Me Looking at you looking at me



Grizzly bears typically don’t make eye contact unless they are challenging or being challenged. They walk past each other and are fully alert and communicating something with their walk/body language, but they don’t usually look at each other directly. They do the same with humans, where they have habituated to us; in the places I go to photograph bears in Alaska, they walk by and look at you with a ‘passing gaze’; we call it ‘studied indifference’. But the cubs? well, that’s another story!! They haven’t learned that trait, or perfected it, and they will look at us with wonder and curiosity, like this little one. You have to wonder what it was thinking as it watched us. I know we were all thinking ‘how cute’ but what do bears think about us, if anything?

I know as nature photographers we’re not supposed to anthropomorphize wild animals, but come on – how can you look at this bear cub and not think about a teddy bear? When the cubs sit like this, they look like giant teddy bears, and you want to go up and scratch their ears or something. Of course that would not be a great idea, lol, but it sure makes me connect to them.

I’ll be leading another small-group photo tour in August 2017 to photograph bears.  I’m taking deposits now, with an early bird discount. See the webpage for more info.

Thanks for visiting!





Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, nature photography, wildlife photography, workshops & photo tours

Carrizo Plain Spring




I’m still working through my pictures from my road trip. In a recent post I talked about the very windy days I had, and posted a multiple exposure as that was one way to deal with the wind. Another issue I was dealing with was heat waves, and while it didn’t feel hot at all, the land really heated up in bright sunlight, and with my longer lens I could see that rippling effect really strongly. So I decided that wide angle landscapes, without anything up close to the camera, might be the only option. When I saw these beautiful clouds, with a stripe of brilliant yellow as the base, I was pleased. The Carrizo plain is a wide plain between two mountain ranges, and this suggests the vast open space of the plain.

Thanks for visiting!


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

House Finches in Flight



They say practice makes perfect, but in this case, I think I simply got lucky!! I was practicing, however, over and over again, to capture these house finches as they skirmished in the air. A nearby feeder was their target and they’d squabble and land on this barrel cactus and it was great fun to watch and to photograph! I won’t tell you how many images I threw away – because the wings weren’t right, or birds overlapped, or half of the bird was great and the other half, well, wasn’t even in the frame! lol. But with persistence, and patience, I managed to get a few that I liked, like this image. The most fun was that I spent the time with my good friend Wendy Kaveney, who has been practicing this herself in her desert backyard outside of Phoenix, Arizona. It was a great time, and we’d spend each morning watching the birds and photographing Gila woodpeckers, Gilded Flickers, Cactus Wren, Curve-billed Thrashers, Mourning Doves, Verdins, Quail, and the sneaky Harris Antelope Squirrel who’d get into the food, too.

I recalibrated my Tamron 150-600mm lens with the Lens Align Kit and I’m so glad I did. If you think you don’t need to do that with your long lenses you bought, think again! I was able to make mine even more accurate by doing the test.

Thanks for visiting, and please share with friends!


Posted in bird photography, Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, nature photography, wildlife photography Tagged , , , , , |

Impressions of Spring



The Carrizo Plain is a wonderful place, home to pronghorn antelope, birds, reptiles, and in Spring, a great location for large displays of flowers. This year, it was mostly goldfields, with some purple phacelia and a few Fremont Tidytips thrown in, but the wind was ‘howling’ the entire day I was there – steady winds at 20-25mph, gusting to 35-40mph. Nothing to do but enjoy the big scene and photograph it at a distance and fast shutter speed. No close-up images were possible. Heck, you couldn’t have held your diffusion disc in place for anything! But the impression of the joyous display of flowers was still there – the bright sunny yellow of thousands of flowers bobbing in the sun is imprinted in my memory. This multiple exposure is my ‘impression’ of the experience. 8 exposures, hand-held for random positioning.

Enjoy, and thanks for visiting!


Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, creative ideas, Landscape Photography, nature photography Tagged , , , , |