Celebrating home


Sorry I haven’t been ‘around’ the past month. Buried in boxes, something had to give…It got to the point when there was just too much going on, too many things I was trying to manage, and something had to give. I had a book manuscript edit, final field workshops, a big move of the business and house all happening in November-December and I needed a break. The summer, heck, the entire year had been wonderfully busy with workshops and tours and more, but I always look forward to my late Fall break – and that didn’t happen this time.

We are generally settled in our new place in Santa Rosa, CA, and honestly enjoying ‘decorating’ and sorting out the accumulations of 14 years in one place. It’s cleansing to organize and sort and eliminate clutter – just so you can make room for more ‘stuff’!

Didn’t really use the big camera much the past month – used the phone a few times, but mostly it was all about the move. But now, it’s back to real business – keeping ideas flowing here and sharing pictures again and getting going on our workshop/tour program for 2012.

With that in mind, this image is one I made on my phone just the other day while setting up the outside plants in the yard. We collect a lot of natural things and this skull traveled with us to the new place. Ironically we have a stucco wall so it was a perfect fit! But it’s a white wall, so I ran it through some apps to give the wall a warmer hue and layered a texture on the file and a rough border. Used Snapseed for basic adjustments and cropping, and Blender to combine the layers.




Brenda Tharp
Brenda is an award-winning photographer, author, keynote speaker, workshop instructor and tour leader. Her acclaimed books include Creative Nature and Outdoor Photography, and Extraordinary Everyday Photography.
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This entry was posted in creative ideas, iphone Apps, iPhone art, photography, Processing Techniques, The Blog.


  1. Bob Towery January 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Looks like an exotic location. That’s photography today, you can “phone in” to any place you want. Recharge and get your creativity back, eh?

    • Brenda February 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

      Thanks, Bob – yes, the phone and apps and software like Topaz can create the environment – when the image is this simple – of course the skull suggests the southwest as did the stucco wall…so I really just got lucky with this one! I’m getting ‘it’ back. Funny, creativity doesn’t ever really leave, it just sometimes gets buried under the ‘baggage’ of everyday life, eh? Thanks for visiting the blog!

  2. John - Visual Notebook January 23, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Nice image! From a phone…well, I’ve pretty well resisted the urge to use my new iPhone as a “camera” so far. I’m planning on a micro 4/3s purchase in a couple months and I’ll use that as my go everywhere camera. Still, I like what you’ve done with it – the coloring, the grungy border. Fits perfectly.


    • Brenda January 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

      Thanks, John – you know I felt the same way for a while, but found I wasn’t always taking my Panasonic Lumix with me, but I always had the phone, so I gradually got more into it. Now, I really enjoy using it – and use anything I have with me to record a moment or something interesting to keep spreading the joy and celebration of seeing things. You’ll like the micro 4/3s system, I’m sure. Who knows, I may go that way in the near future, as well! But best to use the toys I have right now to their fullest…