Tag Archives: western

Celebrating the Overlooked Photos

Bare trees dapple the golden light falling on Bridalveil Creek in Yosemite Valley.

The past several months I’ve been finalizing text and selecting images to illustrate my upcoming book Expressive Nature Photography. I first selected about 600 images – way too many for a book of 240 pages – and had to whittle it down. I ‘sweated’ over which ones were the best over others that I liked. I wanted them all in the book! It’s so hard – but it’s also been a lot of fun, because through it all, I have discovered many images that I forgot I made! 

How can that be, that I forgot an experience that was strong enough to invite me to make the picture? Continue reading »

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

Taking a Low Point of View


So here I was, driving through the Willamette valley in September, on my eventual way home, looking for an apple stand, when I saw this huge dust cloud from a distance. I could see the tractor at one point, and I decided I had to get there somehow to photograph this ag scene, as the cloud of dust was pretty amazing. Continue reading »

Posted in America, Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, general photography, photo tips, road trip, USA 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 , , , , , |

Classic Views in Canyonlands

Tharp_20160505-9370I had gone to the overlook with the hopes of capturing a great sunset over the Goosenecks area, but storms had been building up all afternoon and the sky was very cloudy. Still, I thought that I might get dramatic storm light, if not a great sunset. It was so windy when I got out of the car, but I pushed onward towards the overlook, and took a walk further along the edge to get a vantage point that I liked. The skies opened up, hail came down, and I had to hunker down inside a juniper tree to keep from getting pummeled! But after a few minutes, it passed over me, and I climbed out of the tree to see what might happen next. The light wasn’t happening. Darn! After about 20 minutes, of bracing myself against the wind roaring up the cliff face, I decided it was just not going to happen, and started to walk back to the parking lot. And guess what? Halfway back, the light broke through the clouds, very suddenly, but not over the goosenecks area. It was still beautiful light, golden, stormy, and I quickly found a foreground that I had seen earlier to include in the frame. I had to work fast, I could see the gap in the clouds closing. Other people were frantically running around making pictures, too. It was an unexpected moment – but those are the best sometimes!



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