Monthly Archives: February 2010

Bubble Girl

Bubble Girl

Bubble Girl, photo by Harold Davis.

Katie Rose likes her bubbles, and she likes her bubble bath—that’s why we call her Bubble Girl!

Fabric of Stone

Fabric of Stone

Fabric of Stone, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

I think this mid-key photo looks more like a textile or fabric than the reality it depicts: the vast stone walls of The Wave.

The Back Side

The Back Side

The Back Side, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

I underexposed this image so I could bring out the human form and shapes in post-processing against a very dark background.

The Front Side

The Front Side

The Front Side, photo by Harold Davis.

This is a photo about lines, textures, and the contrast between smooth white and dark black. Really, this is true.

Pinhole

Cathedral Spires and Bridalveil Falls

Cathedral Spires and Bridalveil Falls, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

This is a view of Bridalveil Falls and Cathedral Spires in Yosemite Valley processed to simulate a pinhole camera: vignetting at the edges, softness, brightness in the center, high depth-of-field, and an overall antique look.

Digital simulations of “looks” from the back pages of classic analog photography are great fun!

Kimi Solarization

Kimi Solarization

Kimi Solarization, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Speaking of solarization—we were talking about solarization, right?—here’s a black and white photo of the model Kimi treated to virtual solarization.

For those who don’t know, solarization—also sometimes called the Sabattier effect—in the chemical darkroom meant re-exposing already exposed film or photographic paper to light, often creating an inversion or partial inversion (reversal of blacks and whites). Digital solarization is a virtual simulation, or replication, of this effect.

Blue Velvet

Life Is Full of Beauty

Life Is Full of Beauty, photo by Harold Davis.

In David Lynch’s wonderfully creepy classic film Blue Velvet you know you’ve entered an alternative and not altogether wholesame nether world when severed body parts start appearing at macro level in the grass.

In the Blue Velvet spirit, I am offering a prize to the first person to correctly identify the disembodied (so to speak) body part in this “wholesome” photo of water drops on two blades of grass. Please specify the body part, where in the photo it is to be found, and provide a theory as to whom it belongs. You can enter your guess or opinion as a comment on this blog story, or send me an email. I will be the sole judge as to accuracy and general craziness of any such submission.

The prize is a free copy of my new book Creative Black & White, shipped when it is available.

Web Solarization

Web Solarization

Web Solarization, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

I shot this beautiful wet spider web by the early light of dawn on a foggy morning, then solarized it in Photoshop—more accurately, simulated a solarization effect—followed by a monochrome conversion.

Pink Rose 2

Pink Rose 2

Pink Rose 2, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

I forgot to blog this pink rose from about a month ago; better late than never. Particularly when I am coming in on the end of a major project with deadlines—as I am now—sometimes things get away from me.

Here’s the first Pink Rose. Enjoy!

Solarized Hellebore

Solarized Hellebore

Solarized Hellebore, photo by Harold Davis.

Solarization in photography reverses blacks and whites. Also called the Sabattier effect, in the chemical darkroom solarization was achieved by exposing an already exposed negative or print to light before development was finalized.

In the Photoshop darkroom, there are of course a number of ways to achieve a simulated solarization effect; the solarized (and converted to monochrome) version of Hellebore Curves is one example.

Hellebore Curves

Hellebore Curves

Hellebore Curves, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Flowers are beautiful—although why they seem so beautiful to us humans is an interesting question. But when I photograph flowers close-up, like this tiny Hellebore, I am not looking to document that beauty. Instead, I am trying to create an interesting abstract composition that uses shapes, lines and (yes) curves to evoke the ideal flower while maintaining a sense of mystery and novelty.

100mm macro, 1.6 seconds and f/22 at ISO 100, tripod mounted, photographed in the calm natural light of morning with the Hellebore part of a medley in a shallow pan of water.

Mare Island Infrared

Mare Island Infrared

Mare Island Infrared, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

While on the topic of infrared captures, this is an IR photo of a drydock at the old Mare Island naval shipyard. I particularly noticed the way the infrared capture increased the contrast and drama in the sky.

Infrared Alice

Infrared Alice

Infrared Alice, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

This is a capture of Alice using a camera retrofitted to only shoot IR.

Rendition of colors (or black and whites in this case) is quite odd using IR and seems to depend on the light source—studio strobe lighting in this capture. If you look at my shots of Alice by visible light you’ll see that her eyes are light blue (not black as in the IR capture) and that her underwear is opaque black, not the slightly transparent taupe that her bra and panties appear to be under IR.

Some other infrared model shots: Infrared Portrait; Dream; Christianna.

There’s a section explaining black and white infrared (IR) photography in my forthcoming book Creative Black & White: Digital Photography Tips & Technques.

Photographing Alice

Alice

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

I photographed Alice, a model from Italy, the other night in a studio in San Jose. Alice is show in color (above) and converted to black & white below.

Alice in Black & White

View this image larger.

Lenten Cross

Lenten Cross

Lenten Cross, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Phyllis arranged the hellebore medley I photographed earlier into a regular pattern, with the results you see.

The Lenten Rose is a variety of hellebore, Helleborus Orientalis. It turns out that some of the Lenten Rose genome is present in most modern hellebore hybrids, so I’ve taken the slight liberty of naming this photo after both Lent and the pattern in the image, even though strictly speaking there are no Helleborus Orientalis in this photo.