Pilgrimage to Rocamadour

High above a tributary of the Lot River in the Dordogne Department in southwestern France, Rocamadour has attracted pilgrims for centuries. The town sits below an ecclesiastical complex of monastic buildings and pilgrimage churches. These days, there’s an elevator between the town level and the shrine level, but some pilgrims still complete their pilgrimages in the traditional way, by climbing on their knees up the Grand Escalier—Grand Stairway–shown in this image.

Grand Escalier,  Rocamadour © Harold Davis

Grand Escalier, Rocamadour © Harold Davis

In this photo you see a row of tourist restaurants to the right of the stairs. There are also hotels (I stayed at one, and it was very nice) and souvenir shops. This probably hasn’t changed much over time, when similar services were needed by the pilgrims who’ve flocked to Rocamadour since medieval times.

I’m struck by how similar the concept of ritual, religious tourism is centers in Japan such as Koya-san and Nachi-san. Although undoubtedly the stone-bound setting from medieval France is far more grim.

If you climb up the Grand Escalier—on your knees or otherwise—here’s the view you’ll see of the towering, militarized religious complex.

The Citadel of Rocamadour © Harold Davis

The Citadel of Rocamadour © Harold Davis

Here are two iPhone images of the same location:

Pilgrim Stairs © Harold Davis

Pilgrim Stairs © Harold Davis

Sanctuary © Harold Davis

Sanctuary © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Monochrome

New Harold Davis posters from Editions Limited

I am very pleased to have a new series of fine art posters based on my work published by Editions Limited. There are four botanical images, and two landscapes from the Kumano kodo pilgrimage trail on the Kii peninsula in Japan.

Nature's Palette, art poster published by Editions Limited © Harold Davis

Nature’s Palette, art poster published by Editions Limited © Harold Davis

Tulip Panorama art poster published by Editions Limited © Harold Davis

Tulip Panorama art poster published by Editions Limited © Harold Davis

Tulips 1 art poster published by Editions Limited © Harold Davis

Tulips 1 art poster published by Editions Limited © Harold Davis

Tulips 2 art poster published by Editions Limited © Harold Davis

Tulips 2 art poster published by Editions Limited © Harold Davis

Misty Mountains art poster published by Editions Limited © Harold Davis

Misty Mountains art poster published by Editions Limited © Harold Davis

Kumano Sanzen art poster published by Editions Limited © Harold Davis

Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po art poster published by Editions Limited © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Dasha

I photographed the beautiful model Dasha as part of my Multiple Exposures sequence in Variations, I never know which me, Quo Vadis and Dance of the Seven Veils. I was asked recently whether I had any images of Dasha that weren’t part of a multiple exposure sequence. Well, of course I do. This one was supposed to be part of a multiple exposure, but I forgot to set the camera to combine the images, so I got eight individual exposures—also explaining the in-motion look of the model.

Dasha © Harold Davis

Dasha © Harold Davis

Exposure and post-production information: Photographed against a black background using studio strobes, Nikon D810, Otus 55mm f/1.4, at 1/160 of a second and f/8 using ISO 100, post-processed to black & white using Nik Silver Efex Pro and the Infrared preset as a Photoshop Black & White Adjustment Layer. I then added Flypaper Etched Copper from the Metallic collection as a texture overlay, and reconverted (converted a second time) to black and white.

Posted in Models, Monochrome, Photography

Botanique on exhibit at Awagami Gallery

I am honored that my limited edition artist book of botanical art, Botanique, and several of my prints are on exhibit at Awagami in Japan.

Harold Davis' prints on AIJP coupled with his book dossier

Awagami Factory: Harold Davis’ prints on AIJP coupled with his book dossier

We do have a few copies of Botanique remaining, starting at number 16 (out of an edition of 25). Please contact my studio if you are interested.

Posted in Photography

Blind

Photography is about light. You can’t photograph an actual thing, only the light reflected or emitted by the thing. What does this come down to at its irreducible minimum?

Blind © Harold Davis

Blind © Harold Davis

Perhaps it is bright morning sunlight coming through a “Venetian” blind, leaving only darkness and light in its wake—and us to consider grace, being blind and then seeing and the fact that one does not have to travel far to find photographic material that is of interest. One only needs to shift the way one sees that small amount to find the wonder in the ordinary that is always around us.

Capturing hand held using a Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 at 1/250 of a second, f/11 and ISO 400 (underexposed according to the light meter by about 3 EV).

Please keep in mind my series of webinar recordings, including most recently Converting to Black & White and Making Memorable Travel Photos.

Posted in Monochrome, Photography

Exhibition in Heidelberg, Germany

I am very excited to be exhibiting at Arts & Friends, a photography gallery in Heidelberg, Germany. The show is Harold Davis: An Eclectic Collection. The exhibition title suits me fine because I am definitely eclectic in my photographic tastes!

My understanding is that there will be two really large prints, one on Slickrock Silver and one on metallic pearl. There are roughly twenty other prints in the show of varying sizes, printed on Awagami Kozo washi, Slickrock pearl and Lasal Exhibition Fiber. All the prints are monochromatic. Special thanks to my sponsor Moab Paper, who has helped to make this exhibition possible, and to Zeiss whose fine lenses I used for most of the work in this show.

My exhibit runs from October 18 through November 16, 2014. If you happen to be in Germany, the opening is on Saturday October 18 at 6PM. Here’s the invitation card:

Invitation postcard

 

Posted in Photography

Variations

Here are some variations on I never know which me. The upper variation has been flipped, and a texture added to make the model appear to be coming out of the background. The lower variation has been converted to black and white.

Pygmalion Redux © Harold Davis

Pygmalion Redux © Harold Davis

This is an in-camera multiple exposure, consisting of ten individual exposures combined in the camera. I used a Nikon D810 mounted on a tripod with a Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 lens. The background was black seamless paper, and two studio strobes triggered by wireless were used for lighting.

Black and White Variation  © Harold Davis

Black and White Variation © Harold Davis

For the entire cycle of images see Multiple Exposures.

Credits—Model: DashaStudio: The Lighthouse Berkeley.

Posted in Models, Photography

Early Registration Workshop Discounts Ending Soon

Early registration discounts for these 2015 workshops are ending in a few days (discounts end on October 15):

Please take $50 off the tuition for each workshop if you register before October 15, 2014.

Early registration helps us plan our schedule and make the necessary arrangements to hold workshop space. If you are thinking of one of these workshops, please help us by registering now, and accept the $50 discount as a small token of our thanks.

Cable Car Wheels © Harold Davis

Cable Car Wheels © Harold Davis

Also, please consider joining an international group of photographers with me when we explore the Sea-Girt Villages of Italy in October, 2015.

Posted in Workshops

Making Memorable Travel Photos Webinar now available

Making Memorable Travel Photos webinar recording (Unlimited access $19.95)

Please consider viewing and learning from this exciting, new webinar offering that will help you learn to see the extraordinary in the ordinary, and find the extraordinary when you travel.

01-titleMany of us like to travel, and when we travel we bring our cameras. But there’s a strange paradox: no matter how unique and photogenic our destinations, mostly the photos we come back with are pretty dull. Your travel photos do not have to be boring!

In this presentation, noted photographer and digital artist Harold Davis shares his spectacular imagery from many places around the world as well as “abroad at home.” He’ll share the backstories about how many of his images were made, and what was going on at the time of the exposure. Hint: If men in military uniforms come toward you pointing automatic weapons, stop photographing whatever it is that you are photographing, and turn around slowly!

While showing his award-winning imagery, and sharing his travel photography stories, Harold will explain topics including:

The Making Memorable Travel Photos webinar recording covers:

  • How to research and prepare for any travel destination
  • Planning tools that Harold uses to maximize his chances of photographic success
  • Figuring out where the light is coming from to get the best photos
  • How to be “at home abroad” no matter what your destination
  • Making travel photos that rise above the mundane
  • Photographing people when you travel
  • How to ask a stranger permission to take their photo
  • Making travel photos with a personal viewpoint
  • How to get good shots when you are with a group

Want to move your photographic imagery from the mundane to the artistic? Then maybe this webinar—is for you! Learn to find the special at home and abroad in this extraordinary presentation from Harold Davis, one of the living masters of digital photography.

One participant in the live session noted, “Harold’s webinars are always interesting. I learned quite a bit.” Another participant added, “We just finished attending your Memorable Travel Photos webinar, and also attended the Converting to Black and White webinar a week or so ago. My wife and I found both of them to be very educational and inspiring.”

Click here to register for unlimited access to this webinar recording (unlimited access is $19.95).

Also, please consider joining an international group of photographers with me when we explore the Sea-Girt Villages of Italy in October, 2015.

Posted in Workshops

The end of the Berkeley Pier

The Berkeley Municipal Pier stretches almost a half a mile out into San Francisco Bay. Along the way out to the end there are views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate, Alcatraz, and Mt Tamalpais. The pier used to go even further, so the end is boarded up with the slats you see here, which look decorative in the sunset light. By the way, the view from under the Berkeley Pier is also pretty cool!

End of the Berkeley Pier © Harold Davis

End of the Berkeley Pier © Harold Davis

This image was shot on a tripod, and used three blended exposures. I used a Nikon D810 and Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 set to f/22 and ISO 64 (the native ISO for the D810). The shutter speeds were 2.5 seconds, 8 seconds and 25 seconds. Post-production included HDR blending and minor perspective correction.

Posted in HDR, Landscape, Photography, San Francisco Area

Creative Black & White Masterclass

Saturday March 14 and Sunday March 15, 2015

This workshop includes field photography in several Bay area locations good for black & white, review of participant’s work, monochromatic shooting techniques in the field, photographic assignments, black & white conversion in Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex Pro, and classroom sessions on high-tonal range black & white digital imaging and printmaking. 

Click here for registration! *Early registration discount applies until 10/15/2014

In this workshop, Master Photographer Harold Davis guides participants in both aspects of the digital black & white process: shooting and post-processing.

Workshop participants will take advantage of several San Francisco Bay area locations with black and white in mind, with field destinations to be determined depending on weather and group predilections. Possibilities include the Point Richmond, Cable Car Museum, Fort Point, Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge.

In the classroom, hands-on guidance will explain techniques for extending dynamic range, monochromatic conversion methods, and best practices where the two technologies intersect.

Cayucos Pier

Cayucos Pier © Harod Davis

Harold Davis is the author of Creative Black & White (Wiley) and Monochromatic HDR Photography (Focal Press). His prints have been called “hauntingly beautiful” by Fine Art Printer Magazine. Join Harold and a like-minded group of photographers for this hands-on workshop!

Harold Davis-Monochromatic HDR book cover

What: Creative Black & White Masterclass with Harold Davis

When: March 14 – March 15, 2015

Where: Berkeley, CA (classroom sessions); we will also carpool to field locations

Tuition and registration: ($695; early-bird special $645 for registration prior to Oct 15, 2014); click www.meetup.com/Harold-Davis/events/207493952/ to register for this workshop.

Workshop size: Minimum 4 and Maximum 12 participants

Nautilus in Black and White

Nautilus in Black and White © Harold Davis

In addition, the workshop will provide extensive coverage of the creative vision required to successfully create digital black and white images as well as the workflow necessary to make art prints from this specialized image-making technique.

Click here for registration!

Kira at Passy Station © Harold Davis

Kira at Passy Station © Harold Davis

Click here for registration!

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.

Posted in Workshops

I never know which me

This is an in-camera multiple exposure, consisting of ten individual exposures combined in the camera. I used a Nikon D810 mounted on a tripod with a Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 lens. The background was black seamless paper, and two studio strobes triggered by wireless were used for lighting.

I never know which me © Harold Davis

I never know which me © Harold Davis

Related image: Quo Vadis. For the entire cycle of images see Multiple Exposures.

Credits—Model: DashaStudio: The Lighthouse Berkeley.

Posted in Models

Night Photography in San Francisco Workshop Feb 20-22, 2015

Please take $50 off the normal tuition for this workshop if you register before October 15, 2014!

In a letter to his brother Theo, the great artist Vincent van Gogh wrote, “It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly colored than the day.” The advent of digital photography has revolutionized the practice of night photography because a digital sensor can record the spectacular colors of the night. These colors are created by light waves in spectrums that are invisible to the naked human eye. For the first time we can truly “see” the world of the night around us.

Night covers the globe half the time and—surprising to many—photographic opportunities with digital equipment are as exciting at night as they are during the day. Join night photographer Harold Davis, the author of Creative Night: Digital Photo Tips & Techniques, a book explaining night photography techniques and 100 Views of the Golden Gate, a book celebrating the visual glories of San Francisco’s iconic structure, as we explore the freedom of the night in the glorious surroundings of San Francisco.

What: Night Photography in San Francisco with Harold Davis

When: Feb 20-22, 2015

Where: Berkeley, CA (classroom sessions); field locations around the San Francisco Bay area

Tuition and registration: ($695; early-bird special $645 for registration prior to Oct 15, 2014); click www.meetup.com/Harold-Davis/events/207470572/ to register for this workshop.

Workshop size: Minimum 4 and Maximum 12 participants

Field locations: Depend on conditions and group inclinations, may include Berkeley Pier, Oakland Waterfront Park, Mare Island, Marin Headlands, Golden Gate Bridge, Kirby Cover, Lombard Street curves, San Francisco waterfront and Bay Bridge

Full Moon Rising © Harold Davis

Full Moon Rising © Harold Davis

On Friday, Harold will cover techniques, equipment, and night safety issues during an orientation session before moving outdoors to create images of the night. In the morning we’ll regroup to demystify post-processing of night time captures in Photoshop and evaluate our work in the context of personal goals.

A second night shoot on Saturday gives participants the opportunity to put into practice their newly acquired skills.

Time permitting, we will take advantage of the wonderful locations available to also shoot some daylight landscapes!

Classroom sessions will provide critiques of participant work, and demonstrate night photographic post-production Photoshop techniques including multi-RAW processing, stacking, layering, and LAB enhancements.

Field locations depend upon conditions, but will likely include the Golden Gate and the Marin Headlands, the curves on Lombard Street, Berkeley Municipal Pier and downtown San Francisco. Conditions permitting, we may be able to take advantage of the early-setting new moon the weekend of Feb 21-22 to also practice capturing star trails.

Please take $50 off the normal tuition for this workshop if you register before October 15, 2014!

San Francisco Moonrise © Harold Davis

San Francisco Moonrise © Harold Davis

We will learn to make beautiful night landscapes together, and enjoy the spectacular San Francisco scenery from a unique perspective. You’ll leave the workshop with great images and the skills to capture the world of the night while others sleep.

Please take $50 off the normal tuition for this workshop if you register before October 15, 2014!

Lombard Street Curves © Harold Davis

Lombard Street Curves © Harold Davis

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.

Posted in Workshops

We Happy Flower Few

A great Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop was held this past weekend, with we happy flower few photographing roses, irises, lilies, tulips and more on several large light boxes. One memorable moment: the facility caretaker managed to burn something in the microwave setting off the fire alarm. He couldn’t turn off the alarm, and before we knew it fire fighters in full regalia were marching past the light boxes and flowers. Fortunately, the workshop participants took it all in stride!

I regard the image of a leaf below as a kind of “doodle.” It was part of an in-class demo of using backgrounds and working creatively with LAB color .

Lab Leaf 2 © Harold Davis

Lab Leaf 2 © Harold Davis

We also did more conventional light box work, for example this entire vase full of tulips on a white background. Everyone took their turn shooting the tulips and other flowers, and a great time was had!

Tulips on White © Harold Davis

Tulips on White © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Workshops

Ghosts in the Enchanted Garden

On May Day, a national holiday in France, the fountains were going full force in the Parc de Sceaux. Of course, on a holiday weekend, the park was full of people, who showed up as “ghosts” in this bracketed exposure sequence, combined using HDR. I removed most of the ghosts in post-production, but if you look closely you’ll see I left a few ghosts to wander in this enchanted garden.

Ghosts in the Enchanted Garden © Harold Davis

Ghosts in the Enchanted Garden © Harold Davis

Another technical point: my usual recommendation is to bracket shutter speed by one EV increments, keeping the other settings in the exposure triangle constant. But in this case I essentially created two bracketed sequences at differing ISOs and apertures, one sequence intended to provide long exposures and a smooth effect on the water in the fountains, the other intended to capture the water as it sprayed crisply.

Both sequences were then combined into one image. I used a 70mm focal length on a tripod. The three fast-shutter-speed exposures were at ISO 320 and f/8, and ranged from 1/80 of a second to 1/500 of a second in duration. The four slow-shutter-speed exposures were at ISO 50 and F/32, and ranged from 1.3 seconds to 1/6 of a second.

The point of this process was to show both silky slow-motion water along with crisp spray from the fountains.

Ghosts in the Enchanted Garden (Black & White) © Harold Davis

Ghosts in the Enchanted Garden (Black & White) © Harold Davis

Of course, there is something decidedly old-fashioned about this kind of view, almost like a digital version of Eugene Atget in his photography of parks and gardens such as those at Versailles. So I decided to make this appeal explicit in the monochromatic version shown here. You can still see the ghosts if you look closely, but they are wandering around in black and white.

Learn more about my techniques for monochrome in this webinar recording: Converting to Black & White with Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex and also please consider my Black & White Weekend Workshop in March, 2015.

 

Posted in France, Landscape, Photography