Tag Archives: special effects

New – Topaz Texture Effects Program


Quiet Day, Portmagee, Ireland


My friends over at Topaz have done it again! This stand-alone and plug-in program has an incredible selection of texture effects, and everything in the library is modifiable ‘to taste’. I love programs that give you a place to start with your creativity and then let you take it over from there to create your own look. And you can save those special looks to recall them later to keep your style. Very cool. You can also download effects from the internet, from the Topaz community, when you find ones that others have created that you like. Even better.

I made this image using the Summer Haze preset, and then after exiting the program, blended the results with my original file in Photoshop just a teensy bit. The options are limitless with this program.

This program is on sale from today through November 20th, you can save $20 off the regular price. If you are interested, please use this affiliate link, Topaz Labs Store, and type in the code TEXTUREFX at checkout. You will LOVE this program if you love to apply textures to your images for a fine-art, painterly look.





Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, creative ideas, Plug-ins, Processing Techniques Also tagged , |

Cabin Fever!


Impressions of an Aspen Grove

I’d say it’s been a long winter but most of you that know I live in northern California would scoff at that comment – given the amazing cold temps and snow so many of you have had! Usually I can get away with that because it’s so rainy and gray, but that hasn’t been the case this year either! But the ‘long winter in my mind’ allowed me to stick close to home after Cuba and get a lot of things accomplished – like the new website, organization of my image database (well, almost) and other important tasks that keep the business running when I’m on the road. And time to actually work on my photographs! This image was created a while back but I never got around to assembling all the layers and making the adjustments to create this multiple exposure. It was 12 exposures, and I moved the camera vertically for each one, and assembled the layers in Photoshop, adjusting each one’s opacity using the formula of 1/x – where x was the layer #, and working my way down the stack until arriving at the background (layer 1). Curves, color balance, and a few other minor adjustments were all that was done after that. Finally done, and it feels good! But now I have cabin fever. A few warm sunny days and all I want to do is hit the road somewhere, typically somewhere where Spring is bursting out – like southern California or Arizona. Arizona is looking like it will be a terrific year for flowers, but I won’t know yet for a couple of weeks. And I just hear from Michael Frye that the redbud are already popping in the Merced River Canyon. Yikes! Always a hard decision where to go – wishing I had 6 weeks to hit the road to everywhere, but alas, at the moment, I don’t, so I’ll have to pick somewhere.

Thanks for visiting, and sharing this post with your friends!



Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, creative ideas, Landscape Photography, nature photography, Processing Techniques Also tagged , , , , , |

Special Holiday Deals on Plug-Ins!

It’s Time to give THANKS to all these companies creating such great processing software for our images! These folks have worked hard to create a series of quality plug-ins for everything from essential processing to creative processing effects for your images. As many of you know I have used their plug-ins for some time and love them!

Topaz Deal is good November 28 – through December 1 so don’t sleep too long after your Turkey dinner and miss out! CLICK ON THE PICTURE and enter the code BLACKFRIDAY2014




And more Plug-in Fun! Macphun is offering a special Black Friday pricing on their Creative Kit – ending the evening of Black Friday. Check it out! Click on the picture below.


Creative Kit Plus. You save over 30%.


Here’s an image I created with MacPhun’s Tonality Pro:



Enjoy your holiday and have some fun with new processing software!!


All best,





Posted in photography, Plug-ins, Processing Techniques, Special Effects, The Blog Also tagged , , , |

Office Lamp



I was recently watching a Masterpiece Theater program, produced by the BBC, and I saw lighting that reminded me of this image I had made back in early September while teaching in Maine. The BBC programs often have wonderful lighting in them, in the ‘sets’ of these large manor houses. In one scene, the light was streaming through the wooden blinds and lighting up the wall in an old wooden office – just like this above. Only in my scene, I’m in a rented, furnished apartment with dusty, bent mini-blinds and a bare desk, not a British Manor House. Still, LIGHT is what makes a picture so often, and that’s what grabbed my attention here. The contrast, the pattern it created, the shadows and shapes. It felt sort of  an ‘old-time’ scene so I converted it using Silver Efex Pro, then added a little toning to the image back in Lightroom.

Thank you for visiting, comments are always appreciated!



Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, creative ideas, general photography, Photo Blog, Processing Techniques, Software, The Blog Also tagged , , , , |