Author Archives: Harold Davis

2017 Flower Photography with Harold Davis Workshops

Since our Flower Photography workshops are so popular, we’ve opened enrollment for two new sessions:

(If you can’t wait until next year, there is still one spot left in the December 3-4, 2016 session of Photographing Flowers for Transparency.)

Salutation to the Sun © Harold Davis

Salutation to the Sun © Harold Davis

The new Flower Photography Intensive: 4-Day Flower Photography Masterclass on June 22-25, 2017 will cover advanced topics in floral translucency, field techniques, macro photography, and topics such as focus stacking. It is designed for photographers who have already attended a Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop (so this perquisite can be met by attending the March, 2017 or having attended an earlier session); alternatively admission is possible by portfolio review.

Cymbidium Orchid © Harold Davis

Cymbidium Orchid © Harold Davis

While these workshops are scheduled quite a ways in advance, please keep in mind that they will fill up quickly. Early-bird registration discounts are available. Here are the links for more information and registration (also see the workshop descriptions below):

Photography Flowers for Transparency (March 25-26, 2017; early registration discount until October 31, 2016)

Flower Photography Intensive: 4-Day Flower Photography Masterclass (June 22-25, 2017; early registration discount until January 1, 2017)

 

 

 

Photography Flowers for Transparency (March 25-26, 2017)

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.

Garden Party © Harold Davis

Garden Party © 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 infrequently. There is no better way to learn the floral transparency techniques that he has pioneered. The multi-day format will give participants the chance to complete their imagery using the techniques that Harold will demonstrate.

Click here for registration and class curriculum.

Bougainvillea Study II © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Study II © Harold Davis

Here are some comments from previous 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 workshop….You are a wealth of information and share it so graciously.”

“Outstanding workshop!”

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

Click here for registration and class curriculum.

Painting with Flowers Inverted © Harold Davis

Painting with Flowers Inverted © Harold Davis

Flower Photography Intensive: 4-Day Flower Photography Masterclass (June 22-25, 2017)

This is a four-day masterclass-level flower photography intensive intended for photographers who have already attended a previous Photographing Flowers for Transparency with Harold Davis workshop and are ready to move beyond the basics of translucent flower photography.

Alternatively, admission is possible via portfolio review if you haven’t already attended Flowers for Transparency; please contact us for the review procedure.

This workshop is limited to 14 participants.

Click here for registration.

Kiss from a Rose © Harold Davis

Kiss from a Rose © Harold Davis

In this workshop, we will venture to the cutting edge of floral translucency. Flower arrangement, photography, and post-production will be explored in depth. We will also hone our macro photography techniques, and pay field visits to local gardens such as Blake Garden, the U.C. Berkeley Botanical Garden, Filoli, and San Francisco Botanical Garden. Topics covered include:

• Photographing Flowers for Transparency review and recap

• Vertical versus horizontal light box compositions

• Layering, stacking, and exposure blending

• The sophisticated layer mask

• Arranging for inversion

• LAB color effects

• Advanced backgrounds and textures

• Topaz and Nik Filters

• Advanced field flower techniques

• Macro gear and best practices

• Focus stacking

• Creating a O’Keeffe effect

• Banishing the mundane: flower photography that sings

Orchids in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Orchids in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Well-known photographer Harold Davis is well-known for his often imitated—but seldom equaled—digital images of luscious transparent and translucent flowers, for his luscious “Georgia O’Keeffe” rose imagery, and for his overall mastery and love of all things floral and photographic.

Clematis on Black © Harold Davis

Clematis on Black © Harold Davis

In this unique workshop offering master photographer Harold Davis shows the techniques he uses to create many of his floral masterpieces. Advanced topics in translucent light box photography will be covered in depth, along with sessions in the field to help you hone your skills and vision when photographing flowers. We’ll celebrate our work together and share the great wonder and gift for all artists that are inspired by flower photography!

Click here for registration.

Tulip Blast © Harold Davis

Tulip Blast © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Dragon of the Redwoods

Update: The green pattern at the bottom of the image is caused by reflection from the sensor into the lens and from there back to the sensor. More information to follow.

Wandering in a Californian coastal redwood grove in the Russian River basin, my son Julian and I came upon the roots of a downed tree that from certain angles seemed to resemble the head and jaws of a dragon. With my 15mm Zeiss lens, I positioned the camera with the sun behind the “dragon”, and stopped down (to f/22) to create a starburst effect. The colorful magical talisman in front of the dragon is an unexpected (but pleasant) surprise, the result I believe of optical refraction from internal lens elements (and, if you are wondering, definitely not “Photoshopped”).

Dragon of the Redwoods © Harold Davis

Dragon of the Redwoods © Harold Davis

Exposure data: Nikon D810, Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 lens, eight exposures at f/22 and ISO 64, exposures from 0.3 seconds to 2 minutes, tripod mounted; exposures combined in ACR, Photoshop, and Nik HDR Efex Pro, and processed in Photoshop, Nik Color Efex, Viveza, and Topaz Adjust.

Posted in Photography

First-Order Fresnel Lens at Point Reyes Lighthouse

This is an image of the first-order Fresnel lens inside the Point Reyes Lighthouse on the western tip of Point Reyes, California. According to the Point Reyes National Seashore website, “the Fresnel lens intensifies the light by bending (or refracting) and magnifying the source light through crystal prisms into concentrated beams. The Point Reyes lens is divided into twenty-four vertical panels, which direct the light into twenty-four individual beams. A counterweight and gears similar to those in a grandfather clock rotate the 6000-pound lens at a constant speed, one revolution every two minutes. This rotation makes the beams sweep over the ocean surface like the spokes of a wagon wheel, and creates the Point Reyes signature pattern of one flash every five seconds.”

First-Order Fresnel Lens at the Point Reyes Lighthouse © Harold Davis

First-Order Fresnel Lens at the Point Reyes Lighthouse © Harold Davis

On Saturday evening, my Creative Landscape Photography workshop on Point Reyes was lucky enough to have the lighthouse opened for us. I shot this image handheld with my Nikon D810 and a 16mm digital fisheye lens (the interior space was pretty tight). I used auto-bracketing and burst mode. There were nine exposures, each at ISO 1250 and f/6.3, with shutter speeds ranging from 0.5 of a second to 1/500 of a second.

I combined the exposures using Nik HDR Efex Pro and Photoshop.

Some related images: Lighthouse in the Fog; Night at the Point Reyes Lighthouse; Inside the Lighthouse; Owl’s Head Light.

Posted in HDR, Photography, Point Reyes

Light Box Floral Fun with My iPhone

Here are two new floral images shot and processed with my iPhone. Both were initially processed in Snapseed. The upper image was then put through Plastic Bullet and Lo-Mob, with the frame added in Snapseed. The bottom image is a Waterlogue.

Floral Fun © Harold Davis

Floral Fun © Harold Davis

iPhone Light Box #3 © Harold Davis

iPhone Light Box #3 © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, iPhone

Study in Scarlet

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Watson meet for the very first time and agree to share an apartment. As new roomies, Holmes proceeds to explain his “science” of deduction and analysis, all based on the importance of accurate observation, and in the context of that ultimate scarlet liquid, blood.

My own Study in Scarlet, shown below, draws on poppies and anemones for its chromatic reference rather than sanguine fluid. However, there is something about my image that should lead to analysis and deduction following careful observation. If you think you see what I am referencing, please drop me an email with the explanation.

Study in Scarlet © Harold Davis

Study in Scarlet © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers

Garden Party

The flowers in my garden decided to have a party. The Fourth of July Roses brought the noise makers and musical instruments. The irises brought the guacamole and dip. The Papaver somniferum brought, well, what poppies usually bring to a party. The tulips were pretty in pink, and they all got together and invited some exotic tulips from the store—whose frilly edges and bright orange and yellow colors added a touch of exotic, tropical pizzazz to the melange.

Garden Party © Harold Davis

Garden Party © Harold Davis

As night fell, the band played on, and the wild and crazy flower garden party got even more intense.

Garden Party Black © Harold Davis

Garden Party Black © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Webinar Recording Topaz Labs Discount Code

The recording of my Travel Photography webinar for Topaz Labs will be available for replay soon on YouTube and the Topaz website. In the meantime, for the next few days, through June 20, 2016, you can use the discount code “haroldweb04” [no quotes] for a 25% discount on all products including the Complete Collection at checkout at the Topaz Labs online store.

Harold Davis - Travel photo webinar

Posted in Photography

Tulip Blast

In a week full of family activities and graduations (Julian from high school, Nicky from middle school, and Mathew from elementary school) I managed to take some time out to photograph this lovely tulip. I backlit the flower, and got close to using a macro lens and my dedicated “low boy” tripod. To view the image, I slithered down on my belly. I think of this as Yoga: the Photographer’s pose!

Tulip Blast © Harold Davis

Tulip Blast © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

My Son Julian’s Valedictorian Speech

My oldest son Julian graduated last week as valedictorian from Bayhill High School. If you are interested, here is the speech he made at commencement. We are very, very proud of Julian—and the hard work, personality, and perseverance that has made this possible.

Posted in Kids

Bougainvillea Variations

Bougainvillea Study II © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Study II © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation A © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation A © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation B © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation B © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation C © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation C © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation D © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation D © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation E

Bougainvillea Variation E © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation F © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation F © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation G © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation G © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation H © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation H © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation I © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Variation I © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photograms

Landscape at Sunrise

At sunrise on a hill facing the ancient town of Cordes-sur-Ciel I was out with my camera and tripod. This was a classical view. Probably the track you see in the photo had been traversed for millennia. Framing the image with the bare branches of the tree on the right, the emotional impact on me was slightly sinister but exciting. For reasons I didn’t fully understand (and still don’t) this seemed like a turning point.

Landscape at Sunrise © Harold Davis

Landscape at Sunrise © Harold Davis

The first step in the photographer’s paradigm is to understand that it’s not about the hardware: cameras don’t take pictures, people do. Next, if you want your images to be more interesting, place yourself in front of more interesting scenes. But ultimately it is about personal interpretation, so more deeply than traveling to interesting places, become a more interesting person. This is where things get interesting, and circular, because who one is can be impacted by the emotional impact of where you go, the travel not the destination, and even the act of making a photo. The pull is bi-directional.

I can think the emotional subtext of an image like Landscape at Sunrise is a conversion like that of Saul on the road to Damascus, but the bigger question is what is the impact on me, on my life, and my life as an artist, and how will I take this into other work?

Posted in Photography, Writing

Magic Reflections

Warped, photo-composited with a horizontal mirror of itself, and converted to black and white with a partial etching effect, the Abbaye Sainte-Foy in Conques takes on an illusion and appearance almost like a work by M.C. Escher. The color version is also shown at the bottom.

Magic Reflections © Harold Davis

Magic Reflections © Harold Davis

Window on the Ancient Abbey © Harold Davis

Window on the Ancient Abbey © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Monochrome

Achieve Your Potential in Maine in August

Have you ever wondered what it really means to be the best photographer you can be? Do you feel blocked by petty circumstances, or lack the creative space to do the work you know you can do?

I’ll be teaching a week-long version of my popular Achieving Your Potential As a Photographer workshop in Maine from August 7 to August 13, 2016.

Well-known creativity guru Steven Pressfield, the author of The War of Art, has called my Achieving Your Potential As a Photographer (published by Focal Press) a great accomplishment: I salute you. You’re gonna help a lot of people with this one.” 

02-04-2015-Achieving-CoverAccording to an Amazon reviewer, “You’ll find inspiration, ideas, exercises, and challenges in this excellent book, that will help you become the best photographer you can be. This great book also shows you examples, challenges you, and gives you directions for precisely how to proceed.”

Over time, I’ve taken the feedback of literally hundreds of readers and workshop participants to fashion an Achieving Your Potential workshop. Here’s some of the comments participants have had in previous sessions of this workshop:

• “Thank you for provided the tools I need to take my photography up not one notch, but many notches, to the next level indeed!”

• “The Achieving Your Potential workshop has had a substantial impact on my photographic journey. Thanks for the mentoring, assistance, and inspiration.”

• “I particularly liked getting feedback from the group and from Harold regarding my goals and progress…Achieving Your Potential [is] well-thought-out and concrete.”

© Harold Davis

Mandahlia © Harold Davis

This workshop is for every photographer who wants to draw their line in the sand to become the best photographer and artist they can be. We’ll use mid-coast Maine as the base for exploration and photography, and come back with the tools and motivation to continue advancing our individual creative photographic journeys.

The workshop will include group and individual technical, practical, theoretical and spiritual exercises and assignments. There will be guided field sessions, and work in the classroom. The complete photographer—technical, practical, emotional, and business—skills and topics will be covered.

Click here for information and registration.

Reflections in a Maine Pond © Harold Davis

Reflections in a Maine Pond © Harold Davis

Inside the Pemaquid Lighthouse © Harold Davis

Inside the Pemaquid Lighthouse © Harold Davis

Monhegan Storm © Harold Davis

Monhegan Storm © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

More Real than Reality

What if the the world of reflections is more real than the world of reality? That’s the question posed by Abbaye Sainte-Foy de Conques, photographed from a second-story restaurant window in the ancient pilgrimage town of Conques in southwestern France.

Abbaye Sainte-Foy de Conques © Harold Davis

Abbaye Sainte-Foy de Conques © Harold Davis

Special thanks to John Montague, who pointed the way. Related image: Window in Bourges.

Posted in France, Photography

Free Topaz Webinar on June 14

Travel Photography with Harold Davis and Topaz is a free live webinar scheduled for Tuesday June 14, 2016 at 2 PM Pacific Time. While the webinar is free, to attend you must preregister using this link. Early logon on June 14th to the webinar itself is also advised to avoid disappointment.

© Harold Davis

Cordes-sur-Ciel at sunrise © Harold Davis

Webinar description: Master photographer Harold Davis is well known for his books, prints, and extraordinary images of a wide variety of subject matter. Harold Davis states, “In the past several years I’ve traveled as a photographer and workshop leader to many interesting parts of the world. When approaching travel photography, both at home abroad and abroad at home, Topaz software is always an important part of my workflow.”

Jemaa-al-Fna © Harold Davis

Jemaa-al-Fna © Harold Davis

In this webinar, Harold Davis explains his approach to travel photography, whether he is hiking pilgrimage trails in Japan or exploring the byways of rural France. Topics covered include:

  • What is travel photography?
  • Tips & Techniques for getting the best photos when you travel
  • Travel photography workflow in the field and at home
  • Using Topaz Adjust and Topaz Simplify to add “pizzazz” to your travel photos
  • Creating travel imagery with a unique look-and-feel using Topaz Impression
  • Special effects with Topaz Texture Effects
Upper White River Falls © Harold Davis

Upper White River Falls © Harold Davis

About Harold Davis: Harold Davis is the author of eighteen bestselling photography books, most recently Achieving Your Potential As a Photographer: A Photographer’s Creative Companion and Workbook, published by Focal Press. A Zeiss Lens Ambassador and Moab Master, Harold’s work has been published in books, advertisements, cards, posters, and in art editions. His prints are widely collected. As a workshop leader he is constantly in demand.  Harold is on the faculty at institutions including the Heidelberg Summer School of Photography, Maine Media Workshops, and Point Reyes Field Seminars.

Manarola © Harold Davis

Manarola © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography