Tag Archives: scenic

LIGHT, COLOR AND DESIGN in the Southwest


Howdy Folks,

Don’t miss this incredible learning opportunity and the fun of attending a workshop with me and MISA (Madeline Island School of Arts) during their Southwest program in Tuscon. The Tanque Verde Ranch is a special place; Conde Nast Traveler just rated it # 8 in the top Ten resorts in the USA.

It’s a classic ranch, where you can ride horses, enjoy pit BBQs, campfire breakfasts, relax in their spa, or by the pool, hike or ride bikes in the desert and next door Saguaro National Park, and more! Of course, when you’re taking a photography class, Continue reading »

Posted in America, Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, photography, USA, workshops & photo tours Also tagged , , , , , , |

Red, White and Blue – An American Barn Study


I’m a sucker for the countryside, with all its barns and farming paraphanelia. Perhaps because I grew up near farming, as it was just 10 minutes outside of town where I lived. We would take Sunday afternoon drives (gas was a LOT cheaper then) and the family would picnic, and fossil-hunt, and visit farms, produce stands, etc. I remember watching as brightly painted barns whooshed by out the window. OK, well they probably didn’t whoosh by- our old Ford Fairlane with 6 people didn’t whoosh – but anyway, I remember watching huge cummulus clouds and barns and silos, and farmhouses and fields of corn pass by, and that left an impact, and explains why I feel so fond of the farming regions of our country.

This all sounds nostalgic, but that’s what has been coming up for me the past two weeks, so I’m going with it. It has a lot to do with the change of seasons, when the buzz and hustle of summer activities and BBQs wind down, and the sun’s angle is lower, and the nights come earlier, and we prepare to hibernate, in our own way. Even if we don’t actually stop doing stuff, and get more active in Autumn, for all the colors and beauty there is to photograph, there’s something about the change and the dormancy of nature…

As I wandered around the farm complex, I liked the graphic clean shape of the barn in contrast with the softer, light clouds.

I also found this very cool barn wall complete with a window reflection of the clouds and blue sky, offering me another photo opp.


Thanks for visiting, comments are always welcome!




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

Under Amazing Tuscan Skies



I love clouds! And I love Tuscany! Put the two together and you have a magical experience for me. I also love these little trees, the cipressi and umbrella pines, that line this roadway. They’re not really little, but I made them appear to be by including so much sky.

This might be breaking the rules of thirds, but it’s a great example of WHY you want to do that more often than simply sticking by the rule. The clouds were the real story, but the trees and land anchor those billowing clouds and express how wonderful afternoon storms can be in Tuscany in summer. Continue reading »

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

Amidst Ups and Downs, two photographs



Hi, all! I just returned from a quick road trip to the Northwest, to teach at Pacific Northwest Arts School, and took a week to drive back. The trip was fraught with ‘photo-misses’. I arrived at Mt. Rainier to do night sky photography reflecting in a lake, only to have a breeze obliterate the lake reflection, and then clouds moved in obliterating the stars. But after a few hours sleep, I checked the skies again, and managed to make a nice image of stars and the mountain, but without the lake – still too breezy.  I then drove to Trillium Lake, in Oregon, that has a wonderful reflection of Mount Hood, and was planning on sunset photography and stars. Afternoon thermals, and kayaks and canoes had stirred the waters, but as people packed up and left, the lake calmed down. Suddenly a huge cloud rolled in and obliterated the mountain right at the best light of sunset! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I waited until 8 PM hoping it would clear and I could then do my night photography at least, but it was hanging in there. I went back to bed, and at 3 AM was out there hoping to have calm waters, and clear skies. And I had both! However, Mt. Hood ski area had decided it was cold enough to begin making snow, so instead of this tranquil scene, I had huge bright white lights on the side of the mountain, all beautifully reflected in the calm water!! grrrr.

Finally, I headed for the Northern Umpqua river drainage, and Toketee Falls, and was not disappointed, by the blog image you see here. The falls pour through a break in a wall of columnar basalt, dropping into a lovely and inviting pool of water below. The late afternoon light was bouncing off clouds, filling the basin with some nice even lighting. I used my Singh-Ray Vario ND to get an 8 second exposure, as I wanted the water to be soft, yet with some texture. I finally managed a photograph that made me happy!

The next morning I headed for home, and was coming through the Mount Shasta area at sunset. It was a hazy and windy afternoon, but the light was promising, and the wind began to back off a bit, so I made a quick stop to capture the light. In the end, these blog pics are my two favorite pictures from the road trip  – they are actually the ONLY pictures that I were successful, lol. But then Ansel was happy with one picture after three weeks on the road, so I guess I shouldn’t complain!

Thanks for visiting!








Posted in America, Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, Landscape Photography, nature photography, road trip, USA Also tagged , , , , , |