Category Archives: Katie Rose

Achieving Your Potential As a Photographer is now available

My new book, Achieving Your Potential As a Photographer: A Photographer’s Creative Companion and Workbook, is now available and shipping. Per our family tradition, Katie Rose is shown with the new book cover. In addition to my images and words of wisdom, Achieving Your Potential includes a 48-page tear-out section you can use as your personal photography workbook to enhance your creativity. A pre-publication review in Rangefinder Magazine put it this way: “The indomitable Harold Davis—fine-art photographer, author, educator, all-around oracle—[has] now added to his extraordinary canon an interesting fusion of photographic wisdom and down-home advice.”

© Harold Davis

Katie Rose with Achieving Your Potential cover © Harold Davis

For me, a trip down memory lane, here are some previous book covers with Katie Rose: Monochromatic HDR Photography; Creating HDR Photos; Photographing Flowers; Creative Landscapes; Photoshop Darkroom 2; Creative Portraits; Photoshop Darkroom; and Creative CompositionHa! Good thing Phyllis and I had Katie’s help with all these books, otherwise we never could have gotten ’em done.

My Karate Kids

My Karate kids and Karate spouse, Phyllis, Julian, Nicky, Mathew, and Katie Rose are shown at the Rohai Dojo in Berkeley, California where my family learns Cuong Nhu, a Vietnamese form of Karate that blends “hard” and “soft” for a complete, well-rounded martial art.

Katie on the hiking trail

On a beautiful spring Sunday with glorious clouds and shifting light I took my four kids for a hike in Tilden Park. We parked a car near Lake Anza (Phyllis helped with the logistics), then drove to the trail head at Little Farm. We walked around Jewel Lake, ascended the Upper Packrat Trail, switched to the Memory Trail, crossed Canyon Drive, turned left on Selby Trail, and proceeded on Selby Trail back to the parked car. You can see a park trail map by clicking here (opens in a new window).

Katie on the hiking trail © Harold Davis

Katie on the hiking trail © Harold Davis

The route was probably about three or four miles, with plenty of up and down, and tired us all out. But the kids did wonderfully, with only a little whining from Katie towards the end, and only a little stick-and-sword play from the boys.

The image was photographed using my iPhone camera, and processed on my iPhone.

Katie Rose, Photographer

Mommy was very tired. Mommy gets up most days at 5:30 am to get the four kids to school, ferries them to karate, and works hard too. So Mommy went upstairs for a short nap.

Stuffy Study #1 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #1 © Katie Rose Davis

Katie Rose, now six years old, knew Mommy needed her nap. When she was a little younger, Katie might have kept her mom from napping so she could play with her. If Katie had been sleepy, too, she would have snuggled in for a nap herself with mommy and her favorite blanket.

Stuffy Study #2 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #2 © Katie Rose Davis

But neither of these were the case. Katie Rose had an idea of what to do. Once her mommy had fallen sound asleep, she went and gathered all her stuffed animals (a/k/a “stuffies”) and brought them en masse up to her mom’s bedroom.

Stuffy Study #3 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #3 © Katie Rose Davis

Next, she went hunting for her mom’s iPhone. She found it in a side pocket of her mom’s purse. Heading back upstairs with the iPhone, she proceeded to arrange her stuffies in situ for portraiture, and used the iPhone camera to make a series of about 24 photos, ten of which you see here.

Stuffy Study #4 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #4 © Katie Rose Davis

No adults intervened, or were even aware of what Katie Rose was doing until after her mom woke up, when Katie Rose showed her the photos on her Mommy’s iPhone.

Stuffy Study #5 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #5 © Katie Rose Davis

This is a true story, and Katie Rose’s very first copyright notices. There will be a limited edition of prints (just kidding!).

Stuffy Study #6 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #6 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #7 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #7 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #8 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #8 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #9 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #9 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #10 © Katie Rose Davis

Stuffy Study #10 © Katie Rose Davis

Katie Rose and the ice cream cone

What fun to pick Katie Rose up at her pre-school, and wander down the coastal range by footpaths, steps and stairs. To watch her pleasure at an ice cream treat, and to sit on a bench in downtown Kensington, California near the big ice cream cone as she enjoys every last lick and crumb!

Katie and Cone © Harold Davis

Katie and Cone © Harold Davis

She starts Kindergarten in a matter of weeks, and it is always appropriate to remember her beginnings, and to be happy with gratitude for her compelling life force.

Meanwhile, Mathew isn’t exactly happy with his braces, but he understand the necessity, bears them with surprising fortitude, and enjoys showing off their color coordination.

Mathew © Harold Davis

Mathew © Harold Davis

Kate Rose is doing fine!

From time to time I get asked for a follow up on the story of Katie Rose from people—both strangers and those I know—who remember how she was born. Katie Rose is doing just fine, which counts as a major miracle in my book, considering that she was born at one pound with complete cardiac and lung failure. She’s shown here via a recent iPhone capture in the playground.

Katie Rose in the playground via iPhone © Harold Davis

Katie Rose in the playground via iPhone © Harold Davis

For me, whenever things seem hard in the world or I am unhappy, I remember that miracles do indeed happen in real life—and Katie Rose is here to prove it!

Related: The Story of Katie Rose book; Katie Rose category on my blog.

Advance copy of Monochromatic HDR Photography

I am very pleased to post the traditional photo of Katie Rose holding a fresh, still smelling of printer’s ink advance copy of Monochromatic HDR Photography. The publisher is Focal Press, and the formal publication date is October 22, 2013. I am very pleased with the way the book came out, and I think you will find that it contains some unique techniques and ideas, as well as my imagery.

Katie Rose and advance copy of Monochromatic HDR Photography

Katie Rose and the advance copy of Monochromatic HDR Photography

Happy Fisheye Family

Every once in a while a photographic gadget comes along that is simply so silly, and such a kluge, that I have to try it! After all, photography is about having fun, and not just about making “serious” images. In that spirit, I ordered a set of auxillary lens for the camera in my iPhone from the always-fun Photojojo.

Mathew with iPhone Fisheye © Harold Davis

Mathew with iPhone Fisheye © Harold Davis

The set of lens arrived via UPS in an envelope with a plastic dinosaur. I’m not sure what message the dinosaur was intended to send, but it was kind of fun—part of the point of the affair. The set comes with a telephoto lens, a wide-angle lens that unscrews to reveal also an extreme macro lens, and a fisheye lens. Note that the zoom facility within the iPhone itself is purely digital, and doesn’t provide any optical differentiation; hence, the desirability of a set of auxiliary lenses that do work optically.

Katie Rose with iPhone Fisheye © Harold Davis

Katie Rose with iPhone Fisheye © Harold Davis

The way this accessory lens set attaches to the iPhone is that you stick a magnetic disk that has glue on one side onto your iPhone around the camera optics. If the idea of gluing something to your iPhone gives you the creeps, then this isn’t for you!

Phyllis with iPhone Fisheye © Harold Davis

Phyllis with iPhone Fisheye © Harold Davis

Each lens is magnetized and snaps onto the magnetic side of the disk. This works reasonably well. So far, I’ve had most fun with the fisheye lens, shown in these images. The kids wanted their iPhone fisheye picture taken while they mugged for the camera, and I used a tripod to make a self-portrait.

Who knew that the audio cable of an iPhone can also double as a cable release? Maybe you do, but I didn’t. To make this trick work, with the camera app active and the ear buds plugged in, press the “up” volume button on the ear buds wire (indicated by the + symbol).

Well, if this all sounds pretty jerry-rigged, it is truly not the sturdiest setup in town. But it is fun while it lasts, and look at it this way: they laughed when Leica first introduced the 35mm camera, and also called it a “toy.” In photography, toys have a way of sometimes outlasting “serious” gear.

Self Portrait with iPhone Fisheye © Harold Davis

Self Portrait with iPhone Fisheye © Harold Davis

Wonder whether I’ll be using these photos as blackmail when my kids are older? Me too. Here are some other fisheye shots of Katie Rose and the family from a few years back, shot with a conventional camera and the Nikon 10.5mm digital fisheye.

Katie Rose does Cuong Nhu

Here’s Katie Rose in her Tiger Team outfit, ready to take on the world!

Kate Rose does Cuong Nhu

Katie Rose is Five

Yesterday we celebrated Katie’s fifth birthday with parties at Step One (her preschool) and at home. Katie Rose is a charming, wonderful little girl—and living proof that there are miracles.

Katie Rose is 5 © Harold Davis

Katie Rose is 5 © Harold Davis

How time flies! Five years ago we were caught in that country where the boundaries of life and death come close. How reassuring it would have been to look forward those years to see her now.

Click here to read more about The Story of Katie Rose.

Katie Rose in Tiger Paint

Up at Step One, Amber face-painted all the pre-schoolers. Our Katie Rose became a tiger—not inappropriate for someone born with her fierce life force and will to survive. She’s also very sweet, at least when she gets her way!

Katie Rose in Tiger Paint by Harold Davis

Katie Rose in Tiger Paint © Harold Davis

I’ll miss Katie and her brothers very much while I am away—but I’m glad to know they’ll be doing well, and that I’ll be coming home to Phyllis and the kids.

Encapsulation

When you have four kids like I do, shopping for food occurs frequently. The one thing you want to do when you take the kids into the supermarket is to encapsulate them to prevent general madness, mayhem, and terrorizing of the civilian population.

Kids in a Shopping Cart by Harold Davis

Kids in a Shopping Cart © Harold Davis

What better way to encapsulate them than in a honey trap, like this shopping cart? Katie Rose and Mathew are shown in the “cab” and Nicky is riding on top.

It’s times like these that I am grateful for my iPhone camera because it is the camera I always have with me!

Teaching Katie Rose to play chess

I am teaching Katie Rose to play chess. She gets the basic moves and is learning some openings—although she sometimes wants to jump all the pieces over each other the way the “horsies” do.

Katie Rose chess player

Katie Rose chess player

Phyllis snapped this iPhone photo of the two of us playing. It is amazing for a four-year-old how much she concentrates! A bit over four years ago, the day my daughter was born, this would have seemed such a miracle.

Pout

Katie Rose has learned that the pout can be mightier than Mom and Dad, mightier than the sword, and mightier than this blogger. She is persistent and remorseless in getting her way—if not quite as devious as she thinks she is.

Pout by Harold Davis

Pout (Katie Rose) © Harold Davis

We love our Katie Rose dearly, and are glad she is here to beg, wheedle, insist and pout. She also gives good hugs!

Katie Rose is four!

Recently we celebrated Katie Rose’s fourth birthday. As you can see, the birthday girl had a good time.

Katie Rose's fourth birthday © Harold Davis

To see her today gives us a big smile, and it always moves us to remember how unlikely her chances seemed four years ago, and how small she was then (she weighed a good bit less than two pounds).

Some background regarding Katie Rose:

It’s hard to have her living so joyously and happily without believing that miracles do happen. Her whole life is a miracle, and a blessing to us.

Let her eat cake

Let her eat cake © Harold Davis