Scouting Report – Ecuador Cloud Forest

We hope your photography in 2023 is already off to a good start. We are headed to Chile and Easter Island this weekend for our first photo workshop of 2023.

We just returned from an fascinating scouting trip in Ecuador. We wanted to share the details of our trip with you, and you can read all about it, click here

If you decide you would like to join us in Ecuador in June 2024, we have space available  Read more

Thanks for reading our posts! …..Tom and Cree

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 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

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

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

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