Photo of the Month November 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For November we chose an image from our Botswana and Zimbabwe Photo Workshop created by Alex Sneiders. Alex has photographed wildlife in Africa several times and was happy to finally see a Serval Cat on this trip. We hope you enjoy Alex’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to November 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Alex Sneiders

Alex in action on the Chobe River in Botswana

The Story… 

I was enjoying the scene. I was fascinated by the vultures waiting in the wings on the tree. I visualized the clouds as they were coming in and the impending rain. I tried to capture all of that in the photo.

The dead elephant had a whole pride of lions enthralled with eating. They totally ignored us.

November 2022 Photo of the Month

I was captivated by the elephant being in one corner of the frame and the vultures in another corner.

I shot in Infrared with the intent of shooting a couple of unique images. This was my favorite so far.

I converted the camera with Lifepixel. It is much easier to shoot IR with a mirrorless camera. The focus is automatic with mirrorless but not with a SLR or DSLR.

I was trying to do a color conversion at first. I found that with the color conversion, there was too great of a departure from what it actually looked like. I find that the black and white versions frequently come out elegantly.


EXIF Data:

Nikon Z7 with IR Conversion, Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 lens shot at 51 mm

ISO 800 1/2500 sec f4

Aperture Priority Mode


About Photographing in Botswana and Zimbabwe

The difference between these countries and my previous safaris was mainly the Chobe River in Botswana. There were lower views of the wildlife and faster action.

There was a different variety of animals, particularly in the bird life. That was the highlight of the trip for me.

When using the pre-release feature while photographing Malachite Kingfishers, I learned that the jpeg images are quite good. You have to be patient and keep your finger on the shutter button.

When using Pre-release, you have to cull through all of your images to find a few pieces of gold.

Malachite Kingfisher captured with Nikon’s Pre-release

Alex’s Tips for Photographing on Safari:

Tip 1: Bring lots of cards. I took 45 thousand photos on this trip. That is a record for me. Using Pre-release with the Nikon Z9 added a ton of jpegs

Tip 2: Be patient

Tip 3: Practice focusing. Play around with different focus patterns modes like 3D, wide area large and single point. Practice switching between them as well.

Low key giraffe from Splash Camp in Botswana

On Alex’s Horizon:

Antarctica

Greenland

Namibia

Mongolia

Indonesia

Faroe Islands

Pantanal

Svalbard

Galapagos

Alex getting to know the wildlife in Zimbabwe

Workshop News

Just Added: Masking Made Easy: Online Editing Class. Join us in mid January to brush up on your editing skills and learn how to use all the new masking features in either PhotoShop or Lightroom. Click here to learn more.

Space is still available on our Old Car City Workshop from March 30-April 2, 2023. Photograph classic cars in the Georgia hardwoods. Learn about speed lights for creative effect. Click here to read more.

Where are Tom and Cree?

We are traveling in Argentina and Chile right now with our Patagonia Workshop. Look for updates on social media.

Enjoy the holidays. Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Botswana & Zimbabwe Trip Report

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are ready for the holiday season. We will be hosting our Annual Bol Holiday Gift Guide tomorrow at 5 pm on Zoom – that’s Saturday, November 26 MDT Denver time. Send us a quick note here to get the link for this free event

To learn about our recent trip to Botswana and Zimbabwe , click here

We are headed to Patagonia next week and look forward to starting off in Buenos Aires by photographing the world champion tango dancers. Always a terrific trip and Marcelo Martinez will be right by our side as we travel through Argentina and Chile.

Thanks for reading our posts. We hope to photograph with you soon!

Tom and Cree

Acadia Trip Report

We are back in Fort Collins watching our first snow of the season. With winter just around the corner, we wanted to share the highlights of our colorful workshop in Acadia National Park from earlier this month. Take a look at our trip report to see photos and learn what we found.

To see the report, click here

Our final two workshops of the month are coming up in November and december. We will be headed to Botswana and Patagonia. We will be posting on Facebook and Instagram while traveling and will share our highlights with you when we get back.

We are heading to Lofoten, Norway on February 18-25 to photograph aurora and landscapes in winter and have a few spaces available. Lofoten is warmer than Alaska in winter and walking will be minimal on this workshop. Click here for a link with more info.

Thanks for reading our posts. We hope to photograph with you soon!

Tom and Cree

New Zealand Trip Report

Just back from our 11 day photo adventure on the South Island of New Zealand. We explored the mountains and lakes of New Zealand and ended with a spectacular wildlife shoot on the ocean. Take a look at our trip report to see the photos and find out more.

To see the report, click here

Looking for an international photography workshop? Is photographing Northern Lights on your bucket list? We are heading to Lofoten, Norway on February 18-25 to photograph aurora and landscapes in winter. Lofoten is warmer than Alaska and should have plenty of open water to reflect the northern lights. Click here for a link with more info. Four spaces available.

For our next stop, we are headed to Acadia National Park for fall foliage. We will be posting on Facebook and Instagram while on the workshop.

We wish you wonderful fall travels and photography!

Thanks for reading our posts. We hope to photograph with you soon!

Tom and Cree

Photo of the Month September 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For September we chose an image from our Lofoten Norway Workshop created by Lauren King. Lauren was in the right spot at the right time. As a portrait photographer Lauren immediately was drawn to the couple on the beach. We hope you enjoy Lauren’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to September 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Lauren King

Lauren King in Lofoten, Norway

The Story… 

We were all on the beach. We wanted to make sure we had lined up for the shot without other people being in the shot. I had my super-wide lens on to capture the full arch of the creek.

I have been trying to work on shooting from different angles. I was holding my camera above my head and finger touching on the screen. Then this couple walked into the scene.

I waited for the couple to find their spot. Then…..voila! It just happened.

September 2022 Photo of the Month

I have been working on sunstars and sunstar placement in my images. Getting a sunstar right behind the little mountain with the couple in the foreground was my goal.

I did very little in post process. I smoothed some of the sand in the foreground. I also worked on slightly cropping the image so that the sunstar was in the right place and the couple’s shadow was still in the frame.


EXIF Data:

Nikon Z6ii, Nikon 14-24 lens shot at 15 mm

F22, 1/100 sec, ISO 100

Manual Mode


Lauren’s Tips for Photographing Travel Images:

Tip 1: Think outside of the box. Think about what people are not getting. What can you shoot that is not right in front of your face? What is not obvious?

Tip 2: Use the reticulating screen. If you use the screen when shooting people, they may not realize you are taking a photo. This means they will be less self-conscious in the image.


Fall color on a Norwegian Fjord

About Photographing in the Lofoten Islands

Oh my goodness, it was amazing!

I felt like we were lucky with the weather. I expected a lot of greens from Norway. I did not expect all the reds and yellows at ground level. We photographed at a small lake one day and I could have stayed there all day.

Lofoten is very pristine. It was nice to be out in the fresh air. From the grand views to the tiny flowers – there was always something to shoot. There were worlds within worlds.

Looking for what is not obvious in Nusfjord

Cabin Shoots:

Everybody was at Nusfjord and went up the hill above the yellow cabin. It was muddy and I did not think I would make it up there.

I told myself to go back down and find something that no body else had seen. I went in between the buildings and this is what I found (image above).

I did very little in post process for this image. I cropped a small bit. I also removed a person who was standing below one of the windows in front of the yellow cabin.

In my mind this was a modern take on Norway even though they are old cabins.

At Statles Rorbuer, where we stayed I went out by myself on an afternoon break. Even before I got to Norway, I knew I wanted to try selective color on the cabins. I saw the line-up of cabins and knew it was the right one for my image. I used a color range mask to select the cabins and worked with Cree on the editing.

Selective Color at Statles Rorbuer

On Lauren’s Horizon:

Inagua Island, Bahamas for flamingos

France near Paris

Route 66 West

Austria and Switzerland

Everywhere else without snakes!

We are headed back to the Lofoten Islands in Norway this winter on February 18-25 for snowy landscapes and the Northern Lights. Space is still available. Click here to read more.

Where are Tom and Cree?

We are looking forward to our next photo adventure in Acadia National Park. Mid-October is the perfect time to be in Maine for red fall leaves and we are headed there next week with a full group of photographers.

To see our 2023 schedule, click here

We hope you are enjoying a great fall. Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Trip Report – Lofoten, Norway

We spent a wonderful week exploring the fjords of Norway in the Lofoten Islands with our latest workshop group. We chased dramatic light and were dazzled by the fall foliage covering the hillsides. Take a look at their trip report to see the photos and find out more.

To see the report, click here

We are headed back to Lofoten this winter and have space available. Trip dates: February 18-25, 2023. They are sure to fill quickly. Click here for a link with more info.

We are on our way to New Zealand to explore fjords in a different hemisphere. We will share our highlights when we return to Colorado on October 4.

We wish you wonderful fall travels and photography!

Thanks for reading our posts. We hope to photograph with you soon!

Tom and Cree

Trip Report – Brown Bear Safari 2022

Just getting back from our Brown Bear Safari in Katmai National Park and what a workshop! Seeing more than 100 bears in a single day was a definite highlight. We were also lucky with the weather and were able to fly to all the best spots for bear photography. Take a look at our trip report to see the photos and find out more.

To see the report, click here

If you are interested in the Bear Safari in 2024, we have a few spaces open. They are sure to fill quickly. Click here for a link with more info.

We are traveling to Norway and New Zealand with workshop groups for the next few weeks. We plan to be back in the office on October 4 and will answer al your inquiries as soon as we get back. We will also check messages when we have good wifi.

Thanks for reading our posts. We hope to photograph with you soon!

Tom and Cree

Trip Report Galapagos 2022

We had a wonderful time on our recent workshop to the Galapagos in Ecuador. Daily snorkeling, sailing on a three-masted ship and walking right up to incredibly rare birds were just a few of the highlights. Take a look at our trip report to see the photos and find out more.

To see the report, click here

If you are interested in traveling to the Galapagos on the Mary Anne with us for a future workshop, send us a note via our contact page, link here Ask to be on the Interest List.

We will be trading in our bathing suits for parkas as our next workshop starts soon in Iceland and Greenland with Strabo Tours. We want to be able to answer all of your questions as soon as possible and will check messages whenever we have coverage. After the workshop, we will be readily available and in the office from August 25-30 if you need anything.

Thanks for reading our posts. We hope to photograph with you soon!

Tom and Cree

Farewell from the Galapagos

Photo of the Month July 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For July we chose an image from our Glacier Workshop created by Eric Lacey. Eric traveled with us to the North American Indian Days in Browning, Montana. We hope you enjoy Eric’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to July 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Eric Lacey

Portrait of Eric by Kim Lafleur with a f1.2 portrait lens

The Story… 

I was looking for an opportunity to photograph a Native American person. I wanted to minimize all the distractions in the background. I was paying as much attention to what was in the background then to what the boy was doing.

Everyone at the event was phenomenally cooperative.

I took 4 or 5 photos with the boy standing in this position. I liked this one the most. He looks contemplative.

Photo of the Month July 2022

Aperture of f2.8: The tepees in the background give it a sense of place. I wanted enough bokeh in the background to blur it but also I wanted the viewer to be able to tell what it is.

Shutter Speed 1/8000: It was a bright sunny day so I shot at a really high shutter speed (1/8000 sec) This is the highest my camera would allow.

Exposure compensation of -1: I always shoot with some negative exposure compensation if I am shooting in aperture mode. I prefer lightening up an image rather than darkening it down in post process. I didn’t want to blow out any of the highlights.

This was the first time I used my mirrorless for portrait work. I was pleased with how it performed. I just love the EVF info and being able to see the histogram in real time. It simplifies the actual shooting.


EXIF Data:

Canon R5, Canon 70-200 RF 2.8 shot at 95mm

F2.8, 1/8000 sec, ISO 200

Aperture Mode, Exposure Comp of -1


Tips for Portraits:

Keep shooting – you will end up with a lot that aren’t great. Increase your keeper ratio by shooting plenty of frames.

Control the background – I didn’t move around the subject much. I knew I wanted the tepees in the background as a frame behind him.

Control the light – we had strong overhead sunlight, so I had to work with that. I softened the light in post. Luckily his headdress didn’t cast too much of a shadow on his face.


Sunrise at Swiftcurrent Lake in GNP

About Photographing in and near Glacier

Glacier exceeded my expectations photographically.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect because Glacier is less well known as a national park. The vistas aren’t as iconic. Compare it to Yosemite. Everyone knows about Half Dome and El Cap. I was very pleasantly surprised.

As for Browning and Indian Days, I thought it was one of the best parts of the trip. The photography was very different for me. Aside from the photography, I really enjoyed just watching. The remembrance tributes were really moving.

Taking portraits was a great way to expand my photographic check list. It was something we hadn’t done before. I took hundreds of photos and only had two keepers. It was really a blast!

Eric learned his lesson with this image

My Lesson Learned:

We went out the first morning and we had a beautiful pink sunrise. I thought the shoot was over and packed everything up and headed to the car. As I was walking up the hill, I heard Tom say, “Look at the light”.

I ran back down and unpacked everything. I used my ND grad filter to darken the sky in this image.

I learned that you don’t pack up until you’re sure the show is over!


On Eric’s Horizon:

Pantanal in Brazil

Puffins on Machias Seal Island off the coast of Maine

Oregon Coast & Redwoods

Tanzania

Eric and Kim photographing horses on route to Browning, Montana

Where are Tom and Cree?

As you read this we are sailing around the Galapagos Islands with a group on a three masted sailboat. We will be back in the office from August 8-12 and then off to Greenland with Strabo Tours to photograph enormous icebergs in Disko Bay.

Want to join us for an international adventure? We have a few spots open:

New Zealand Sept 22-Oct 3, 2022

Norway Sept 11-18, 2022

Patagonia Nov 29-Dec 9, 2022

We hope you are having a great summer. Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Trip Report – Brown Bears and Glaciers

We just returned from our Lake Clark Bear Workshop and are already longing to go back next year. The spring cubs were just wonderful. Take a look at our trip report to see the photos and catch up on what Crimp’s Cub looks like this year.

To see the report, click here

Tom has been busy working on articles for Nikon in his spare time. Check out his new piece on the Pre-release Feature of the Nikon Z9. If you are an Olympus user you probably already know about it. If you are a Nikon user, this allows you to record images before you push the button and capture a burst of activity. Great read! Click here. Most of the images for the article were taken on our Texas Birds Workshops in May

Tom and I will be out of the office for several weeks in August with workshops in both the Galapagos and Greenland. We want to be able to answer all of your questions as soon as possible and will check messages whenever we have coverage.

We will be readily available and in the office from August 8-12. We are also around for the next several days (end of July) if you need anything.

Thanks for reading our posts. We hope to photograph with you soon!

Tom and Cree

Can you tell we love Alaska?
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