Category Archives: Landscape

Morning Mist

Morning Mist © Harold Davis

Morning Mist © Harold Davis

In the early morning in the Lot River Valley fog follows the course of the river, shown here behind a stand of trees and in front of the cliffs on the far side of the valley.

Also posted in France, Photography

Country Rainbow

To paraphrase Ansel Adams, if you don’t go out in the rain, you will never get to photograph the clearing storm. As I explored the ancient town of Cordes sur Ciel, it began to rain. I pulled out my rain gear and continued up to the highest battlement. From the top of the fortifications, a rainbow spread out over the countryside of southwest France below me.

Country Rainbow © Harold Davis

Country Rainbow © Harold Davis

Also posted in France, Photography

Looking Up

Sometimes a view from underneath looking up is a great way to present an unusual composition, and interesting light. People don’t look up nearly enough! Some cases in point: Here are two views from underneath, one looking up at the Eiffel tower and the other from beneath a weeping willow at Monet’s Garden in Giverny.

Underneath La Tour Eiffel © Harold Davis

Underneath La Tour Eiffel © Harold Davis

Under the Weeping Willow at Giverny © Harold Davis

Under the Weeping Willow at Giverny © Harold Davis

Also posted in France, Paris, Photography

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

Also posted in France, Photography

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.

Also posted in France, Monochrome

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

Also posted in France, 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

Also posted in France, Paris, Photography

After the Rain

It had been raining for many days without stopping. While drought conditions in California meant that we really needed this heavy winter rain, enough felt like enough. I was ready to start work on an arc on our roof!

After the Rain © Harold Davis

After the Rain © Harold Davis

In the morning, the storms finally ended, and the skies cleared. I was in the car, helping to get the kids to school. I snapped this photo with my iPhone 6s, being careful to focus the camera on the water drops on the car windshield, and not on the more distant vista of the street.

Processed on my iPhone with the Snapseed, DistressedFX, and Mextures apps.

Related image: Rain in Rabat.

If you are interested, there are a few places in my full-day From iPhone to Art workshop on Saturday May 21, 2016—but it is filling up quickly.

Also posted in iPhone, Photography

Lonely

On a cold morning in eastern Oregon, I stopped beside the road to photograph a progression of utility poles and their reflections. I used a relatively long exposure (0.8 of a second at f/32 and ISO 31) and intentionally moved the camera to create a motion blur. The feeling I had making the photo, and the emotion I respond to when I look at my image, is the experience of being by oneself and anonymous, beside the road somewhere in the vast spaces of the American west, shivering to keep warm, and being overwhelmingly lonely.

Lonely © Harold Davis

Lonely © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls, in the Columbia River Gorge, looks like the entrance to Rivendell or some other magical place, with its high, double waterfall, and seductive foot bridge between the upper and lower falls.

These are two variations processed on my iPhone from a single iPhone 6s camera app capture. The first one was processed using Snapseed, Mextures, and Distressed FX.

Multnomah Falls © Harold Davis

Multnomah Falls © Harold Davis

I processed the version below using the Bold preset in Waterlogue.

Multnomah Falls © Harold Davis

Multnomah Falls © Harold Davis

Which version do you prefer? Of course, I photographed Multnomah Falls with my “big boy” camera as well as my iPhone, and I am looking forward to processing these images when I get the chance!

Want to learn my iPhone techniques? Check out my iPhone to Art workshop coming up in May.

Also posted in iPhone

Waterfall after Turner

This is a close-in view of White River Falls. Standing by the edge of the falls, the whole world seemed loud and in motion. My intention was to use the camera to create a painterly image, with light and water flying around in an inchoate and impressionistic mass of light and wet spray—much as J.M.W. Turner did in his later paintings of storms at sea.

Waterfall after Turner © Harold Davis

Waterfall after Turner © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Eye of the Cave Panorama

This is a panorama view from behind Upper Horsetail Falls in the Columbia River Gorge. I shot the panorama in fourteen vertical photos, with each capture a RAW file translated at the default 16-bit settings via ACR to 4912 X 7360 pixels (roughly 36MP) at 300 ppi.

I used a tripod with a regular ballhead, in other words there was no effort to swivel around the nodal point, and varied the exposure for each shot. As you can see, there is a great deal of difference in dynamic range between the bright water falls, and the dark cave walls. So exposures varied at f/22 and ISO 64 from 10 seconds (for the cave walls) to 0.6 of a second (for the water fall).

Eye of the Cave © Harold Davis

Eye of the Cave © Harold Davis

I stitched the fourteen images together in ACR and Photoshop, and after merging, cropping, and tweaking came up with a file sized at 19,746 X 6695 pixels at 300 ppi in a horizontal format. I am pleased that my production computer made fairly short work of the large files involved in the extensive processing of this panorama. Obviously, at some point I can make a mural sized print from this file with good resolution. In the meantime, you can see the panoramic image a little larger by clicking on it.

Also posted in Photography

Yaquina Bay Bridge

In the fog, the Yaquina Bay Bridge seemed to stretch on forever. The ending was obscure, and vanishingly difficult to find.

Yaquina Bay Bridge © Harold Davis

Yaquina Bay Bridge © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome, Photography

From Darkness into Light

Photography is famously about “writing with light”—or rendering light. In fact, light is integral to photography. You can’t photograph a physical object. You can only capture the light reflected or emitted by your subject.

Upper Horsetail Falls © Harold Davis

Upper Horsetail Falls © Harold Davis

How interesting then that the choice of rendering can lead a subject—such as Upper Horsetail Falls, shown in these two images—from darkness into light. Keep in mind that the choice is yours. But often the dark side is more mysterious, and therefore potentially more interesting!

Behind the Waterfall © Harold Davis

Behind the Waterfall © Harold Davis

Related stories: Fairy Falls; Cold is the colour of crystal; White River Falls.

Also posted in Monochrome, Photography

Fairy Falls

Yesterday, after photographing Multnomah Falls, I walked up the icy path to Benson Bridge. From this bridge, I climbed the numbered switchbacks to the top of Multnomah Falls. From the vertiginous overlook I peered down the rushing waters to the floor of the Columbia River Gorge.

© Harold Davis

Fairy Falls © Harold Davis

From this cliff-top vantage point I continued up the trail past Dutchman Falls, Weisendanger Falls, and Ecola Falls. I turned right on a side trail to contour round towards Wahkeena Springs. From Wahkeena Springs, I headed down the long loop trail back to the Multnomah Falls lodge. Along the way I passed many waterfalls, including Fairy Falls, shown in the image.

As I started photographing Fairy Falls, I was struck by the way the light funneled from the top of the falls, almost as if the arc of lighted was flowing with purpose with the water.

Waterfalls are one of those subjects that are inherently uplifting—the majesty of nature is easily apparent. When it’s possible I’d like to try for something more in my waterfall imagery, a suggestion of the spiritual and a deeper echo of the emotional resonance that waterfalls have for us. Here’s to falling water, and here’s to something deeper than a pretty face!

Also posted in Monochrome, Photography