The Creative Portfolio Weekend Workshop

Harold signing prints

Harold signing prints

What: Creating a unified body of work, such as a portfolio, is an important step towards attaining one’s goals as a photographer. This workshop will consider finding appropriate subject matter, editing one’s work, and the mechanics of creating both online and physical portfolios. Time will also be spent enhancing creativity through guided photographic and design exercises.

Who should attend: When one reaches a certain point as a photographer, it becomes clear that one needs to put together portfolios of one’s work. But the skills that have taken one this far with solitary imagery don’t necessarily extend to the creation of portfolios of work. If you would like as an amateur or professional photographer to learn to build better portfolios of your work, The Creative Portfolio Workshop is for you.

Admission is by approval of the instructor and/or portfolio review. Preference will be given to prior Harold Davis workshop attendees. Please drop us an email to see if this workshop is appropriate for you.

Where: Classroom conveniently located in Berkeley, California

When: Weekend workshop; May 9-10, 2015

Tuition and registration: ($695; early-bird special $645 for registration prior to Oct 15, 2014); click www.meetup.com/Harold-Davis/events/207505762/ to register for this workshop.

Workshop size: Minimum of 4 and maximum of 12 participants.

 

Monochromatic Visions prints "curing"

Monochromatic Visions prints “curing”

About Harold Davis

Harold Davis is an internationally-known digital artist and award-winning professional photographer. He is the author of many photography books including The Way of the Digital Photographer ( Peachpit), Monochromatic HDR Photography (Focal Press) and Creative Night: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley Publishing).

In addition to his activity as a bestselling book author, Harold Davis is a Moab Master printmaker and a Zeiss Lens Ambassador. Harold Davis’s work is widely collected, licensed by art publishers, and has appeared in numerous magazines and other publications. His black and white prints are described as “hauntingly beautiful” [Fine Art Printer Magazine] and his floral prints have been called “ethereal,” with “a purity and translucence that borders on spiritual” [Popular Photography].

Harold Davis leads popular technique and destination photography workshops to many locations including Paris, France; Heidelberg, Germany; and the ancient Bristlecone Pines of the eastern Sierra Nevada.

You can learn more about Harold and his work on his website, www.photoblog2.com.

Botanique (Artists Book) © Harold Davis

Botanique (Artists Book) © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Two free Bay Area presentations next week

I’ll be giving two free events next week:

Monday 9/22 (San Rafael) Making Memorable Travel Photos with Harold Davis

Tuesday 9/23 (San Jose) Black & White in the Digital Era with Harold

Did I mention that admission is free to both?

You can join the group for a discounted dinner before the Travel Photography presentation Monday evening. There’s free pizza before my presentation at Adobe HQ in San Jose. More details below.

Hotel de Sully, Paris © Harold Davis

Hotel de Sully, Paris © Harold Davis

Monday 9/22/2014 Making Memorable Travel Photos with Harold Davis, sponsored by the Golden Gate Computer Society, optional dinner at 5:45PM, presentation at 7:15PM at the Sheraton Hotel in San Rafael, CA.. Dinner discount coupon and directions at www.ggcs.org, the related Meetup for RSVPs is www.meetup.com/Golden-Gate-Computer-Society/events/207920412/.

Tuesday 9/22/2014 Back & White in the Digital Era with Harold Davis, sponsored by the Adobe Photoshop CC Users Group, free pizza at 6:30PM, presentation at 7PM, at Adobe Software HQ in San Jose, Ca., Aldus Room, www.meetup.com/Adobe-CC-Photo-User-group/events/208052092/.

Posted in Workshops

Photographing Flowers for Transparency, Oct 4-5, 2014

If you are interested in photographing flowers, please consider the session of the Photographing Flowers for Transparency with Harold Davis workshop that I am holding Saturday, October 4—Sunday, October 5, 2014. Click here for information and online registration for the October 2014 Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop

Synopsis: In this unique workshop offering master photographer Harold Davis shows the techniques he uses to create his floral masterpieces. Arrangement, composition, photography, post-production will all be covered, as will Harold’s special techniques for shooting on a light box. Why not learn these techniques from the acknowledged master who has pioneered them?

Bonus (optional) offering: Saturday after the workshop we will photograph San Francisco and views of the Golden Gate from sunset into night from the Berkeley Municipal Pier. There is no charge for workshop participants.

Harold Davis Vibrance Poster

Here are some details about the workshop:

Master photographer Harold Davis is well-known for his often imitated—but seldom equaled—digital images of luscious transparent and translucent flowers.

In this unique workshop offering master photographer Harold Davis shows the techniques he uses to create his floral masterpieces. Arrangement, composition, photography, post-production will all be covered, as will Harold’s special techniques for shooting on a light box.

Who is this workshop for?  The workshop is intended for photographers of all levels with an interest in flower photography.

Harold gives this workshop very infrequently. There is no better way to learn the floral transparency techniques that he has pioneered. The two-day format will give participants the chance to complete their imagery using the techniques that Harold will demonstrate.

Papaver and Iridaceae

Papaver and Iridaceae © Harold Davis

What to bring: Your camera (preferably capable of shooting in RAW and with a manual exposure mode), camera manual, tripod (if you have one), and a way to make notes!

If you’d like to follow the post-production examples please bring a laptop loaded with Photoshop, and HDR Efex Pro from Nik Software (trial versions of this software are available for free download).

Curriculum – Day 1

9:30AM – Workshop orientation

10:30 – Glory of the tranlucent petal (understanding translucency and transparency)

11:30 – Introduction to Floral arrangement and composition

12:30 – Lunch break

1:30 – Advanced floral compositon

2:30 – Shooting on a lightbox

3:30 – Understanding high-key hand HDR post-production

4:30 – Advanced HDR topics

5:00 – Review, wrap-up and Q&A

5:30 – Briefing for optional sunset/night shoot

6:00 – Carpool to location (Berkeley Municipal Pier)

6PM – 8PM – Sunset into night shoot

Curriculum – Day 2

10:00AM - Day 1 recap

10:30 - Individual post-production guided practice

11:30 – Backgrounds and Textures

12:30 – Lunch break

1:30 – LAB Color effects

2:15 – Individual practice

4:00 – Fine art botannical prints

4:30 – Review, wrap-up and Q&A

 

Peony Pano on White © Harold Davis

Peony Pano on White © Harold Davis

Here are some comments from earlier Floral Transparency Workshops:

  • “Loved the pace, in-depth instruction and generous sharing.”
  • “EXCELLENT PRESENTATION AND COVERAGE OF MATERIAL. MR. DAVIS WAS PATIENT TO ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS.”
  • “Harold, thank you for the time, expense and effort it took to put on a great one-day workshop….You are a wealth of information and share it so graciously.”
  • “Outstanding workshop!”
  • “A very packed day! Harold is very clear and organized; an outstanding photographer who is also an outstanding teacher.”
  • “Thank you for an amazing weekend workshop. Have waited a long time to take this workshop. The weekend flew by. Have much to digest and process. Highly recommended.”
  • “Learned a new photographic technique that I can apply not only to flowers, but to other subject materials.”
  • “A great workshop! Learned about creating translucent flower photographs and also about important features of Photoshop.”
  • “Great workshop with a good balance of instruction and practical application. Plenty of opportunity to ask questions and more importantly get answers.”

Where: MIG Meeting Place, 800 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94710

When: Saturday October 4, 2014, 9:30AM to 5:30PM and Sunday October 5, 2013, 10:00AM to 5:00PM

Tuition: The cost of the workshop is $745 per person

Registration: www.meetup.com/Harold-Davis/events/183306272/

Red Poppies © Harold Davis

 

About Harold Davis

Harold Davis is an award-winning professional photographer and widely recognized as one of the leading contemporary photographers.

He is the author of more than 30 books, including Monochromatic HDR Photography (Focal Press), The Way of the Digital Photographer (Peachpit Press), Creating HDR Photos: The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Photography (Amphoto),  Photographing Flowers: Exploring Macro Worlds with Harold Davis (Focal Press), The Photoshop Darkroom 2: Creative Digital Transformations (Focal Press), and The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Post-Processing (Focal Press).

Harold is the author of the Creative Photography series from Wiley Publishing.

“Harold Davis’s Creative Photography series is a great way to start a photography library”—Daniel Fealko, PhotoFidelity.

The Creative titles include: Creative Landscapes: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Lighting: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Portraits: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Black & White: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Night: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Close-Ups: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley). He’s also written a book on the fundamentals of exposure, Light & Exposure for Digital Photographers (O’Reilly Media).

Posted in Workshops

Falling

Falling is a single, in-camera multiple exposure using the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 and a Nikon D800 on a tripod. There was a black backdrop, and I used a studio strobe on either side, facing the model who was posing on a suspended hoop. The mechanics of in-camera multiple-exposure photography aren’t too tough to master provided auto-gain is enabled. But creating these images does require precision choreography and communication with the model to get the posing positions right, otherwise the composition doesn’t come together.

Falling © Harold Davis

Falling © Harold Davis

You can see some of the other images I’ve made using this technique in these stories: Wheel of LifeDance in the RingsA Rorschach for MFAs and Multiple Exposures. Also check out the Multiple Exposures portfolio page of these images!

Posted in Models, Photography

New Harold Davis Photography Workshops Added

Please keep in mind the following new workshop additions and changes:

Windswept Florals © Harold Davis

Windswept Florals © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Converting to Black & White Webinar

Converting to Black & White with Photoshop and Silver Efex Pro, webinar live session Saturday September 27 at 3PM

I’d be the first to admit that my series of webinar recordings are home-grown. These are not highly polished, and they show the actual techniques I use in real time. The advantage of attending a live session (seats are very limited) is that if anything puzzles you, you can ask questions. Note that the cost of the live session also includes unlimited access to the webinar recording at no additional cost.

Please consider joining me for this exciting, new live webinar offering that will help you create great high-tonal range digital black and white images.

01-title-BWSaturday, September 27, 2014 at 3PM PT: Converting to Black & White (the cost is only $29.95, and includes unlimited access to the post-session recording)

While we see the world in color, black and white is important to the history of photography, and immediately recognized as distinctive and artistic. In this webinar Harold Davis, the author of several books on digital black and white technique, and the creator of widely exhibited black & white prints, explains his techniques and how he gets his extraordinary results.

He’ll show some of his images in the context of why he chooses to render them in black and white, then move on to the specifics of his unique and poswerful techniques for creating rich monochromatic images with extraordinary depth using Photoshop adjustments, Nik Silver Efex Pro and a workflow the takes advantage of the power inherent in Photoshop layers and masking!

 The Converting to Black & White with Harold Davis webinar covers:

  • Learning to see in black & white
  • Pre-visualizing black & white imagery
  • Black & white in a (digital) color world
  • Why black & white
  • Black & white workflow
  • Using black & white adjustments
  • Using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2
  • Enhancing color for great black & white
  • The black & white conversion layer stack
  • When (and how) to extend the dynamic range of black and white images

Want to move your photographic imagery from the mundane to the artistic? Then maybe black and white—and this webinar—is for you! Learn to hone your monochromatic skills in this extraordinary presentation from Harold Davis, one of the living masters of digital monochrome.

What one participant in past webinars has said: “Watching Harold work on his imagery, as he would in ‘real-life’, has helped me lock-in techniques that I had read about, but were only theoretical to me. It’s great to have multiple delivery channels for Harold’s information, and I now feel confident I can succeed.”

Each live webinar session has ample time for questions and is limited to twenty participants, so seating is very limited. The $29.95 fee includes unlimited access to the recording of the session.

Check out our webinar recordings ($19.95 each for unlimited access):

Click here for more info about Harold Davis webinar recordings.

Nautilus © Harold Davis

Nautilus © Harold Davis

Posted in Monochrome, Workshops

Painterly Peony Panos

I shot this image of peonies on a light box in two panels, which were later stitched together in post-production to make a peony panorama. Each panel was photographed with a Nikon D800 and the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 on a tripod. There were eight exposures in each panel, with the aperture at f/11 and ISO set to 100. Shutter speeds on each ranged from 1/40 of a second to 2.5 seconds. With the two panels stitched together, then cropped for composition, the resulting file is  quite large, 10,321 pixels by 4,712 pixels at 300ppi. This means I can make a 34″ wide print with no enlargement of the file, and it would be easy with no sweat to enlarge this two or three times with no noticeable loss of quality.

Peony Pano on White © Harold Davis

Peony Pano on White © Harold Davis

Want to learn more about the techniques I used to create this image? Check out my FAQ Photographing Flowers for Transparency and other FAQs on my site.

Painterly Peony Pano © Harold Davis

Painterly Peony Pano © Harold Davis

Other resources: I also have an upcoming workshop on Photographing Flowers for Transparency, and webinar recordings are available on Painting in Transparency Using a High-Key Layer Stack and Using Backgrounds and Textures.

Posted in Flowers

Sunflower Sunrise

I love sunflowers! They are truly a wonderful flower. Of course, sunflowers are often depicted in art. For example, it is probably hard for me to say “sunflower” without thinking of Vincent van Gogh’s famous sunflower paintings. My version is Go van Gogh!

Sunflower Sunrise © Harold Davis

Sunflower Sunrise © Harold Davis

But did you know that the sunflower is also visually interesting from behind? Shot this way, from the back on a light box, with my D810 and a Zeiss 100mm f/2 macro lens, the sunflower reminds me of a landscape, or perhaps the sunrise itself!

Sunflower Sunrise (black & white) © Harold Davis

Sunflower Sunrise (black & white) © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Enrich your photography with Photoshop Skills – Saturday Sept 13

Registration and information for the Creative Photoshop Day with Harold Davis (Saturday, September 13, 2014)

Please also keep in mind a new session of Photographing Flowers for Transparency (Weekend workshop, October 4-5, 2014)

Photographer extradorinaire, Photoshop guru, and gifted teacher Harold Davis says, “I often get asked about my Photoshop techniques in the course of a workshop. In a general workshop that involves photography there just isn’t enough time to cover the vast multitude of creative Photoshop techniques that you can use in depth. This workshop will provide a one-time opportunity to do that exploration of Photoshop: both as a creative medium, and as an artistic partner with digital photography.”

Don’t miss this opportunity to hone your Photoshop skills in relationship to photography in a small group setting, under the tutelage of a contemporary master. What could be more fun than using Photoshop to its best advantage as a creative tool with your photography?

High-Key Tulips © Harold Davis

High-Key Tulips © Harold Davis

In this workshop, Harold will work with each participant to develop their personal Photoshop style and to process one or more of their own images using the techniques demonstrated in this workshop.

The focus will be on creating an individual Photoshop workflow that is fun and that energizes. We’ll work with layers, masking, textures, backgrounds, selections, filters, LAB color, and more. There will be time for image review, and for helping participants with individual creative projects. Take your Photoshop creativity to the next level!

Church at Auvers © Harold Davis

Van Gogh’s church at Auvers-sur-Oise © Harold Davis

Registration: http://www.meetup.com/Harold-Davis/events/186153022/

Prerequisites:  Please contact us with any questions about whether you have the appropriate background for this workshop.

Davis- The Way of the Digital PhotographerSuggested advance reading/viewing: The Way of the Digital Photographer and the Harold Davis Photoshop webinar recordings.

What to bring: Please bring a laptop with Photoshop installed and some of your images that you would like to work on. The following software is also suggested (but not required): the Nik Collection, Topaz Adjust and Topaz Simplify.

When: Saturday, September 13, 2014 from 9AM to 6PM, with an hour break for lunch.

Where: The workshop is hosted in Berkeley, California, in a convenient location near the upscale Fourth Street shopping district and close to the University Avenue exit from I80.

Tuition: $295 per person. Workshop size is strictly limited so everyone can have the best learning experience possible.

Flowering Quince by Moon © Harold Davis

Flowering Quince by Moon © Harold Davis

Click here for current workshop offerings!


Here are some comments from folks who have attended Harold’s Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop in the past:

“Loved the pace, in-depth instruction and generous sharing.”

“EXCELLENT PRESENTATION AND COVERAGE OF MATERIAL. MR. DAVIS WAS PATIENT TO ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS.”

“Harold, thank you for the time, expense and effort it took to put on a great workshop….You are a wealth of information and share it so graciously.”

“Outstanding workshop!”

“A very packed workshop! Harold is very clear and organized; an outstanding photographer who is also an outstanding teacher.”

Posted in Photography

Windswept Florals

I photographed this floral arrangement on a light box with my Nikon D810 and the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4. My idea was to try to create a composition where it looked like the flowers were in motion, as they might be if they were wind-driven. After combining the high-key layer stack, I added a background and a textured overlay to create the final effect.

Windswept Florals © Harold Davis

Windswept Florals © Harold Davis

Interested in my techniques for creating this image? Please check out my webinars, and please consider the weekend Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop, October 4-5, 2014.

Related FAQ: Photographing Flowers for Transparency.

Posted in Flowers

Succulent

This succulent lives in a little pot on our front porch. For my first shot with my new Nikon D810, I brought it inside, wrapped the plant in its pot in black velvet, and photographed it using controlled sunlight. The lens I used was the Zeiss 100mm f/2 macro. I set the ISO to the native ISO sensitivity on the D810, ISO 64. Using manual exposure, the other settings were mirror lockup on, shutter speed at 4/5 of a second, and aperture at f/22 for maximum depth-of-field (full speed ahead and dang the diffraction, which is minimal with Zeiss lenses anyhow). Of course, I used a tripod.

Succulent  (Black & White) © Harold Davis

Succulent (Black & White) © Harold Davis

My first impression of the Nikon D810 it that it is a really good camera, but the changes compared to the D800 and D800E are essentially incremental, not revolutionary. It’s notable that the processor is much faster, and also high ISO handling has been improved even above the great high-ISO abilities of its predecessors. One nice feature I had not been expecting is that the shutter is much, much quieter, and there seems to be very little vibration from the shutter. I don’t know the technology behind this change, but it is an obvious and audible change for the better.

I am thinking that we are getting so good that significant changes in this style of camera may be hitting the law of diminishing returns. After all, who really needs more than 36MP captures? Unless you are doing big prints as I do, you don’t even really need nearly that much.

One improvement I would like to see generally is an internal sensor cleaner that actually works. This is a complaint I hear frequently at my workshops. Nikon (and the other DSLR manufacturers), are you listening?

Succulent (Color)  © Harold Davis

Succulent (Color) © Harold Davis

Posted in Monochrome, Patterns, Photography

Creative Photoshop Workshop Saturday September 13

Registration and information for the Creative Photoshop Day with Harold Davis (Saturday, September 13, 2014)

Photographer extradorinaire, Photoshop guru, and gifted teacher Harold Davis says, “I often get asked about my Photoshop techniques in the course of a workshop. In a general workshop that involves photography there just isn’t enough time to cover the vast multitude of creative Photoshop techniques that you can use in depth. This workshop will provide a one-time opportunity to do that exploration of Photoshop: both as a creative medium, and as an artistic partner with digital photography.”

Don’t miss this opportunity to hone your Photoshop skills in relationship to photography in a small group setting, under the tutelage of a contemporary master. What could be more fun than using Photoshop to its best advantage as a creative tool with your photography?

High-Key Tulips © Harold Davis

High-Key Tulips © Harold Davis

In this workshop, Harold will work with each participant to develop their personal Photoshop style and to process one or more of their own images using the techniques demonstrated in this workshop.

The focus will be on creating an individual Photoshop workflow that is fun and that energizes. We’ll work with layers, masking, textures, backgrounds, selections, filters, LAB color, and more. There will be time for image review, and for helping participants with individual creative projects. Take your Photoshop creativity to the next level!

Church at Auvers © Harold Davis

Van Gogh’s church at Auvers-sur-Oise © Harold Davis

Registration: http://www.meetup.com/Harold-Davis/events/186153022/

Prerequisites:  Please contact us with any questions about whether you have the appropriate background for this workshop.

Davis- The Way of the Digital PhotographerSuggested advance reading/viewing: The Way of the Digital Photographer and the Harold Davis Photoshop webinar recordings.

What to bring: Please bring a laptop with Photoshop installed and some of your images that you would like to work on. The following software is also suggested (but not required): the Nik Collection, Topaz Adjust and Topaz Simplify.

When: Saturday, September 13, 2014 from 9AM to 6PM, with an hour break for lunch.

Where: The workshop is hosted in Berkeley, California, in a convenient location near the upscale Fourth Street shopping district and close to the University Avenue exit from I80.

Tuition: $295 per person. Workshop size is strictly limited so everyone can have the best learning experience possible.

Flowering Quince by Moon © Harold Davis

Flowering Quince by Moon © Harold Davis

Click here for current workshop offerings!

Posted in Workshops

Cockeyed Cathedral

Bourges Cathedral is a World Heritage Site. Construction began around the year 1200, at about the same time as the cathedral at Chartres. It is unclear when (or if) construction was completed, but it took at least two centuries. What an immense undertaking! As you can see in the photo, portions of the interior need work to this day, and indeed a massive restoration project is underway.

Inside the Cathedral at Bourges © Harold Davis

Inside the Cathedral at Bourges © Harold Davis

It’s impossible to convey the immensity of this interior space. But I wanted to create an image that tried. So I got my tripod low to the ground, and used the inimitable Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 extreme wide-angle lens to give this cockeyed view of the soaring spaces of the interior of the Cathedral at Bourges. Related story: Window in Bourges.

Posted in France, Monochrome

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is an ancient village perched high on the cliffs high above the Lot River about thirty miles from Cahors. In France, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful—if not the most beautiful—preserved medieval villages, partly due to its picturesque and highly defensible setting on top of a bunch of rocks overlooking the gorgeous Lot valley.

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie © Harold Davis

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie © Harold Davis

Of course, as one of the most beautiful preserved medieval villages Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is overrun with tourists. You can’t drive into the village, and must park in a nearby lot, and there are plenty of souvenir stands, and attractions like donkey rides for the kids. But its more the French analog to a scene like an American going to a state fair and getting a corn dog on a stick than it is to the parade of non-French speaking tourists you find in a place like the Left Bank of Paris.

On the weekend I visited in the late spring, the tourists were in fact all French, and I was the only foreigner staying in the Auberge du Sombral, where I had booked a room. This establishment is one of my favorite kinds of places to stay in France, essentially a restaurant with a few rooms attached, and I had a good meal and a thoroughly fun time.

It was great to be able to photograph in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie at night after the visitors had gone home. In the morning I explored more, and found this alley right behind the Auberge. Hard to say how old, but it has probably been like this for seven or eight hundred years without many changes.

Related Story: Chateau des Nazelles.

Posted in France, Monochrome, Photography

Window in Bourges

As I previously wrote in an iPhone storyThe old city of Bourges, France is known for its cathedral. This structure, a World Heritage Site, is probably the largest Gothic cathedral ever built. I think five Notre Dames would fit inside. The vast, soaring interior space is amazing, held in place by tiered flying buttresses—and built to emphasize the status of the church of Bourges as representative of the ancient kingdom of Aquitaine.

Window in Bourges © Harold Davis

Window in Bourges © Harold Davis

Coming into Bourges on an overcast and wet afternoon it wasn’t easy finding my hotel. But once I got there the room and the view from the window was worth it. And in the early evening the skies cleared with beautiful golden-hour light so I was able to make this image. Printed large on Moab Slickrock Metallic Pearl it looks great, like a crisp window framed within the window of the paper.

Related story: Room with a View.

Posted in France