Category Archives: iPhone

Unmade Bed in homage to Lilo Raymond

My friend and mentor Lilo Raymond died a few years ago. Lilo was a wonderful photographer with a wonderful eye, who fled from the Nazis as a youth and ended up settled in a small Hudson River village. Probably Lilo’s most famous photos are of pillows and unmade beds—so this iPhone shot of my empty bed taken in my hotel room on Monhegan Island, Maine should be seen as homage to Lilo.

Unmade Bed © Harold Davis

Unmade Bed © Harold Davis

Phyllis describes meeting Lilo for the first time as an “encounter with a force of nature,” which is apt enough. I truly miss Lilo.

Regarding unmade beds, the question is always what was in them before they transitioned into the unmade state. Lilo’s photos manage to convey graphic compositional perfection with the suggestion of rumpled love-making, adding the human touch to inanimate objects.

But I’ve also seen one of her photos licensed to a programming text book, with the caption, “An unmade bed is like an uninitialized variable, you never know what you’ll find in it.” So there is a universality to these images that belie the modest apparent subject matter.

In some ways, the beds, tangled sheets, and curtains in front of stark windows that form Lilo’s images make up the “day material,” to use Freud’s term, that can be used as a projective device for the deeper material lying below the conscious that bubbles up in dreams. In other words, there is more to Lilo’s imagery than meets the eye.

Also posted in Monochrome

Maple Leaves

Maple Leaves © Harold Davis

Maple Leaves © Harold Davis

Lobsters for Dinner

They said, “Have as many lobsters as you want for dinner.” For a while all was lobster bibs, drawn butter, lobsters claws cracking, and the sounds of contented eating. When the sounds of shells cleared, I had eaten three.

Lobsters for Dinner © Harold Davis

Lobsters for Dinner © Harold Davis

Maine is, of course, beautiful in the lush (but brief) summertime—and in places very apt for iphoneography, like this shot in Camden Harbor via Waterlogue.

Camden Harbor © Harold Davis

Camden Harbor © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Country Corner and Wild Fish Sex

I photographed this image of a bucolic corner here in Rockport, Maine where I am giving a workshop, and processed the image on my iPhone using Waterlogue.

Country Corner © Harold Davis

Country Corner © Harold Davis

Could this be the same quiet vacation and lobster paradise with all the “wild fish sex”? The capture shown was made in Rockport Harbor this morning early before my class!

Wild Fish Sex © Harold Davis

Wild Fish Sex © Harold Davis

Recent News, Interviews, and Webinar

Caddy © Harold Davis

Chevy © Harold Davis

Please check out the following links!

Castle Shadow © Harold Davis

Castle Shadow © Harold Davis

Painterly Floral Triptych © Harold Davis

Painterly Floral Triptych © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers, Photography, Writing

Selfie with Wig

As someone who has been traveling a great deal lately I’d like to make the unoriginal observation that wherever you go, there you are. It’s also the case that wherever you go someone will be making a “selfie.” Selfies—self portraits—are the undeniable proof that you have been somewhere. In their current widespread form, whether in front of the Grand Canyon or the Eiffel Tower, and replete with selfie sticks and camera phones, they represent a dumbing down for the masses of the solipsistic narcissism represented by Cindy Sherman and others in the fin de siecle years of the twentieth century. Or maybe people are just full of themselves? I am shown in here in an iPhone selfie wearing a gray wig with my cap perched on top via the iPhone Lo-Mob app.

Seflie with Wig © Harold Davis

Selfie with Wig © Harold Davis

Along the old Rhine River

After my workshop was over, Volker Haxsen (who assisted me at the workshop, and is quite a gifted person in his own right) took me exploring in the Rhine Valley. Volker told me that the Rhine has been navigated for thousands of years, since Roman times, and the channels have been straightened and broadened. The river used the meander much more with wetlands. These banks of the old Rhine have been preserved as park lands in places, and it is here we went with our cameras!

Path beside the Rhine © Harold Davis

Path beside the Rhine © Harold Davis

Old Rhine River © Harold Davis

Old Rhine River © Harold Davis

Also posted in Germany

Still Life with Silver Bowl

Sometimes the beautiful things are all around us, like this group of fruit in a reflective bowl. This version was processed on my iPhone with Plastic Bullet, Lo-Mob, and Snapseed:

Still Life in Silver Bowl © Harold Davis

Still Life in Silver Bowl © Harold Davis

This version of my image was made using the Waterlogue app:

Still Life and Watercolor © Harold Davis

Still Life and Watercolor © Harold Davis

Also posted in Still Life

Incredibly Attractive Highly Repellant

Of course, this leads to a grammatical question: Is the implied subject female or fabric? Methinks it could be either, or maybe both.

Incredibly Attractive Highly Repellant © Harold Davis

Incredibly Attractive Highly Repellant © Harold Davis

Also posted in Bemusements

Sketches with Waterlogue

The iPhone is probably the best camera there is for quick sketches. For one thing, it is pretty much always with me. For another, it is quick and easy to use, and surprisingly capable. But the best part is the “digital darkroom in the little box”—the fact that I can creatively process my photos right on the iPhone. There are hundreds of wonderful post-production apps, but one of my favorites is Waterlogue. Waterlogue doesn’t work for all images, but when I am looking for a dreamy final image that resembles a water color painting it is certainly my go-to app. Here are some recent sketches by Harold and Waterlogue, from top to bottom: Path in the Park and Stairs, both photographed in the Little Town of Prague; Bicycle 1 and Bicycle 2, photographed in the Old Town of Heidelberg, Germany; and Banks of the River, the Nekkar River where it flows through Heidelberg at the end of a warm summer’s day.

Path in the Park © Harold Davis

Path in the Park © Harold Davis

By the way, if you are curious, this effect can be achieved in Photoshop also with images made on a real camera, most commonly using the Topaz Simplify and Impression plugins. But it’s hard to quarrel with the immediacy of an iPhone app.

Stairs © Harold Davis

Stairs © Harold Davis

Try to consider when creating this kind of image: how will it look when blanketed with softness? Is this truly a water-color-like image, or is it something that needs harder edges? If harder edges are better, then you should be aiming for a more photographic look rather than something painterly.

Bicycle 1 © Harold Davis

Bicycle 1 © Harold Davis

It is good to be back in Heidelberg, where I am teaching a workshop. Coming back to a city I already know a bit where I have some friends is a little like coming home!

Bicycle 2 © Harold Davis

Bicycle 2 © Harold Davis

Banks of the River © Harold Davis

Banks of the River © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

The Prague Golem

I found this cabinet containing the Prague Golem at the entrance to Prague’s Old Jewish Cemetery. Fortunately, the cabinet appears locked. I hope it stays that way, at least while I am still in the Czech Republic. Although the single, small padlock may be a little puny to restrain a Golem, such as the famous and notably nasty Golem created according to legend by Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel back in the late 1500s.

The Prague Golem © Harold Davis

The Prague Golem © Harold Davis

Also posted in Czech

Gem of the Drakenberg

Wandering with the kids over to Indian Rock I came across some really nice spiral specimens of Aloe polyphylla. The plant is originally from Lesotho near South Africa, and is sometimes called “the Gem of the Drakenberg.”

Spiral © Harold Davis

Spiral © Harold Davis

I snapped an iPhone photo, and processed it while the kids played in the rocks. Then today I couldn’t resist going back with the big camera! Processed, like my Agaves, to look as much like an etching or a lithograph as a photo.

Gem of the Drakenberg © Harold Davis

Gem of the Drakenberg © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome, Patterns

Views of Japan

Hokusai, the famous Japanese woodblock print artist of the Edo period, created many views of Japan that included Mt Fuji, but the one shown here was probably not in his contemplation as they didn’t have air travel back then. I made the photo on an internal Japanese flight from Tokushima on Shikkoku Island to Haneda Airport near Tokyo.

View of Mt Fuji © Harold Davis

View of Mt Fuji © Harold Davis

For my own homage to Hokusai in the context of San Francisco, check out my book 100 Views of the Golden Gate.

As part of a chapter in the new book I am working on, related to black and white photography, I’ve been looking through my photography of Japan. These are some of the iPhone photos I’ve found, mostly of subject matter that I also photographed with conventional, high resolution cameras.

Misty Mountains © Harold Davis

Misty Mountains © Harold Davis

For example, the view of misty mountains long the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage on the Kii peninsula shown above can be seen more extensively in Distant Japanese Landscape.

The somewhat bleak courtyard shown next is in Koya-san, where I stayed for a couple of rainy autumn days as a guest in a monastery.

Autumn in Japan © Harold Davis

Autumn in Japan © Harold Davis

If you’ve ever visited Japan’s ancient imperial capital of Nara, you’ll know that the deer of Nara are a big touristic deal—which is why they are portrayed in the attractive design on the manhole cover that I found on a Nara side street.

Manhole Cover, Nara, Japan © Harold Davis

Manhole Cover, Nara, Japan © Harold Davis

I liked wandering around Nara. There was a great deal to look at, such as Kofuku-ji, a Buddhist pagoda temple with origins dating to the 669 AD, once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples. Today, even monuments as important as Kofuku-ji radiate a palpable sense of time having moved on, and despite all the hustle and bustle in Japan Nara seems like a delightful backwater.

Pagoda in Nara © Harold Davis

Pagoda in Nara © Harold Davis

Also posted in Japan, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography

An angel watching out for me

The barista at Farley’s in Emeryville, California makes the nicest designs in the Latte foam!

Coffee © Harold Davis

Coffee © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Floral Square

Last week when I have a composition on my light box I photographed it with a high resolution camera on tripod. Then I thought, why not do it using my iPhone as well. The results photographed and processed on my iPhone are shown here.

Floral square © Harold Davis

Floral square © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers