Author Archives: Harold Davis

Saint-Sulpice

Our hotel in Paris is around the corner from Saint-Sulpice, a church made famous in the otherwise pretty silly book, The Da Vinci Code. The soaring interior spaces of this edifice are beyond belief. I’ve shown the cross made by the cruciform architecture, with the long nave crossed by the transept. The famous Saint-Sulpice organ can be seen at the bottom of the image. I used a hand-held fisheye lens to make this image.

Saint-Sulpice © Harold Davis

Saint-Sulpice © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Paris

Cliffs of the River Lot

I am sitting in the Gare Matabiau in Toulouse, France waiting for the train to Paris. The bench with plugs for my electronics beckoned, and I work in the modern station on my laptop, dreaming of the cliffs of the River Lot and the trail beside the river.

Cliffs of the River Lot © Harold Davis

Cliffs of the River Lot © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Landscape, Photography

Chemin de Halage

Under the cliffs beside the Lot River, and below the picturesque medieval village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, the Chemin de Halage makes for spectacular walking, and is part of one of the French feeder routes to the pilgrimage trail of Camino de Santiago, better known for the routes to the southwest on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees.

Today we wandered this path with our cameras amid intermittent sunshine and rain squalls.

Chemin de Halage © Harold Davis

Chemin de Halage © Harold Davis

The cliffside path is shown above in a fisheye view, with the Lot River framed by the stone of the trail. I’ve also added below an impressionistic version of the cliffs and Lot River created using my iPhone.

Along the Lot River © Harold Davis

Along the Lot River © Harold Davis

Posted in France

Recent iPhone Sketches in France

Here are some recent iPhone images from southwestern France I made today and yesterday, and processed on the fly on my iPhone while traveling on the bus. With the first image, I was walking around the wonderful historic village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. When I saw the white dog, I got down on the ground at his eye level, and made a portrait with the village in the background. It was processed using Lo-Mob.

White dog in an old town © Harold Davis

White dog in an old town © Harold Davis

The next image is in the little square next to our guide Francis’s home, just outside Chateau Biron. I processed it using Waterlogue.

Faubourg Chateau Biron © Harold Davis

Faubourg Chateau Biron © Harold Davis

Finally, the statue shown in this image is outside the church adjacent to the central square of the bastide town of Montpazier. I processed the image using Plastic Bullet and Lo-Mob.

Christ in Montpazier © Harold Davis

Christ in Montpazier © Harold Davis

Posted in France, iPhone

Lot River Valley

Today we walked to the small town of Calvignac, France perched on a rocky crag, and about 3 kilometers from the Mas de Garrigue. The weather threatened rain, and was misting when we set out. But along the way the clouds opened up, the threatened rain never arrived, and from the ledges in Calvignac there were glorious views across the valley and the bends in the Lot River.

Lot River Valley © Harold Davis

Lot River Valley © Harold Davis

This is a seven exposure blend shot on a tripod using the Zeiss 35mm f/1.4. Each exposure was shot at f/6.3 and ISO 100, with shutter speeds between 1/40 of a second (for the dark trees in the foreground) and 1/2,500 of a second (for the bright clouds in the sky).

I used the image as a black and white demo for the group, first processing the seven exposures using Nik HDR Efex Pro. Next, I tweaked the color version. Finally, I converted to black and white using a layer stack, layers, masking, and a number of different conversion filters and presets.

Posted in France, Landscape, Monochrome

Carcassonne at Night

Coming back to my base in Carcassonne after a long day of exploring Cathar castles—more on this later—I took my gear out on the old bridge after dark. Photographing back at the the old city of Carcassonne, the well-lit ramparts contrast in a visually odd way with the modern buildings and pollarded trees below the fortifications.

Carcassonne at Night © Harold Davis

Carcassonne at Night © Harold Davis

Posted in Digital Night, France

Cordes sur Ciel at Dawn

I set the alarm for an hour before sunrise. When it rang in the darkness well before dawn, I put on the warmest clothing I had with me and made my way into position to wait for the light of dawn to illuminate the ancient hilltop citadel of Cordes sur Ciel, France.

© Harold Davis

Cordes sur Ciel at Dawn © Harold Davis

Posted in Digital Night, France

Dawn in the Lot Valley

Last night a wild storm blew down the Lot River valley, with thunder, lightning, and even some hail. For much of the night rain and gusts of wind beat against the windows of the old farmhouse. At dawn, in the morning, things had calmed down—and clouds and tendrils of mist hung to low-lying areas. Above the clouds, the sun rose and dawn touching the scene with its golden light.

Dawn in the Lot Valley © Harold Davis

Dawn in the Lot Valley © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Landscape, Photography

Recent Flower Images

Before I leave for France later this week I wanted to blog a few of my recent flower photos. Enjoy!

Clematis 'Bees Jubilee' and 'Daniel Deronda' © Harold Davis

Clematis ‘Bees Jubilee’ and ‘Daniel Deronda’ © Harold Davis

Clematis 'Bees Jubilee' and 'Daniel Deronda' Color Inversion © Harold Davis

Clematis ‘Bees Jubilee’ and ‘Daniel Deronda’ Color Inversion © Harold Davis

Clematis 1 © Harold Davis

Clematis 1 © Harold Davis

Tulips Are for Peeking © Harold Davis

Tulips Are for Peeking © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers

Ranunculi in a Blue Bowl

Ranunculi is the plural of ranunculus and I think makes a better plural for this wonderful flower than “ranunculuses.” By whatever plural form, Ranunculi in a Blue Bowl forms the third of a trio of blossoms-in-a-blue-bowl imagery. The other two images are shown in Orchids in a Blue Bowl and Clematis in a Blue Bowl, and are also shown in this story beneath my ranunculi.

Ranunculi in a Blue Bowl© Harold Davis

Ranunculi in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Orchids in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Orchids in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Clematis in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Clematis in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Kerry’s Bouquet

It’s a great pleasure to have a surprise bouquet of flowers show up on our front porch—perhaps particularly when one has really done nothing to merit the sumptuous arrangement. If one is then compelled to partially deconstruct the floral arrangement to create a composition on one’s light box, well then, I am afraid that is what flowers can expect when they enter my environs—and I can only assure the donor of the flowers that the flowers did their duty in what I believe to be a good cause. Perhaps the flowers may find consolation in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 (“So long lives this and this gives life to thee”) along the floral route to immortality.

Kerry's Bouquet © Harold Davis

Kerry’s Bouquet © Harold Davis

Interested in how I made this image? Please consider my Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop.

Posted in Flowers

Spring Wreath

Here’s a spring wreath of flowers composed on my light box for you to enjoy! Happy spring!

Spring Wreath © Harold Davis

Spring Wreath © Harold Davis

Interested in how I made this image? Please consider my Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop.

Posted in Flowers

Photograph Paris (and Giverny) the first week of May!

Paris Sunset © Harold Davis

Paris Sunset © Harold Davis

Pyramide © Harold Davis

Pyramide © Harold Davis

Double Rainbow Pano over Paris © Harold Davis

Double Rainbow Pano over Paris © Harold Davis

Paris, as Audrey Hepburn said, is always a good idea. Please consider joining my small group of photographers in Paris (and, oh yeah, at the Monet gardens in Giverny!) the first week in May, 2016.

Click here for the detailed day-by-day itinerary (PDF), here for the Prospectus, and here for the Reservation Form. If you are interested, please let me know right away.

Monet's Lily Pond at Giverny © Harold Davis

Monet’s Lily Pond at Giverny © Harold Davis

Giverny © Harold Davis

Giverny © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Punch Bowl

This image looking down on a glass bowl is one of a series of fractal-like images I’ve made that are constructed by adding the initial image to successively reduced versions of itself.

© Harold Davis

Punch Bowl © Harold Davis

The other kicker is that each of these images has something unexpected embedded at the innermost fractal single pixel level: my initials at the end of the doors in World without End, my face on a tiny train in Old Train Bridge, and a miniature of the outer courtyard through the door in Hotel de Sully, which (without the fractal) is located near the Place des Vosges in Paris.

In fairness, I must add that these embellishments are at the pixel level, and likely cannot be seen from the versions of the images that are posted. A large print of each image and a magnifying glass would work better, since only I can open the master file in Photoshop at a high magnification.

Can you see what is embedded at the end of the long tunnel down the punch bowl?

Posted in Photography

Park Path and Reflection

I photographed this image in the Parc de Sceaux, which is located in the suburbs of Paris, France and accessible to the city center via light rail (RER).

Park Path and Reflection © Harold Davis

Park Path and Reflection © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Landscape, Paris, Photography