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Creating Visual Impact

Become a better photographer today!

Join 's Course: Creating Visual ImpactLearn the creative techniques for transforming your images into striking and memorable photographs. Join photographer and author Brenda Tharp for her photography course - Creating Visual Impact - that will expand your vision, refine your techniques, and get your creative juices flowing.

Key Features

  1. Light, The Essential Ingredient
  2. Beyond the Rule of Thirds, Part One
  3. Beyond the Rule of Thirds, Part Two
  4. Perspective: Suggesting Depth and Dimension in your Photographs
  5. Incorporating Line, Pattern, Texture and Rhythm
  6. Adding Impact with Motion
  7. Seizing the Moment
  8. Exercising Your Vision: Ideas and Techniques for Stretching Your Imagination

  • Discovering the magic of light.
  • Exploring creative concepts of composition.
  • Adding motion, moment and design to your images.
  • Note: Lessons updated and improved! 

$396.00 USD

What You Get


You get direct feedback on your photos from world-acclaimed, professional photographers. You can learn photography in this way from anywhere in the world.  
  • Learn at your pace, with structure.
  • Be guided by a real pro instructor.
  • Get your photos critiqued every week.
  • Join students from around the world.
  • Go far beyond any book or DVD.
  • Make great pictures, again and again!



Photography Instructor: Brenda  Tharp Brenda Tharp

Brenda Tharp is known for her inspirational and informative workshops. She is the author/photographer of the book Creative Nature and Outdoor Photography that has been receiving excellent reviews. Brenda has also written how-to articles for many photo magazines, including Outdoor Photographer.

Brenda followed her passion many years ago when she quit her corporate job to pursue a career in outdoor and travel photography. She has llama-trekked, sea-kayaked, flown in helicopters and hot-air balloons, cycled, and hiked to create her photographs. Those images have appeared on the pages of Alaska Airlines, Audubon, Discovery, National Geographic, Northwest Airlines, Sierra, Sunset and Travel Holiday magazines, along with many others. She has images included in books produced by Chronicle, Michelin, National Geographic, and Sierra Club.

Her keen eye for design and use of natural light and color are a signature in her work. Her photographs are regularly published in calendars and greetings cards for a variety of international companies. Brenda markets her own stock photographs, and is also represented by She has co-starred in episodes of Canon's Photo Safari television program, and appeared on San Francisco area news shows to discuss photography techniques. She has developed a reputation as a teacher of unlimited energy with a compassionate yet honest approach to critiquing.

Sample Photos by the Instructor

© Brenda Tharp 

© Brenda Tharp 

Examples of Student Photos


View photos by previous students. You can make pictures like this too!

Vicki M. Tillard
© Vicki M. Tillard
Vicki M. Tillard
© Vicki M. Tillard

Course Outline


Lesson 1: Light, The Essential Ingredient: Working with the Quality, Direction and Color of Light
Assignment: Make photographs that use light to express your subject in the best way possible.

Lesson 2: Beyond the Rule of Thirds, Part One: Balance, Visual Tension and Contrast
Assignment: Using the concepts covered in this lesson, create a balanced composition and then try to create some with visual tension.

Lesson 3: Beyond the Rule of Thirds Part Two: Dominance, Proportion, Scale
Assignment: Go out and work with the ideas of dominance, proportion and scale.

Lesson 4: Perspective: Suggesting Depth and Dimension in your Photographs
Assignment: Create images that utilize perspective.

Lesson 5: Incorporating Line, Pattern, Texture and Rhythm
Assignment: Choose your design element (or choose them all) and find examples of them. Be as creative as possible!

Lesson 6: Adding Impact with Motion
Assignment:  This is where you get to cut loose and try different things, without worry about what you'll get. You can choose from four options described in the lesson ... or do them all for the fun of learning!

Lesson 7: Seizing the Moment
Assignment: Choose either wildlife or people for this assignment, because moments in nature such as rainbows or thunderstorms may not be forthcoming in time to complete this assignment!

Lesson 8: Exercising Your Vision: Ideas and Techniques for Stretching Your Imagination
Assignment: Photograph a concept - your choice (from what is covered in the lesson). And try your hand at other techniques: i.e., expressing the essence of something, multiples, etc.

Review: Voting on Best Work

© Brenda Tharp 

© Brenda Tharp 



  • Digital or film-based camera.
  • Working knowledge of aperture & shutter speed.
  • Wide angle, telephoto, (zoom lens OK), & tripod.



Is this course intended for advanced photographers or can beginning photographers participate as well?
This course is open to any photographer who wants to learn how to refine their creative vision and technique. It will be to your advantage if you understand the basics of aperture, shutter speed, and depth-of-field.  

What equipment do I need to make the most of this course and do the weekly assignments?
You will need an SLR camera body that allows complete control of shutter and aperture. For lenses, you will need a wide angle lens, a telephoto lens (zoom lenses in the wide-telephoto range are OK), close-up filters (diopters) or a macro lens, and a tripod. A warming filter (81B), a polarizing filter, and some graduated neutral density filters would be helpful as well.  

Is is okay with you if we submit previously created work for critique? Or do we have to do the assignments each week?
I would prefer to evaluate only the results of each week's assignment, as the goal of this course is to stimulate you to make fresh images, based on ideas discussed in the class. However, I know that weather, job changes, and other Life can get in the way of photography, so if you need to, you can submit previously created work.  

Can I use photo imaging software such as Photoshop?

 Yes, but only if you use it as a corrective tool. Adjustments to to lighten or darken the image after scanning, bring back the true color, to sharpen, or corrections to remove dust, hair, scratches that have become visible after scanning are fine. Don't lean on it for too much creativity.


© Brenda Tharp 

© Brenda Tharp 

Do I have to be online at any specific time?
No, you do not need to be online at any specific time. The lessons are sent to your email and you are also provided the Campus Square - where you interact with your classmates and instructor. This is also where you upload your photos to be critiqued by your instructor. The instructors are very punctual and respond quickly.

Will I have access to the instructor to ask questions during the photo course?
Absolutely! Students can ask questions in the special Q&A forum set up in the course's Campus Square, or can ask the instructor via email.

Do you offer a money back guarantee?
Yes. We are confident that you will fully enjoy our courses. All the same, for our 8-week classes, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent out. If for any reason, you are not satisfied and let us know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent, you will be promptly refunded.

For our 4-week courses, we offer a 100% money back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent out from BetterPhoto. If for any reason you are not satisfied and you let the ordering department know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent, you will be refunded within 7 days. After the second lesson has been sent out, no refunds will be given.

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