Photographer of the Month – April 2021

Tom and Cree celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photograph of the Month. For April we selected an image created by Brian Kennedy on our Utah Landscapes Workshop. We hope you enjoy Brian’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to April 2021 ‘s featured photographer – Brian Kennedy

The Story … 

We were at Sunset Point and Tom was ahead of everyone. Tom pointed out how the light was hitting different formations.

The sun was peaking in and out of the clouds. A shaft of light came through and hit the formation we were looking at.

I was shooting at f11 because I knew that was a good setting for my lens. I used focus peaking to focus. I was looking at the image in the viewfinder and the histogram was perfect. The entire image was red because of focus peaking.

To edit the image I just set the white point and the black point and it looked great.

April 2021 Photograph of the month

EXIF Data: Canon mirrorless R5 with a 100-400mm lens

Aperture Priority mode f11, 1/80 sec, ISO 160 with focus peaking

About Bryce and Capitol Reef

Bryce Canyon was on my bucket list. I’ve seen pictures of it. I love sunsets and sunrises. With the red rock, how can you not want to photograph there?

Sunrise at Inspiration Point

In Capitol Reef, I was learning new features of the new mirrorless Canon R5. I was practicing focus peaking. I love focus peaking. After that section of the trip, I was a focus peaking fool.

Like the histogram, focus peaking is a tool. I have been dissapointed in the past when I get home from a landscape shoot and parts of the image were out of focus. With focus peaking I know what will be in focus and what will not.

The iconic barn at Capitol Reef National Park

Michael Iles and I approached the barn at Capitol Reef and we noticed there was no lock on the gate. We walked into the pen and got a better angle and were able to get a bit closer to the barn. I used the 24-70 (lens) with the R5.

Brian’s tips for shooting landscapes:

Tip #1: Get to the spots early.

Tip #2: Know your equipment. I did better in Bryce then in Capitol Reef because I understood my equipment better.

Petroglyphs at Capitol Reef

On Brian’s Horizon

Death Valley National Park

Acadia National Park – 4th trip there

Bucket List: Costa Rica, Alaska Brown Bears, Yellowstone in Winter, Canadian Rockies

Brian photographing on the Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef National Park

Tom and Cree are headed to Yellowstone National Park next for two May wildlife workshops. For a full listing of upcoming workshops, including our new trip to France: Click Here

Utah Landscapes: Trip Report

We just returned from a spectacular landscape workshop in Utah and wanted to share the highlights with you in our trip report. Click here to see the details and experience spring in Capitol Reef and Bryce National Parks.

Our next Utah Landscapes Workshop is April 19-23, 2023 and there are 3 spaces available. Read more

Next, we are headed to Yellowstone for 2 workshops to photograph spring wildlife and landscapes. A single space just opened up on our May 16-20 Yellowstone in Spring Workshops. Click here to learn more.

Enjoy your spring!

Tom and Cree

What’s Coming Up at TBPW

Greetings Photographers!

We are moving into Spring here in Colorado with a few days of light snow to keep things interesting. Here is what is happening at Tom Bol Photo Workshops in April and May….

Glory of the Snow in Fort Collins

Upcoming Online Events

Free Zoom Session with Tom and Cree

Interested in knowing more about Mirrorless Cameras? We have a free Zoom meeting coming up on Thursday, April 15 at 5 pm MDT called “Let’s Talk About Mirrorless” If you are wondering whether you should go mirrorless, this is the perfect talk for you. If you would like to receive an invite for this session, just click on the link and leave us a message here.

Online Outdoor Photography Conference

Tom will be one of 18 featured speakers at the Kelby One Outdoor Conference May 18-19, 2021 Early Bird Cost is only $149. The variety of topics is impressive: Night Star Photography, Macro Photography, Adventure Lifestyle, National Park Landscapes, Tack Sharp Editing . Click on the following link to sign up: Click Here

Update on Field Workshops

Utah Landscape Workshops

Our April Utah Landscapes Workshop is coming up next week and we are excited to be headed to Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks. We will be photographing starry landscapes at Capitol Reef. It is an International Dark Skies Area and one of the best places we know to photography the galactic core. The 2021 workshop is full but we have added another Utah Landscapes Workshop in 2023. Space is available. Learn more

Yellowstone in Spring Workshops

We have two Yellowstone Workshops coming up in May and look forward to photographing spring bears and baby bison. Both workshops are full and we have been hearing from participants on social media:

I am counting down the weeks/days now….Yellowstone 2021.” Kim Turner

Botswana and Zimbawe Workshop in 2022

There are three spaces available for this high end photography safari that we are offering though the Wild Source from Nov 11-22, 2022. Bill Given, the owner of the Wild Source is a big cat biologist and lives in Golden, Colorado. We have worked closely with him to put together the best possible photography experience in the Chobe – Okavango Delta and the Hwange National Park. We round the trip out with a visit to Victoria Falls. Learn more

Easter Island Workshop

We are all looking forward to international travel opening up soon. Chile is one of the best countries in the world right now for its rate of vaccination. It has a higher percentage of its population vaccinated than we do in the United States. We have 2 spaces available on our Chile and Easter Island Workshop on January 14-22, 2022. Head down south with us to experience the tropical paradise of Easter Island and the colorful culture and landscapes of Chile. Learn more

Presentations for Camera Clubs….

Tom will be presenting on 15 Tips for Better Photography for the St. Louis Camera Club in Missouri on May 9. Thanks to Bonnie Freeland for coordinating this!

We always love hearing from you! or (970) 631-9383  

Happy Spring!

Cree and Tom

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

Greetings Photographers!

Brrr it’s cold! Places all over the country are seeing record temps and we have been busy photographing winter. Between backyard birds puffed up from the cold, ice crystal macros and our local eagle tree, Tom and I have been on the go. Here is what is coming up at Tom Bol Photo Workshops….

Upcoming Onine Classes – the last few!

We have posted our last three online classes in March. We are so impressed with the learning and images that have been created by you during these classes. After March we plan to be scouting new locations and offering workshops in the field.

Here is what we are offering in March:

New Class: Travel Photography  Details:  Ready to take your travel photography to the next level?  Can’t wait to hit the road this summer? Join Tom and Cree for five days of creative ideas and techniques for travel photography-all online.  After photographing over 80 countries and frequently shooting assignments for tourism bureaus and travel publications, we have some tips to help you learn new techniques. March 15-19 M-F from 10-11:30 am or 5-6:30 pm. Cost $349

Last 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.  March 8-12 M-F from 3-4:30 Cost $349

Adobe Portfolio: Are you an Adobe Lightroom or PhotoShop user? Did you know you have a free portfolio program included in your subscription? Move beyond posting on social media and create a portfolio to share your best photos with friends and family. This class covers everything you need to know including writing an artist statement, creating galleries, setting up a contact form and choosing an overall theme. March 13 and 16 from 10-11:30 am. Cost: $249

The local eagle tree in Fort Collins, Colorado

Scouting Report

One of our favorite parts of running a workshop company is scouting our new locations. We continually offer new destinations and want to be sure that our new locations will be perfect for you. With all the interest in bird photography we will be heading to Madera Canyon in Arizona to photograph hummingbirds in the next few months. We also plan to visit the swamps of Louisiana to look for nesting herons and egrets among the cypress trees.

Last summer we scouted the Colorado high country for a wildflower workshop with jeep access to the higher alpine bowls. Look for that workshop based out of Silverton in July 2023.

Interested in whales and calving Glaciers? We plan to visit Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska to scout for an early June trip.

In the Media

Check out Tom’s recent blog for Singh Ray Filters on using their Gold N Blue filter to create dramatic winter images: click here

Are you signed up for Tom’s tri-weekly blog? He writes about everything from the warmest socks around, to customizing camera buttons. This is a great place to learn about the newest mirrorless lenses and shooting techniques.

Upcoming Events and Presentations

Join us for our Happy Hour Image Celebration on February 19 at 7:00 SMT to see the best images created in February’s Macro for Cabin Fever, PhotoShop 2 and From Lightroom to PhotoShop. classes. See our latest portfolios from our current Adobe Portfolio class. Contact Cree at for a Zoom link.

Tom speaks online with the Evergreen Camera Club in Colorado on 15 Tips to Improve Your Photography on Wednesday, March 10 at 7 pm.

Tom will be presenting online to the Loveland Photographic Society on 15 Tips to Improve Your Photography on Monday March 8.

We always love hearing from you! or (970) 631-9383  

Warm regards!

Cree and Tom

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! 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.

Photographer of the Month September 2020

Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photo of the Month. For September we selected Linda Sullivan’s image from our Elk Rut Workshop
. We hope you enjoy Linda’s images as much as we do. 

Congratulations to September’s photographer – Linda Sullivan

Elk Rut Workshop September 2020

The Story … 

We were very fortunate. It was the end of the morning session and we were leaving Moraine Park. We came across these two young bulls in the Ponderosa Pines by the road. We jumped out and took advantage of the opportunity to get close to the pair practicing for when they become more serious as adults.

They were out there sparring for an hour. The challenge was trying to set the shot up. The best shot was when they moved into a small clearing. I wanted to get both of their eyes open while they were locked in battle.

The September 2020 Photo of the Month

I was glad that I learned to shoot in manual with auto ISO on the workshop. It made it really easy to shoot wildlife. Using auto ISO allowed me to focus on just the shutter speed. This made me more confident in working in manual mode.

We photographed handheld to be able to move quickly to get action shots with the best composition and the least amount of distractions. I was very pleasantly surprised to see two young bulls fighting for such a long time right in front of us. It was quite an opportunity!

The Data: .

ISO 2800 220mm 1/1000 f 5.6 in manual mode with auto ISO

The Gear: Nikon D850 with a 80-400mm lens

A large bull elk bugles in Moraine Park – by Linda Sullivan

About Photographing the Elk Rut in Rocky Mountain National Park:

It was a magical experience for me. I spent time not only photographing the elk and their behavior. I also just listened to the bugling sounds and the dance of the rut.

All the animal behaviour we experienced during the weekend was so special. It makes me want to go back year after year.

By Linda Sulivan

Tip from the Photographer … 

I really appreciated learning about elk behaviour from all the information that was sent before the workshop. You want to be able to anticipate what they are going to do.

We learned how the elk would move to round up the females in their harem. We knew when the bull would bugle. It made it easier to anticipate when to be ready to photograph. We waited for the right moment, instead of just shooting away at everything.

Linda at the Route 66 Diner Photo Shoot in 2019

On Linda’s Horizon

Galapagos & Costa Rica

Want to join us for the last Colorado Getaway? We have a few open spots and will be photographing the end of the elk rut in Rocky Mountain National Park and hoping for clear enough skies to shoot the galaxy at night. Click Here for more info

Greetings Photographers!

We just finished our first two field based workshops! We wanted to share the results with you in our trip report. Click on the link below to see highlights of our workshops in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. This was the perfect blend of wildlife and landscape photography during fall aspen season.

Click here to see the report

We have one more trip to Rocky Mountain National Park coming up in mid-October. Wildfire smoke may become a factor for night skies, but we have a group that is ready to go and there are a few spaces available:

RMNP: Night Skies and ELK

If you are staying at home, we have several online classes starting at the end of October will space still available. Click on the links below for dates and details:

Creative Camera Craft

PhotoShop 1: Lightroom to PhotoShop

PhotoShop 2: Applied Layers

PhotoShop 3: Beyond Applied Layers

All About Texture Layers

Enjoy your fall photography!

Tom and Cree

Photo of the Month – August 2020

Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photo of the Month. For August we selected Lynn Satterfield’s image from our online Texture Overlay class
. We hope you enjoy Lynn’s images as much as we do. 

Congratulations to August’s photographer – Lynn Satterfield

Lynn at the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina

The Story … 

The wagon was at the estancia where we stayed in Patagonia. It was at sunset and the light came in really nice on the wagon. I took the photo handheld. It was a pretty good photo before I did anything with texture layers.

I asked myself can I make it look rustic, like it was old and wearing down. This concept just seemed to go with the wagon.

The August 2020 Photo of the Month

To create the texture image for the overlay, I just went into the kitchen and pulled all the pans out to see what I had. I used the Nikon Z6 to photograph it because it’s so light. I turned the pan right side up first. Then I turned it over and the back side was even better.

I cropped the texture layer a bit because the edge didn’t add anything to it. I put a bit of gold color in it to warm the image up. I added texture and clarity as well. That was about it, really.

Lynn’s texture layer created by photographing the back of a baking pan with her Nikon Z6

The Data: .

ISO 400 35mm 1/125 f 16

The Gear: Nikon D500 for background, Nikon Z6 for texture

About Texture Overlays:

Doing texture layers helped me understand layers and blending modes in PhotoShop. With the layer masks, it just seemed to click that you could use them to bring out parts of the texture and hide the texture in other parts.

Texture layers give you a feeling of creating and being an artist. Taking a photo anyone can do. This technique makes the image your own vision.

A goose texture overlay image from Lynn Satterfield
The golden pond texture Lynn chose for her goose image

Tip from the Photographer … 

Don’t be intimidated by layers. Experiment. Put different textures on and see what they look like. the wagon texture was about 46% opacity. I used the lighten blend mode after going through all of them.

Lynn experimenting with a second texture on the Patagonian wagon

On Lynn’s Horizon

Bears and Glaciers Workshop and Australia/Tasmania Workshop in 2021

She also wants to work more with speedlights and editing in PhotoShop.

Lynn in action in the bird blinds at Laguna Seca Ranch in South Texas

The Patagonian wagon image was taken on a workshop with American Nature Photography Workshops Click here to learn more

There is another Texture Overlay class starting at the end of October. To see a schedule of online classes with Tom Bol Photo Workshops Click Here

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