with their "story." What a beautiful way to share you story of photography.

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Published April 10th, 2012

I shoot a lot of hot chicks...some of these beautiful women I met while walking down the street, others I met for the first time during a client shoot. The camera has taken me down many paths, but my passion lies in the photography process.

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Published April 10th, 2012

I have the opportunity to shoot 8 different indigenous tribes from Panama to the rainforest of the Amazon. This is one of my favorite series.

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