Route 66 Trip Reports

We just finished two workshops on Route 66, one in New Mexico and Texas, the other in New Mexico and Arizona. These are some of our most popular workshops. People often ask about the difference between the two workshops. Which is the better route? Which do you think I would like better?

We decided to post two different trip reports to help you see the difference. Each trip follows a different stretch of Route 66. We photograph different attractions, stay in different hotels and photograph different locals.

The route from Albuquerque to Amarillo has some of the best neon on the route while the stretch from Albuquerque to Winslow has some of the best landscapes.

To see the trip report for our newest stretch from Albuquerque to Winslow, click here

Check out our trip report for our original Route 66: Albuquerque to Amarillo by clicking on this link: Trip Report Link

Interested in joining us for a workshop on Route 66? We just added an additional Route 66: Albuquerque to Winslow, AZ for October 2024, click here to learn more.

News flash: we will be adding a brand new segment, Route 66: Amarillo to Tulsa. Let us know if you would like to be on the Interest List

Thanks for reading our posts!

Warm regards,

Tom and Cree

Trip Report: Elk Photography

We hit the Colorado elk rut at prime time to photograph elk behavior. We saw males fighting, bugling and tossing vegetation on their antlers, all in hopes of attracting females. Check out our trip report by clicking on this link: Trip Report Link

With our 2022 schedule starting to fill we just added 3 new workshops including Hummingbirds in Ecuador and a Creative Portrait Lighting Workshop in Fort Collins coming up soon.

Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

What’s Coming Up at TBPW

Greetings Photographers!

Tom and I had a very busy spring and summer leading workshops and are happy to be traveling again. We will be returning to Alaska in a week for our last Brown Bear Workshop then plan to head to Minnesota with our canoe for some downtime.

Bear and Glaciers 2021

New Online Classes

After three months of wildlife workshops in Yellowstone, Alaska and Arizona, we decided to offer a few online, wildlife editing classes. These are designed to help folks refine their editing and workflow when staring down hundreds of images after a workshop.

Tom’s Wildlife Workflow – Sunday, September 12 at 5 pm

Details: Do you ever get back from a wildlife workshop and have hundreds of images to edit and you’re not sure how to get started? Join Tom to learn how he uses Photo Mechanic and PhotoShop to select, rename, edit and store his images efficiently. Learn More

Wildlife Editing in Camera Raw and PhotoShop – September 13-17

Details:  Join Tom and Cree for a refresher course on how to make your wildlife images look terrific without going overboard. This is the perfect class for people who use Camera Raw or Lightroom for most of their editing and want to do more with PhotoShop. Whether birds or mammals are your favorite subject, you will learn plenty of new tips for editing both. As an added bonus, Tom’s Workflow class is free when you sign up for this class. Learn More

Update on Field Workshops

The rest of our 2021 season is full with workshops coming up in Ouray, Estes Park, Route 66 and Bosque del Apache. We plan to be busy and look forward to seeing many of you in the field!

Our 2022 Schedule is starting to fill. There are a few spaces left on both domestic and international trips. See the 2022 Schedule

We always love hearing from you! or (970) 631-9383  

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Cree and Tom

Photo of the Month June 2021

Tom and Cree celebrate the great images being created by their community of photographers each month by selecting a Photograph of the Month. For June we selected an image of a coastal brown bear created by Rodger Israel on our Brown Bear Safari Workshop. We hope you enjoy Rodger’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to June 2021 ‘s featured photographer – Rodger Israel

Rodger and his daughter Sarah on the New Halen River in Alaska

The Story … 

This is from the meadow at Lily Pond along the Katmai coast. We were sitting around on old logs, all hunkered together.

The bear decided to take a walk around us to check us out. I just waited for him to line up with the mountains to take the shot.

It was important to have the right lens with me. Everyone thinks of photographing bears with long glass. When the bear started approaching us I realized he was too close for the longer lenses. I switched over to shorter glass to get the environmental shot of the bear.

It was as close as I wanted to get to a bear. I would not have wanted to get closer.

June 2021 Photograph of the Month

EXIF Data: Nikon D850 with a 24-120mm F4 at 120mm

F8, 1/1250 sec, ISO 450

Rodger’s tips for photographing coastal brown bears:

Wear your waders and don’t carry too much stuff.

Brown Bear in Katmai National Park

About Katmai National Park

It is the ultimate bear experience. You can get close to the bears in their natural habitat. We were the only people there and the weather was nicer than I expected.

Katmai National Park is a wonderful combination of bears and scenery.

The Russian Orthodox Cemetery near Lake Iliamna

On Rodger’s Horizon

Northern Lights in Fairbanks


Australia and Tasmania


Faroe Islands

Aerial from the flight headed to our remote lodge in near Lake Iliamna

We have two bear workshops coming up in 2022. Check out our schedule : Click Here

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

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

Photo of the Month – February 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 February we selected images by Sherry Reese that she edited in our PhotoShop 2 Class. We hope you enjoy Sherry’s images as much as we do

Congratulations to February 2021 ‘s featured photographer – Sherry Reese

Elk Rut Workshop September 2020

The Story … 

In PhotoShop 2 we had daily assignments to develop our PhotoShop skills. Reviewiing my old photos, I was looking for an image to change the color of something. I thought of the image with the yellow umbrella. I had always wanted to do something better with the image in editing. Before when I tried editing it in Lightroom – I was unsuccessful.

When the PhotoShop 2 class came along, it gave me the skills to remove tricky objects… the guy behind the woman with the umbrella. It wasn’t the umbrella color that I wanted to change. I thought the yellow color was beautiful. It was the green bag in her hand.

I also wanted to mute her surroundings. The sky was blown out and distracting in the background. In PhotoShop 2 I learned how to work with skies by using selection tools and adjustment layers.

After editing the photo, I realized that now it is the picture I was hoping to take in the moment. Tuscany 2018

A low key edit of Tibetan women and a butter lamp

Editing in PhotoShop instead of Lightroom:

PhotoShop is transformational. I could easily leave Lightroom out of my workflow now. In PhotoShop you can do everything and more. And, my workflow is easier now. I don’t have to worry about missing photos or catalogues.

One of my favorite features of PhotoShop is the ease of object removal. My favorite tools to use for this are the spot healing brush and the patch tool. They are both easy to use.

I also like the ability to work in layers in PhotoShop. I can manipulate one part of the image, and leave the other part alone with the use of layer masks.

The PhotoShop high pass filter brings out details of old boats in Scotland

A Tip for using PhotoShop:

I thought PhotoShop was going to be so complicated and that I wouldn’t be able to understand it.

Then I realized that you don’t have to use everything PhotoShop does to make it work for you. It seemed like a mystery before and now it no longer does.

Sherry created the reflection in this image by flipping a layer vertically

On Sherry’s Horizon

Brown Bear Safari in Alaska in June

Hawaii – perhaps without a camera!

Galapagos Islands in August

Sherry on her second trip to Patagonia’s Prieto Moreno Glacier

March classes start soon and we have a few spaces in Bird Photography and Adobe Portfolio class. Click Here We have been working on a BRAND NEW class for March: Travel Photography: learn tips for unique street photography, food photography, the travel story, working with architecture and more. Click Here

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 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! or (970) 631-9383  

Warm regards!

Cree and Tom

Happy New Year from Tom Bol Photo Workshops!

Greetings Photographers!

Welcome to the new year! Our friend Phil Bartlett from New Zealand is calling 2021 the Year of the Camera and we are out photographing almost daily already. Change is coming and we are looking forward to getting back into the field as new vaccines start to roll out and become more widely available. We hope your new year is also off to a good start. Here is what is happening at Tom Bol Photo Workshops….

2023 Workshops

We have started posting workshops for 2023 on our website. Our first session for the Chilkat Eagles Workshop has already filled and the second one is filling fast (read more). We added several workshop that filled quickly in 2021 like our Utah Landscapes and Spring Birds in Texas and brought back some of our favorites like the Redwoods and Rocky Coastlines.

We will continue to add more workshops in the next few months as we finalize trip logistics. Look for new workshops with Strabo Photo Tours to Tanzania and to France, where we will visit Monet’s gardens at Giverny!


Chilkat Eagle Workshop in 2019 See Highlights

Upcoming Onine Classes

We hope to be winding down our offerings on online classes in the next few months. We have really enjoyed teaching photography and editing skills online while staying home. We are already getting questions about whether we will continue offering online classes after we begin our regular workshop schedule.

It is not too late to sign up for these classes in January and February:

New Class: Macro for Cabin Fever:  Details:  Ready to get creative this winter with macro photography and not even leave your home? Join Tom and Cree for a three day macro photography class that picks up where our spring classes left off. The focus for this class will be everything but flowers. Dust off your Studio in a Box, charge up your Lume Cubes and get ready to try something new. Feb 8, 10 and 12 MWF from 10-11:30 am Cost $289

Power Workflow:  Overwhelmed with your photography workflow? Want to learn how to get your images from the field to “ready to use” as efficiently as possible? Join Tom and Cree for three ninety minute sessions of tips and techniques for maximizing your workflow efficiency. We will cover 1) Workflow Overview and Shooting Habits 2) Reviewing and Choosing Images and 3) Editing and Backup Strategies Jan 25, 27, 29 MWF from 3-4:30 Cost $249

All About Speedlights: Whether you own a dedicated speed light or are brand new to flash photography, we will teach you all about speed lights! Transform flat gray urban scenes into moody, compelling photos using a single speed light. Create a compelling travel portrait in 5 minutes. Learn to use flash to enhance landscapes and nature photography all in 5 daily sessions. February 15-19 from 5-6:30 pm Cost: $349

See all of our online classes by clicking here

Ice Macro from Fort Collins, Coloroado

Out and About

Just after the new year, we took advantage of cold winter temperatures to drive up the Poudre Canyon near our home in Fort Collins. We photographed ice and water using the Singh Ray Gold N Blue polarizing filter. Look for an upcoming blog post from Singh Ray with some of our images.

We continue to use our backyard bird blinds almost daily to photograph songbirds that live in our neighborhood. Spending time at the Laguna Seca Ranch and Santa Clara Ranches in South Texas last February inspired our new habitat. We have as many as 15 species of birds visit daily. Bushtits and Red-Breasted Nuthatches are two of our favorites!

Upcoming Events and Presentations

Tom and Cree will be starting off a new Speaker Series called Adventures in the Wildest Places Travelogue Series for the Massachusetts Audubon Society on Friday, January 14 at noon ET. This series is organized by our friend and fellow NOLS instructor, Doug Lowry, Read More

Join us for our Happy Hour Image Celebration on January 29 at 5:00 SMT to see the best images created by our participants in January classes. Contact Cree at for a Zoom link.

Tom speaks online with the Evergreen Photo Club in Colorado on 15 Tips to Improve Your Photography on Monday, February 8. Thanks to Sam Rush for the referral!

Tom will be presenting online to the Santa Clarita Valley Photographers Association on 15 Tips to Improve Your Photography on Tuesday February, 9. Thanks to Jeff Barlow for organizing this.

We always love hearing from you! or (970) 631-9383  

Warm regards!

Cree and Tom

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