Photography Resources

Greetings from Tom and Cree!

Like many of you, Tom and I are spending plenty of time at home right now. We wanted to share some great photography resources with you. We also wanted to update you about how the coronavirus restrictions have been effecting our workshops. Thanks for clicking on our link and following us.

Resources

  • Tom’s Blog – Tom is blogging daily now on photography topics like: Workflow, Focus Stacking for Landscapes, Sharing Photos Online with Lightroom. Tom’s mailing list for his blog is separate from our workshop news blog.
  • Both Scott Kelby and Matt Koslowski are offering free webinars on photography topics. Tom and I have recommended their courses on  Lightroom and PhotoShop editing for years. Kelby One is offering free access to some of their most watched classes at this time. I have been watching Matt’s Photo Makeover videos in his series called Stuck Inside and am amazed at his before and after images. He also has a blog on how to use Adobe Spark for photo bags – this is what we use for our TBPW Trip Reports
  • One of Tom’s favorite Adobe instructors is Julieanne Kost. She calls herself a Digital Evangelist for Adobe. She is offering a free course on workflow in Lightroom and PhotoShop for the next 24 hours on her blog.
  • Nikon Learn and Explore has a number of free articles on their site. they are currently featuring Tom’s recent article on Creative Photography at Home
  • Both Tom and I have been using all the spring flowers in our yard to work on macro photography and focus stacking. The day lily image above was made in our backyard with 30 layers. I just bought a new “Macro studio in a box” from B&H and am looking forward to it arriving. I will be posting inside macro images soon on social media.
  • Tom has set us a backyard bird studio. After returning from our Texas Birds Workshops, we wanted to try our hand at perches in our own backyard. He is working on an article for Lightroom Magazine on that right now.
  • Adobe Creative Live has made all of their articles and videos free to the public. I have been watching videos on Lightroom techniques and learning how to use programs like Adobe Portfolio. Perfect time to set up your own website with images from your trips!

Workshop Updates

We have postponed our March and April Workshops to dates in late 2020 thru 2022. We are very thankful that participants have been willing to postpone their plans for a later date.

May Workshops: Both our Yellowstone and Badlands Workshops are scheduled for this coming May. The National Park Service has decided to consider closures for their parks on a case by case basis. Yellowstone is currently closed and Badlands is currently open. We are watching the news carefully and plan to make decisions about whether to offer each workshop or to postpone within a month of the start date of each trip. We will let all of our participants on these trips know as soon as a decision is made.

Future Workshops: We are carefully following the news and will continue to do so as travel restrictions, and new developments occur. We are eager to begin offering workshops again when restrictions are lifted and it is safe to travel. In the meantime we have been working on our 2021 and 2022 schedules. We have added several new workshops to national parks including Acadia, Death Valley and Utah Landscapes.

We also have space on destinations farther afield including Nome, Fairbanks, Australia, Chile and Costa Rica

If you would like more information we are happy to chat at creetbp@gmail.com or (907) 631-9383  Stay well!

Cree and Tom

Patagonia 2019 Workshop

Photo of the Month March 2020

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. We decided to return to one of our three February workshops since we postponed our March workshop . We hope you enjoy Greg’s images as much as we do. 

Congratulations to March’s photographer – Greg Ness 

Japan

The Story:

Every trip I go on, there are a few iconic photos I want to get. We’ve all seen snow monkeys with snow on their head…..that was what I had in my mind for this shoot.

The day before, we went up to the monkey pool and I got a good idea of what I needed to do for the shot. Tom and Cree took great efforts to make sure we were the first ones up at the pool. I knew I wanted a water-level photo….one were I was staring right into the monkey’s eyes.

I squeezed myself into the corner right on the lower platform near the pool. It was very uncomfortable. I stayed right there for two hours in the snow.

I used my 70-200 f/2.8 to blur the background. The shot settings worked great because the monkey was a little further away. I am used to shooting people’s faces with the 70-200 at f/2.8. There is a lot more depth to a monkey’s face with their deep-set eyes, and for some of the closer monkey photos, I wish I had shot more images at f/4 or f/5.6.

I got a lot of nice photos. This one spoke to me the most. It was the picture I had in my head.

Snow Monkey Photo
 Photo of the Month – March 2020

The Location: 

My goal a few years ago was to visit all 7 continents and I have done that now. On this workshop, the combination of wildlife, people, landscapes, with cranes, monkeys and people photos peaked my interest. I knew I would get bored with just one or the other the whole time. I thought, “I’m going to stay engaged the whole time.”

It was end to end fun. It was so enjoyable. Japan impresses me more than any other country I have visited…..the locations and the efficiency. It is a big, beautiful world out there.

The Data: 1/500 sec, f/2.8, 200 mm, ISO 500

The Gear: Sony A7R IV, Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS;

Photo Tip from the Photographer: 

Photography is such a personal thing. I never criticize other people’s work. I do not know what they want because I am not inside their head.

My tip is to know what you want to accomplish before you walk out the door. Your best chance of shooting good photos is to minimize the time you spend taking ordinary photos.

A recent example of this came up one morning in Torres del Paine in Chile. We were with a ranger looking for pumas and the weather was perfect for wildlife. Along the way we passed some wildflowers and two members of the group wanted to stop and take macro photos. That was the ordinary photo. To get the really good photo, we needed to stick with the plan we started with. We saw the pumas from far away, but were not able to get good photos. After you pursue the image you have in your head, there is plenty of time to shoot whatever you want.

 

Imperial Palace
Imperial Palace in Tokyo by Greg Ness: 1/400 sec, f/7.1, 70mm, ISO 200
 Greg at the Imperial Palace:
This is a gorgeous scene, but I really wanted to emphasize the Imperial Palace in the photo. This is facing west. I had tried morning images, but because the sun was lighting up Nijubashi Bridge in the foreground, it really emphasized the bridge instead of the palace. I went to this location several times this day to check the lighting conditions. When I went at 3 PM, the light was perfect. The bridge was still beautiful, but the face of it wasn’t directly lit up by the sun.
After I took this photo, I decided to walk around the whole palace complex. It is about three miles around it from outside the moat. About halfway around, I noticed another bridge going over the moat with police and security people there. I saw that they were putting on formal white gloves, so I figured something was up. It was just a couple other people and me standing there, as this was not a typical tourist location. A short time late, ex-emperor, Akihito, was driven out of the palace complex with his rear window rolled down. I smiled at him and waved, and he waved back at me as I took his picture.

 

To see Greg’s photo on FB of former Emperor Akihito   click here

On Greg’s Horizon:

  • Africa – Morocco
  • South America – coastal Brazil, Bolivia
  • Asia – Tibet

To see upcoming international photography workshops with TBPW  click here

Olympic Rings Tokyo Harbor Night
Tokyo Bay with Olympic Rings by Greg Ness: 1/100 sec, f/2.8, 58mm, ISO 400

 

 

 

 

Japan Trip Report

Hello Photographers!

We know that many of you are home like we are, looking for ways to stay busy. Please take a look at our trip report from early February from Japan. Click on the lantern image below or the link to see highlights of our photo workshop in Japan. This was the perfect blend of wildlife and travel photography  in the Land of the Rising Sun.

https://spark.adobe.com/page/SbkFFmzlM2i4j/

For our next available international trips check out:

Costa Rica 2020

Easter Island 2021

What’s Happening at TBPW

Greetings from Tom and Cree!

We know many of you are at home, watchings the news and waiting to hear when the world will get back to normal. We are staying active here at Tom Bol Photo Workshops. We have postponed a few workshops and are busy posting new workshops for 2022. Here are a few things we thought you would want to know about:

2022 Workshops

Death Valley National Park: We just added this landscape workshop in the “Land of Extremes”. February is the perfect time to photograph at night, sunset is early and there is almost no light in such a remote area. Daily high temperatures are in the mid 70s.

Nome: Arctic Birds and Musk Ox: This small group workshop is designed for the adventurous photographer that loves remote Alaska. Join us for the height of spring bird season on the Bering Strait. Have you ever seen a wild musk ox?

Norway – Lofoten Islands: This workshop is perfect for landscape photography. We have timed the trip in September for fall color and the possibility of seeing northern lights if the skies are clear. Just 3 spaces are left.

Texas Birds in Spring:  Our February trips were so successful that we have added a new season for 2022. We time this trip for late April and early May to have a chance to photograph Painting Buntings – one of the most colorful birds in North America. There are 4 types of orioles near the blinds this time of year. There are 4 spaces left.

Postponed Workshops

So far we have not had to completely cancel any of our workshops, instead we are postponing them for future dates. Thanks to all of you who have stuck with us! We have had a few spaces open up on these new dates and would love to have you join us if interested.

Costa Rica December 2020: Join us for this tropical get away to de-stress before the holidays, December 8-15, 2020. The Costa Rican rainforest is drier and has plenty of sunshine in December. We will be at the Crocodile Bay Resort – the perfect place to bring your non-photograph spouse, friend or family member,

Spain 2022: We will be heading to the Andalusia region of Southern Spain to visit the birthplace of flamenco. This workshop is hosted by Strabo Tours and has a few openings available for these new dates: May 12-26, 2022

If you would like more information we are happy to chat at creetbp@gmail.com or (907) 631-9383  Stay well!

Cree and Tom

Photo of the Month February 2020

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. With so many great images from Japan and our 2 Texas Birds Workshops, it was hard to choose. We hope you enjoy Alfredo’s image as much as we do. 

Congratulations to February’s photographer – Alfredo Fayard 

Badlands Workshop 2019

The Story:

I love wildlife and photographing birds in particular. When I am photographing birds I usually use my Nikon D500 and a 200-500mm telephoto lens for birds in flight.

This workshop was my first time photographing from a blind. I drove down from Houston so I brought everything with me including a 500mm f4 lens and my new Nikon Z7. I had never used the Z7 for wildlife photography before. The pictures I loved the most came from this combination 500 F4 and the Nikon Z7.

I set up the camera in the blind at Laguna Seca Ranch with this new combination. I took my first pictures and fell in love with the color of the holy berries. I thought “That would be beautiful with cardinals.” At the time there were Green Jays and a few other birds on the perches so I waited for the cardinals to show up.

_LAS6250
Green Jays on the holy berries

I saw that the backgrounds were disappearing (because of the f4 aperture). It reminded me of drawings from naturalists in the 1900’s before there were cameras. The drawings give the sense that there is nothing in the picture except birds and berries. I knew that when the cardinals came in that it would be beautiful.

 

_LAS5590-2
Photo of the Month – Alfredo Fayard

The Location: 

I loved the variety of birds we saw. Laguna Seca Ranch was the most pictorial of the two ranches. The backgrounds just disappear because of the location of the vegetation. I would like to go back at another time of the year with different flowers and birds.

The roadrunner experience at Santa Clara Ranch was beautiful.

raptorbling
Alfredo at left photographing at Laguna Seca Ranch

The Data: Nikon Z7 with 500mm F4 EXIF F4 1/1250 ISO 720

Photo Tip from the Photographer: 

I went to the location with one idea of what equipment I would use. But I tried something different. The Nikon Z7 is not known for its speed as a wildlife camera. However, the resolution and details it produced were incredible. I did not realize this until I saw the images on my computer.

On the Horizon:

  • Costa Rica – I have been there several times before. Now I am looking forward to applying what I learned on this workshop to the jungles of Costa Rica,

 

To learn more about the Laguna Seca Ranch  click here

To learn more about the Santa Clara Ranch  click here

 

 

 

 

New Workshop Openings

Greetings from Tom and Cree!

We appreciate you signing up for our mailing list. Our goal is to let our mailing list know first about our new trips. We have just started adding workshops for 2022 and also have a new one for 2021. Here is more information:

2022 Workshops

Norway – Lofoten Islands: this workshop is perfect for landscape photography. We have timed the trip in September for fall color and the possibility of seeing northern lights if the skies are clear.

Texas Birds in Spring: we are just getting back from our February trip to Texas and had a great trip – the trip report will be out soon. In 2022 we will time our trip for late April and early May to have a chance to photograph Painting Buntings – one of the most colorful birds in North America. The first session is already full and the second session is filling fast

Costa Rica in 2022: we are now taking sign ups for our 2022 Costa Rica Workshop…..scarlet macaws, monkeys and macro sessions with dart frogs. This is the perfect follow up trip for participants who just finished the Texas Birds Workshop.

2021 Workshops

Utah Landscapes: Looking for a workshop a little closer to home? Head to Utah with us to photograph the beautiful red rock spires at Bryce National Park. We will also take advantage of the clear dark night skies at Capitol Reef National Park for night photography.

2020 Workshops

There are openings in 2020  on just two trips:

Spain with Strabo Tours in April

Dates: April 21 – May 3, 2020

Old Car City

Dates: November 12-15

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 creetbp@gmail.com

Why Chile and Easter Island?

Greetings from Tom and Cree!

We have had several inquiries about our Chile and Easter Island Photo Tours in January 2021. People want to know more about our daily itinerary and destinations in Chile. We put together a photo itinerary to show you more, just click on the link below to find out about the perfect January tropical escape:

https://spark.adobe.com/page/Yq3d1YJAtH4D7/

Screen Shot 2020-01-27 at 9.28.18 AM

 

 

Plaza de Armas, Santiago de Chile, Chile
Santiago de Chile, Plaza de Armas, main square of Chile capital city

Photo of the Month – December 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. With so many great images from Patagonia, it was hard to choose. We hope you enjoy Patricia’s image as much as we do. Please let us know what you think about our Photo of the Month posts!

Congratulations to December’s photographer – Patricia Solano 

Pattys
Patrica using a low perspective for the iconic landscape

The Story:

I was really nervous and excited for the shoot with all the horses. I was excited about what it may look like. I was nervous because I was surrounded by a lot of talented photographers. In a group I knew I would be vying for space and I am a small person.

I remember asking myself, “Holy crap! How am I going to shoot this?” Because I have done trips with Tom before, I knew I had to be on continuous (auto-focus) and shoot at a high shutter speed. I always shoot in manual so I was not thinking about aperture. I chose the 70-200mm lens to get the vista, but also to be able to zoom in as the horses came running at us.

Pics for Tom Bol Photo of MOnth-2
Gauchos and horses running through Lago Argentina by Patricia Solano

The Location: 

As soon as I got to El Galpon, it spoke to me. It was a combination of the vistas, the horses and the macho men.  The remoteness of the estancia made it peaceful and I just loved the spot. I love Patagonia and El Galpon was my favorite place in Patagonia.

Of course, the gauchos helped!

pattibarn
Patricia taking a portrait of Pablo with natural window light

The Data: Sony ILCE-7R, 70-200mm lens 1/1000 at f6.3 ISO 1250 manual mode

Photo Tip from the Photographer: 

I am on a steep learning curve as a photographer. I have learned that if you screw up, just forgive yourself. Even if it is a once in a lifetime shoot like we had at El Galpon.

On the Horizon:

  • Return to Cuba – outside of Havana
  • Return to India – the south this time

 

To learn more about the El Galpon Estancia in Patagonia where this photo was taken click here

To learn more about auto focus modes click here