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

Valentre Bridge

In an earlier story illustrated with iPhone captures, I wrote: The city of Cahors in the southwest of France is a slightly gritty provincial capital—but back in the middle ages it was fabulously wealthy. Protected on three sides by the river Lot, Cahors was nevertheless sacked, abandoned and rebuilt. But glory was never regained entirely (the Black Death didn’t help matters). You can see the remnants in the palaces and monuments of the old quarter, where today they have a wonderful fresh food market. I got my lunch today in this market. You really can’t beat a fresh loaf of bread, a tranche of locally made pate, strawberries and a tomato!

Valentre Bridge © Harold Davis

Valentre Bridge © Harold Davis

Cahors may have fallen to brute force and treachery during the hundred years war during the convoluted battles between French and English monarchs, but the Pont Valentre was rightly regarded as impregnable. Originally a fortress in the center of the river, it was expanded across to both banks with ample fortifications to make direct attack well nigh impossible.

I made this photo of the Pont Valentre from the banks of the Lot River with my camera on my tripod, and my hat held over the camera and lens to protect it from the spring rain.

Posted in France, Landscape, Photography

When two rivers woo

I’ve been playing with poetry, puns and stories in my mind about two rivers coming together, hence “when two rivers woo” and “a tale of two rivers,” and so on. Shown here: The Vezere River coming in from the left and the mighty Dordogne River from the right shot from the castle-turned-exhibition garden high above the town of Lemeuil in southwestern France.

Confluence of Two Rivers  © Harold Davis

Confluence of Two Rivers © Harold Davis

Rain was falling softly and the air was fragrant on the spring day this year that I shot the image, with my camera exposed I was mindful of the brooding clouds in the distance. If you look carefully, you can see the rain skittering across the wind-blown surface of the water at the confluence of the two rivers.

This is an HDR blend of nine exposures, each shot at a moderate wide-angle, ISO 100, and f/11. Shutter speeds ranged from 1/5 of a second to 1/320 of a second. I used a polarizing filter and a tripod.

Related images: Morning on the Lot River and Overlooking the Dordogne River.

Posted in France, Landscape, Photography

Labor Day Harold Davis workshop special offers

Register this holiday weekend for either of my two upcoming workshops (Creative Photoshop Fun Day, Saturday September 13, 2015 and Photographing Flowers for Transparency, weekend workshop, October 4-5, 2015) to take $50 off the tuition of each workshop ($100 for both workshops).

Register for both workshops this Labor Day weekend, and I will also give you a signed copy of your choice of my books (limited to our stock of books on hand).

Fine print: there essentially is none, except that this special offer expires at midnight on Labor Day, Monday September 1, 2014. To take advantage of the offer, in the registration process simply deduct $50 from the total when you pay (or pay the full amount, and we will refund you the $50).

Please let me know if you have any questions, and very best wishes in photography!

Harold Davis


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

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.

High-Key Tulips © Harold Davis

High-Key Tulips © Harold Davis

I will also 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.

Let’s spend a fun day together playing in Photoshop! 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.

The focus will be on creating an individual Photoshop workflow that is fun and that energizes. 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:  Participants are expected to know how to use their computers and to have (at a minimum) a basic knowledge of Photoshop. 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 ($245 via the special offer). Workshop is limited to a maximum of 16 participants.

Flowering Quince by Moon © Harold Davis

Flowering Quince by Moon © Harold Davis


 Registration for Photographing Flowers for Transparency, October 4-5, 2015 Session

Due to many requests I am holding a session of the Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop, Saturday, October 4—Sunday, October 5, 2014. Click here for information and online registration for the February 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 lightbox.

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?

Papaver and Iridaceae
Papaver and Iridaceae © Harold Davis

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

Harold is only planning to give this workshop once this year. 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.

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 ($695 via the special offer). Workshop limited to 16 participants.

Red Poppies © Harold Davis


 

Check out our workshops and events, and also webinar recordings!

Posted in Workshops

Wheel of Life

This is a single, in-camera multiple exposure using the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 and a Nikon D800 on a tripod. Looks great printed large on Moab Slickrock Silver metallic paper.

Wheel of Life © Harold Davis

Wheel of Life © Harold Davis

Related stories: Dance in the RingsA Rorschach for MFAs and Multiple Exposures.

Posted in Photography

Morning on the Lot River

Meandering by slow roads, I crossed and recrossed the Lot River in the southwest of France. Parking by the river, a trail led me back along cliffs for about a mile. There were ancient steps carved in the rock down to the water, and I descended. Pausing, I looked down in the almost still reflection of the river—losing myself in water that seemed directionless and mystical in the early morning light.

Morning on the Lot River © Harold Davis

Morning on the Lot River © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Landscape, Photography

Catching the full range of light

This shot from within an abandoned building on Point Richmond, California is a good demonstration of capturing an entire dynamic range of light. There’s quite a range between the bright and sunny San Francisco Bay exterior, and the far less bright interior (it is hard to describe the interior as “muted” though, considering all the colors on the walls).

Abandoned Building, Point Richmond © Harold Davis

Abandoned Building, Point Richmond © Harold Davis

I used my Nikon D800 with the extremely bright and sharp Carl Zeiss Distagon 15mm f/2.8 lens. There were six exposures, with shutter speed duration ranging from 1/1600 of a second (for the bright exterior) to 1/5 of a second for the comparatively dim interior. This amounts to a range of 320:1 from lightest to darkest. Each exposure was shot at f/16 and ISO 200. I combined the exposures using default settings in the Nik HDR Efex Pro plugin from within Photoshop.

Related story: Craneway Pavilion.

Posted in Photography, San Francisco Area

Last week for the Japan special print offer

Special Japan special offer. I am eager to get the Photographic Odyssey to Japan well-launched by the end of August. So this offer is intended for you, if you are sitting on the fence. If you follow the simple registration steps, fill out the registration application and pay the $500 trip deposit (by check or Paypal) before September 1, 2014, I will send as a gift to you a signed, original 11″ X 14″ print of either Dawn in the High Fields, Takihara or Buddha Samadhi. The archival pigment prints are handmade in my studio on Awagami Kozo washi, and have a retail value of $495 each. The images are shown above in this story. (The Awagami Factory is where we will make paper on the trip!)

You can find the full trip itinerary here, and trip costs with registration info here.

Dawn in the High Fields © Harold Davis

Dawn in the High Fields © Harold Davis

The “fine print” on my print offer: There really isn’t any. If the trip doesn’t run, of course your deposit will be returned, and you can keep the print as my gift. If you have already signed up, of course you are entitled to your choice of either print.

A friend writes, “Would love to go on the Japan trip; the trip looks like excellent value for the money . . . and I have been to Japan easily 25+ times.”

When you review the detailed itinerary, please keep in mind:

  • Japan is an expensive place to visit.
  • There is a tremendous amount included in this trip. It runs for eighteen days. This is a long trip, it includes most meals, airfare from Hiroshima to Tokyo, a workshop at the fabled, 700-year-old Awagami Paper Factory on Shikoku Island, the hotels I really wanted (in Kyoto during cherry blossom season this is a big deal), many admissions (which in Japan really add up), all kinds of transport, and bilingual guides throughoutPlease take a careful look at the itinerary to see all that is being offered.  You will see that it is assembled with a great deal of care, and that those lucky enough to join us will have unique experiences, and come home with many great and unusual photos–not just the typical tourist photographs.
  • The kicker is the small group size. Many things cost the same amount no matter how many people are in the group. This goes for guides, buses, and more. The more people, the lower the per-person cost. Of course, in a smaller size you also don’t get substantial group discounts.

Generally, I want to lead smaller groups when I travel with photographers, and it is a fact of life that this leads to higher costs. The point is a more personal experience, so that I can spend ample time in a collegial fashion with each photographer on the trip.

In the case of the Photo Odyssey to Japan, some of the very special places we will visit and stay at can only accommodate the smallest of groups. So if I wanted to present this fantastic trip, I had no choice but to keep the group size small. All that said, I have worked hard to keep the costs as low as possible.

Buddha Samadhi, Tokyo © Harold Davis

Buddha Samadhi © Harold Davis

So what are you waiting for?

Visit a Japan that most westerners never get to see with special, once-in-a-lifetime photographic opportunities.

Harold Davis

For the itinerary: www.digitalfieldguide.com/japan-workshop

To register: www.digitalfieldguide.com/japan-registration

Posted in Photography

Dance in the Rings

Dance in the Rings © Harold Davis

Dance in the Rings © Harold Davis

Please click here to see Dance in the Rings larger. Also see A Rorschach for MFAs and Multiple Exposures.

Posted in Abstractions, Models

Space available this weekend!

Don’t miss this opportunity to photograph San Francisco and the Bay area with a local master photographer!

Saturday August 23 and Sunday August 24, 2014

The San Francisco Bay area is one of the places on our planet most visited for photography. If you live here, why not spend a weekend photographing San Francisco as if you were seeing it for the first time for the wonder it is?

If you have always wanted to photograph San Francisco but are coming from far away, what better way to go about it with the guidance of master photographer and Bay area resident Harold Davis?

Click here to register for the Harold Davis San Francisco Photography Weekend Workshop

100 Views cover

Following a brief orientation, we will carpool and photograph around the Bay area in an exciting and fun weekend with locations depending on weather, lighting and group inclinations. Group size is limited to twelve photographers. There will be time for image review, and Harold will make suggestions for image improvement and creative thinking about image making.

There will be a night shoot on Saturday, and Harold will present material on photographing San Francisco in both color and black & white.

Why not get the imagery of San Francisco you have always wanted?

City as Landscape © Harold Davis

City as Landscape © Harold Davis

When: Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24, 2014

Where: The orientation and classroom sessions of the workshop will be hosted in Berkeley, California. We will car pool to field shooting locations.

Cost: Tuition is $745 per person. Workshop is limited to a maximum of 12 participants.

Registration: Click here to register for the Harold Davis San Francisco Photography Weekend Workshop

Full Moon Rising © Harold Davis

Full Moon Rising © Harold Davis

Current and Upcoming Harold Davis Workshop Offerings

  • 2014.08.23-2014.08.24—San Francisco Photography Weekend Workshop. Click here for more information and registration.
  • 2014.08.26—Harold Davis presents “Digital Black & White” at the Alameda Photographic Society (7:30 PM).
  • 2014.09.13—Creative Photoshop Fun Day with Harold Davis. Click here for more information and registration.
  • 2014.09.22—Harold Davis presents “Making Memorable Travel Photos” at the Golden Gate Computer Society
  • 2014.08.19—Harold Davis presents “Photographing Flowers for Transparency” at the Peninsula Camera Club
  • 2014.10.04-2014.10.05—Photographing Flowers for Transparency, weekend workshop in Berkeley, CA, click here for info and registration. This is a unique opportunity to learn Harold’s techniques for photographing flowers from beginning to end in the context of a hands-on workshop.
  • 2014.11.03-2014.11.20—Photography Caravan to Spain and Morocco. This is an exceptional opportunity to travel to exciting Spain and then all over colorful Morocco.  You will seldom have the chance to capture so many wonderful images from both of these countries (and continents) with help from two top professional photographers (Bill Bachmann and Harold Davis) leading the way. Click here for the detailed itinerary. Trip is full, but we are taking a waiting list.
  • 2014.012.13—Photographing Waves sponsored by the Point Reyes Field Institute. Each year I’ve given this workshop it has been fun and different. Register early to avoid disappointment! Click here for more information, and click here for registration.

2015

Harold’s workshops are often sold-out, and fill up quickly. To avoid disappointment, please register early. Feel free to contact Harold Davis if you have any questions about our workshops!

Please also consider Harold’s online webinar recordings and his Photographing Flowers course with Craftsy.

We arrange many of our workshops and events using the Photography with Harold Davis Meetup group. Click here for Group and Workshop reviews on Meetup. Please subscribe to our list and/or blog feed for early notification about new workshop offerings.

What folks have said about Harold Davis workshops and events:

  •  “A great artist and speaker!”—W. Anglin
  •  “Harold is genuine, generous, and gracious – He has a world of knowledge and expertise that he loves to share – his wonderful books show his monumental talents and skill set- his workshops shows the depth of his connecting with others in a very real and personal way.”—P. Borrelli
  • “Awesome! He patiently addressed questions from the audience which contained photographers of all levels , molding his answers to the level of understanding for each of us. His presentations covered a wonderful range of technical knowledge as well as emphasizing the need for images to have an emotional quality. The images he shares are breathtaking and he is generous in sharing many facets of how he captures such beauty.”—J. Phillips
  • “Not all photographers are good verbal communicators. Harold is someone who can DO and TEACH. A rare combination of talents.”—B. Sawyer
  • “Inspiring!”
  • “He was very giving of his talents and time. The course was very organized and thorough. Loved it! Learned so much! … I also wanted to let you know that I have more than paid the cost of the workshops I’ve done with you by selling some photos! I have sold three prints already.”—L. Beck
  • “Very creative and a marvelous instructor.”—Kay S.
Posted in Photography

A Rorschach for MFA’s

This image, with the working title Gates after Rodin, shows one model many times. The model, Jacs Fishburne, is a self-described “tornado disguised as a woman.” In the studio, Jacs was posing on a large metal hoop, sometimes called a Lyra. The Lyra was suspended by two ropes about six feet above the ground, with a black background. For some of the exposures Jacs was kneeling on the ground “holding up” the Lyra.

Gates after Rodin © Harold Davis

Gates after Rodin © Harold Davis

To make the image, I shot five in-camera multiple exposures, with Autogain turned on so that each multiple exposure was properly calibrated. Each of the multiple exposures consisted of five to eight individual shots, with Jacs changing her pose between each one. I used basic studio lighting for an even, consistent look and my D800 with the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4.

I then combined the in-camera multiple exposures in Photoshop, using both stacking and selectively pasting bits from various versions in using layers and masking. By some ways of counting, this makes for a total of somewhere between 25 and 40 different captures of Jacs, when you multiply the number of files by the number of times she appears in each.

Before finishing the image by adding a texture, I retouched out the ropes from above holding the Lyra, leaving the circular Lyra mostly in place.

A friend writes: “It brings up associations with five or six classic paintings from earlier eras. I see the Winged Victory of Samothrace on the left, and the hand of the Sphinx on the center right. Cardinal Richelieu is in the center. The face in profile at the upper left comes from something I can’t quite place and the depictions of hell by the famous Dutch painter What’s-His-Name are at the bottom [Hieronymus Bosch]. And then there’s the hint of the sumi-e circle of light again [the Lyra]. It’s like a Rorschach for MFA’s! ”

My own association is with Rodin’s Gates of Hell. I saw a casting in the garden at the Rodin Museum in Paris this spring. Maybe the memory of the Gates was lurking in my subconscious, waiting for a chance to emerge!

Related story: Multiple Exposures.

Posted in Abstractions, Models, Photography, Photoshop Techniques

Umbrellas, Tokyo

Umbrellas, Tokyo © Harold Davis

Umbrellas, Tokyo © Harold Davis

When it comes to photographic technique, sometimes simple is good. I photographed these umbrellas on the street in Tokyo in a light rain on a overcast but bright autumn day, handheld at 1/160 of a second, f/4.5 and ISO 400. There was no post-production involved other than a little adjustment in the RAW conversion.

Posted in Japan

Photoshop Layers 101 Recording Now Available

Photoshop Layers 101 Recording

01-title-layers101

The ability to work with layers and layer masks in Photoshop is what unlocks the power of Photoshop, and separates it from more mundane image editors. Yet many people find working with layers (and the tools related to layers) daunting, both conceptually and practically.

This webinar aims to get you over this learning hump gently. It is intended for serious photographers—for example, those working in Lightroom—who want to take their work to the next level in Photoshop. We will go slowly, work through many examples, and reserve ample time for questions

The Photoshop Layers 101 with Harold Davis webinar covers:

  • What is a layer?
  • Working with layers
  • Adjustment layers versus “regular” layers
  • Hide all layer masks
  • Reveal all layer masks
  • Viewing alpha channels
  • Opacity
  • Blending modes
  • Painting on a layer mask with the Brush Tool
  • Using the Gradient Tool

Here’s one comment from a viewer: “Layers used to scare me. Now, thank to Harold’s gentle approach, I can begin to unleash to full power of Photoshop!”

Another viewer adds, “I love your webinars!!!”

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

Posted in Workshops

Letter about the Photo Odyssey to Japan & Special Offer

I’ve been asked to explain by several people who are interested in my photographic trip to Japan why it is “so expensive.” You can find the full trip itinerary here, and trip costs with registration info here.

I have not created this trip as a money making venture—this trip is a matter of the heart for me that I would like to share with a select few. I have spent a huge amount of time planning this trip. I am eager to share the aspects of Japan that I love with other photographers. I’ve worked hard to keep the costs as low as possible, but some things—like being in Kyoto for cherry blossoms—are simply not about money.

Dawn in the High Fields © Harold Davis

Dawn in the High Fields © Harold Davis

Essentially the old adage about getting what you pay for comes to mind, but let me be more specific:

  • Japan is an expensive place to visit.
  • There is a tremendous amount included in this trip. It runs for eighteen days. This is a long trip, it includes most meals, airfare from Hiroshima to Tokyo, a workshop at the fabled, 700-year-old Awagami Paper Factory on Shikoku Island, the hotels I really wanted (in Kyoto during cherry blossom season this is a big deal), many admissions (which in Japan really add up), all kinds of transport, and bilingual guides throughout. Please take a careful look at the itinerary to see all that is being offered.
  • The kicker is the small group size. Many things cost the same amount no matter how many people are in the group. This goes for guides, buses, and more. The more people, the lower the per-person cost. Of course, in a smaller size you also don’t get substantial group discounts.

Generally, I want to lead smaller groups when I travel with photographers, and it is a fact of life that this leads to higher costs. The point is a more personal experience, so that I can spend ample time in a collegial fashion with each photographer on the trip.

In the case of the Photo Odyssey to Japan, some of the very special places we will visit and stay at can only accommodate the smallest of groups. So if I wanted to present this fantastic trip, I had no choice but to keep the group size small. I do realize that not everyone is “made of money,” and I have worked hard to keep the costs as low as possible.

Buddha Samadhi, Tokyo © Harold Davis

Buddha Samadhi © Harold Davis

If you take a look at the detailed itinerary, you will see that it is assembled with a great deal of care, and that those lucky enough to join us will have unique experiences, and come home with many great and unusual photos–not just the typical tourist photographs.

Now here’s the special offer. I am eager to get the Photographic Odyssey to Japan well-launched by the end of August. So this offer is intended for you, if you are sitting on the fence. If you follow the simple registration steps, fill out the registration application and pay the $500 trip deposit before September 1, 2014, I will send as a gift to you a signed, original 11″ X 14″ print of either Dawn in the High Fields, Takihara or Buddha Samadhi. The archival pigment prints are handmade in my studio on Awagami Kozo washi, and have a retail value of $495 each. The images are shown above in this story. (The Awagami Factory is where we will make paper on the trip!)

The fine print: There really isn’t any. If the trip doesn’t run, of course your deposit will be returned, and you can keep the print as my gift. If you have already signed up, of course you are entitled to your choice of either print.

So what are you waiting for?

Visit a Japan that most westerners never get to see with special, once-in-a-lifetime photographic opportunities.

Harold Davis

For the itinerary: www.digitalfieldguide.com/japan-workshop

To register: www.digitalfieldguide.com/japan-registration

Posted in Workshops

Multiple Exposures

I feel like showing the six images in my Multiple Exposures series (at least so far there are six) in one blog story. Thanks Marianne for the great title suggestion for the sequence! The models are beautiful women, but multiply exposed like this there is something definitely off-balance and dark about the ensemble.

Les Demoiselles © Harold Davis

Les Demoiselles © Harold Davis

Being and Becoming © Harold Davis

Being and Becoming © Harold Davis

Kali © Harold Davis

Kali © Harold Davis

Earthbound Angels © Harold Davis

Earthbound Angels © Harold Davis

Passion © Harold Davis

Passion © Harold Davis

Solace for the Wild Rest © Harold Davis

Solace for the Wild Rest © Harold Davis

Related blog stories: When is a photo not a photo?Multiple ExposuresKali and Les DesmoisellesBeing and BecomingSolace for the Wild RestDuos and Redos.

Also see Tender Dance and Sisters.

Posted in Photography