Category Archives: Models

New Multiple Exposures with Katje

I have some new images in my Multple Exposures series, photographed in collaboration with the beautiful and intelligent model Katje Gee.

About Face © Harold Davis

About Face © Harold Davis

Manifestation © Harold Davis

Manifestation © Harold Davis

Fedora © Harold Davis

Fedora © Harold Davis

I Am That Insect © Harold Davis

I Am That Insect © Harold Davis

Metamorphosis

This is a single in-camera multiple exposure, photographed at a variety of focal lengths. The model is Sera Ferron, who you can also see in Three Poses and a Two-Fer and Fight Off Your Demons.

Metamorphosis © Harold Davis

Metamorphosis © Harold Davis

Related image (and technique): Obeisance.

Also posted in Photography

Three Poses and a Two-Fer

Contemplation © Harold Davis

Contemplation © Harold Davis

I had fun photographing a model from Los Angeles the other day. Mostly we did multiple exposures, but I also did some single poses. The single poses are shown above, and the first two below. The bottom image is an in-camera double exposure, with the same model appearing twice. I converted all images to black and white to keep the visual impact of these images simple. The model is Sera Ferron.

Wonder Why © Harold Davis

Wonder Why © Harold Davis

Figure Study Jumping © Harold Davis

Figure Study Jumping © Harold Davis

Me & Me © Harold Davis

Me & Me © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome, Photography

Fight Off Your Demons

This is an in-camera multiple exposure with six individual exposures with my camera set to Autogain. I varied the focal length between exposures to capture the model and her lace outfit in a variety of poses. Each shot was lit using studio strobes modified with a grid, and on one side a large soft box. The background was black seamless paper. I processed the image minimally in Photoshop, and added a texture from Flypaper for the final effect. Click here to check out some of my other multiple exposures of models.

Fight Off Your Demons © Harold Davis

Fight Off Your Demons © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Metamorphosis

A metamorphosis is a transformation. In this image, a model, also shown in Nude Descending a Ladder, is transforming into a portion of Multnomah Falls (or vice versa, the waterfall is transforming into the model). More abstractly, there is a larger view in which the waterfall is itself becoming a figure—vengeful Goddess or otherwise!

Metamorphosis © Harold Davis

Metamorphosis © Harold Davis

The two images I combined to make Metamorphosis are Waterfall (below) and Shout to the Soul (far below). Waterfall is a fairly straight photo of a portion of the upper Multnomah waterfall, while Shout to the Soul has been manipulated and transformed to fit together with the falling water.

Waterfall © Harold Davis

Waterfall © Harold Davis

Shout to the Soul © Harold Davis

Shout to the Soul © Harold Davis

 

Also posted in Monochrome

Nude Descending a Ladder after Duchamp

The artist Marcel Duchamp created a furor in 1912 with his painting Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2. This painting, which was rejected at the time as too avant-garde even by the Cubist movement, is an abstraction of the motion of a nude female figure coming down a staircase. In time, the Duchamp painting would come to be regarded as one of the key modernist classics.

Nude Descending a Ladder after Duchamp © Harold Davis

Nude Descending a Ladder after Duchamp © Harold Davis

My homage to the Duchamp painting is an abstraction of a nude descending a ladder. Les Desmoiselles and Gates after Rodin are two other images of mine where I’ve used comparable techniques, in part with visual references to famous art works in mind.

To make Nude Descending a Ladder I started with a series of in-camera multiple exposures, using studio strobes and a black background. Each multiple exposure had eight or nine images. I used my camera’s auto-gain setting to make sure that each multiple exposure was properly balanced across the range of individual exposures that were combined in the camera.

In post-production, I combined the best two of these images, one for the upper part of the ladder, and one for the lower part. I then worked to add a painterly effect to the image, using LAB color in Photoshop, Nik Color Efex, and the Topaz Adjust, Glow, Impression, and Simplify plugins. Finally, I added a textured background with light brush strokes to the image.

Duchamp was making a point with his Nude Descending a Staircase—that once you break the bonds of reality there really are no limits, and there is no call for the art-world’s political correctness police to say that one abstraction rather than another is too untethered from reality.

Besides the visual reference to the Duchamp painting, I am making a somewhat analogous point in my  Nude Descending a Ladder. I’ve been criticized by establishment figures in the photography world because my images and prints “don’t look anything like photographs”—by which is meant the chemistry-based photography of the twentieth century. In other words, supposedly my images are not art-world politically correct photography.

Historically, going back to the birth of photography, photography was thought to depict “reality”, and the fact that photography was (erroneously) seen as creating an accurate rendition of the world is a large part of what freed painting from its orthodoxy. Painters no longer felt their purpose was to fulfill the role of showing “what was really there”. I use quotes around “what was really there” because as modern discourse has made clear this is not possible in any useful sense, and many paintings more served the role of hagiography, that is to say, were intended to embellish the reputations of the patrons that paid for them, rather than any accurate function of rendition (this, of course, remains the purpose of much portraiture to this day).

Freeing artists from the recitative need to show reality led to impressionism and later, more abstract, movements. The new role of art was first about seeing the world abstractly, and then more recently about ideas.

The consensus view that (in its turn) photography is an art form, and not something that slavishly reproduces “what is there” didn’t gain general acceptance until the closing years of the twentieth century, and then only as a new technology and art form—digital photography—was already on the horizon.

The new orthodoxy, and the one expressed by the statement that my images “aren’t really photography” is that a photo should be something coming out of the camera, without undue manipulation in post-production, and that these images should look like the photos of the past.

However, we do not know what the photos of the future will look like, but one thing is certainly true—they will be different and have evolved from the art form as it is now, and has been. So trying to copy the vision of the past without incorporating the gifts of technique from technology in the present is an exercise in futility, and one that is doomed to the dustbin of history.

Digital techniques have freed us from the orthodoxy of the camera, just as in the past the camera freed painters from the orthodoxies of representational art. But once you go down the road of a new art from, in which digital manipulation joins with digital capture, there are no limits. In a world loose from its moorings, there should be no rules about how images are created, and what art forms a digital photo or digital image can look like—only the appeal and interest of the final images.

Click here to check out my Multiple Exposure series of images!

 

Human Spiral—Nautilus

This nine-image multiple exposure, combined in-camera another image in the same series, Rondo, reminds me of a living organism, or spiral shell such as the Nautilus.

Nautilus © Harold Davis

Nautilus © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome, Photography

Rondo

Rondo © Harold Davis

Rondo © Harold Davis

About the image: This is an in-camera multiple exposure. The ten exposures were combined in the camera using auto-gain. The model was Amelia Simone, who was wearing the red underwear you can see in the image.

I was standing at the top of a ladder, and photographed hand-held down on the model, who moved around a black cloth on the floor, and synchronized her movements with the individual exposures. I used a Nikon D810 and a 28-300mm lens at 45mm. Each of the ten sub-exposures were shot at 1/160 of a second, at f/14 and ISO 400. Each exposure was lit using two studio strobes, one on each side, modified to soften the light.

Many Hands Make Light Work

Finger and Hand Study 1 © Harold Davis

Finger and Hand Study 1 © Harold Davis

Finger and Hand Study 2 © Harold Davis

Finger and Hand Study 2 © Harold Davis

Totem and Taboo

The title I’ve given this image, Totem and Taboo, is in part a reference to Sigmund Freud’s collection of essays of the same name. Freud combined anthropology with concepts of psychoanalysis to compare the states of mind of “savages” with those of neurotics. My image makes no such grandiose claims, but visually it does seem to represent animism and a totem (the pole that is, if not in the totemic animal sense).

Totem and Taboo © Harold Davis

Totem and Taboo © Harold Davis

Totem and Taboo is a single in-camera multiple exposure that the model and I choreographed. Although the model is different, I processed the image to pair with Gates after Rodin. If you are curious, my blog story about Gates after Rodin has a more detailed description of how this kind of image is made.

Also posted in Photography

Changing Focal Lengths in a Multiple Exposure

Over more than a year, I’ve been working on a series of in-camera multiple exposure images using models in a studio and strobes. Generally, my approach has been to make the exposures with my camera fixed on a tripod, often with a prime lens, and definitely at a fixed focal length. But what happens when I take the camera off the tripod, move the camera position around, and vary the focal length while the model moves into different poses? One answer to this question is Obeisance, shown below, with eight exposures at several focal lengths, from various vantage points, shows both the back and the front of the model at the same time.

Obeisance © Harold Davis

Obeisance © Harold Davis

Related stories: Three Graces; New Phylum; Hekatonkheires; Pagan Goddess; Falling; A Rorschach for MFAs; Multiple Exposures.

Three Graces

The Three Graces are actually a three-in-one trinity: this is one model (Anastasia Arteyeva), via an in-camera multiple exposure.

Three Graces © Harold Davis

Three Graces © Harold Davis

Processed for the distinctive—almost cave painting look—using the Da Vinci filter in the Topaz Impression plug-in.

Related image (same model): And now for something completely different.

And now for something completely different…

This is an in-camera double exposure I made on Saturday. The model is Anastasia Arteyeva.

Shelter Within © Harold Davis

Shelter Within © Harold Davis

Related images: View more of my Multiple Exposures (slide show).

Also posted in Monochrome

Arms

Arms © Harold Davis

Arms © Harold Davis

Four in-camera exposures, with the model stationary besides her arms. Related stories: Pagan Goddess, Multiple Exposures.

Also posted in Photography

New Phylum

Insectum humaneae © Harold Davis

Insectum humaneae © Harold Davis

Related images: Hekatonkheires; Pagan Goddess.

Also posted in Photography