Tag Archives: tuscany

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 »

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Unfinished art…



I’ve been going through my past pictures of Tuscany, getting psyched for our upcoming photo tour there. It’s amazing how easily we forget images that we made when often there’s so many from just one trip! But I came across this one from Volterra, the city of alabaster. We had stopped in one carver’s shop and there wasn’t anyone working at the time. I wandered around looking for photographs; the shop was covered in white powder – alabaster dust – and it felt like an old-time artists’ studio. I spotted this unfinished carving, and loved how it rested on the table waiting for the artist to return, the tools of the trade by its side. It reminded me of Michelangelo or other carvers who could chip away to let the form reveal itself! I’ve always marveled at anyone who can do that. Window light poured in and illuminated it beautifully. It was one of those images that I knew would make a better monochrome photograph than a color image, there just wasn’t much color in the entire scene!


I’m looking forward to going back to Volterra – it sits out apart from many of the more visited towns of San Gimignano, Pienze, Montalcino, etc., and it has great roman ruins and views of the surrounding countryside.  I already have visions of what else I can do with these artisans at work!

This image was processed using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 (SEP2) and Color Efex Pro 4 (CEP4) to bring out the rich tonalities of the scene.

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The Green of Spring in Italy



Ah, the rolling hills of Tuscany in Spring – we just can’t get enough of them! There are so many shades of green and gold and yellow in Spring. There are so many wonderful things to see and do in this area. This spot is very close to Pienza, and it’s a favorite location for us in both morning and late afternoon light landscapes, though probably more favorite in the afternoon. The sun skims along the surface of the fields, bringing out their texture, and side lighting defines the cypress trees so nicely. The dirt road is like a ribbon unfolding through the scene. Sometimes we get joggers, or dogs and their owners walking the road, but I loved the quiet of this image. If I retire to Italy, I’m going to buy this house! 🙂


We’re scheduled to go back next year in fact, May 18-28th, 2013 – and will focus more on Tuscany this time around just to alternate our time between Umbria and Tuscany. We’re finalizing details and pricing now, but look for the announcement here or visit my schedule page at the website.


Thanks for visiting, and comments are always appreciated!

Keep sharing your vision,


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

Italy Happened, then the website attack was discovered…


Yes, it’s been a rather long time since my last post, but for many a good reason. It was all to keep you, my dear readers, safe from harm!

It’s been a rather interesting past two weeks – I returned home from Italy with a plan to edit pictures and post on the site, but instead I’ve been trying to resolve some issues that came up with my site. Initially it was just a small ‘bad’ file; then it got worse and google and my server scanning program found more bad files and code. YIKES! I received web attack messages when I went to my website that had me shakin’ in my boots! Being the person to deal with everything web (read that as everything in my office!), I have been learning about malicious downloads, infections, hidden codes, and way more than I cared to know about, but I had to dive in and try to resolve things.

TODAY, I am grateful to say that my website is clean – and I got the ‘seal of approval’ back from my server saying so. whew. It’s been a long drawn out confusing nightmare, and that’s why you haven’t seen any posts from me for two weeks! If I posted, it would go up onto facebook and twitter and I didn’t want anyone going to the site and getting something ‘bad’, as not all browsers indicated there was a problem, ironically. And it was intermittent, even worse!

Oh, yes, the image. This is from the town of Pitigliano, an ancient hill town that sits on the top of eroded tufa and it’s quite a neat place. I gave it an ‘antique plate’ feel using NIK Silver Efex Pro 2, as it seemed to help express the age of the village. It was at the very beginning of our trip, while en route to Pienza, and it was not the perfect time of day for a color image, but I knew it would work in black and white well…


Glad to have all the web issues behind me, so I can get back to posting here safely!

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