Tag Archives: birds

Gesture and Reflection = Magic



My trip to the bird refuge in January produced some favorite images of 2016 so far. The day began with a lot of clouds, then a slight clearing and a rainbow, then back to clouds for some time, and as I drove around the levee road, I thinking I’d go explore elsewhere, when the sky brightened just as I came upon a stilt. They are one of my favorite wading birds, and I took it as a sign that I should stick around! I worked with several birds for a while, trying to time their movements, and get them in position for a catchlight in the eye, and single them out. Finally, this one bird was in the perfect spot, and as it lifted its leg I clicked the shutter. The drop of water on the bird’s beak, and the drop rings in the water all added to the moment for me, and the gesture and the reflection yielded magic!

I’m heading out to the refuge again in a few days to try for great light on a mass liftoff, but if that doesn’t happen I know there is always something of interest and I’ll work with what I have.

Thanks for visiting!



Brenda Tharp is an award-winning landscape and travel photographer, international photo tour leader, workshop instructor, inspirational speaker, fine art photographer, and writer. California photographer, landscape photographer, nature photographer, travel photographer, people photographer, worldwide photographer,fine art photos, for sale, fine art, photographs, travel, landscapes, nature, trees, oceans, mountains, deserts, wilderness, wildflowers, western, usa, morocco, ireland, italy, namibia, myanmar, bhutan, alaska, people, cultures, cultural, photography, international, cities, villages, lifestyles, traditional, outdoor, outdoor photographer, award-winning, cultural photographer, photo workshops, photo seminars, photo tours, photography workshops, photography tours, keynote speaker, photography teacher, author, photographic artist, photography books, photo books, photography tour leader, tour leader, workshop instructor, inspirational.

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Which do you like?






I am finally getting through most of the images from Winter in Yosemite (my oh-too-brief trip) and my wildlife refuge images. In a previous post I had shown a foggy scene of birds, and I have several. Each of them is different, and the two here were made when it was even more foggy. But I like the mood in these. They are different than the standard, albeit exciting mass lift-off scenes. They both show the activity of geese coming in for a landing, flying about, etc., and the mood of what it’s often like in the central valley in winter, but they are different. So I thought I’d ask you which of them you liked best, and why. Comments are truly appreciated!


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Light, Color and Design in Arizona Desert



I know that it’s the ‘dead of winter’ in many parts of the USA, but in Arizona, spring is just around the corner! Spring begins in mid to late February and runs through April, with a succession of events involving everything from birds and baby wildlife to unusual plants in bloom, and in a good year, carpets of wildflowers. By early March, the desert is a-buzz with life. I’ll be there with MISA and an enthusiastic group of students to photograph the wonderful dramatic light, to seek out and photograph nature’s built-in design of textures, patterns and shapes, and more. Join us, and you’ll have opportunities to explore and create images that express the essence of the desert. We’ll be visiting many different locations that will provide wonderful opportunities to work on your techniques of wide-angle landscapes, macro, and telephoto views. Please check out the Madeline Island School of Arts (MISA) link below for more information and join us for a fun, intensive learning experience in the deserts of our own beautiful USA!




Thank you,



Posted in America, bird photography, close-up photography, nature photography, workshops & photo tours Also tagged , , , , , |




After I left Yosemite in a winter’s dream, I headed for the central valley refuges where I like to observe and photograph the migrating geese and cranes. It wasn’t the best weather the first afternoon, semi-raining and cloudy, not the light to be photographing birds in flight in when you are pointed upwards towards a bland sky. But the next morning yielded some better light. I was re-familiarizing myself with the layout of the refuge, and locating the birds, and while they were a little distance away at one point, there was a soft rainbow and geese were flying around (see below). I like the mood of this landscape. I then headed to an area where I knew the geese congregated, but by the time I got there, it had really fogged in and you could hear but not see the geese! Nothing to do but wait, and I’m glad I did, as when the fog began to lift a little, there was a view to the wonderful activity in the pond, all in a soft, pastel light. I later captured some mass liftoff pictures but this remains my favorite for the mood it expresses.




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Posted in bird photography, Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, Insights, nature photography, photography, wildlife photography Also tagged , , , , |