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

Yellowstone in Spring – Trip Report

We just returned from two very successful photography workshops in Yellowstone National Park. The animals were abundant and the weather cooperated to help create beautiful landscapes. See the trip report by clicking here.

Click here to see the trip report

Want to join us in the field in 2021? Workshops with space available:

Brown Bear Safari June 23-29 (male roommate only)

Slovenia with Strabo July 15-25

Norway – Lofoten Islands

Route 66: Headed West Just added

Click on underlined links to see more.

Happy Spring!

Tom and Cree

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

Utah Landscapes: Trip Report

We just returned from a spectacular landscape workshop in Utah and wanted to share the highlights with you in our trip report. Click here to see the details and experience spring in Capitol Reef and Bryce National Parks.

Our next Utah Landscapes Workshop is April 19-23, 2023 and there are 3 spaces available. Read more

Next, we are headed to Yellowstone for 2 workshops to photograph spring wildlife and landscapes. A single space just opened up on our May 16-20 Yellowstone in Spring Workshops. Click here to learn more.

Enjoy your spring!

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! or (970) 631-9383  

Happy Spring!

Cree and Tom

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

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