Category Archives: wildlife photography

A’cruising we will go



I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be the instructor for a few Lindblad Expeditions in the coastal waters of southeast Alaska beginning in late May through late June! It’s an area I know very well, having led at least 8 photo adventures (along with Jed Manwaring) in the Inside Passage with Dolphin Charters. Three weeks on the boat will provide me with a continuity – on many trips, you find your rhythm a few days into a trip, and then in a very short time it’s finished. So I like that I’ll be working solid for three weeks straight in southeast Alaska’s pristine coastal wilderness. I’ll be teaching people to create their best photographs, and to see beyond the obvious shots to make ones that show behavior and personality of the animals, too. This post image is an example. Sea lions love to frolick and are quite aggressive and curious. This one plowed through the surface of the water while keeping an eye on us and it was a fun and different way to photograph this animal with all the bubbling water around it!

I’ll be posting from the ship – when there’s connection – but it will be spotty. Follow me on Instagram at brenda_tharp_photo for updates!

Thanks for visiting,


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Persistence Pays Off


I know how difficult it can be to photograph roadrunners – I’ve tried for years – but I’m always not ready when they cross the road in front of my car! Seriously – when I have my camera/long lens in the passenger seat, ready, I never see one. But put the camera away, and I cross paths with about 2-3 a day when driving around the desert. Thankfully, this year, I was on foot with my Tamron 150-600mm lens, ‘stalking’ cactus wren building a nest, when I heard the call – no not that call – but the call of the male roadrunner. It was behind me, and I slowly and carefully backtracked to the dirt road to try and spot it. And there is was, running away from me, again – but it would stop and look back, and I played the game – walking when it walked, stopping when it stopped, and each time gaining a little on the space between us. Slowly, it felt I was no longer a threat, and it started to come back towards me, ironically, and then hopped up on this rock. It bowed it’s head in a courtship gesture, cooing to it’s partner hiding somewhere in the bushes. The plan was to offer her the gift of this lizard. But in the few moments it perched on the rock, I managed a series of images and I was so grateful! The whole process took about 40 minutes, but patience paid off, as it usually can, in capturing this moment.

Thanks for visiting, 


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Grace and Beauty


I’m on an Alaska theme currently – but that’s because I’m editing my huge collection of images from all my past photo tours I’ve led on the M/V Delphinus with Dolphin Charters. It’s been an incredible journey – the whole of it – in all parts of southeast Alaska, aka the Inside Passage, since 2007!

One year, on our last day, we were heading towards Juneau, Continue reading »

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Me Looking at you looking at me



Grizzly bears typically don’t make eye contact unless they are challenging or being challenged. They walk past each other and are fully alert and communicating something with their walk/body language, but they don’t usually look at each other directly. They do the same with humans, where they have habituated to us; in the places I go to photograph bears in Alaska, they walk by and look at you with a ‘passing gaze’; we call it ‘studied indifference’. But the cubs? well, that’s another story!! They haven’t learned that trait, or perfected it, and they will look at us with wonder and curiosity, like this little one. You have to wonder what it was thinking as it watched us. I know we were all thinking ‘how cute’ but what do bears think about us, if anything?

I know as nature photographers we’re not supposed to anthropomorphize wild animals, but come on – how can you look at this bear cub and not think about a teddy bear? When the cubs sit like this, they look like giant teddy bears, and you want to go up and scratch their ears or something. Of course that would not be a great idea, lol, but it sure makes me connect to them.

I’ll be leading another small-group photo tour in August 2017 to photograph bears.  I’m taking deposits now, with an early bird discount. See the webpage for more info.

Thanks for visiting!





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