Monthly Archives: July 2009

Walking the Line

Walking the Line

Walking the Line, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

On a harbor bridge, I photographed the Moss Landing power plant. As I packed up to call it a night, I turned around and noticed the pattern of lights on the bridge—and the apparent line, mostly formed of shadow, dividing the sidewalk from the road.

I stopped down for good depth of field so the foreground and background would both be in focus.

Exposure data: 50mm, 20 seconds at f/20 and ISO 200, tripod mounted.

Moss Landing

Moss Landing

Moss Landing, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Whatever possessed “them” to “uglify” (to borrow a word from C.S.Lewis) this beautiful, working fishing harbor on Monterey Bay with a massive natural gas fired power plant? Bad move, guys. That said, it does light up the night most attractively!

Bixby Bridge Blues

Bixby Bridge 2

Bixby Bridge 2, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

I crossed the road for another view of Bixby Bridge as the night turned to deeper blue and the nostalgic lines of car lights crossed the scene like ghosts in the wind and fog.

Bixby Bridge

Bixby Bridge 1

Bixby Bridge 1, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

On a recent foggy night, I photographed Bixby Bridge, one of the most iconic bridges on US 1 along the Big Sur coast of California.

Things started to get good, and I started to get really cold, when my exposure time reached 30 seconds. The upper red light you see as a line hanging the air is the tail light of a camper that was slowly driving across this 1930s bridge.

Exposure data: 16mm, 30 seconds at f/7.1 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.

Luminous Feather

Luminous Feather

Luminous Feather, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Briefly noted: I photographed this feather yesterday at low tide on Edward Weston Beach in the Point Lobos Preserve.

Cannery Row

Cannery Row

Cannery Row, photo by Harold Davis.View this image larger.

The night holds many secrets. If you’ve been to the wonderous Monterey Aquarium, you’ll know Cannery Row as an example of a tourist McMalled Bif from a Back to the Future distopia. The building shown foreground in this photo is a ritzy hotel on Cannery Row.

I hate seeing people homeless, especially when surrounded by such affluence. But there is a certain delicious irony in the men hunkered down in the shadows under the hotel. In Steinbeck’s day, they would have been called “hobos”—and Cannery Row has built a tourist trap on the basis of nostalgia for that seediness. Things seem to have come full circle.

Pond in the Sierras

Pond in the Sierras

Pond in the Sierras, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

This pond is found along the Tioga Pass road in the high country of Yosemite National Park. In Photoshop, I multi-processed the RAW file to make the sky darker and lighten the water.

Exposure data: 18mm, circular Polarizer, 1/160 of a second at f/11 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.

My Yosemite Dreaming set on Flickr.

Trees in the Fog

Trees in the Fog

Trees in the Fog, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

In blackest night, from the parking lot, in the wet and dripping fog, I looked at the silhouetted trees. There was street lighting behind the trees which glowed through, appparently creating an orange cast. However, I saw the scene in black and white.

I intentionally underexposed the image to make the outlines of the trees appear stronger. Exposure data: 56mm, 52 seconds at f/4.8 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.

Ferry Building San Francisco

Ferry Building San Francisco

Ferry Building San Francisco, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Briefly noted: This is a fisheye view of the ceiling of the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

Some other neat ceilings: San Francisco City Hall; Marin Center; Cathedral of Light; Westfield Shopping Mall.



Funhouse, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

This is a view on a dark and foggy night of Sutro Baths, Cliff House, and Seal Rocks on the edge between San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean.

To create the image, I hand masked together five RAW captures in Photoshop. Each exposure was taken on tripod at f/5.6 and ISO 200, with exposure times between 10 and 55 seconds.

Stair Lighting

Stair Lighting

Stair Lighting, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Last night Joseph and I visited Sutro Baths for a shoot in the fog. This is the stairs going back up to the parking lot. Joseph held the light and I made a series of 30 second exposures. The fog combined with mercury vapor flood lighting to make the orange glow in the background.

Joseph’s idea was to create an image of a stairway to hell, which as an idea contrasts nicely with my recently blogged Stairway to Heaven, but should probably be going down rather than up, and likely would require physical model making or virtual compositing. A couple of my impossible images such as Calling Alice or Endless Stair might come close. (Check out my Impossible set on Flickr.)

My own, rather more modest, goal was to use the fog, night lighting, and shadows in an interesting composition.

Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Briefly noted: this is a night view looking up the giant Port Oakland cranes, shown below, from the Oakland Waterfront Park.

Related stories: Chasing the Moon; Sea Horse.


View this image larger.

New Article

My next article in the Becoming a More Creative Photographer series has been published. This one is Becoming Composition Conscious. Enjoy!

Harold Davis on KQED TV

A story on my floral photography aired recently on local public TV. Here’s the segment:

QUEST on KQED Public Media.

Here’s a link to the story on the web:

Here’s the description of the segment:

East Bay photographer Harold Davis combines his loves of the natural world with modern digital photography to create images that show the ordinary in an extra-ordinary way. After many years as a commercial photographer, he decided to move back to the Bay Area and change his focus. QUEST joined Harold at the Davis family home in his garden, for a morning photo-session with his floral “models.”

City Dreams

City Dreams

City Dreams, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Wandering the streets of San Francisco at night with my tripod, it’s hard not to look up and wonder what people are dreaming. I was reminded of the old Doors song: “People are strange, when you’re a stranger.” To walk the night streets of a city observing is to always be the stranger.

Above: The hard edges of the shadows and lights made me wonder what drama was occuring within the lit window in this older building.

Below: After sunset as dusk faded to night, I looked up at this partially occupied modern apartment tower and saw one lamp burning.

One Lamp

View this image larger.