Join us for the annual Bol Holiday Gift Guide and Celebration. Each year Tom and Cree recommend their favorite gifts for photographers. Everyone is welcome to attend. Send a link to your spouse/partner if they are shopping for you!
This online event is Sunday, December 10 at 5 pm. Click here and ask for the Holiday Guide Zoom link.
New this year: send in your favorite image from 2023 for a special Photo Image Celebration: Best of 2023. One image per person to celebrate your best work.
Tom and Cree just finished their Chilkat Eagle Photography Workshop and want to share the highlights with you. They traveled with their group to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve in Haines, Alaska to photograph more than 3000 eagles. Expect to see this trip again in 2026.
To see photos from our 2023 Chilkat Eagle Workshop, check out our trip report, click here
Tom’s recent portrait with the new Nikon Plena Lens from our Route 66 Workshop will be published in the next few weeks. Our two models from the photo shoot should be happy to hear this.
Interested in joining us in Alaska to photograph northern lights? Three spaces on our Northern Lights and Iditarod Workshop in March 2024 are open. Photograph Northern Lights from Talkeetna, Fairbanks and right outside the boundary of Denali National Park. We follow the Iditarod for three days and learn all about photographing sled dogs in action. We even fly out to one of the Iditarod checkpoints to get closer to the action. Learn more
If you are interested in travel and wildlife photography, we have just one space open up for our Orangutan and Volcanos in Indonesia Photo Tour. Learn more
We will be in Monument Valley scouting for future trips for the next week. We already have a record 35 people on the Interest List for this workshop. We are glad so many of you want to join us.
We hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Tom and Cree just finished their Route 66 East Photo Workshop and want to share the highlights with you. They traveled with their group from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Amarillo, Texas photographing people and places from a time gone by. Speedlights, strobe lights and neon lights were all part of the trip instruction. Expect to see this trip again in 2026.
To see photos from our 2023 Route 66 East Workshop, check out our trip report, click here
Tom published another new article for Nikon called Tips for Photographing Fall Color: Click here to read the article. You will see photos from several past workshops like Ouray and Acadia.
Interested in joining us in Alaska to photograph northern lights? Three spaces on our Northern Lights and Iditarod Workshop in March 2024 just opened. This workshop will take you to three different Alaskan towns to photograph aurora as well as to the heart of the Iditarod. We even fly out to one of the Iditarod checkpoints to get closer to the action. Learn more
We will be in Haines,Alaska for the next two weeks to photograph eagles on the Chilkat River. If you are interested in travel and wildlife photography, we have just one space open up for our Orangutan and Volcanos in Indonesia Photo Tour. Learn more
Tom and Cree just finished their Ouray Fall Colors Workshop and want to share the highlights with you. Colors were peak this year on Red Mountain Pass, so we spent several photo sessions on the Million Dollar Highway, driving all the way to Silverton. The trip was so successful that we are offering it again in 2025.
To see photos from our 2023 Ouray Fall Colors Workshop, check out our trip report, click here
Tom just published an article for Nikon called theBear Essentials: Click here to read the article. Interested in joining us in Alaska to photograph brown bears? Three spaces on our Brown Bear Safari in August 2024 just opened. This workshop involves more walking than our Lake Clark trip, but gets us to locations with bears pouncing on dazzling red salmon. Learn more
We will be in Slovenia for the next few weeks with Strabo Photo Tours. If you are interested in travel and wildlife photography, we just had two spaces open up for our Orangutan and Volcanos in Indonesia Photo Tour. Learn more
Tom and I celebrate great participant images by selecting a Photo of the Month. For August we chose an image taken on a Strabo Photo Tour, the Impressions of France. The image was taken by Cheryl Sackett in the Loire Valley town of Chedigny. Cheryl is an avid travel photographer and did a masterful job capturing the elegance of the French countryside.
Congratulations to September 2023 ‘s featured photographer – Cheryl Sackett
I love table settings and have photographed them before. I liked the lighting in the area and the small set of stairs in the background. It was very elegant the way they had it set up.
This scene is from the restaurant in Chedigny, France where we ate lunch, La Clos des Roses. It felt like a very private restaurant with the number of people in it.
The food was excellent. it was probably the best meal of the trip. I remember the main meal was two types of veal. The meat was very tender and both versions were delicious. We also got to meet the chef and she was very cute.
We were already sitting down at lunch and my cell phone was the only camera I had at the moment. I looked over my shoulder, saw the scene and wanted to capture it.
EXIF Data: Apple 11 Pro – we were already sitting down at lunch and my Canon camera was put away. All of my other photos were taken with my Canon.
About Photographing in France
I loved seeing the iconic Paris sites like the Eiffel Tower and the Seine. I also liked getting out of the city. The small village of Chedigny was beautiful and takes you back in time.
The grandeur of the chateaus in the Loire Valley was amazing. The architecture was wonderful. We stayed in a castle called Domaine de la Tortiniere. It was an old chateau with modern settings like a pool and conference center. I stayed in a very quaint annex overlooking the chateau.
Cheryl’s Tips for Travel Photography
I travel very simply with my Canon camera and one or two lenses. For this trip I mostly used my Canon 18-400 mm. It covers just about everything.
I try to get the big picture first and then go for smaller details.
In Chedigny I was looking for interesting scenery and the smaller pictures. I loved the shutters and flowers near the windows. I like to capture people in the background. It was great that there was nobody there but us.
On Cheryl’s Horizon:
Antarctica and South Georgia
Tom and Cree will be closer to home for their next tour, Ouray Fall Colors. In October they are headed to Slovenia with Strabo Tours again. Slovenia is known for its striking variety of landscapes: coastal Mediterranean towns, rolling foothills like in Tuscany and charming mountain towns like in Switzerland. Take a look at other Strabo Tours here.
Tom and Cree just finished their Ecuador Cloud Forest Photo Tour and want to share the highlights with you. We used three different techniques to photograph hummingbirds and were dazzled by the variety of large and small perching birds. The trip was so successful that we are looking into a new session in 2025.
To see photos from our 2023 Ecuador Cloud Forest, check out our trip report, click here
Want to join us in Ecuador in 2025? We are considering adding a session from January 11-18. Send us a note if you are interested, contact us here.
Drop in on our Image Celebration tonight, August 10 at 5 pm Denver time to see work created on our workshops during the last 4 months. Send us a quick note to get the Zoom link: send us a note.
In August we will be out of the office for most of the month. We will be canoeing on the Green River through Canyonlands and in Arctic Alaska, scouting and working on material for Nikon. The best way to contact us will be through email, firstname.lastname@example.org
At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great participant images by selecting a Photo of the Month. For July we chose an image taken on the Redwoods and Rocky Coastlines Workshopcreated by Scott Harrison. Scott worked as a digital imaging specialist for the LA Times for 33 years. His journalistic approach to photography comes out in the breadth of images he created on the workshop. You can see more of his images at www.harrysonpics.com
Congratulations to July 2023 ‘s featured photographer – Scott Harrison
On the second session on the evening walk I wanted to get a scene setter. I hoped to capture the overall picture. We started up the trail and met with the fog. I started using my 16 mm lens and shot about 20 versions of this scene.
I was trying to use the trail as a leading line. In half of the photos I included a person to give scale to the forest. Almost all of the people were members of our group.
My style – I always use 2 camera bodies. This time I had a 24-200 mm on one. My second lens is always special, in this case a 16 mm. Sometimes I use a LensBaby, sometimes an old manual focus lens.
I like to mix in a variety of focal lengths to tell a story. This keeps the images fresh and not repetitious. By adding a specialty lens I also get creative effects.
Camera: Canon EOS RP
Lens: 16 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/60 sec
Shooting Mode: Shutter Priority
Exposure Comp -.03
About Photographing in the Redwoods
I love it!
I’m not a landscape photographer per se, but I like to walk around and photograph things. It is a different world in the Redwoods. I loved the quiet and peacefulness. That is why I was often by myself on the workshop.
I was happy to be in the fog. In Southern California I deal with high contrast lighting all the time. In the fog the lighting is flat and I had the ability to capture more detail. The colors are also saturated. I found the colors were so bright that I had to desaturate them in PhotoShop.
Scott’s Tips for Photographing on a Workshop
Because of my background, I hate shooting the same photo that everyone takes. I stay away from the Grand Canyon and the parks in Utah. If I am there, then I take photos of the crowds in the foreground taking photos in scenic spots.
About 15 years ago I started taking road trips by myself. To plan my trips I used iphone apps like Roadside America. I also use Fotospot and Atlas Obscura. These apps give me information on all the unusual places in the country. I try to find things that other people do not photograph.
From my training with newspapers, we used to travel to a new town and go right to the local drugstore and look at the postcard rack. Find things outside of the mainstream, including in your own home town.
Join the local camera club and do photo walks. Going as a group can really help.
Listen to what the leaders are saying. I took the fern photo because Cree mentioned dialing back the exposure compensation to create a moody shot. I underexposed by 2 stops for that one. I also created a whole series from the Simpson-Reed Grove in black and white.
Online Image Celebration: Join us on August 10 at 5 pm Denver time to see more of the work created on our workshops in the last 4 months. This is a great way to celebrate new work. Sometimes people need more time to edit their images. If you were on a workshop you are invited to send in 3 images to email@example.com. If you would like to join us, send a quick message here and we will send the link.
Tom and Cree are headed to Ecuador next for Ecuador Cloud Forest Workshop. In August they will be out of the office on a wilderness canoe trip in Canyonlands, Utah and then on a scouting trip in remote arctic Alaska.
Tom and Cree just finished their Redwoods and Rocky Coastlines Workshop and want to share the highlights with you. We had a late season rhododendron bloom this year and the pop of colors was beautiful in the foggy forest. Cool, summer temperatures meant we had diffuse light for the trip and this gave the forest a moody feel. This is a great workshop for photographers interested in both landscapes and filter use with seascapes.
To see photos from our 2023 Redwoods and Rocky Coastlines, check out our trip report, click here
Next National Park Opening is Grand Teton National Park: click here
Cree and Tom are on their way to Arizona for the Arizona Hummingbirds Workshopnext. Then they are off to Ecuador to photograph some of the most interesting hummingbirds in the world in the Ecuador Cloud Forest.
Tom will be giving a free online talk on July 13 for Singh Ray Filters called From Sandals to Snowboots: Photographing Easter Island and Lofoten, Norway. If you were on either of those workshops you will see some familiar images. Register online here.
Tom and Cree just finished their Brown Bears of Lake Clark Workshop and want to share the highlights with you. Spring cubs and roosting puffins were the highlights this year. Cold wet weather meant we had diffuse light for the trip and the bears stayed active all day. This is a great workshop for photographers interested in both bears and puffin, with very little walking to get to either.
To see photos from our 2023 Brown Bears of Lake Clark Workshop, check out our trip report, click here
At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images by selecting a Photo of the Month. For June we chose an image taken on the Tanzania Photo Workshop with Strabo Photo Tours created by Joan Carroll. Joan is a well-rounded travel and outdoor photographer. She regularly sells her work through Fine Art America. Check out her numerous online galleries for FAA. We hope you enjoy Joan’s images as much as we do!
Congratulations to June 2023 ‘s featured photographer – Joan Carroll
We pulled up to the spot and I do not remember which vehicle got there first. It was a pretty amazing scene.
I went back and forth between shooting the 800 mm lens to get a close up view of the animal leaping into the water, and using the 100-400 mm lens to get a wider view of the scene. I really liked the environmental view with animals in both the foreground and the background.
I am a fan of the environmental view. A close portrait of an animal is fantastic. But putting it in the environment gives it a sense of place and is really important.
I was looking at the photos of this scene. I must have 1000 images of it. At the end of the series a crocodile took down one of the wildebeest and stopped the action. Before that, the wildebeest were slipping in from the side of the pool and leaping over the top of each other.
When I looked back on the series of images, I could see the crocodile lurking in the scene, just waiting for the right moment. This made me wonder if the wildebeest knew it was there. Were they swimming for their lives. Animals are smarter than we think. Did they have the awareness of the wildebeest all along?
All the dust and the whole environment….it’s not something there are really words for.
Of the 1000 images of this sequence, I chose the one where the wildebeest was leaping the highest. He leaped the highest but landed right by the shore where the crocodile was waiting.
Camera: Nikon Z9
Lens: 100-400mm at 240
Shutter Speed: 1/3200 sec
Shooting Mode: Manual with auto ISO
Exposure Comp +.67
About Photographing in Africa
Oh my gosh! The two trips to Africa have probably been the most exciting things I have done….ever.
It is so dynamic. It is always changing. It is not like a landscape where you have time to figure everything out and adjust your settings.
I’d still be stuck there if someone hadn’t said “Let’s move on.” I’d just keep shooting.
I’m paying for that now with 44,000 images from the trip. I was going to be more mindful of how many photos I took this time. But when I got to the Serengeti, all bets were off!
Joan’s Tips for Wildlife Photography
I don’t consider myself any kind of expert.
Stand next to Tom and Cree and do what they do. Keep your ears open for tips and re-evaluate what you are doing.
Be aware of the whole scene and what the possibilities are. Pay attention to the flow of what’s going on. Have global awareness.
Have all the right equipment, batteries and cards.
Get a lot of rest. Be ready to go for every shooting session. I was there to photograph animals and do as much as I could. Know what you want out of a photo trip.
On Joan’s Horizon:
Bears in Lake Clark National Park
Eagles in Chilkat, Alaska
Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands
My all time favorite trip was to the Canadian Arctic. We landed at Grise Fjord on Ellesmere Island and took a sledge out onto the ice to go ice diving. The silence was incredible.
Tom has been doing workshops for Strabo Photo Tours for decades. He likes how trips are well organized and cater to photographer’s needs. Tom and Cree currently do at least one trip per year with Strabo.