Online Photo CourseCheck out Photographing Flowers, an interactive multi-featured online course by Harold Davis
- Photograph San Francisco in Black and White—also Workshop Updates
- Mandalas from a Crystal Bowl
- Best Of Botanicals: National Juried Photography Exhibition
- Photographic Caravan to Spain and Morocco
- Flowers Squared
- Today’s Nautilus
- Nautilus by Halves
- Otus and me
- Current Harold Davis Photo Workshop offerings
- Tulip Pano
- Opium Poppies
- Louvre Reflection
- Quince by Moon
- Sunrise in the rice fields
- New review of Monochromatic HDR Photography by Harold Davis
- Flowering Quince
- Harold Davis “Red Poppies” on Awagami washi at Paperworld Frankfurt
- Photographing Flowers for Transparency: Only four spots left in February session
- Graced with Light in Grace Cathedral
- Advanced Black & White: Photography and Photoshop
- Broken Arrow and Creating LAB Patterns
- Photographing Flowers Course (with discount link)
- Learn Photoshop This Year!—Second Session by Popular Demand
- Working with my mobile “fun” camera
- Through a glass lightly
- Temple Flags
- Coming into the new year with my books
- My best of 2013
- Kate Rose is doing fine!
- Art Editions
- Abstractions (9)
- Bemusements (572)
- Book Reviews (4)
- Cuba (28)
- Digital Night (251)
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- Flowers (586)
- France (27)
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- HDR (53)
- Hearts (6)
- High Sierra (26)
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- Katie Rose (125)
- Kids (214)
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- Photograms (75)
- Photography (2264)
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Category Archives: Photography
Best Of Botanicals: National Juried Photography Exhibition
A Benefit for San Francisco Botanical Garden
Call for entries. Entries are due: April 3, 2014
From classical to contemporary, from desert to rain forest, from bud to decay, the natural form of flowers and plants has been contemplated by artists, philosophers, scientists . . . and everyone.
- This is PHOTO’s second benefit for the San Francisco Botanical Garden. A percentage of sales will go to support the work of the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park.
- PHOTO is part of Oakland Art Murmur located in Oakland’s Uptown Arts District. The exhibit will be seen by thousands of visitors during the June and July First Friday art walks, and during regular hours for the duration of the show.
- Best of Show Award: $1000
- Harold Davis will speak on “Making the Botanical Photo: The Digital Print As an Artifact” on June 7. He is the recipient of many photo awards, a Moab Printmaking Master, and the author of numerous bestselling photography books, including “Photographing Flowers: Exploring Macro Worlds.” Click here for more information about this presentation.
- Exhibit dates: May 22 – July 12
I have been thinking about square compositions, for example, with these Nautilus Shells. So why not create some square versions of my light box flowers? This is actually harder from a composition viewpoint than it might seem, but here are a few I have come up with!
I’ve been photographing split Nautilus shells yesterday and today, these make such lovely spirals. Check out the monochrome version first:
It’s hard to think of another still life subject that is as classical and inspiring as the chambered Nautilus. I am looking forward to photographing a whole shell that hasn’t been split in the next few days. Here’s my recent color version:
Do you prefer today’s Nautilus in black and white or color?
Related story: Nautilus by Halves.
To make this image, I photographed two split halves of a Nautilus shell on a mirror placed on a black velvet background. I lit the composition using natural light and a silver metallic reflector. The wonderful bright and luminescent quality of the shell in contrast to the black background is partly due to the lens I used, my Zeiss Otus 1.4/55mm.
I really enjoy photographing shells with spirals, such as this image of my Nautilus in Black and White and this Architectonica. If shell spirals intrigue you, also check out this playful version, Spirals!
I shot this photo of tulips in a crowd with my new Otus. Otus’s more formal designation is the Otus 1.4/55, and is, in the words of the manufacturer Zeiss, quite possibly the absolute best lens in the world today. According to Dxo Labs, on a full frame DSLR, the Carl Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 “is categorically the highest performing standard-type prime in our database.”
Subjectively, Otus is a big honking prime lens with a smooth-as-velvet manual focus—and a wonderful, bright and cheery quality when you look or photograph through it. As I noted in The Way of the Digital Photographer, a lens is to a photographer as a paintbrush is to a painter. I am lucky to be friends with Otus, and to have Otus as my photographic “paintbrush.” Thank you, Zeiss, for the honor!
Click the image or on this link to view it larger.
This tulip panorama was shot on a light box in three segments. Each segment is made up of six exposures, so there are eighteen exposures in all. In post-production, first I combined the exposures and then stitched the segments together. My idea was to create a cheerful image that promotes health and happiness to the viewer. It makes a nice print on Moab Slickrock Pearl. You can click here, or on the image, to view it larger.
If you like this image, you may be interested in some other Tulip imagery I created at the same time!
I have been working on a series of Tulip imagery that I shot almost a year ago, and haven’t had the time to process before now. These were shot on my light box in a bracketed high-key sequence, so combining the RAW captures takes craft, effort and creativity—which is what it is all about, after all!
The tulips themselves came from the organic farmer’s market in North Berkeley that takes place each Thursday in the “gourmet ghetto.” I am looking forward to the coming of spring so that there are more wonderful flowers to shoot straight from the growers.
Once I have three or four of these Tulip images processed, I am looking forward to printing them. There is a brightness and optimism that they show that is very heartening—maybe these images even have healing qualities!
I think the series will make nice prints, possibly in a group or as an installation.
It’s perfectly legal in this country to cultivate the Opium Poppy, Papaver somniferum, for decorative purposes. But this pretty flower, shown in the image below, has long caused wild dreams and flights of fancy. For example, the poet Samuel Coleridge wrote his poem Kubla Khan in 1797 following an opium-inspired dream that was interrupted by a bill collector. Equally, this innocent-looking flower is responsible for much human misery, from the killing fields of Afghanistan to the addictions and overdose deaths caused by the stronger products refined or synthesized based on opium.
When you buy an opium poppy plant from an American horticultural nursery, the name is likely to be changed, as if naming this flower something other than what it is makes it less deadly, or more licit. So one nursery I know calls the Opium Poppy a “Purple Breadseed Poppy,” and there are other cloaked names in use as well.
By whatever name, it is an easy flower to grow (the ones shown here are from my garden, for decorative purposes only of course!). In case you are curious, opium is refined from the paste that accumulates inside the seed pods that form after the flower has bloomed. A single poppy pod wouldn’t be enough—it takes a great many poppies to make a usable quantity of opium.
Want to learn how to make images like this one from beginning to end? There are three spots left in my Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop next weekend (I won’t be giving this workshop again in this country until 2015).
Here’s my red flowering quince shot, with the moon in an alternate position. Good argument for archiving one’s layers unflattened—that way it is easy to go back and move the moon!
Monochromatic HDR Photography
By Harold Davis
Among his multifarious skills—photographer, author, publisher, post-processing whiz, blogger, teacher and workshop leader—Harold Davis is the acknowledged maestro of HDR imaging. (See Rangefinder September, 2012).
In Monochromatic HDR Photography, Davis brings another technique for dynamic range manipulation: taking color out and putting artistry in.
His comprehensive and readable creative tips, his workflow regimen and his powerful imagery will ignite (or reignite) your interest in black-and-white conversions with any subject you shoot. You’ll see Ansel Adams’ tonal spectrum appear in your landscapes and Edward Weston’s luminosity in your portraits.
Welcome to yet another Davis title that belongs in your digital darkroom.
The red flowering quince are particularly gorgeous this year in my neighborhood, and I can’t resist putting some of them on my light box. These flowers have a simple elegance that is really special.
Do you prefer the version of this image with the moon (above) or just the branch of flowering quince (far above)?
Click here to see the Facebook Post by FineArtPrinter. It’s wonderful for me to see the conjunction of my work in Germany with Hermann and Fine Art Printer Magazine, which has featured my Botanique and reviewed my Monochromatic HDR book, and also with Awagami and my friend Aya Fujimori, who was so kind to me when I visited Japan recently.
There is truly something very satisfying about this conjunction of worlds—with work by an American artist (that would be me!) on traditional paper from Japan that has been modified for modern inkjet printers exhibited in Germany, and sent to me by a German friend!
Heading into Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, my idea was to practice HDR photography on the vaulted ceiling of the church. I had done this once before in Grace Cathedral, and also in other churches, such as the Cathedral in Chartres, France (shown here in monochromatic HDR).
Often the best laid plans of photographers “go awry,” which is the best reason I can think of for living one’s life to carpe diem, or to seize the day, which all photographers should do as often as they can. In this case, the interior of Grace Cathedral was taken over by “Graced with Light,” an art installation by Anne Patterson that features some twenty miles of multi-colored ribbons dangling from the church’s ceiling.
Clearly, the image I had envisioned was not going to be possible because the ceiling was hidden by the colorful ribbons. For photographers, right up there with carpe diem is another cliche: if you are given lemons, make lemonade. Another way of thinking of this is to be open to grace, particularly appropriate in Grace Cathedral when confronted with “Graced with Light.”
I sat down in a pew, and attached my camera to the tripod. The legs were collapsed, so the tripod was low to the ground. I positioned the camera and tripod in the center of the center aisle, and pointed it up and back towards the rose window above the entrance to Grace Cathedral. I wanted the image to be entirely in focus, so I needed a fair amount of depth-of-field. This implied stopping down (to f/18), which in turn compelled a fairly long duration of time (15 seconds) for the shutter speed.
Still seated in the pew, I tripped the shutter using my intervalometer, and gave thanks for the grace that allows me to see images that interest me and show the beauty of the world, and of places that people hold sacred.
Exposure data: Nikon D800, 28-300mm lens at 28mm, 15 seconds at f/18 and ISO 100, tripod mounted, RAW file multi-processed in Adobe Camera RAW and finished in Photoshop.
Special thanks to Jake, without whom I would not have been at Grace Cathedral to make this image.
I am proud of my online Photographing Flowers course at Craftsy.com, which by now has more than 500 students. The variety, exuberance and quality of the student projects shows that I (and the production team that worked with me) did something right in this online offering. Click here to check out my Photographing Flowers course (the course cost is normally $59.99, but by using this link you can get $10 off!).
Here are some of the benefits of the Craftsy platform for online courses:
- Craftsy classes are yours to keep–watch any time and as many times as you like. My course won’t expire, and you can watch it piecemeal, when you like, and when you want to learn about a specific subject.
- Classes are interactive, so you can ask me and your classmates questions.
- The Craftsy production team did a great job of making high quality videos.
- Craftsy classes are filmed in high definition so technical details are easy to see.
- Every class is equipped with helpful features like video notes and 30-second repeat.
- You can share projects for feedback and tips,or browse for inspiration.
- If for any reason you aren’t satisfied, return your class and Craftsy will refund your money.
When all is said and done, if you like to photograph flowers and want to learn more photographic technique, for $60 I think this is a pretty good deal!
The first session of Mastering Creative Photoshop is sold out…and so many people have asked for another session. Here it is!!! The dates are Saturday May 31 – Sunday June 1, 2014. To avoid disappointment, please register well in advance.
Make this the year that you finally learn Photoshop!
It’s time to bend Photoshop to your creative will. Whether you want to enhance your existing digital workflow, create black and white images with high tonal range, or composite incredible and fantastic landscapes from disparate elements, stop fighting Photoshop—and make Photoshop your creative ally and partner!
Kick off this resolution by reading Harold Davis’s acclaimed books about Photoshop’s creative side: Monochromatic HDR Photography, The Way of the Digital Photographer, The Photoshop Darkroom, Creative Black & White, and other titles.
And if you’re really ready to go for it, bring your creative Photoshop ideas to Harold’s unique seminar in January, Mastering Creative Photoshop: The Way of the Digital Photographer. There will be plenty of time for individual attention. Guaranteed: you will learn Photoshop. And your photography will never be the same!
So enough dithering! Make your Photoshop resolutions come true! If not now, when?
Workshop Description: Mastering Creative Photoshop: The Way of the Digital Photographer—This workshop covers developing a personal digital Photoshop workflow. Topics explained in detail include archiving and checkpoints, RAW processing, multi-RAW processing, HDR, hand-HDR, stacking, LAB color creative effects, monochromatic conversions, using backgrounds and textures, layers, layers masks, working with channels, Photoshop filters, and plugins from Nik Software and Topaz. If you’ve ever wondered how Harold does it, or wanted to learn how to incorporate his techniques in your own digital workflow, this is the workshop for you!
Dates: The January session of Mastering Creative Photoshop is sold-out. This newly added session will be held Saturday May 31 – Sunday June 1, 2014
Location: Berkeley, California. The workshop will be held at the MIG Meeting Room, which is a very nice space co-located with a well-known green urban design firm in Berkeley, CA and conveniently located near the Fourth Street shopping district, the Berkeley Amtrak station, and the University Ave exit from Interstate 80.
Space Availability: Class size is strictly limited to 16 to permit individual attention. To avoid disappointment please do not delay.
Tuition: $695.00 per person for the entire weekend.
Registration: Click here for more information and to register.
About this image: One of my heros, the great painter Vincent van Gogh, spent his last days in the village of Auvers-sur-Oise outside Paris, France, where he painted many of his great works. Wandering the streets of Auvers-sur-Oise, now a suburb of Paris, I found many signs reproducing a van Gogh painting in front of the literal scene that he painted.
It seemed to me that it would be fun to create an image that showed an impressionistic image like the ones that van Gogh created on one side of the frame, along with a photographic capture of the signage showing the image. To implement this thought, I created a bracketed sequence of exposures, which I combined and manipulated using Photoshop and plugins from Nik Software and Topaz.
About Harold Davis: Harold Davis is an internationally-known digital artist and award-winning professional photographer. He is the author of many photography books. His most recent titles are The Way of the Digital Photographer (Peachpit) and Monochromatic HDR Photography (Focal Press).
In addition to his activity as a bestselling book author, Harold Davis is a Moab Master printmaker and a Zeiss Lens Ambassador. Harold Davis’s work is widely collected, licensed by art publishers, and has appeared in numerous magazines and other publications. His black and white prints are described as “hauntingly beautiful” [Fine Art Printer] and his floral prints have been called “ethereal,” with a “a purity and translucence that borders on spiritual” [Popular Photography].
Harold Davis leads popular technique and destination photography workshops to many locations including Paris, France; Heidelberg, Germany; and the ancient Bristlecone Pines of the eastern Sierra Nevada.