Photo of the Month Dec 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For December we chose an image from our Patagonia Photo Workshop created by Greg Ness. Greg has photographed wildlife in Patagonia several times and was delighted with his condor encounter on this trip. We hope you enjoy Greg’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to December 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Greg Ness

Greg, dressed for the weather, at the Mirador del Condores (Condor Viewpoint)

The Story… 

It was humorous. When we arrived on scene we looked like a cautious infantry unit. Everyone took 5 steps forward. Then everyone took 5 more steps. The condor was eye balling us the whole time. It must have been thinking, “What are they doing?”

I was using the Sony A1 because I was hoping for a flight shot. I figured if he did fly it would be a very quick shot. I got a couple of decent flight shots but they were kind of at an angle that did not show off his wings.

I loved the bird just sitting there. What an interesting face. You have to ask yourself, what is it about that bird? A face that could stop a truck. Why is it designed like that. I am sure bird experts have some interesting theories on that. I wanted to show the interesting features.

December 2022 Photo of the Month

The light was just right. We had intermittent sunshine. It illuminated the grass right in front of the bird. This made for a nice counterpoint to the dark body of the bird.

I would like to know why it sat there as long as it did. It must have been eating something.

After I got home I did some research. The condor is the biggest flying bird in the world if you combine wingspan (up to 10 ft) and weight (up to 30 pounds). We saw them all over the place. With the Patagonian winds they barely have to flap their wings to take off.

EXIF Data:

Sony AI Sony 200-600 mm f5-6.3 lens at 600 mm

ISO 500 1/2000 sec f6.3

Aperture Priority Mode

Exposure compensation -.03


The view of Mt Fitzroy when heading into Chalten

About Photographing in Patagonia

One of the things that intrigued me about Patagonia is its ties to our past. Anyone who lives in Colorado asks themselves, wouldn’t it be fun to transport yourself back to the Old West. Some one described Patagonia as being like the Old West – large plains, mountain ranges, dramatic weather.

It’s big and wild there. It’s also hard to get to a lot of the places. It keeps the majority of the tourists out. You have to work for photographs in Patagonia. Even if you get to the locations, you can spend days trying to get a picture of Fitzroy or El Chalten and never see it.

This means you have to have patience. The last day we were in Torres del Paine. The calm waters were incredible. How many people have seen that before?

Calm waters at Hosteria Pehoe, our hotel for 3 days

Greg’s Tips for Photographing in Patagonia

Tip 1: I took two rented lenses. This was not a great idea. Know your lenses and know your camera equipment really well. If Marcos is sprinting across the pond on his horse, you may only get one shot of it.

Zoom lenses are really valuable to have. A condor is sitting on the ground, but it could fly at any minute. My suggestions are: 100-500mm and 70-200 and 24-70mm. Take two bodies: anything could happen.

Tip 2: The weather was like last time. It would almost knock you over one day and the next day, no wind. Shoot a lot on the good days. Consider black and white for the cloudy days.

Tip 3: I liked using black and white for the gaucho photos. It fits with the idea of a hard to get to place that is almost lost in time. It has not changed that much in the last 9 years. But it will slowly change.

Patagonian Grey Fox at ground level

On Greg’s Horizon:

Wanaka in New Zealand

Lofoten in Norway – want to return for hiking

Arizona for a month – both hiking and photography

Polar regions -Greenland, Iceland

Cruise to Northern Greenland

Faroe Islands

Madeira in Spain

Greg photographing a Porcelan Orchid

Workshop News

Few spots left: Masking Made Easy: Online Editing Class. Brush up on your editing skills and learn how to use new masking features in either PhotoShop or Lightroom as well as older features like luminosity masks. Click here to learn more.

Few Spots Left: 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 just back from a personal trip to Jackson, Wyoming. We photographed Great Gray Owls, Moose and Coyotes and had a splendid ski in front of the Tetons on New Years Day.

We hope you have a wonderful 2023 and find plenty of time to take photos. Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Photo of the Month – October 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For October we chose an image from our Acadia Fall Colors Workshop created by Traci Rickman. Traci is a real estate photographer and is equally at home photographing landscapes. We hope you enjoy Traci’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to October 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Traci Rickman

Traci in the lobster town of Bernard, Maine

The Story… 

I almost missed the window of opportunity. I didn’t have a lot of time because I had stayed back to photograph the Bubbles. Everyone else headed over to capture the fog earlier than I did.

The sun was filtering in from the right side of the frame. By the time I arrived, Tom was saying “Here it comes.” I set up and started shooting quickly. You can just see a bit of sun filtering into the scene below the fog.

I just love the color in this, mm mm mm!

I tried to fill up my frame with color.

There were more grass clusters in the foreground, but they had hot spots on them from the sun coming in. I took them out with Lightroom and PhotoShop to get rid of some of the hot grass.

October 2022 Photo of the Month

EXIF Data:

Nikon D500, Nikon 70-200mm lens shot at 70 mm

F16, 1/10 sec, ISO 100 on a tripod

Exposure Compensation -2.0

Aperture Mode


About Photographing in Acadia National Park

I love Acadia. I love Bar Harbor. This was the second time I’ve been there. I was excited to go back with Tom and Cree.

The first time I went I was a bit overwhelmed.

I felt like I missed a lot of the shots. I did more artistoc compositions. When I got back home my husband said “Did you look at rocks the whole time?” This time I wanted to get more iconic shots.

I focused on shooting what spoke to me. I realized that in the past I was shooting what I thought other people wanted to see.

On this trip I wanted to redeem myself!

Sunrise at Otter Rock

Traci’s Tips for Photographing Landscapes:

Tip 1: Photograph what speaks to you. Other people will find other subjects to focus on. Find your own subjects.

Tip 2: Broaden your view. Don’t get so focused on what is in your camera viewfinder.

Look behind you. Look around. I will often take out my cellphone and see things differently with it. It helps me see the larger view. Then I’ll take out my camera…..

Tip 3: Try moving three feet to the side or one foot vertically.

When I photographed the foggy scene (below) I decided to walk down the road from where everyone else was standing. I was really drawn in by the grasses and the lines leading into the red tree. Instead of shooting a tight shot with just the red tree, I decided I liked this composition better.

I do this a lot in real estate photography. I’ll move to the right or left by just one foot when photographing a room. Often time this move makes the shot.

Foggy scene in Acadia National Park

On Traci’s Horizon:

Costa Rica

Redwoods National Park

Congratulations Traci

Workshop News

We added another Acadia Fall Colors Workshop for October 2025. Just 2 spaces left. Click here to learn more.

By popular demand we also added our Old Car City Workshop from March 3-April 2, 2023. Photograph classic cars in the Georgia hardwoods. Learn about speed lights for creative effect. Click here to read more.

Finally, we will be heading to Oaxaca, Mexico in January 2024 to explore Day of the Dead inspired portraits and colorful travel photos Click here to read more.

Where are Tom and Cree?

We have been enjoying a few weeks at home in Fort Collins. Our last two workshops of 2022 are in Botswana & Zimbabwe and then on to Argentina and Chile for our Patagonia Workshop. We will keep you updated on social media.

Looking forward to winter and the holidays. Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

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

Photo of the Month August 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For August we chose an image from our Galapagos Workshop created by Ned Reese. We hope you enjoy Ned’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to August 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Ned Reese

Ned Reese on Espanola Island in the Galapagos

The Story… 

I had about 70 images of the night heron. Going through them, that one was in the middle of the string of images.

It was stunning when I brought it up in Photo Mechanic. The image is almost untouched. I did very little to improve it. It was almost an accident.

I like tight framed shots of wildlife, shots of the face, with interesting facial expressions. Animals are not too distant from humans. You can read their faces. You could put a lot of captions on that frame.

August 2022 Photo of the Month

When we landed on Genovese Island, there were birds everywhere. It was early on in the trip. It was kind of like taking a drink from a fire hydrant. There was so much going on around us.

This was a different kind of shooting for me. There was so much activity and life everywhere we turned. On Everest I learned to step back and take in the environment before starting to shoot. You cannot do that in the Galapagos. I found myself grabbing the camera and just trying to be cognizant of all of the correct settings while shooting.

I like this image more every time I look at it. It speaks to what I was trying to get, an interesting facial expression and tack sharp details. I have been doing a lot of photography recently, listening, being around Tom and Cree. My photography has improved by magnitudes.


EXIF Data:

Nikon D850, Nikon 80-400 lens shot at 310 mm

F10, 1/2000 sec, ISO 3200

Manual Mode, auto ISO


Ned’s Tips for Photographing Wildlife:

Take a lot of shots

Auto ISO is key to shooting in manual. Tom insisted I try it and it was awkward at first. It made it much easier in the long run. You learn more about your camera too.


Sultry Sealion

About Photographing in the Galapagos

To be honest, at first Galapagos was just another workshop. I have been working more on my technique than on locations. Everybody talks about the Galapagos. I wasn’t prepared for the reality of being on the ground and photographing there.

In retrospect, it was in the top 5 of all my favorite photo locations.

It was special in ways I am still learning about. There is so much life there. It is so prevalent, everywhere. It’s like wall paper. On bear trips you have to go out and find the bears. On this trip, animals are everywhere.

The sailboat made it even more special. I’d go back but only on a sailboat. Darwin and Fitzroy explored the Galapagos in a ship. This was an associative experience for me. I can’t image doing it any other way.

Flamingos on Rabida Island

Flamingo Shoot:

We hiked into the pond and flamingos were all over the place. It was a sunny day with a lot of contrast and there was not much activity. We decided to walk to the end of the pond and it looked like they were going to do something. My arm was getting tired from holding up my 500mm lens for so long….

When they took off, I took 30-40 images of them flying. This image was a statistical success. It had the right light, good composition and everything was sharp.

Sealion in the surf on Rabida Island

On Ned’s Horizon:

New Zealand

Africa: Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa

Alaska

Antarctica

“I just like to go….”

Ned photographing a Giant Land Tortoise

Where are Tom and Cree?

With Fall right around the corner, we are headed to Alaska for our Brown Bear Safari in Katmai National Park. We are back home just a few days before heading to Norway and on to New Zealand in September.

With so much travel in September we will do our best to answer your questions while on the road. This will be our busiest month since starting our business five years ago. By October things will slow down and we will be in the office more often. Thanks for your patience. We are almost caught up from all the postponed trips from 2020 and 2021.

To see our 2023 schedule, click here

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

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

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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