Photograph of the Month May 2021

Tom and Cree celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photograph of the Month. For May we selected an image of a black bear created by Bruce Moore on our Yellowstone in Spring Workshop. We hope you enjoy Bruce’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to May 2021 ‘s featured photographer – Bruce Moore

Bruce and his Imperial Satellite 127 camera

The Story … 

I have been taking photos since I was ten years old. My first camera was an Imperial Satellite 127. I sold flower seeds door to door to earn points. When I had enough points I picked the Satellite camera.

I love cameras. They are like art pieces to me. I have about 50 lenses and 30 cameras in my home. I learned more about my camera on this workshop than any other I have taken. Learning to adjust exposure compensation and ISO quickly on the top of my camera helped immensely.

I also learned to try and get as low as possible when taking wildlife images. It looks like I am eye level with the black bear (photo above) even though I am 20 ft above him. The bear helped a lot. He looked right at me. That really made the picture.



May 2021 Photograph of the Month

I heard Tom clicking away next to me – his camera sounded like a Gatling gun. So I took about 18 photos of the bear and I have three that I really like.

Each camera only has so many pictures in their life. I take every click seriously. Besides, I don’t have the patience to look through 5000 photos.

EXIF Data: Nikon D800 with a 150-600mm Sigma lens

Aperture Priority mode f11, 1/640 sec, ISO 4500 Exposure Compensation -.03



Bruce’s tips for shooting wildlife photography:

Make sure you have the right lens on for the subject matter. When we were photographing the wolf on the bison kill, I noticed that several people in the crowd had the wrong lens. One person was using a 100 mm lens and they would have to crop too much to be able to see the animal.

I had just bought a 150-600 Sigma lens for the trip. It was worth it for the wolf shot alone. When I returned home, I went right out and got the teleconverter to go with it.

On the Madison River in Yellowstone



About Yellowstone National Park

I signed up for Tom and Cree’s Yellowstone in Spring Workshop because I had never been to Yellowstone before. I learned it is very spread out.

It is an amazing place. You can be an amateur and take really phenomenal photographs in Yellowstone with just a little bit of knowledge…..and the help of really good guides who know where to put you.



Bison calving season is in May in YNP

On Bruce’s Horizon

Grand Teton National Park in September – in search of grizzly bears and moose



Bruce on the boardwalks with one of his cameras

Tom and Cree are headed to Madera Canyon in Arizona for new hummingbird workshops in July – 1 space left: click here.

For a full listing of upcoming workshops, including our Easter Island Workshop in January 2022: Click Here

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Photographer of the Month – April 2021

Tom and Cree celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photograph of the Month. For April we selected an image created by Brian Kennedy on our Utah Landscapes Workshop. We hope you enjoy Brian’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to April 2021 ‘s featured photographer – Brian Kennedy

The Story … 

We were at Sunset Point and Tom was ahead of everyone. Tom pointed out how the light was hitting different formations.

The sun was peaking in and out of the clouds. A shaft of light came through and hit the formation we were looking at.

I was shooting at f11 because I knew that was a good setting for my lens. I used focus peaking to focus. I was looking at the image in the viewfinder and the histogram was perfect. The entire image was red because of focus peaking.

To edit the image I just set the white point and the black point and it looked great.

April 2021 Photograph of the month

EXIF Data: Canon mirrorless R5 with a 100-400mm lens

Aperture Priority mode f11, 1/80 sec, ISO 160 with focus peaking

About Bryce and Capitol Reef

Bryce Canyon was on my bucket list. I’ve seen pictures of it. I love sunsets and sunrises. With the red rock, how can you not want to photograph there?

Sunrise at Inspiration Point

In Capitol Reef, I was learning new features of the new mirrorless Canon R5. I was practicing focus peaking. I love focus peaking. After that section of the trip, I was a focus peaking fool.

Like the histogram, focus peaking is a tool. I have been dissapointed in the past when I get home from a landscape shoot and parts of the image were out of focus. With focus peaking I know what will be in focus and what will not.

The iconic barn at Capitol Reef National Park

Michael Iles and I approached the barn at Capitol Reef and we noticed there was no lock on the gate. We walked into the pen and got a better angle and were able to get a bit closer to the barn. I used the 24-70 (lens) with the R5.

Brian’s tips for shooting landscapes:

Tip #1: Get to the spots early.

Tip #2: Know your equipment. I did better in Bryce then in Capitol Reef because I understood my equipment better.

Petroglyphs at Capitol Reef

On Brian’s Horizon

Death Valley National Park

Acadia National Park – 4th trip there

Bucket List: Costa Rica, Alaska Brown Bears, Yellowstone in Winter, Canadian Rockies

Brian photographing on the Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef National Park

Tom and Cree are headed to Yellowstone National Park next for two May wildlife workshops. For a full listing of upcoming workshops, including our new trip to France: Click Here

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

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

November 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 November we selected Dianne Biddison’s image of a reddish Egret from our Bird Photography Class. We hope you enjoy Dianne’s images as much as we do

Congratulations to November’s photographer – Dianne Biddison

Dianne in the lavender fields of Provence, France

The Data: ISO 1250 500mm 1/1250 f f13

The Gear: Canon EOS 6D with a 150-500mm lens

The Story … 

I signed up for Tom and Cree’s online Bird Photography class, and knowing there would be assignments, I planned to take a Friday off work to go to Fort DeSoto State Park. I had been there before with a local photography group. The park has a website with a list of birds that have been seen there by season and where to find them. I also used eBird hotspots to see what birds had been seen recently.

The Reddish Egret was very interesting. There was a photographer walking 30 ft ahead of me photographing the egret. I slowed down so I wouldn’t spook the bird. When the photographer left, the Reddish Egret almost seemed disappointed that his audience was gone. I moved in closer and started taking photos of the bird and his behaviour.

The November 2020 Photo of the Month

The sun came out from the clouds just at that moment to light him up the right way. I chose to go to the North beach because I anticipated that the sun would come from the east and look best.

I used my new tripod with a new Neewer gimbal head. It was the first time I had used either. This made it very easy to move the camera. I could manipulate my movement easier as the bird changed his position.

I found that shooting 3 ft off the ground was ideal. Because the beach was uneven, I did not want to get too low.

After photographing the egret, I turned a corner and found a sandbar with 100 American White Pelicans. While other photographers were waiting for them to fly and hopefully come in closer, I started looking around. I found a pair of American Oystercatchers and photographed them.

On my way back to the car the Whimbrel appeared. The birds at the park are used to people and don’t get scared. I lowered the tripod more and it started walking towards me.

I was able to get both a profile and a straight on shot. I like them both. The straight on shot helped me identify the bird because I could see the darker eye band.


Dianne’s Whimbrel on the beach at Fort De Soto State Park


About Photographing Birds:

It’s fun! Being down here in Florida, I can usually find a bird. I like watching what they are going to do and how they interact with each other.

Bird photography is a challenge, especially getting them in flight. But it is a fun challenge!


American Oystercatcher

Tip from the Photographer

Keep looking around you when photographing birds. You never know what is watching you.

When everyone else was watching the pelicans, the oystercatchers were creeping up behind them.

Get as many shots as possible from different angles. Even if the image is blurry, it may help you identify the bird.

Dianne roaming the beaches of Tasmania with her Canon in hand

On Dianne’s Horizon

The Winter Yellowstone Workshop in January

Going back to Fort De Soto. This time I plan to go in the evening. I want to photograph Roseate Spoonbills in warm evening light.

I have plans to put in a backyard bird habitat, after I cut back some Elephant Ear Philodendrons from my pond and waterfall. This will clear the way for birds to take a bath. We have Red-Shouldered Hawks, Cardinals, blue jays and finches regularly in this area. It will be exciting to see what other birds are around here, too.


Our next online Bird Photography class starts this Monday. Learn more about our upcoming classes, including Power Workflow, Advanced Landscape and PhotoShop 1 Click Here

You are also invited to join us for an online Happy Hour on Friday Dec 4 at 7 pm SMT to see a virtual gallery of images from our latest classes. Leave a comment below to receive an invite.

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.

Photographer of the Month September 2020



Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photo of the Month. For September we selected Linda Sullivan’s image from our Elk Rut Workshop
. We hope you enjoy Linda’s images as much as we do. 

Congratulations to September’s photographer – Linda Sullivan

Elk Rut Workshop September 2020

The Story … 

We were very fortunate. It was the end of the morning session and we were leaving Moraine Park. We came across these two young bulls in the Ponderosa Pines by the road. We jumped out and took advantage of the opportunity to get close to the pair practicing for when they become more serious as adults.

They were out there sparring for an hour. The challenge was trying to set the shot up. The best shot was when they moved into a small clearing. I wanted to get both of their eyes open while they were locked in battle.

The September 2020 Photo of the Month

I was glad that I learned to shoot in manual with auto ISO on the workshop. It made it really easy to shoot wildlife. Using auto ISO allowed me to focus on just the shutter speed. This made me more confident in working in manual mode.

We photographed handheld to be able to move quickly to get action shots with the best composition and the least amount of distractions. I was very pleasantly surprised to see two young bulls fighting for such a long time right in front of us. It was quite an opportunity!


The Data: .

ISO 2800 220mm 1/1000 f 5.6 in manual mode with auto ISO

The Gear: Nikon D850 with a 80-400mm lens

A large bull elk bugles in Moraine Park – by Linda Sullivan

About Photographing the Elk Rut in Rocky Mountain National Park:

It was a magical experience for me. I spent time not only photographing the elk and their behavior. I also just listened to the bugling sounds and the dance of the rut.

All the animal behaviour we experienced during the weekend was so special. It makes me want to go back year after year.

By Linda Sulivan

Tip from the Photographer … 

I really appreciated learning about elk behaviour from all the information that was sent before the workshop. You want to be able to anticipate what they are going to do.

We learned how the elk would move to round up the females in their harem. We knew when the bull would bugle. It made it easier to anticipate when to be ready to photograph. We waited for the right moment, instead of just shooting away at everything.

Linda at the Route 66 Diner Photo Shoot in 2019

On Linda’s Horizon

Galapagos & Costa Rica

Want to join us for the last Colorado Getaway? We have a few open spots and will be photographing the end of the elk rut in Rocky Mountain National Park and hoping for clear enough skies to shoot the galaxy at night. Click Here for more info

Photo of the Month – August 2020



Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photo of the Month. For August we selected Lynn Satterfield’s image from our online Texture Overlay class
. We hope you enjoy Lynn’s images as much as we do. 

Congratulations to August’s photographer – Lynn Satterfield

Lynn at the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina

The Story … 

The wagon was at the estancia where we stayed in Patagonia. It was at sunset and the light came in really nice on the wagon. I took the photo handheld. It was a pretty good photo before I did anything with texture layers.

I asked myself can I make it look rustic, like it was old and wearing down. This concept just seemed to go with the wagon.

The August 2020 Photo of the Month

To create the texture image for the overlay, I just went into the kitchen and pulled all the pans out to see what I had. I used the Nikon Z6 to photograph it because it’s so light. I turned the pan right side up first. Then I turned it over and the back side was even better.

I cropped the texture layer a bit because the edge didn’t add anything to it. I put a bit of gold color in it to warm the image up. I added texture and clarity as well. That was about it, really.

Lynn’s texture layer created by photographing the back of a baking pan with her Nikon Z6

The Data: .

ISO 400 35mm 1/125 f 16

The Gear: Nikon D500 for background, Nikon Z6 for texture


About Texture Overlays:

Doing texture layers helped me understand layers and blending modes in PhotoShop. With the layer masks, it just seemed to click that you could use them to bring out parts of the texture and hide the texture in other parts.

Texture layers give you a feeling of creating and being an artist. Taking a photo anyone can do. This technique makes the image your own vision.

A goose texture overlay image from Lynn Satterfield
The golden pond texture Lynn chose for her goose image

Tip from the Photographer … 

Don’t be intimidated by layers. Experiment. Put different textures on and see what they look like. the wagon texture was about 46% opacity. I used the lighten blend mode after going through all of them.

Lynn experimenting with a second texture on the Patagonian wagon

On Lynn’s Horizon

Bears and Glaciers Workshop and Australia/Tasmania Workshop in 2021

She also wants to work more with speedlights and editing in PhotoShop.


Lynn in action in the bird blinds at Laguna Seca Ranch in South Texas

The Patagonian wagon image was taken on a workshop with American Nature Photography Workshops Click here to learn more

There is another Texture Overlay class starting at the end of October. To see a schedule of online classes with Tom Bol Photo Workshops Click Here

June Photo of the Month


Tom and I want to celebrate the great images being created by photographers each month. For June we selected an image from our new online workshop Creative Camera Craft
We hope you enjoy Stuart’s images as much as we do. 

Congratulations to June’s photographer – Stuart Litoff

Stuart in urban Tokyo

The Story:

The assignment was to capture motion.

I live in Washington DC and it’s summertime. The thought of going out in the hot and humid weather wasn’t very appealing so I started thinking about what I could do in my apartment.

I was looking for something manageable from the technical aspects of shooting. I asked myself, “What do I do a lot of? Sitting at my desk and typing on a keyboard. That’s how the idea came to me.

What would I need for the shoot? A tripod. I needed the keyboard to be rock solid and my hand’s needed to be free. I focused on the keyboard and framed it the way I liked it. And then, I used a remote with a ten second delay to take the picture.

I experimented both with being in front and behind the tripod. I found being behind the tripod and reaching around it worked better. The angle of where the camera was worked better.

Next, I experimented with the shutter speeds – I was trying to see how much blur looked good. The shutter speed I chose was faster than I thought it would be. It was just .8 seconds.

I realized it was important to keep my hands apart and not use the middle keys. I learned this by reviewing the first set of images in the l.c.d.

Once I had it I did minimal post processing – even though I do love to move those sliders!

I knew it was a successful image for the assignment. I wouldn’t have thought to take it on my own. That’s one of the fun things about taking a class. I transferred the idea into something that looked clever. It wasn’t a blazing sunset, but I do like it.


Stuart Litoff’s Photo of the Month

The Data: .8 sec, f4, ISO 200

The Gear: Fuji X-T2 with a 16-55mm lens


About Learning Photography Online:

Taking classes online is very stimulating. They have me looking around the apartment and out the window for things to photograph.


Tip from the Photographer: 

The pandemic is dominating everyone’s lives, including photographers. Up until the pandemic, I took 90% of my pictures on workshops. I live in Washington DC. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but I just don’t go out and photograph it much.

The class I took was perfect for me. My advice is to look around where you live. Follow the light for interesting photographs. If the photographs don’t come on their own, take an online class.


On Stuart’s Horizon

I keep thinking there will be a photo travel trip in the near future…..but I don’t see it. I will apply what I learned in class around here and see what new courses come up.


Stuart in the Redwoods

For more information on Online Classes with TBPW Click Here

May Photo of the Month


Tom and I want to celebrate the great images being created by photographers each month. For May we selected an image from our new Online Macro Workshop. We hope you enjoy Diane’s images as much as we do. 

Congratulations to May’s photographer – Diane Lowry

Diane Lowry on Zoom with Cree

The Story:

I was trying to replicate Tom’s water droplets on a dandelion seed. It was harder than you might think!

I had a syringe and wanted to put a drop of glycerine on the seed. I would try to drop precisely and it would roll to the other side. It was not going as I had hoped.

I was staring at the drop while I was holding my syringe horizontally. I am a physician’s assistant and syringes are normal for me. The drops were falling off the syringe and I noticed that I could see the background flower in the drops. This didn’t tell the right story.

I decided to put the American flag back up. That to me tells the story. I hope that people will make up their own story about the image.

Diane Lowry’s Photo of the Month

The Data: .5 sec, f/7.1, 200 mm, ISO 200

The Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF 100mm 2.8 lens

About Macro Photography:

With macro photography there is a whole other world out there if you look. You don’t have to travel. You can go into the backyard and work with what you have.

Learning to do macro makes you a better photographer. As with all photography you have to work with light.

I like to challenge myself with lighting. For the bubble image I decided to use my studio lights. I don’t do portraits unless my family asks me to so this was a challenge for me.

Macro Photography Tip from the Photographer: 

The best thing you can do is look at other people’s work. It gives you new ideas. Go online and look at what other people are doing.

On Diane’s Horizon:

My trips to Italy and Iceland were canceled – so I hope to fit those in.

I also want to visit the Badlands either on my own or on a workshop.


For more information on Online Classes with TBPW Click Here