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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

The Ghosts Of Auschwitz

My last few posts about ethereal photographs and spirit photography bring me to a much more serious topic. Photographer Cole Thompson, who I have written about before, has recently had his newest body of work entitled "The Ghosts Of Auschwitz" published in B&W magazine. The same portfolio is also going to be featured in upcoming issues of Silvershotz and LensWork.

The recent article in B&W describes how, during his visit to the death camps, he had initially planned not to take photographs. However, "while thinking of the spirits of the people that still lingered there", he began making images. Neutral density filters allowed long exposures, turning the tourists that were visiting the camps into haunting, ghostlike blurs.

Having lost relatives in the Holocaust and having an uncle who still bears his concentration camp number tattooed on his forearm, I find Thompson's images intensely personal and moving. However, one need not have any personal experience with the event to have the images convey a sense of somber remembrance. They do so in a way that makes the memories of those that perished come alive. They are a unique interpretation of events that are otherwise exceedingly difficult to portray in a way that makes the viewer want to look, linger, and think.