Photographer of the Month – March 2021

Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photographer of the Month. For March we selected a travel story created by Melissa Stanton using Adobe Spark. We hope you enjoy Melissa’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to March 2021 ‘s featured photographer – Melissa Stanton

Melissa photographing Red-crowned Cranes in Hokkaido, Japan

The Story … about Adobe Spark

I always love reading the trip reports and seeing all the images that were created. I decided to look at the software and found it was so simple to use:

Plop the images in there, write a few words and it works like magic!

I learned to code in high school and created web pages. It was nothing like Adobe Spark. It took me longer to figure out what images I wanted to use, then it took me to design the pages.

To view Melissa’s Spark on the Japan in Winter Workshop: Click here

About Japan

I loved the Japan trip. It was my first time to Asia. There were so many things we saw and did.

I really liked the look on Tom’s face every time they brought out another course of food. My favorite page from the Spark Story is the Octopus page. I can just imagine Tom’s face looking at it. We all want our photographs to evoke emotion. The emotion can be disgust. Photos can’t all be pretty flowers!

The local fish market in the town of Kushiru, Japan

On this page I loved her gold shoes. They thought I was taking a full body image and were happily waving at me. I just wanted her shoes.

The Geisha district in Kyoto. Japan

The Cat Cafe in Tokyo was intriguing. You go in and play with the cats. I have visited a Cat Cafe closer to home in Cleveland. You make an appointment, get yourself a cup of coffee and play with the cats with an eye towards adoption.

I think a wine bar would be better….a few glasses of wine and the cat is looking pretty cute.

The Cat Cafe in Tokyo caught Melissa’s eye

A Tip for using PhotoShop:

Start your Spark by adding all of the photos. I hate writing. To be able to create this and just throw in a few sentences here and there was perfect. I would rather just have the photos tell the story.

Give me a blank page and I’m just going to stare at it. When you already have photos with great backgrounds added, it is easy to write a description.


On Melissa’s Horizon

Brown in Alaska at Silver Salmon – I cannot wait!

Lofoten, Norway with those crazy Bols

Dubai with a friend to see the World Expo

Melissa in her element – Fairbanks, Alaska

If you would like to learn how to use Adobe Spark , we have a one session class this Thursday, April 1 at 5 pm for just $59. Click Here

We are excited to be headed into the field this April and May for workshops in Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Yellowstone National Parks. For a full listing of upcoming workshops: Click Here

Photographer of the Month January 2021

Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photo of the Month. For January we selected Jen Turk’s image of a frozen flower from our Macro for Cabin Fever Class. We hope you enjoy Jen’s images as much as we do

Congratulations to January 2021 ‘s featured photographer – Jen Turk

Jen on our Sedona Workshop

The Story … 

One of the class assignments was to photograph with a different kind of light. I wanted to work with ambient light for the assignment. I usually work with a Studio in a Box. For this image I didn’t want to get the Studio in a Box wet, so I moved to a different location.

Jen’s Studio in a Box set-up

To create the block of ice I used several fresh flowers from a bouquet. I put them in a Tupperware container that I use for my son’s lunches. I put the flowers in upside down and covered them with a half inch of water. After letting that first layer set in the freezer, I added another half inch of water every hour until I got the thickness I wanted.

To set up the shoot, I took the block of ice out of the freezer and suspended it between two stacks of textbooks. This allowed light to come in underneath the ice. I also put down a white kitchen towel as a lighter colored background.

The flower that caught my eye was showing through the side of the ice block. I shot it from the side by getting eye level to the flower. One of the cool things about this technique is that the image changes as the ice melts. To make the ice melt faster, I rubbed the edge of the ice with my thumb to let the details of the flower come through.

The January 2021 Photo of the Month

I did very little to this image by way of editing. With this technique, what you see is what you get. It was just what I wanted right out of camera. I love that. I love the painterly effect you get even with out a specialty lens like a Lens Baby.

Why Macro Photography:

If you really look at a macro subject, you can see so much. I think of each macro subject as it’s own entity. If I am walking around on a photography trip and something catches my eye, I move in closer. The crack in the wood, the color in a flower, the broken down cars in Jerome, Arizona. I wonder about the life of each of these things.

The flower that I photographed above was once a seed. I try to be mindful about my macro subjects. I ask, what are the different textures of what I’m looking at. What are the colors?

For me, macro photography is showing curiosity about the smaller things.

A Tip for Macro Photography:

When you find something that catches your attention, move around the object to get different perspectives. Change your camera angle. Try moving the object around. Keep doing this until you get an image that speaks to you.

Step away. Come back. Shoot it again and you may get something completely different.


Textures and colors

On Jen’s Horizon

Hawaii – to photograph textures and native plants

Ouray – to photograph fall leaves on the ground

Jen creating macros of cactus spines on our Sedona Worksho

Our next online Macro for Cabin Fever class starts on February 8. To learn more about our other upcoming classes, including Bird Photography, Speedlights and PhotoShop 2 Click Here

Check out our new class for March: Travel Photography Click Here

October 2020 Photographer of the Month

Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photo of the Month. For October we selected Kim Turner’s image of Pemaquid Lighthouse from Creative Camera Craft Class. We hope you enjoy Kim’s images as much as we do

Congratulations to October’s photographer – Kim Turner

Spring Yellowstone Workshop 2019

The Story … 

This is Pemaquid Lighthouse. We were in Maine three or four years ago. This lighthouse is photographed by everybody.It’s a great stopping point when you are photographing on the Maine coast.

We were up by the buildings and a woman said to me, “Go down there, there is a great reflection.” I said “Thank you,” but I don’t usually listen to people. I don’t like to be told what to take photos of. But this sounded like it was worth listening to.

The October 2020 Photo of the Month

I was so happy I listened to her. After walking down the hill, I turned around and there it was. I took numerous images and was so happy with the result I made both a color print and a black and white print for an art show.

After cropping the image in your online class (Creative Camera Craft) I want to throw both prints away. The cropped version is so much better.

I learned about the Fibonacci crop overlay in PhotoShop 1. For this image I tried all the crop overlays for this image. At first I wasn’t comfortable making the crop with the overlay because it cut off a lot of details that I thought were vital to the shot, like a red outbuilding and a tree. Once I cropped it, the people in the scene bothered me, so I used PhotoShop to erase them too.

In the final image with the Fibonacci crop, the lines in the rock were so much more distinct. That, to me, is what the image is about. Not the lighthouse, the line in the rocks.


The Data: .

ISO 200 24mm 1/100 f 7.1 in manual mode

The Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a 24-105mm f4L

Kim converted this image to black and white for an online class assignment

About learning photography online:

It has changed my world! We are working so much on software and editing. I have stayed away from PhotoShop in the past. It was so intimidating for me. Now I cannot wait to find a reason to open an image in PhotoShop.

The video recordings are really helpful. I watch them over and over and pick up something new every time.

Kim Turner took this using her infrared camera

Tip from the Photographer

Try different things when you are cropping. You can always undo it. I usually go through all the crop overlays and end up using the Fibonacci crop.

Kim getting excited about photography at Old Car City in Georgia

On Kim’s Horizon

All I do right now is ride my bike and take pictures. I am really excited about upcoming workshops:

Route 66 East Workshop – I am excited about trying motion blur and multiple exposure on this one.

If you would like to learn more about our online classes like Bird Photography, PhotoShop 1 and 2, Advanced Landscapes Click Here or join us for an online Happy Hour on Friday Nov 6 at 6:45 SMT to see a virtual gallery of images from our latest classes. Leave a comment below to receive an invite.

What’s Happening at Tom Bol Photo Workshops

Greetings Photographers!

Tom and I have been busy taking photographs here in Colorado. It is the height of wildflower season and we have been getting up at 3:30 in the morning to drive to the high country for sunrise shooting. This morning we took the cover photo in Rocky Mountain National Park at Bear Lake – only 90 minutes from where we live.

Colorado Getaways

International travel is at a stand still right now and we have postponed many of this year’s foreign trips until 2021 and 2022. This has created a few opportunities for us to add new trips to our workshop schedule.

Since we live in such a stunning place, we thought we would offer workshops close to our home and call these “Colorado Getaways”. We want to provide a few, new short trips with less people so that it is easier to keep our distance while in the field. Our first is scheduled for September 20-23 in Rocky Mountain National Park and will only have 6 participants. We will be there in time for the peak of the elk rut and fall landscapes. Our first session filled in a day, so we added a second with space still available. Here is a link to the web page – Click here

We will offer other Colorado Getaways in the fall where the focus will be landscape and night skies – capturing the Milky Way in beautiful places. We also plan to add a wildflower workshop in Colorado’s high country. After teaching 5 sessions of macro photography online, we think this will be a popular workshop!

Alpine sunflowers in Rocky Mountain National Park

Online Classes

These have been a real success for us in the last 3 months. Our class participants say they are happy to be learning new editing techniques and trying new things with their cameras. It is not too late to get involved. We have six different online classes that we teach via Zoom now. The next set of classes starts on Monday, July 20. Our goal is to teach topics that we usually don’t have the time for on our workshops. Click on the title of the class to learn more:

All About Lightroom Classic:  Most of our workshop participants use Lightroom for editing. Now is the perfect time to learn about new features like range masks, work on your file organization and even jump in as a beginner. July 20-24 M-F Cost $329

Creative Camera Craft:  Feeling like your creativity is in a rut? Each day in this class we offer different topics to get you trying new things with your photography. Have you ever composed an image using the Fibonacci spiral? Can you use multiple exposure to tell a story? Learn 10 different ways to add dimension to your photos and how to create powerful black and white images. July 20-31 MWF Cost $329

From Lightroom to PhotoShop:  Learn the basics of PhotoShop for photographers in just 5 days. We will spend 1.5 days reviewing tools to remove objects. We also cover working with layers, layer masks and changing backgrounds. July 20-24 M-F Cost $329

See all of our online classes by clicking here

Update on Workshops in the Field

Our first field-based workshop since February is just around the corner. At the end of August, Tom will lead our popular Brown Bear Safari (if all goes as planned)! This workshop is designed for 4 participants so it is an ideal choice for safe distancing. We are both looking forward to teaching in person again. This workshop is SOLD OUT.

Our Badlands Workshop was postponed until September 9-13, 2020 and is scheduled to go as planned. There is only one space available – Read more

Other trips this fall include Old Car City (one space left – Read more), Route 66 West (SOLD OUT) and Bosque del Apache (SOLD OUT)


Finally we want you all to know how much we appreciate you. Your patience with workshop postponements and your willingness to try our online classes has been tremendous. We feel very lucky to have your support!

If you are signed up for a workshop and have any questions about it’s status, please get in touch…..we always enjoy hearing from you: creetbp@gmail.com or (907) 631-9383  

Warm regards to all of you!

Cree and Tom

Online Services

Greetings from Tom and Cree!

We are delighted to see so many of you working on your photography skills why staying home. In an effort to support you while workshops have been suspended, we are offering several new online services for photographers who want to learn at home.

We have created a web page with 2 at home options as well as several options for when travel restrictions start to lift. We have plenty of time in May and June to support your learning. Check out the new Services Webpage

Here is a sneak peak of what we are offering:

Online Custom Editing Instruction

Details: Interested in improving your Lightroom or PhotoShop skills? Learn from working pros, Tom and Cree. They will be using the images you took so everything applies to your learning. Step by step instruction on a screencast video will allow you to learn new skills and be able to save the results for future sessions and growth.

What is included:

  • Pre-session consultation to determine your interests and program preference: Lightroom, PhotoShop, On1 Presets
  • 5 video screencasts of 5 of your images – Tom or Cree will edit your photographs explaining the steps along the way
  • Follow up trouble shooting when you are working on your own images

   


Live Image review

Details: You select the images and we share live feedback with you on Skype or FaceTime. We will schedule the session and contact you in advance to find out what you are interested in learning about.

What is included:

  • Pre-session consultation to determine your interest and goals for the review
  • Private 30 minute review session to critique up to 20 images on Skype or Facetime

If either of these options interest you, give us a call at (970) 631-9383 by email at creetbp@gmail.com or send us a note on our Contact Form

Warm regards,

Cree & Tom

Patagonia 2019 Workshop