Tag Archives: nature

Looking for Love in All the Right Places

OK, so it’s a play on the song, but it still rings true. When I am out in nature, I am seeking not only photographs, but the love that is out there in nature. By love, I mean that connection to natural things around me. I celebrate the sounds of babbling brooks, the light pouring through the leaves, the frost on dormant plants, the freshness of a crisp autumn day, as well as the bears running after the salmon, the elephants rejoicing in the waterhole. The photographs I make are all gifts that remind me of those experiences, images that I can return to to feel the love, so to speak. And sometimes, I find special gifts, like these hearts of nature – here in the cottonwood leaves of Capitol Reef National Park, and in the Presque Isle River in northern Wisconsin.

They are like little rewards to showing up and being present, and open, to what’s around me. And a reminder that life is good!

 

 

 

P.S. Check out my latest book, Expressive Nature Photography.

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

Cleaning up my Act

Cleaning up my act, getting stuff done, losing weight, re-evaluating my goals, – we all know the phrases we use for the beginning of a new year. But this year, I can say I’m achieving at least one goal! It was quiet the month of December 2017 around my office, and I tackled my library of over 188,000 images and cleaned up the clutter. I have only three years to go now, but I have successfully eliminated over 12,000 images from the catalog. I feel lighter already. 🙂  Continue reading »

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Twelve Days of Christmas-Day 3

 

Day 3 – Celebrating the flow of life-giving energy in the form of pure water. Celebrating that there are places where that water is still drinkable right out of the stream! 

Celebrate the Flow!

Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, Environmental, Europe, Landscape Photography, nature photography Also tagged , , , , |

Break it up – the pattern, that is

Detail of forest floor, Madeline Island, Wisconsin.

 

I’ve been editing a whole lot of photographs lately, my ‘slow time’ at home giving me the opportunity to process pictures and reflect on the year’s work. Through this process, I always evaluate what works, what doesn’t, etc. As I came across this image that was used in my most recent book Expressive Nature Photography, I was again reminded of the power of pattern, and the need to break it, often.

I was drawn to the pattern of the pine cones, above, but it was really that little piece of lichen that grabbed my attention. I call this ‘lagniappe’ in photography. Lagniappe is technically defined as “a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase; something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.the surprise gift. (according to Merriam-Webster).  I take creative license with this definition, as I consider that little piece of lichen a ‘gift given to an artist from the universe, or Mother Nature.’ I remember first learning about lagniappe from a good friend, Dewitt Jones, in a lecture he once gave to a photo conference. I had always looked for it, and captured it, but hadn’t a definition for it – until then. So thank you, Dewitt!

Why is that piece of lichen so important? Because the brain is stimulated by contrast.  Think about it; a pattern can be visually dizzying after a while, like a carousel you can’t get off of easily. It  becomes monotonous to the brain, after a while; but if you can find something, -anything – of contrast, it actually serves to enhance the pattern, as that element will create the contrast the eye/brain need. That’s not to say you can’t photograph just the pattern, and I often do – they make great jigsaw puzzles – or wrapping paper (!), but more often than not, for a picture that can hang comfortably on a wall, I’ll find something to break that pattern up to create greater impact.

Maybe it’s just one yellow flower in a meadow of blue lupine; or a sea urchin shell amongst pebbles on the beach; or an interesting window in a stone or brick wall. Whatever it is, you’ll find that often the inclusion of something ‘different’ in the pattern will enhance the picture.

There’s a metaphor, here, too. Just like that contrast in a picture stimulates the mind, a little bit of break-up in the patterns of your daily life can make it a lot more interesting, too. 

Thanks for being here!

Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, close-up photography, creative ideas, Insights, nature photography Also tagged , , |