Route 66 East Workshop Trip Report for Tom Bol Photo Workshops

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Historic El Vado Hotel is our home base for the first two days of the Route 66 East Workshop. Neon signs are all over Central Avenue and we spent our first two nights photographing neon and capturing car headlights streaking through the scene.

The Route 66 Archway near the historic Western View Restaurant
Dog House - Home of the world's finest foot long chili dog

Route 66 Diner

The entire restaurant was ours for the much-awaited diner photo shoot. Our group photographed three of the wait staff in natural light. We controlled the amount of light with Venetian blinds and then used their shadows to create more moody portraits.

Using shadows to create a moody image
Yes, we all had huge milkshakes afterwards!

Old Town Square

Our photo shoot at the historic Old Town Square gave us a chance to capture iconic New Mexican architecture and play around with shadows and cowboys.

Creating a cowboy shadow at the Neri Church
Kind of looks like Tom Bol....

Santa Rosa

Handheld speedlights, snoots and gels were the perfect tools for the 66 Car Museum in Santa Rosa. Artificial light helped bring out details in the large selection of classic cars.

Kennedy checking out the engine
Double trouble from upstate New York
Jane using a speedlight on a classic car

Blue Swallow Motel

We spent the next two days in Tucumcari based out of the famous Blue Swallow Motel. We used Elinchrom strobe lights and worked with rockabilly models to capture the spirit of the 1950s

Photo of Anna by Steve Glass
Using a speed light with a blue gel to light the cab of a classic car

Route 66 Texas

We worked in black and white for several of our stops in Texas to capture the vintage feel of the area. Glenrio, Adrian, the Second Amendment Cowboy and the Big Texas all looked great in monochrome.

Gals in hats for Texas
Rural relics
Guys with attitudes

Cadillac Ranch

The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo is always a favorite with our groups. This year we had overcast skies which cut down on midday contrast. Colorful Cadillacs stick out of the ground in a corn field and grafitti is encouraged.

Our loyal group of photographers
Armed and loaded
Gary getting into the action at Cadillac Ranch


For our final shoot of the workshop we worked with Anthony, a local. He has lived in the area for 53 years and is a great storyteller. We used a smaller Elinchrom strobe light to bring the portrait to life.

We always enjoy Tucumcari. More than any other town on Route 66, it embodies the spirit of the Mother Road. It is a great place to relax, enjoy classic neon and hang out with new and old friends.

Thanks to our wonderful photographers and to our assistant extraordinaire - Steve Glass: Steve's website

Interested in joining us on Route 66? We have 1 space available on Route 66 Oklahoma in 2024: Click here. In 2026 we will offer both Route 66 East (ABQ to Amarillo - highlighted in this trip report) and Route 66 West (ABQ to Winslow) Click here to join the Interest List for either

And finally....