Category Archives: Brenda Tharp’s Photo Blog

Expressive Nature Photography Officially on Sale TODAY

 

Expressive nature photography is about first finding what excites you in the location or scene, and then figuring out the way to communicate what you feel about what you are seeing, and that requires applying the concepts of light, composition, visual depth, and point of view, along with other technical things like the appropriate depth-of-field or shutter speed. In my latest book, I discuss all of these things and more, illustrated with new photographs, and I’m very excited about this book – 240 pages of idea and tips to help others become better at creating photographs that have more impact. SUMMER is a great time to read this and put it to good use – and keep using it into Autumn, and well, Winter, and then there’s next Spring…

This book is now available at bookstores everywhere – and on line. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Expressive Nature Photography! It always feels good to give ‘birth’ to a new project…

Signed copies are available on my site (higher price), or visit your favorite on-line or brick-and-mortar store to order a copy. 

Enjoy, and keep on photographing!

 

 

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Black Bear Fishing with Style

I know we’re supposed to not anthropomorphize as wildlife photographers, but how can you not when animals can be just so funny?! 

Each bear develops its own fishing style, and along Anan Creek near Wrangell, Alaska, this black bear had found her niche – pun intended! She settled into a hole in the rushing stream, and would swat at salmon as they came by. Not the most industrious bear, we thought at first, in fact she was so laid back that we nick-named her “Hot Tub Girl” because it was like she was a human sitting in a hot tub, relaxing! She did swat at passing salmon, and missed – as the lead photo shows. I have a lot of funny images where the salmon is getting away. But she did also succeed in catching a meal now and then, too, so who can fault the technique? 

Photographing wildlife is a blast!

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Another excerpt from my newest book

 
Another excerpt from my newest book Expressive Nature Photography, in the chapter The Narrative Image:
 
Find the story in the landscape
Even a landscape pictures tells a story. Begin by first figuring out what inspires you in the location. What makes it unique? Try to establish what you want to express in the photograph. Then look for a point of view that brings out your vision in the strongest way….Is there a process of nature, or some detail, that will express the story strongly?”
 
In these two pictures, I found ‘story’. The drought in California is a major issue, (and it’s still not over, really). When driving through the high Sierra I encountered this pond that was drying up. The story was the parched, cracked bottom of the once-full pond. In the second picture, the story tells of a gecko digging a burrow to get out of the heat and light. There are stories in nature everywhere, we just have to become keen observers of everything around us.
 

 
Find your stories in nature this summer!
 
Enjoy,
 
 
 
 
 
Expressive Nature Photography is published by Monacelli Press, and is on sale July 25th at bookstores near you and online. Prefer a signed copy? Click here for the book sales page on my website.
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Photo Tips for Landscapes – An Excerpt from the Book

             Tre Cimi formation and stream, Dolomite Range, Italy.

 

It’s a perfect time to get out there and celebrate summer – and photograph the landscape. With that in mind, I’m sharing a few pointers taken from the pages of my new book, Expressive Nature Photography – that goes on sale July 25th! 

• Try to be there in great light. (Always a great idea, and by great light, it doesn’t have to be sunny! Look for drama in the light for landscapes.)

• Get physically close to things in the foreground. This exaggerates their size in relationship to other objects and elements in the frame behind them. (It also puts the viewer in your shoes…)

• You may need to be at a slightly higher position to show background elements, and keep them separated from the foreground. (i.e. watch for mergers!)

• Find a way to create a flow for the eye by using leading lines, or a repetition of rocks, or tufts of grass, to bring the viewer from foreground to background.

• Make sure you have sharpness throughout the scene. You’ll typically be using f/11 to f/22 for an aperture, but you’ll need to set a hyper-focal focus. Use a hyper-focal app on your smart phone, or printed charts to calculate and set the hyper-focal focus to get foreground to background in focus.

That’s it – as if it were that simple, right? But keeping tips like these in mind when you do find a great landscape will help you create more impact in your photographs, something we all want.

Thanks for visiting, and have fun out there!

 

 

 

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