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

It’s Summer at Tom Bol Photo Workshops

We are looking forward to getting back into the field this summer with workshops coming soon. In the meantime, we hope you will consider joining us for our upcoming online classes (links below). This is the perfect time to learn new editing skills in Lightroom or PhotoShop, improve your camera craft or learn how to take captivating macro photos.

Here is what people are saying about their experience in our classes:

I just wanted to drop you a note to say how much I enjoyed your macro workshop. I learned a lot from a technical point of view — from camera settings to how to set up a shot (even the dreaded focus stacking!).  But principally, I really enjoyed your personalities: you have a winning team between the two of you that is very engaging to your audiences (even remotely): I felt like I was working and playing with friends, rather than with some daunted instructors.

Michele Egan

“Time and money incredibly well spent. Your insights into technique, composition, processing, details, and even marketing choices are incredibly helpful and apply to all aspects of the photographic process. All the while, you’re also planting ideas about exciting new ways to apply these techniques and knowledge as starting points for raising the level and quality of my future photography shoots.                         

Stuart Litoff

Upcoming Classes – New Shooting Techniques

Creative Camera Craft – June 22-July 3

Are you in a creative rut? Learn new, creative ideas about how to take photos and use the modern features in your camera. Click here to read more

Macro Photography – June 22-July 3

Do you have a macro lens and barely use it? Learn to take compelling photos of water droplets, flowers, bubbles and more. Click here

Coming in August – Speed Light Crash Course


Upcoming Classes – New Editing Techniques

Lightroom Basics – July 20-24

Is your photo collection in disarray? Learn how to organize and edit your photos in this ground up introduction to Lightroom Classic. Click here to read more

From Lightroom to PhotoShop – July 20-24

Are you a Lightroom user but want to learn some key features in PhotoShop? Learn how to remove objects, edit in layers and create masks. Click here to read more

PhotoShop for Landscapes and Travel – July 27-31

Ready to use your knowledge of PhotoShop layers, masks and tools to take your landscape and travel images to the next level. We recommend this as a follow up to our Lightroom to PhotoShop class. Click here to read more


Happy Summer!

Tom and Cree

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

Online Classes for June

Ready to get creative at home? 

Learn new photography skills from the comfort of your own kitchen table. Our first two online macro classes are half way finished and we are having a great time sharing technique demos, editing tips and seeing each other’s work in image critics.

We have added a new session of the macro class from June 1-12 and it is filling fast. Here is a link to learn more about the class:

June Macros  Read More


Interested in becoming better at editing?

How many times have you wished that you could learn to edit better, but just didn’t have the time? There is no time like the present. If you are new to digital editing or not confident in your skills, we recommend the first class below. If you are adept at Lightroom and want to learn key skills in PhotoShop, we recommend the second. Both classes are only $329 and run for 5 days in a row with interactive 90 minute sessions on Zoom. Even better, take both classes back to back and get the benefit of improving your skills in both programs. 

Basic Lightroom                      Read more

  • Daily classes M-F from June 1-5
  • Library and develop models
  • Organize your images
  • Edit with sliders, brushes and filters

From Lightroom to PhotoShop     Read more   

  • Daily classes M-F from June 8-12
  • Removing large and small objects
  • Texture Overlays
  • Portrait editing
  • Selections and specialty filters

 

Photo of the Month April 2020

Tom and I want to celebrate the great images being created by photographers each month. For April we had to get creative with travel restrictions. We selected an image from our new Facebook Group instead. We hope you enjoy Kimberly’s images as much as we do. 

Congratulations to April’s photographer – Kimberly Shadduck

KS1
Kimbeely on the Sedona 2019 Workshop

The Story:

I stumbled upon a webinar by Harold Davis that he was doing for a photo club. I started watching it and was star struck. I realized that this was something I could do during the lock down. The weather was really bad outside and I craved something colorful.

I had my husband build me a 3 ft x 2 ft lLightbox. I knew I needed a big one. I went to You Tube and looked for a video on how to build a lightbox. The lightbox has 2 pieces of glass with a piece of white material in between. It is lit by a strip of l.e.d. lights.

Lightbox Set Up Small Web
Kimberly’s lightbox and camera set up

Next I went to the fabric store to buy a white cloth with a fine weave for the white background. I also purchased tweezers and museum glue – I didn’t even know what that was! Finally I went shopping for live flowers.

To create the image I started by removing the flowers from the water and laying them on the box. I tried several different arrangements until I got the right one. Harold Davis recommends taking a flower arranging class online. I couldn’t find one so I just dove right in.

The tulip in the middle was actually closed when I laid it down on the light box. I started peeling back the petals with my tweezers to have the inside exposed. The white lily is a Sonata Lily. I thought the white color would really make the image pop. I couldn’t get it to lie flat on the lightbox at first. It made me wonder whether I should start pressing the flowers for future projects.

For processing I start by merging several frames in Lightroom. I export the merged file to PhotoShop to make my adjustments. I focus on making the image as vibrant as possible. I use a Waucom tablet to hand paint the image, mostly using dodge and burn. The last step is to add a texture background to give it a painterly look. I purchased a few textures from Florabella for this purpose

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

The Gear: Nikon D850 with a 55mm macro lens; Manual mode f22, ISO 200

Photo Tip from the Photographer: 

If you can get a lightbox and go to the store for flowers, this is a great project for you. It is the perfect way to let your creativity go. I will start on a new piece and look up and 5 hours have passed without me even knowing it.

I like hanging my stuff on the wall. I want it to be pretty – that’s what motivates me.

Blue Hydrangea Small Size Web
Hydrangea by Kimberly Shadduck
 

On Kimberly’s Horizon:

KS2

Our May Photo of the Month will be selected from our Macro in May Online Workshop

New Online Class – Macro in May

Want to take your MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY to the next level?

We know that many of you are at home looking for ways to be creative with your camera. We have a new solution for you….and it should be a lot of fun! We are offering our first two week macro class, and it is completely online. This is the perfect way to improve your skills while waiting to get back to more exotic locations. We will meet from 10-11:30 am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from May 11-22. We will be photographing objects that you can find right at home. Limited to 8 participants.

What is included?

  • Six 90 minute online sessions on Zoom conference, including technique demonstrations, editing and photo critique
  • A FB group page for participants to post their work
  • A private 30 minute follow up critique with Tom and Cree to review your new macro work.
  • A small group setting to support your learning and connect with other photographers.

What do I need?

  • Desktop or laptop with Zoom – a free program
  • Tripod
  • Macro lens or 70-200mm with an extension tube
  • Small reflector, small diffuser
  • Optional: speed light, studio in a box

How much does it cost?

$329 per person Pay by PayPal here to sign up

Read More

 

Online Services

Greetings from Tom and Cree!

We are delighted to see so many of you working on your photography skills why staying home. In an effort to support you while workshops have been suspended, we are offering several new online services for photographers who want to learn at home.

We have created a web page with 2 at home options as well as several options for when travel restrictions start to lift. We have plenty of time in May and June to support your learning. Check out the new Services Webpage

Here is a sneak peak of what we are offering:

Online Custom Editing Instruction

Details: Interested in improving your Lightroom or PhotoShop skills? Learn from working pros, Tom and Cree. They will be using the images you took so everything applies to your learning. Step by step instruction on a screencast video will allow you to learn new skills and be able to save the results for future sessions and growth.

What is included:

  • Pre-session consultation to determine your interests and program preference: Lightroom, PhotoShop, On1 Presets
  • 5 video screencasts of 5 of your images – Tom or Cree will edit your photographs explaining the steps along the way
  • Follow up trouble shooting when you are working on your own images

   


Live Image review

Details: You select the images and we share live feedback with you on Skype or FaceTime. We will schedule the session and contact you in advance to find out what you are interested in learning about.

What is included:

  • Pre-session consultation to determine your interest and goals for the review
  • Private 30 minute review session to critique up to 20 images on Skype or Facetime

If either of these options interest you, give us a call at (970) 631-9383 by email at creetbp@gmail.com or send us a note on our Contact Form

Warm regards,

Cree & Tom

Patagonia 2019 Workshop

Trying Something New

Greetings from Tom and Cree!

Like many of you, Tom and I are spending plenty of time at home right now. We are focused on learning new shooting and editing techniques and have heard that many of you are as well. We want to encourage you all to share your results, so we can stay in touch with you. Read on…..

I just purchased a Fotodiox Studio in a box and have been using it inside to photograph macros as Colorado decides whether it is Winter or Spring! I took the photograph of the tulip above on my second day of practicing with the box. Lani Dillon just told me she ordered one too. I cannot wait to see what she creates when it arrives. Here is what the studio looks like in action:

studioinabox

I have also been seeing some great focus stacked florals from Lee Brissy and Dennis Garrood!

Have you tried something new in the last few months?

We encourage everyone of you to take out your cameras and stay creative! We also want to see your results. We have received very positive feedback on our monthly Photo of the Month post. We want to continue this feature even without workshops in the field. That is where you come in! For the April Photo of the Month, we would like to choose an image created by one of our workshop clients who is trying something new.

How do I show my results?

I have created a Facebook Group for those who use Facebook and would like to share/submit their images. Click on the red link here to join the Facebook group. Even if you do not have a photo to share, we encourage you to join and post positive comments on others’ photos. Community support goes a long way with so many of us working in near isolation!

If you are not a Facebook member, please send your photos directly to me at creetbp@gmail.com

Anything else?

  • Post anything that you created that is new to you: new editing, new technique, new concept. Add a few words about what you tried. We will choose one of these to be featured as the April Photo of the Month for Tom Bol Photo Workshops.
  • Please post images that are 72 dpi.
  • We will select our Photo of the Month on April 30.
  • Anyone who has been on one of our workshops or is signed up to attend one can submit
  • Add as many photos as you would like!
  • If you have behind the scenes photos, please add those too (see sample)

Thanks for participating!

Here are some previous Photo of the Month posts if you missed them:

Photo of the Month for March

Photo of the Month for February

Photo of the Month for December

Cree & Tom

Patagonia 2019 Workshop

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