Photo of the Month – November 2019

Tom and I want to celebrate the great images being created on our workshops by posting a photograph each month from one of our workshops that best captures the environment or people of that location.

Congratulations to November’s photographer – Lee Brissey


Chilkat Workshop 2019
Chilkat Workshop 2019

The Story:

On our second day we were photographing a wide variety of bald eagles feeding on chum salmon along the gravel bar of the Chilkat river. While we all captured many interesting images of feeding and bird behavior, this one immediately caught my attention as a poignant image of an instant in time. The eagle talons holding down the spent-out chum salmon symbolized the power of predator. While it happened in an instant flip, I was certain that predator and prey connected in that ageless migration ritual. It’s impossible to look at that image and not get a bit reflective about the circle of life.


The Location: 

The Chilkat River landscape was exceptional with distant mountains accentuated by fresh snow and wonderful cloud/mist patterns providing an ever-changing backdrop to the scene. When the sun peaked out we had beautiful low-angle back-lighting to illuminate wings of eagles in flight and birds resting on logs and in perches along the riverbank. But in addition to the sights, the continuous sounds of the river burbling by and the endless cries of seagulls and calls of eagles made the place come alive.

Chilkat Workshop 2019
Lee (right) and his photo friend Dennis Garrood (left)

The Data: Nikon D850, 200-500 mm lens 1/1600 at f5.6 ISO 900 Manual mode

Photo Tip from the Photographer: 

The usual advice about being patient and watchful is not new. Some of my best images came out of scenes that emerged without warning and were gone in a flash. I was just lucky. And I learned again to pay attention to the changing light conditions and adjust accordingly.  Periodically step back and adjust to the scene by rechecking whether settings/histogram are appropriate to the conditions.  I learned some of this the hard way again this year.

On the Horizon:

  • Costa Rica in April
  • Bosque del Apache & White Sands in New Mexico


To learn about the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve and Haliaeetus leucocephalus click here



Workshop Openings for 2020

Greetings from Tom and Cree!

We are getting ready for Thanksgiving and will both be out of the country for the first few weeks of December. If you have questions about upcoming trips, the next two weeks would be a great time to get in touch.

Our 2020 Workshop Schedule is starting to fill up. This time of year is popular for new registrations, so we thought we would let you know what is still available for 2020.

Redwoods and Rocky Coastlines

2 Spaces Available  Dates: July 22-26, 2020


2 Spaces Available  Dates: May 27-31, 2020

Spain with Strabo Tours

2 Spaces Available  Dates: April 21-May 3, 2020

Old Car City

Half Full  Dates: November 12-15

We have a few spots on our first international trip in 2021:

Easter Island

3 Spaces Available  Dates: January 24- February 1, 2021

If you would like to talk about which workshop is best for you, give me a call at 970-631-9383 or send me an email at

Chilkat Trip Report

Click on the eagle image below to see highlights of our recent workshop in the Chilkat Eagle Preserve in Alaska. The fighting eagles, sunny mountainscapes and convivial group members were all highlights for this year.

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We have space on our Bosque Workshop in 2021 if you are interested in photographing birds with us. Follow this link to learn more:

Bosque & White Sands 2021


Photo of the Month – October 2019

Tom and I want to celebrate the great images being created on our workshops by posting a photograph each month from one of our workshops that best captures the environment or people of that location.

Congratulations to October’s photographer – Nagendra Narayan


Nagendra Narayan on the Sedona Workshop

The Story:

It is good to look in a different direction. Everyone was looking at Cathedral Rock and I decided to look at the surroundings. What attracted me was the silhouette of the juniper tree, the buttes, and the moon. I wanted to capture the transition of night to day….the cool night to the warm day. That was the image I was trying to take. The phases of the moon always attract me, full moon, half moon, harvest moon. Capturing the moon for scale in this image was important. The stars were already gone because of the twilight.

Photo of the Month

The Location: 

Sedona was beautiful. It is a great location for intricate abstract images with  beautiful colors and tones (see Nagendra’s image below). That was both exciting and challenging. There were so many objects and distractions. You have to focus on what you want the viewer’s eyes to see. I created an image devoid of distractions……simplified to focus on the transition from night to day.

An abstract by Nagendra

The Data: Nikon D850, 24-70 mm lens 1/15 at f8 ISO 64 Manual mode

Photo Tip from the Photographer: 

It is important to imagine yourself in the location before you shoot. You have to feel the location. This helps to release creative ideas. You have to be patient and prepared…..patient for the right time and prepared for the right light to hit. There is only a few moments when the light is perfect.

On the Horizon:

  • Patagonia


To learn more about the three types of twilight click here



New Workshop: Brown Bears and Glaciers

We have had numerous requests for more bear workshops, so Tom and I just added a new trip for TBPW for June 2021. Read on….                 

Location: Lake Clark National Park                                                  Cost: $6200

Dates: Thursday, June 17 – Thursday , June 22, 2021  

Details: Join Tom and Cree for a photographic adventure in Alaska with two icons: Alaskan brown bears and tidewater glaciers. We start in Anchorage with a trip to Prince William Sound to photograph glaciers.  These isolated fjords and remote bays have numerous glaciers, and many actively ‘calve’ into the ocean.  If you want to photograph massive towers of ice plunging into the icy water, this is your chance.  Our private boat will get us in the right position, as well as be able to land onshore for unique landscape photo opportunities.  Prince William Sound is rich in wildlife and we often see whales, seals, sea otters, puffins and porpoise.

Next we fly to our comfortable lodge at Silver Salmon Creek in Lake Clark National Park to photograph coastal brown bears as they graze on sedge grasses and dig for clams in the mud flats.  The bear density in this area is remarkable; we will spend our days photographing bears as well as other wildlife including red fox and eagles. We may also spend a morning photographing puffin by small boat. This tour offers six days of photography instruction in two of the most unique, exciting destinations in Alaska.

Read more

The Seasons are Changing

The Fall leaves have just peaked and we just photographed in our first snow in Colorado.

As you start to consider workshops for 2020 and 2021, I want to explain how our $100 referral credit works with Tom Bol Photo Workshops. Most of our new participants on workshops are referred by loyal clients, like you! We really appreciate this type of support and want to reward you with a $100 credit on your next workshop when you refer a new participant to us who signs up for a workshop.

As we move closer to the gift giving season, you may have thought about purchasing a workshop spot for someone you know. The referral credit of $100 off would also apply to a gift, if it is for someone who is new to Tom Bol Photo Workshops.

Maroon Bells

If you have referred someone in the past and did not receive a referral credit, please send me an email (sometimes we are not aware of referrals.)

Photo of the Month – September 2019

Tom and I want to celebrate the great images being created on our workshops by posting a photograph each month from one of our workshops that best captures the environment or people of that location.

Congratulations to September’s photographer – Joe Campbell

The Story:

“We were doing the iconic shots of the Blue Swallow Motel – the larger view of everything. I had the 1951 Pontiac, the office, the sign, storm clouds, the painting of Route 66 on the driveway. I was very happy with that.

The Larger View


I decided to focus on something simple,. My parents had a Pontiac with Chief Pontiac on the front, which lit up when the head lights were turned on. I took some photos with reflections of the neon lights on the car. Then I turned the other way and used the black mailbox to create the dark background. With the 70-300, I just crouched down a bit and the mailbox was like a black curtain. It provided good separation from the bigger scene.”


Chief Pontiac
Photo of the Month – Chief Pontiac

The Location: 

The Blue Swallow Motel is great! I loved the atmosphere at night….sitting around the neon and having a relaxing drink. 

They had the Hudson and the 51 Pontiac. It was great that they changed them out for photographic purposes.

The Data: Nikon D850, 70-300mm lens 1/125 at f8 ISO 800

Photo Tip from the Photographer: 

Get the big picture first. Then move in and focus on single things. Look for neon reflections in the windows and rain puddles. I shot Chief Pontiac several different ways. The black background was my favorite.

On the Horizon:

  • Back to the Chilkat Eagle Preserve in Haines, Alaska
  • Northern Lights in Fairbanks
  • Costa Rica (for the third time)


How much do you know about Route 66? Check out the following from the History Channel: 8 Things You May Not Know About Route 66 


Back by Popular Demand – Tucson

We had such a spectacular cactus bloom on our Tucson Workshop this year that Tom and I are still talking about it. Several people have asked if we would be offering the trip again…. so we added new trip dates: March 24-28, 2021 Limited to 10 people. Cost $1449. For more details Click here

We explore the Sonoran Desert on this workshop around Saguaro National Park. We photograph forests of cacti, desert birds from a blind and raptors at the Arizona Sonoran Desert. We also spend a morning at Old Tucson photographing cowboys with speed lights to catcht a glimpse of the Old West.

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We also added 2021 dates for two other very popular workshops:

Route 66: Albuquerque to Amarillo in 2021

Bosque & White Sands in 2021