Category Archives: Processing Techniques

The Mezquita Mosque, Córdoba

Spain, Andalusia. Cordoba. Mosque.

In May 2015, I led a photography tour to Andalusia, along with pro photographer (and my partner) Jed Manwaring. We had a lovely group with us, an enthusiastic and flexible group, and we saw so many wonderful sites! One great place was the Mezquita, the mosque-cathedral, in Córdoba. I had seen so many pictures of it and was excited to get there. As we entered the mosque, I tried to be mindful of the ancient and religious place we were entering. I thought about all the historical figures of the day that had spent time in this place, and marveled at this long-standing gem of moorish architecture. So much was present in these walls.

I wanted my pictures to reflect that, and as a straight image, they show the structure and architectural details very well. But by applying a texture overlay from Flypaper Textures, I could create a more weathered, antiquated feeling to the image. I chose the Marguerite texture from the Distressed-painterly set, but there are others that would have also worked well. I haven’t had much time to ‘play’, er, experiment like this the past year, so it’s fun to sit with a photo and think about what I want the final image to be for a change!

The image below was also using their texture overlays. You can get a 15% discount off their products by clicking the affiliate link above. I really like the entire collection they have, I just have to make more time to try them all out!

Spain, Andalusia. Cordoba. Mosque.

click to see larger

Jed and I are leading this same photo tour to Andalusia in May 2017. For more information, visit my page here, and/or go to the Strabo Tour Collection Spain Tour page. I have a link to Spain images on Facebook, too.


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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.





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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, Plug-ins, travel photography Tagged , , , , |

Cabin Fever!


Impressions of an Aspen Grove

I’d say it’s been a long winter but most of you that know I live in northern California would scoff at that comment – given the amazing cold temps and snow so many of you have had! Usually I can get away with that because it’s so rainy and gray, but that hasn’t been the case this year either! But the ‘long winter in my mind’ allowed me to stick close to home after Cuba and get a lot of things accomplished – like the new website, organization of my image database (well, almost) and other important tasks that keep the business running when I’m on the road. And time to actually work on my photographs! This image was created a while back but I never got around to assembling all the layers and making the adjustments to create this multiple exposure. It was 12 exposures, and I moved the camera vertically for each one, and assembled the layers in Photoshop, adjusting each one’s opacity using the formula of 1/x – where x was the layer #, and working my way down the stack until arriving at the background (layer 1). Curves, color balance, and a few other minor adjustments were all that was done after that. Finally done, and it feels good! But now I have cabin fever. A few warm sunny days and all I want to do is hit the road somewhere, typically somewhere where Spring is bursting out – like southern California or Arizona. Arizona is looking like it will be a terrific year for flowers, but I won’t know yet for a couple of weeks. And I just hear from Michael Frye that the redbud are already popping in the Merced River Canyon. Yikes! Always a hard decision where to go – wishing I had 6 weeks to hit the road to everywhere, but alas, at the moment, I don’t, so I’ll have to pick somewhere.

Thanks for visiting, and sharing this post with your friends!



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