Tag Archives: abstract photography

Modern Art

I’ve been teaching a workshop in Tucson this past week for Madeline Island School of Arts (MISA) and having a great time. I love how the students inspire me when I’m working to inspire them! Our last day today, we went for a walk-about in the Barrio Viejo, the old part of Tucson, which is buried by the surrounding sprawl of modernity. But here, the old west survives in the artful care of home owners, who paint their doors and trim different colors, put wonderful flowers outside that contrast with the wall colors, and in general add art to the neighborhood.

Yet despite the updated homes, there are a lot of places that are vacant, or in need of restoration, and our meeting spot had a wall of corrugated metal pieces that were in various stages of rusting mixed with new pieces. The patchwork was very interesting. After I got the group going and their creative juices began to flow, they wandered on their own, and I spotted this piece of metal that was dimpled and pitted. I like the way it caught the blue of sky in areas; that added a neat color design to it. From a simple piece of metal, comes art, and I love it when that happens!

Thanks for visiting,



Posted in creative ideas, general photography, photography, USA, workshops & photo tours Also tagged , , , |

Stream Reflections



Late fall is a wonderful time to ‘work’ the streams for reflections and patterns. The water level is lower, and the movement is slowed, and you can find section where the rippling can create wonderful patterns. This quiet section of the south fork of the Santiam river in Oregon had some terrific rippled reflections. The trees were lit by filtered sun coming through other trees, which created a dappled light on them, and that was reflected in the shaded surface of the river. Yet the darker tree trunk created no light reflection, which allowed me to see into the water to the bottom of the river. That gave the picture depth. Tiny water striders were moving about on the surface, creating havoc with my reflection, so I tried to time it in between their movements to avoid the water rings they create. The light was changing every few minutes as it passed through the branches and leaves, and it was a great 30 minutes of fun!

Thanks for visiting,


Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, general photography, Landscape Photography, USA Also tagged , , , , |

Death Valley Abstract

Mud Flats HF V2


I love it when you can compose a detail image so that when you are done, it’s hard to tell if it’s an aerial or a close-in image – at first glance, anyway. This morning was our last and only one participant joined us for the sunrise. Ironically, the sunrise itself wasn’t memorable, but these very cool patterns in the edge of the water in Cottonball Marsh were amazing! I photographed them before the sun, and then when the rays of light were just high enough to skim the surface, I did this picture. Something about the low angle of the light and the way it rakes across the surface changes it for me to where, even though I know what it is, it still looks a bit like an aerial photograph.

When we run our photo workshops and tours, we are always on the lookout for photo opportunities beyond the icons of the places we visit. We like to encourage people to find personal images and to see beyond the obvious. I’m sure that our participant thought at first we were crazy walking down the stony wash! And had it been a great sunrise, the location would have been fantastic for a landscape image; but in the end, she was excited to see these formations, too.

Thanks for visiting!



Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, Landscape Photography, nature photography, workshops & photo tours Also tagged , , , , , |

Abstract Reality



I posted this picture a while ago, but yesterday was editing others near it in Lightroom and inadvertently rotated this one by mistake. But when I looked at it, I loved how it now looked like a reflection of the clouds in a very still body of water! It became more abstract to me, as well. Rather than being ‘just the sky’ in the original orientation – albeit an amazing one, does it add more impact looking like a water reflection? What do you think?

While I recovered from a bad bronchial thing I got while in Spain, I spent time reviewing Morocco and Spain’s pictures and will be posting several here on the blog in the coming days. It’s amazing once you get behind how quickly the images can back up in your ‘to edit’ file!!



Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, general photography, nature photography Also tagged , |