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

What’s Coming Up at TBPW December 2020

Greetings Photographers!

We hope you are enjoying the holiday season! Tom and I are photographing every morning from our backyard bird blinds. We fill up a large thermos with coffee and wait for the birds to come in for their portraits! We took the cover photo of the finch with snowberries just this morning. As we move towards the New Year we wanted to let you know what is happening at Tom Bol Photo Workshops….

New and Upcoming Online Classes

Everyone seems to be signing up for classes in the last few weeks. And we appreciate it! Online classes are filling quickly. Several of you will be receiving a class from a loved one as they have been popular Christmas gifts this year! We have added new sessions for existing online classes and will continue to create new classes to help everyone stay creative in the next few months.

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

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.  Jan 25-29 from 3-4:30 SMT Cost $349

Ice Macro from Fort Collins, Coloroado

Advanced Landscapes:  Ready to take your landscapes to the next level. This class targets advanced concepts that are not normally covered during our workshops. Learn to create emotion, meaning and purpose in your landscapes while also learning new technical skills like focus stacking and maximizing acuity in your images.  January 11, 13 and 15, 2021 from 2-3:30 pm SMT Cost $249

PhotoShop 1: From Lightroom to PhotoShop:  Learn the basics of PhotoShop for photographers in just 5 days. We will spend 1.5 days reviewing tools to remove objects. We also cover working with layers, layer masks and changing backgrounds. January 11-15 5-6:30 pm SMT Cost $349

PhotoShop 2: Applied Layers:  Interested in moving beyond using simple tools in PhotoShop for your landscape and travel images? This class is the perfect progression from our ” PhotoShop for Landscape and Travel Part 1″ class. We will take your understanding of tools, layers and masking in PhotoShop and apply it to new ways to take on landscape and travel images.  Think of this as an applied PhotoShop class. Feb 8-12 from 5-6:30 pm SMT Cost $349

Adobe Portfolio Create your own online portfolio of photographs and digital artwork. This two session class will cover the basics of using Adobe Portfolio to create a webpage with all of your best images. There are also two 1 on 1 working sessions with Cree to personalize the content. Best part: Adobe Portfolio is free for Adobe subscribers. January 24, 26 Sun & Tues from 10-11:30 am Cost $249

See all of our online classes by clicking here

Update on Workshops in the Field

We are looking forward to traveling again in 2021 and are optimistic about the new vaccines coming out. We have all had to put travel plans on hold this year and we know that it has been frustrating for everyone.

We managed to run six workshops in the field this year and felt very good about the safety of the locations and the conditions for each of those workshops. In addition we offered 14 new online courses to keep hundreds of you involved in learning more about photography and editing.

We postponed many of our workshops this year and will be offering them in 2021 and 2022 instead. We will continue this strategy of postponing workshops until travel conditions improve and vaccines are readily available to participants who want to travel. Instead of canceling our trips months ahead of time, we try to wait until two months before the workshop to evaluate the conditions for travel. If you have questions about upcoming trips, we always encourage you to contact us.

Presentations for Camera Clubs and more….

We are currently reaching out to photographers through local clubs and organizations. We can schedule a presentation for your club on a variety of topics.

Tom will be presenting on Bird Photography for the Westbridge Camera Club in Ohio on January 4. Thanks Roberta Kanye for coordinating this!

Tom and Cree will give a joint presentation on Bird Photography: Afar and Closer to Home to the Massachusetts Audubon Society on January 15 at noon ET.


We always love hearing from you! creetbp@gmail.com or (970) 631-9383  

Happy Holidays!

Cree and Tom

November Photographer of the Month

Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photo of the Month. For November we selected Dianne Biddison’s image of a reddish Egret from our Bird Photography Class. We hope you enjoy Dianne’s images as much as we do

Congratulations to November’s photographer – Dianne Biddison

Dianne in the lavender fields of Provence, France

The Data: ISO 1250 500mm 1/1250 f f13

The Gear: Canon EOS 6D with a 150-500mm lens

The Story … 

I signed up for Tom and Cree’s online Bird Photography class, and knowing there would be assignments, I planned to take a Friday off work to go to Fort DeSoto State Park. I had been there before with a local photography group. The park has a website with a list of birds that have been seen there by season and where to find them. I also used eBird hotspots to see what birds had been seen recently.

The Reddish Egret was very interesting. There was a photographer walking 30 ft ahead of me photographing the egret. I slowed down so I wouldn’t spook the bird. When the photographer left, the Reddish Egret almost seemed disappointed that his audience was gone. I moved in closer and started taking photos of the bird and his behaviour.

The November 2020 Photo of the Month

The sun came out from the clouds just at that moment to light him up the right way. I chose to go to the North beach because I anticipated that the sun would come from the east and look best.

I used my new tripod with a new Neewer gimbal head. It was the first time I had used either. This made it very easy to move the camera. I could manipulate my movement easier as the bird changed his position.

I found that shooting 3 ft off the ground was ideal. Because the beach was uneven, I did not want to get too low.

After photographing the egret, I turned a corner and found a sandbar with 100 American White Pelicans. While other photographers were waiting for them to fly and hopefully come in closer, I started looking around. I found a pair of American Oystercatchers and photographed them.

On my way back to the car the Whimbrel appeared. The birds at the park are used to people and don’t get scared. I lowered the tripod more and it started walking towards me.

I was able to get both a profile and a straight on shot. I like them both. The straight on shot helped me identify the bird because I could see the darker eye band.


Dianne’s Whimbrel on the beach at Fort De Soto State Park


About Photographing Birds:

It’s fun! Being down here in Florida, I can usually find a bird. I like watching what they are going to do and how they interact with each other.

Bird photography is a challenge, especially getting them in flight. But it is a fun challenge!


American Oystercatcher

Tip from the Photographer

Keep looking around you when photographing birds. You never know what is watching you.

When everyone else was watching the pelicans, the oystercatchers were creeping up behind them.

Get as many shots as possible from different angles. Even if the image is blurry, it may help you identify the bird.

Dianne roaming the beaches of Tasmania with her Canon in hand

On Dianne’s Horizon

The Winter Yellowstone Workshop in January

Going back to Fort De Soto. This time I plan to go in the evening. I want to photograph Roseate Spoonbills in warm evening light.

I have plans to put in a backyard bird habitat, after I cut back some Elephant Ear Philodendrons from my pond and waterfall. This will clear the way for birds to take a bath. We have Red-Shouldered Hawks, Cardinals, blue jays and finches regularly in this area. It will be exciting to see what other birds are around here, too.


Our next online Bird Photography class starts this Monday. Learn more about our upcoming classes, including Power Workflow, Advanced Landscape and PhotoShop 1 Click Here

You are also invited to join us for an online Happy Hour on Friday Dec 4 at 7 pm SMT to see a virtual gallery of images from our latest classes. Leave a comment below to receive an invite.

What’s Coming Up at TBPW

Greetings Photographers!

We hope you are enjoying the cooler temperatures like we are in Fort Collins, Colorado! Tom and I have been busy teaching online workshops these last few weeks. As we move towards the holidays we wanted to let you know what is happening at Tom Bol Photo Workshops

Holiday Gift Guide

We always get questions about what to buy for photographers this time of year. To make it easy to answer all of your questions, we are offering a free online Holiday Gift Guide on Tuesday, November 24 at 5 pm SMT. Join us for a list of cool items to buy for photographers and we will save plenty of time for your questions as well. Tom just bought the newest Nikon Z6 II camera. I am sure he will have plenty to say about it online. To receive a Zoom invitation to the session, just leave a note in the comment section below.

New and Upcoming Online Classes

New Class: 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 Nov 30, Dec 2, Dec 4 MWF from 5-6:30 pm Cost $249

New 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.  Nov 30-Dec 4 from 10-11:30 am Cost $349

Cardinal in the Texas bird blinds at Laguna Seca

Advanced Landscapes:  Ready to take your landscapes to the next level. This class targets advanced concepts that are not normally covered during our workshops. Learn to create emotion, meaning and purpose in your landscapes while also learning new technical skills like focus stacking and maximizing acuity in your images.  January 11, 13 and 15, 2021 from 2-3:30 pm SMT Cost $249

PhotoShop 1: From Lightroom to PhotoShop:  Learn the basics of PhotoShop for photographers in just 5 days. We will spend 1.5 days reviewing tools to remove objects. We also cover working with layers, layer masks and changing backgrounds. January 11-15 5-6:30 pm SMT Cost $329

PhotoShop 2: Applied Layers:  Interested in moving beyond using simple tools in PhotoShop for your landscape and travel images? This class is the perfect progression from our ” PhotoShop for Landscape and Travel Part 1″ class. We will take your understanding of tools, layers and masking in PhotoShop and apply it to new ways to take on landscape and travel images.  Think of this as an applied PhotoShop class. November 16-20 from 10-11:30 am SMT Cost $329

See all of our online classes by clicking here

Update on Workshops in the Field

We were very pleased to be able to run three field based workshops in September and October. Unfortunately we had to cancel our November and December Workshops due to rising covid numbers. We are optimistic about our workshops in the begining of the next year. We will continue to monitor the news and make decisions on a trip by trip basis. We will continue to hold meetings on Zoom before trips to discuss our safety guidelines and recommendations before trips depart.

Click here to see our trip report for The RMNP Elk Rut Workshops

2023 Workshops

We have started getting inquiries about our 2023 schedule. It is wonderful to hear that people are eager to sign up so far in advance. We have already begun working on the schedule and hope to have it posted before the end of the year. Continue to check these newsletters for more information. If you are receiving this newsletter, then you are already on our most current mailing list. This means you will receive updates before anyone else. We appreciate you following us!

Camera Club Presentations

Camera Clubs across the country are busy looking for online content for their members. Tom recently spoke with Carl Volpe’s Camera Club in Southern California and will be speaking to Roberta Kanye’s club in Ohio in January. Send us an email if you are interested in having Tom present to your club. We can also set up an online class exclusively for your club.


We always love hearing from you! creetbp@gmail.com or (970) 631-9383  

Warm regards to all of you!

Cree and Tom

October 2020 Photographer of the Month

Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photo of the Month. For October we selected Kim Turner’s image of Pemaquid Lighthouse from Creative Camera Craft Class. We hope you enjoy Kim’s images as much as we do

Congratulations to October’s photographer – Kim Turner

Spring Yellowstone Workshop 2019

The Story … 

This is Pemaquid Lighthouse. We were in Maine three or four years ago. This lighthouse is photographed by everybody.It’s a great stopping point when you are photographing on the Maine coast.

We were up by the buildings and a woman said to me, “Go down there, there is a great reflection.” I said “Thank you,” but I don’t usually listen to people. I don’t like to be told what to take photos of. But this sounded like it was worth listening to.

The October 2020 Photo of the Month

I was so happy I listened to her. After walking down the hill, I turned around and there it was. I took numerous images and was so happy with the result I made both a color print and a black and white print for an art show.

After cropping the image in your online class (Creative Camera Craft) I want to throw both prints away. The cropped version is so much better.

I learned about the Fibonacci crop overlay in PhotoShop 1. For this image I tried all the crop overlays for this image. At first I wasn’t comfortable making the crop with the overlay because it cut off a lot of details that I thought were vital to the shot, like a red outbuilding and a tree. Once I cropped it, the people in the scene bothered me, so I used PhotoShop to erase them too.

In the final image with the Fibonacci crop, the lines in the rock were so much more distinct. That, to me, is what the image is about. Not the lighthouse, the line in the rocks.


The Data: .

ISO 200 24mm 1/100 f 7.1 in manual mode

The Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a 24-105mm f4L

Kim converted this image to black and white for an online class assignment

About learning photography online:

It has changed my world! We are working so much on software and editing. I have stayed away from PhotoShop in the past. It was so intimidating for me. Now I cannot wait to find a reason to open an image in PhotoShop.

The video recordings are really helpful. I watch them over and over and pick up something new every time.

Kim Turner took this using her infrared camera

Tip from the Photographer

Try different things when you are cropping. You can always undo it. I usually go through all the crop overlays and end up using the Fibonacci crop.

Kim getting excited about photography at Old Car City in Georgia

On Kim’s Horizon

All I do right now is ride my bike and take pictures. I am really excited about upcoming workshops:

Route 66 East Workshop – I am excited about trying motion blur and multiple exposure on this one.

If you would like to learn more about our online classes like Bird Photography, PhotoShop 1 and 2, Advanced Landscapes Click Here or join us for an online Happy Hour on Friday Nov 6 at 6:45 SMT to see a virtual gallery of images from our latest classes. Leave a comment below to receive an invite.

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

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