Old Car City in Spring: Trip Report

Tom and Cree are just back from their East Coast workshop in the hardwood forest of Northern Georgia. They broke out speed lights, strobes and models to make the most of the collection of old cars at Old Car City. The budding dogwoods and red buds were a much appreciated welcome to spring….

To learn more about our Old Car City Workshop, check out our trip report, click here

Looking for a trip to join in 2023?. We have a few last minute openings on trips including: Utah Landscapes Workshop, Bears at Summer Solstice and Ecuador Cloud Forest Click on the underlined links to learn more. 

Thanks for reading our posts. Happy spring wherever you are…..Tom and Cree

February 2023 Photo of the Month

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For February we chose an image from our Norway in Winter Workshop created by Ellie Burns-Brookens. Ellie is new to Tom Bol Photo Workshops and recently traveled to both Patagonia and Norway with us. We hope you enjoy Ellie’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to February 2023 ‘s featured photographer – Ellie Burns-Brookens

The Story… 

We walked through a little gate and could see this amazing color down the fjord. It was a lovely fjord with a beautiful view, but it was the color that first caught my attention.

The challenge for me was deciding what to include. What was my composition? What was my subject? The little town on the fjord caught my attention. There were so many beautiful things in the area.

I decided the color was the most interesting thing about the scene.

I had my 24-70mm on the camera to capture the entire scene. But I decided the mountains, the orange light and the sun were the real subject of the photo.

February 2023 Photo of the Month

I switched lenses in the freezing cold, which I never do, so I could zoom in more on the mountains.

Then, I noticed that there was a very large dynamic range to the scene. I asked myself, “What do I do now?”.

I decided to wait for the sun rays to peak through the clouds and then take 3 different exposures. I did this manually and shot at 0, then -1, then -2. I blended the 3 images in Lightroom. I wanted to bring the direct sunlight down and get some more definition in the brighter areas.

We saw this combination of orange and blue light several times in Norway. It almost did not look real, but that was the color it was. It was so stunning.

EXIF Data:

Canon R6 with a 70-200mm lens

ISO 100 1/800 sec f8

Aperture Mode

Shot at 138mm on a tripod

About Photographing in the Lofoten Islands

Every time I turned around it was “Oh my god!” It was so beautiful everywhere we went. There were small villages, tall mountains and stunning fjords.

I loved the snow. I really like the constant contrast of the orange, blue, read and yellow with the snow.

I think the Lofoten Islands are the most beautiful place that I’ve brought my camera to.

Ellie’s Tips for Travel Photography

Tip 1: Research in advance to figure out where to go. I often look at 500px. I like to know where other people have shot.

Tip 2: Then look for what is interesting when you get there. I look for curves, angles and leading lines.

Tip 3: Remember what your subject is. Try to tell a story with an image.

On Ellie’s Horizon:

Lake District in England – big rolling landscapes

Highlands in Scotland – old castle ruins

Faroe Islands – quirky cousin of Iceland

Ellie composing her image in Norway

Last minute openings on 2023 workshops:

Louisiana Birds and Bayous, May 10-14, 2023 – 2 spaces available. Photograph wading birds in the beautiful cypress swamps of Cajun Country in Louisiana Click here

Bears at Lake Clark, June 18-23 – 1 space available. Photograph grizzly bears with cubs in Alaska Click here

Ecuador Cloud Forest July 30-August 7, 2023 – 1 space available. Photograph exotic hummingbirds with long tails and beaks, toucans, barbets and more: Click here

Where are Tom and Cree?

Next stop: We are headed to Alaska next for an assignment with the Matanuska-Susitna Visitor’s Bureau. We’ll be photographing the Iditarod start in Willow, snow machining, skiing, snow shoeing. If we are lucky, we will find some aurora at night as well.

We hope you are enjoying the winter photography in your area of the world. Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree


Trip Report: Winter in Norway

Tom and Cree just finished a spectacular workshop in the Lofoten Islands in Norway. Norway is known for terrific aurora photography with warmer temperatures than in Alaska. Because of all the open water in the winter, it is possible to photograph the northern lights reflected in the fjords. After weeks of blustery weather, our group won the weather jackpot….

To learn more about our Photography Workshop in the Lofoten Islands of Norway, check out our trip report, click here

Looking for a warmer destination in January 2024. We have three spaces available on our Oaxaca: the Colors of Mexico Workshop. We will be photographing vibrant art, food, people and more with Marcelo along to show us the sites. Read more

Thanks for reading our posts. Happy photographing from our family to yours…..Tom and Cree

January Photo of the Month

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For January we chose an image from our Easter Island Workshop created by Keith Eisele. Keith is a fan of using artificial lights and jumped right in with a speed light when he saw our Rapa Nui dancers. We hope you enjoy Keith’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to January 2023 ‘s featured photographer – Keith Eisele

Keith using his Z9 in Easter Island

The Story… 

The light was rapidly decreasing as the sun was going down. To me that meant it was the perfect time to use a speed light.

There was just enough ambient light to pick up the statues in the background. With a native dancer in traditional attire, I really wanted to show the Moai statues in the background.

I took a couple of test shots to make sure the light wasn’t too hot. I was pleased that the shadows from the feathers on his hand showed up on his body.

I wanted to make sure the horizon line did not cross any major parts of the body like his head or hands. This would create too much of a distraction. I ended up down on the ground sitting on my derriere to get the horizon line where I wanted it.

January 2023 Photo of the Month

It was tough to get separation between the dancer and the statues. He moved a lot while posing and then would freeze for just a few seconds. The feathers often merged with the statue and I really wanted to get clean separation in the image.

I really liked this image because of the lean of his body. His leg creates a strong leading line in the image.

It felt to me that the dancers really knew what they were doing. I noticed that they never touched, even though they had very good rapport. The male was very patient and willing to look at us. There were not at all self-conscious. It made them very easy to photograph.

EXIF Data:

Nikon Z9 with a 24-70mm lens

ISO 200 1/60sec f5.6

Manual Mode

Shot at 27mm

About Photographing on Easter Island

I really enjoyed it.

I also found it somewhat challenging. Because of all the clouds moving around, the light changed very quickly. I had to be on top of my settings all of the time.

Overall, I really enjoyed the trip. Of course you expect to shoot statues on Easter Island. I also really enjoyed the hike through the quarry where the Moai statues were excavated.

Keith’s Tips for Photographing Portraits

Tip 1: I’m still learning

When I’m shooting someone, even if it is someone I already know, I have to establish a new rapport. They may be nervous about the lights or they haven’t worked with me as a photographer before.

I set the camera down and walk over to them. I explain what I have in mind for the shot and ask them “What would you like?”

Tip 2: You can tell people where you want them to stand and how you want them to pose. I prefer to show them and demonstrate what I want.

Tip 3: After I have taken a few frames, I show them an example of what I’m getting. Sometimes I even shoot tethered. Then they can see the results as soon as I can.

On Keith’s Horizon:

Lofoten Islands in Norway – returning for Northern Lights

Faroe Islands


Ouray, Coroado

Oaxaca, Mexico

Paris, France

Keith and John – always together on a shoot

Just 5 openings left on domestic trips in 2023:

Old Car City Workshop, March 30-April 2 – 2 spaces available . Use speed lights on classic cars and models. Click here

Bears at Lake Clark, June 18-23 – 1 space available. Photograph grizzly bears with cubs in Alaska Click here

Route 66 East from Oct 25-29 – 2 spaces available . Learn about speed lights for creative effect. Click here

Where are Tom and Cree?

Next stop: Lofoten islands in Norway. We hope to find crystal clear nights with green Northern Lights reflecting of water and snowy surfaces. Bring on the cold!

We hope you are enjoying the winter photography in your area of the world. Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree


Botswana & Zimbabwe Trip Report

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are ready for the holiday season. We will be hosting our Annual Bol Holiday Gift Guide tomorrow at 5 pm on Zoom – that’s Saturday, November 26 MDT Denver time. Send us a quick note here to get the link for this free event

To learn about our recent trip to Botswana and Zimbabwe , click here

We are headed to Patagonia next week and look forward to starting off in Buenos Aires by photographing the world champion tango dancers. Always a terrific trip and Marcelo Martinez will be right by our side as we travel through Argentina and Chile.

Thanks for reading our posts. We hope to photograph with you soon!

Tom and Cree

Trip Report – Brown Bears and Glaciers

We just returned from our Lake Clark Bear Workshop and are already longing to go back next year. The spring cubs were just wonderful. Take a look at our trip report to see the photos and catch up on what Crimp’s Cub looks like this year.

To see the report, click here

Tom has been busy working on articles for Nikon in his spare time. Check out his new piece on the Pre-release Feature of the Nikon Z9. If you are an Olympus user you probably already know about it. If you are a Nikon user, this allows you to record images before you push the button and capture a burst of activity. Great read! Click here. Most of the images for the article were taken on our Texas Birds Workshops in May

Tom and I will be out of the office for several weeks in August with workshops in both the Galapagos and Greenland. We want to be able to answer all of your questions as soon as possible and will check messages whenever we have coverage.

We will be readily available and in the office from August 8-12. We are also around for the next several days (end of July) if you need anything.

Thanks for reading our posts. We hope to photograph with you soon!

Tom and Cree

Can you tell we love Alaska?

What is Coming up at TBPW

Greetings Photographers!

We hope your summer is off to a great start!

We will be returning to Alaska next week for an assignment with the Mat-Su Visitor’s Bureau (Palmer, Wasilla and Talkeetna). One of our shoots will be photographing stand up paddle boarding on a glacier pool. It sounds exciting. We are also looking forward to the annual Alaskan brewery photo shoot!

Arches and Canyonlands

New Workshops for 2024

Over the last few weeks we have been rounding out our 2024 Schedule with a few new workshop destinations. We keep adding new destinations in order to give you plenty of options, both international and domestic. We have space available on both of these:

Arches and Canyonlands Nov 3-7, 2024

Details: This is one of our favorite national parks. Tom has been leading photo workshops and doing assignments in Moab for the last 20 years. Photograph striking red rock formations on blue skies. Explore myriad arches against an iconic western landscape. Learn More

Orangutans and Volcanos in Indonesia February 13-23, 2024

Details:  Join Tom, Cree and Phillip Bartlett on a 10 day adventure to the exotic islands of Java and Borneo. These islands are  part of the country of Indonesia – we will be photographing wildlife from a riverboat, landscapes and taking travel portraits. Learn More

Orangutans in Indonesia Photo by Phillip Bartlett

Openings for 2022

Our domestic trips are all full for 2022. We have a few new openings for international trips. We have been traveling abroad since last November and are finding it easier to travel now that the testing requirement for covid has been lifted for re-entry into the US. We are happy to talk more about international travel with you if you have questions. Click on the underlined links to learn more.

Norway Lofoten Islands – September 11-18, 2022

Botswana and Zimbabwe – November 11-22, 2022

Greenland and Iceland – August 12-21, 2022,

We always love hearing from you! creetbp@gmail.com or (970) 631-9383  

Enjoy your summer!

Cree and Tom

Photo of the Month – November 2021

Tom and Cree Bol like to celebrate the great images created by their photo community by selecting a Photograph of the Month. For November we chose an image of a Sandhill Crane at the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge created by Riley Brissey . We hope you enjoy Riley’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to November 2021 ‘s featured photographer – Riley Brissey

Riley Brissey on location

The Story … 

This was day one in Bosque. That evening we had crazy clouds. The whole time we were there cranes were flying in from the left and the right. They never stopped.

Most of the people were photographing birds in flight. I felt like I should be doing the same. I kept looking at the reflections in the water and was thinking how beautiful it was. I wanted to get something in there too.

I started focusing on the water. I was sitting in the grass beside the road, looking for a cool pose or something really neat that would be worthy of putting on the wall.

This crane was a bit further away, probably 12 yards from me. I saw it walking towards the golden light of the reflected clouds and knew I needed to get ready. I was also watching several other cranes and their position. This was the one that was right where I wanted it.

I lowered my exposure to keep the red channel from blowing out. Tom had mentioned this earlier. Because it was a moving subject I kept my shutter speed relatively high for the light conditions. I always like to shoot birds at wide open apertures and I just let the auto ISO do its thing…..

November 2021 Photo of the Month

EXIF Data:

Nikon D850 with a Nikon 500mm PF lens

F5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 2000, exposure comp of -1

Manual mode with auto ISO

About photographing on at Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico

It is a very interesting place. The way the refuge managers have handled the drought is great. They adapted to the conditions this year and still kept it a beautiful place to photograph. They gave the cranes new places to feed and roost.

If you go there any other time of the year, it would not look nearly as beautiful. I came back to Washington after the sunshine in Bosque and it was cloudy and forecast to rain for the next week and a half.

Riley’s tips for photographing Sandhill Cranes:

All these things I managed to catch came down to being observant. Blink and you miss it.

On the first morning, I missed the mating dance of two cranes in good light. I was looking to the right and completely missed it.

Keep an eye out all of the time. Put the camera down and look around. There’s only so much you can see from the viewfinder.

Be really attentive and observant of the moment.

Sandhill Crane portrait in the new crane pond

On Riley’s Horizon

Lake Tekapo in New Zealand. I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan


Backpacking in Germany

Riley getting close at White Sands National Park

Ready for a bucket list photo adventure in the United States? We have a few spaces open for our Northern Light in Fairbanks Workshop. Click here for more info.

Or check out our 2023 and 2024 Workshops

Thanks for reading our posts and congratulations to Riley!

Tom and Cree


What’s Coming Up at TBPW

Greetings Photographers!

We are moving into Spring here in Colorado with a few days of light snow to keep things interesting. Here is what is happening at Tom Bol Photo Workshops in April and May….

Glory of the Snow in Fort Collins

Upcoming Online Events

Free Zoom Session with Tom and Cree

Interested in knowing more about Mirrorless Cameras? We have a free Zoom meeting coming up on Thursday, April 15 at 5 pm MDT called “Let’s Talk About Mirrorless” If you are wondering whether you should go mirrorless, this is the perfect talk for you. If you would like to receive an invite for this session, just click on the link and leave us a message here.

Online Outdoor Photography Conference

Tom will be one of 18 featured speakers at the Kelby One Outdoor Conference May 18-19, 2021 Early Bird Cost is only $149. The variety of topics is impressive: Night Star Photography, Macro Photography, Adventure Lifestyle, National Park Landscapes, Tack Sharp Editing . Click on the following link to sign up: Click Here

Update on Field Workshops

Utah Landscape Workshops

Our April Utah Landscapes Workshop is coming up next week and we are excited to be headed to Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks. We will be photographing starry landscapes at Capitol Reef. It is an International Dark Skies Area and one of the best places we know to photography the galactic core. The 2021 workshop is full but we have added another Utah Landscapes Workshop in 2023. Space is available. Learn more

Yellowstone in Spring Workshops

We have two Yellowstone Workshops coming up in May and look forward to photographing spring bears and baby bison. Both workshops are full and we have been hearing from participants on social media:

I am counting down the weeks/days now….Yellowstone 2021.” Kim Turner

Botswana and Zimbawe Workshop in 2022

There are three spaces available for this high end photography safari that we are offering though the Wild Source from Nov 11-22, 2022. Bill Given, the owner of the Wild Source is a big cat biologist and lives in Golden, Colorado. We have worked closely with him to put together the best possible photography experience in the Chobe – Okavango Delta and the Hwange National Park. We round the trip out with a visit to Victoria Falls. Learn more

Easter Island Workshop

We are all looking forward to international travel opening up soon. Chile is one of the best countries in the world right now for its rate of vaccination. It has a higher percentage of its population vaccinated than we do in the United States. We have 2 spaces available on our Chile and Easter Island Workshop on January 14-22, 2022. Head down south with us to experience the tropical paradise of Easter Island and the colorful culture and landscapes of Chile. Learn more

Presentations for Camera Clubs….

Tom will be presenting on 15 Tips for Better Photography for the St. Louis Camera Club in Missouri on May 9. Thanks to Bonnie Freeland for coordinating this!

We always love hearing from you! creetbp@gmail.com or (970) 631-9383  

Happy Spring!

Cree and Tom

What’s Coming Up

Greetings Photographers!

Brrr it’s cold! Places all over the country are seeing record temps and we have been busy photographing winter. Between backyard birds puffed up from the cold, ice crystal macros and our local eagle tree, Tom and I have been on the go. Here is what is coming up at Tom Bol Photo Workshops….

Upcoming Onine Classes – the last few!

We have posted our last three online classes in March. We are so impressed with the learning and images that have been created by you during these classes. After March we plan to be scouting new locations and offering workshops in the field.

Here is what we are offering in March:

New Class: Travel Photography  Details:  Ready to take your travel photography to the next level?  Can’t wait to hit the road this summer? Join Tom and Cree for five days of creative ideas and techniques for travel photography-all online.  After photographing over 80 countries and frequently shooting assignments for tourism bureaus and travel publications, we have some tips to help you learn new techniques. March 15-19 M-F from 10-11:30 am or 5-6:30 pm. Cost $349

Last Class: Bird Photography:  If you have traveled with us in the field before, you know that Tom and Cree have a life long fascination with birds. We have been photographing birds ever since we first picked up a camera. We want to share with you what we have learned through the years about photographing birds from the Arctic to the Antarctic and all points in between.  March 8-12 M-F from 3-4:30 Cost $349

Adobe Portfolio: Are you an Adobe Lightroom or PhotoShop user? Did you know you have a free portfolio program included in your subscription? Move beyond posting on social media and create a portfolio to share your best photos with friends and family. This class covers everything you need to know including writing an artist statement, creating galleries, setting up a contact form and choosing an overall theme. March 13 and 16 from 10-11:30 am. Cost: $249

The local eagle tree in Fort Collins, Colorado

Scouting Report

One of our favorite parts of running a workshop company is scouting our new locations. We continually offer new destinations and want to be sure that our new locations will be perfect for you. With all the interest in bird photography we will be heading to Madera Canyon in Arizona to photograph hummingbirds in the next few months. We also plan to visit the swamps of Louisiana to look for nesting herons and egrets among the cypress trees.

Last summer we scouted the Colorado high country for a wildflower workshop with jeep access to the higher alpine bowls. Look for that workshop based out of Silverton in July 2023.

Interested in whales and calving Glaciers? We plan to visit Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska to scout for an early June trip.

In the Media

Check out Tom’s recent blog for Singh Ray Filters on using their Gold N Blue filter to create dramatic winter images: click here

Are you signed up for Tom’s tri-weekly blog? He writes about everything from the warmest socks around, to customizing camera buttons. This is a great place to learn about the newest mirrorless lenses and shooting techniques.

Upcoming Events and Presentations

Join us for our Happy Hour Image Celebration on February 19 at 7:00 SMT to see the best images created in February’s Macro for Cabin Fever, PhotoShop 2 and From Lightroom to PhotoShop. classes. See our latest portfolios from our current Adobe Portfolio class. Contact Cree at creetbp@gmail.com for a Zoom link.

Tom speaks online with the Evergreen Camera Club in Colorado on 15 Tips to Improve Your Photography on Wednesday, March 10 at 7 pm.

Tom will be presenting online to the Loveland Photographic Society on 15 Tips to Improve Your Photography on Monday March 8.

We always love hearing from you! creetbp@gmail.com or (970) 631-9383  

Warm regards!

Cree and Tom

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