Category Archives: workshops & photo tours

Am I doing it right, ma?

We watched this mother bear and her two cubs feasting on the grasses and sedges in the meadow for quite a while. There were so many poses and gestures and moments that we could have filled our cards just with these bears alone that day! I love this one because of the way the cub is looking up at the mother – and again, maybe anthropomorphizing, but it’s almost as if to say ‘is this how we do this, ma?’ I could actually here them tearing the grasses and yes, smacking, too – which is awesome to be close enough to experience that, safely.

In less than 2 weeks I’ll be up there again, meeting my workshop group, only this time it’s during the salmon run, and we hope to capture fishing bears, along with all the other activities. I’m looking forward to getting back there. It’s a barrel of fun and lots of laughs as you watch the cubs play, and every day provides such great photo opportunities!

Thanks for visiting,

 

 

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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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Who knows where the time goes…

Produce Vendor, Baracoa, Eastern Cuba

How can it be MAY already? The blog title, from a Judy Collins song, says it best!

Here’s the latest news in a nutshell:

• I’m growing more excited with each day about my latest book, Expressive Nature Photography, that will hit the shelves July 25th!! Use the links (non-affiliate) below for fast ordering at your favorite bookstore. 

• My monthly newsletter just went out! If you’re not on the list, subscribe here – to get the latest schedule of events and some photo tips, too. Highlights include some favorites and some new trips for 2018 – Tuscany in May, Wonders of Namibia in July, Tanzania in September, Slovenia in October, and Cuba East/West in early December. You will find the listings on the workshop/tour calendar page, and details will be coming soon on most of those events!

• I will be the photography leader on board for three coastal Alaska cruises for Lindblad/NatGeo Expeditions in June – it will be great to be up there for three straight weeks and I’m looking forward to working with all the guests on these top-notch adventures.

• Those of you that follow my twitter feed have noticed I’ve been promoting my photographs on FineArtAmerica.com, as well as the art of others. Click on the link to see my collection of images available for purchase there. 

• Oh, and the vegetable garden is in great shape, ready to start producing now (about the time I’ll be away, lol!) The post image is from eastern Cuba – this guy is pretty happy about his squash! If mine grow as big, I’ll be inviting the neighborhood to dinner!

 

Quick links for buying the book:

 

 

 

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Telling stories of the Etosha Pan

My wildlife photography has mostly been about telling a story – by capturing a moment, a gesture, an interaction, of the animal(s). While I love portraits, too, gestures make the picture more exciting and storytelling to me. 

Last August-September, our tour group spent time in Etosha National Park, a park teeming with wildlife and birds. It was a drought year, but that made the animals more concentrated around and at the water holes and certain savannah areas where there was still grass to graze. I set a goal to capture stories – in just one frame. That meant observing the animals closely and watching for signs of behavior or gesture. Our guide was great – he would call out what he thought was about to happen, which helped us all learn to see the ‘telltale’ signs after a while. But even he couldn’t predict all the moments that we saw, which made it fun for him, too.

In the main blog picture, ostriches, as it turns out, love to eat the acacia blossoms. Only they don’t just pluck them off the thorny branches; they toss them

in the air as they feed on them. Once I saw this, I knew I had to get a photo of it. It took a lot of tries to get the timing right, and this was one that I just love because the ostrich has such a happy look on it’s face! And why not when there’s food to eat! 

In the images below of the zebra, knowing they were very social animals, we just had to stay long enough to watch and see what might build between groups or pairs of them. First, there was the wonderful ‘necking’ and this mother and child were so sweet; then there were three ‘bad boys of the plains’ who were biting each other…

Mother and young zebra necking, a social and bonding activiity amongst zebra. Etosha National Park, Namibia.

And on our way to lunch we encountered a group of Black-backed jackals who were seeking shade to rest up and cool down. This wash with a small cliff was right near the road and our vehicle and it was perfect position to watch and photograph. I waited for this one to finally relax and put its head down, to tell the story of resting in whatever shade they could find. It’s eyes are open slightly, because it was still watchful, but it’s head is tucked into the edge of the wash in a way that tells the story. 

It’s interesting to watch the hierachy of the animals as they visit the water holes. An oryx trumps zebra – if it decides to charge them. But then again, maybe it’s a lion outside the frame that trumps them all? not in this case, but that would have done it – they would all scatter. 

In the end, I made a lot of single-image stories on this past trip and I am really looking forward to our journey this September into both Etosha again, as we’ll be finishing off our Caprivi Strip & Botswana Photo Safari with a visit to eastern Etosha. There are going to be many more stories to be told on this entire journey!

Thanks for visiting,
 

 

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