Category Archives: Plug-ins

New – Topaz Texture Effects Program


Quiet Day, Portmagee, Ireland


My friends over at Topaz have done it again! This stand-alone and plug-in program has an incredible selection of texture effects, and everything in the library is modifiable ‘to taste’. I love programs that give you a place to start with your creativity and then let you take it over from there to create your own look. And you can save those special looks to recall them later to keep your style. Very cool. You can also download effects from the internet, from the Topaz community, when you find ones that others have created that you like. Even better.

I made this image using the Summer Haze preset, and then after exiting the program, blended the results with my original file in Photoshop just a teensy bit. The options are limitless with this program.

This program is on sale from today through November 20th, you can save $20 off the regular price. If you are interested, please use this affiliate link, Topaz Labs Store, and type in the code TEXTUREFX at checkout. You will LOVE this program if you love to apply textures to your images for a fine-art, painterly look.





Also posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, creative ideas, Processing Techniques Tagged , , |

The Rites of Spring



Poppy-scape, Italy

 I love to travel, and I am really looking forward to my tour in Morocco and then on to Spain and Portugal, but I have to be honest: I HATE missing Spring here in northern California. It’s a time when my spirits feel renewed, when my own energy seems to come bursting out of me. The good news is that Spring will be following me – hopefully – as I am going to Morocco a month earlier than usual, and late April/early May is still late Spring in Spain. So I’m looking foward to fields of flowers in both countries and hoping it’s a great year for them there!

For this image, I used Topaz Labs’ Impression plug-in, and their Pointillism preset which I then adjusted to taste, layered over the original and adjusted opacity. It’s hard to see the effect unless quite enlarged in my office, but it adds a touch of painterly effect here in this small version. For a 15% discount, click on the link here and enter the code brendatharp at checkout.

You can learn this technique in several of the workshops that I am teaching this year, including at the Madeline Island School of Photography class October 5-9, 2015.

Thanks for visiting and sharing.





Also posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, general photography, Landscape Photography, nature photography, Software, Special Effects Tagged , , , |

Topaz Labs Special and Cuba


Cuba Today, or Yesterday??

It’s alway amazed and delighted me how taking the color away from an image can give it a timeless feel.  Such was the case here. I loved how the light spilled down the cobblestones and elongated the shadow of the car, while bringing out such wonderful texture of those cobblestones. In color, that sky was a warm white, and while I could pull the exposure in on the histogram, there still wasn’t really any color, and in a color image, those bright skies seem to detract more than when it’s a black and white. Besides, the more I looked at the image, the more it called out to be black and white to me.

I used Topaz Labs B&W Effects for this one, and they are having a special promotion for this plug-in. Save $20 off the price now through March 31st. Use the coupon code MARBW.

Also posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, Processing Techniques, travel photography Tagged , , , , |

Special Holiday Deals on Plug-Ins!

It’s Time to give THANKS to all these companies creating such great processing software for our images! These folks have worked hard to create a series of quality plug-ins for everything from essential processing to creative processing effects for your images. As many of you know I have used their plug-ins for some time and love them!

Topaz Deal is good November 28 – through December 1 so don’t sleep too long after your Turkey dinner and miss out! CLICK ON THE PICTURE and enter the code BLACKFRIDAY2014




And more Plug-in Fun! Macphun is offering a special Black Friday pricing on their Creative Kit – ending the evening of Black Friday. Check it out! Click on the picture below.


Creative Kit Plus. You save over 30%.


Here’s an image I created with MacPhun’s Tonality Pro:



Enjoy your holiday and have some fun with new processing software!!


All best,





Also posted in photography, Processing Techniques, Special Effects, The Blog Tagged , , , , |