Category Archives: Photography

digital photography: techniques: thoughts: photographs

Sailboats in the Luxembourg Gardens

Yesterday was Sunday and May Day, and the first warm sunny day in a while here in Paris. The crowds turned out in the Luxembourg Gardens, with singing and partying. It was altogether a gentle and fun scene. In the boat pond children played with the sailboats ignoring the brisk wind, helped by their parents who used special sticks to turn the ships around when they reached the further shore. There were still kids and parents playing with ships in the water late in the afternoon as the light turned golden, when I snapped this photo.

Sailboats in the Luxembourg Gardens © Harold Davis

Sailboats in the Luxembourg Gardens © Harold Davis

Also posted in France, Paris

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, Landscape

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, Landscape

Ranunculi in a Blue Bowl

Ranunculi is the plural of ranunculus and I think makes a better plural for this wonderful flower than “ranunculuses.” By whatever plural form, Ranunculi in a Blue Bowl forms the third of a trio of blossoms-in-a-blue-bowl imagery. The other two images are shown in Orchids in a Blue Bowl and Clematis in a Blue Bowl, and are also shown in this story beneath my ranunculi.

Ranunculi in a Blue Bowl© Harold Davis

Ranunculi in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Orchids in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Orchids in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Clematis in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Clematis in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Punch Bowl

This image looking down on a glass bowl is one of a series of fractal-like images I’ve made that are constructed by adding the initial image to successively reduced versions of itself.

© Harold Davis

Punch Bowl © Harold Davis

The other kicker is that each of these images has something unexpected embedded at the innermost fractal single pixel level: my initials at the end of the doors in World without End, my face on a tiny train in Old Train Bridge, and a miniature of the outer courtyard through the door in Hotel de Sully, which (without the fractal) is located near the Place des Vosges in Paris.

In fairness, I must add that these embellishments are at the pixel level, and likely cannot be seen from the versions of the images that are posted. A large print of each image and a magnifying glass would work better, since only I can open the master file in Photoshop at a high magnification.

Can you see what is embedded at the end of the long tunnel down the punch bowl?

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, Landscape, Paris

Double Rainbow Pano over Paris

This panorama of a double rainbow over Paris was shot during a spring rain storm from the Pont Solferino as I described in an earlier story. The pano consists of nine handheld pieces shot vertically, then combined and cropped in Photoshop to make a horizontal image. When I do this kind of photography with the intention of making a pano, and I don’t have a panoramic tripod head available, I’m careful to overlap images, and I try to keep in mind rotating around the nodal point for the image—which will be pretty close to what you’d get if you drew a virtual line to the ground from outermost lens element holding the camera in the center of the proposed composition.

Double Rainbow Pano over Paris © Harold Davis

Double Rainbow Pano over Paris © Harold Davis

Check out this panorama, photographed from behind a waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge.

Also posted in France, Paris

Pont Louis Philippe

An autumn afternoon in Paris on a somewhat sloppy day, with one of the channels of the Seine River photographed from the Pont Louis Philippe, and the golden light of late afternoon just beginning.

Pont Louis Philippe © Harold Davis

Pont Louis Philippe © Harold Davis

Exposure data: Nikon D800, Zeiss Distagon 35mm f/1.4 at f/1.4, handheld; 1/800 of a second at ISO 200.

Also posted in France, Paris

Coming to Life

Following up on the theme of transformation in Metamorphosis (waterfall into human) and Dark Angel (flower into human), and the thoughts I’ve expressed about the new role of digital photography as an art medium in Nude Descending a Ladder, Coming to Life and Spiral Convolution (both below) show another twist: a spiral shell becoming human, or vice versa, that is to say, a human morph and convolution into the spiral structure of a shell.

Coming to Life © Harold Davis

Coming to Life © Harold Davis

Spiral Convolution © Harold Davis

Spiral Convolution © Harold Davis

Also posted in Writing

Dark Angel

In a previous blog post I wrote that “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…”

In this spirit, and following up on Metamorphosis, I created Dark Angel, shown below.

Dark Angel © Harold Davis

Dark Angel © Harold Davis

To create this image, I started with Angel Anemone:

Angel Anemone © Harold Davis

Angel Anemone © Harold Davis

From Angel Anemone, I prepared Darkling Anemone in color and then in black annd white:

Darkling Anemone Color © Harold Davis

Darkling Anemone Color © Harold Davis

Darkling Anemone Black and White © Harold Davis

Darkling Anemone Black and White © Harold Davis

Meanwhile, I revisiting an earlier in-camera Multiple Exposure, Human Spiral-Nautilus, chosen because of its resemblance to a natural history object when seen from a distance:

Human Spiral---Nautilus © Harold Davis

Human Spiral—Nautilus © Harold Davis

With the aid of a few Photoshop plug-ins (Topaz Glow and Topaz Impression) and creative use of blending modes, Human Spiral-Nautilus became Wheel of Life:

Wheel of Life © Harold Davis

Wheel of Life © Harold Davis

I then converted Wheel of Life to monochromatic and blended it (in two versions, one flipped horizontally) to create my final Dark Angel. Note that my title has absolutely no relationship to the TV series, video game, or book of the same name.

For no apparent earthly reason whatsoever, I conclude with Cold is the colour of crystal:

“Cold is the colour of crystal the snowlight
That falls from the heavenly skies”—Annie Lennox

Upper White River Falls © Harold Davis

Also posted in Writing

Clematis in a Blue Bowl

I photographed Clematis in a Blue Bowl as a companion piece to Orchids in a Blue Bowl, shown far below and (with exposure and processing information) in this blog story.

Clematis in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Clematis in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Orchids in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Orchids in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Clematis, and tulips, and irises, Oh My!

Painting with Flowers Inverted © Harold Davis

Painting with Flowers Inverted © Harold Davis

Painting with Flowers © Harold Davis

Painting with Flowers © Harold Davis

Exposure data: Photographed on a light box with a Nikon D810, MC-36A remote release, and Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 ZF-mount. Two panels, combined horizontally. Each panel comprised of 7 exposures from 1/15 of a second (darkest) to 4 seconds (lightest). All 14 exposures at f/16 and ISO 64, combined in ACR and Photoshop. Final master file resolution for each of the two images—on white (above), and the LAB L-channel inversion (top)—at 10,431 X 4,912 pixels by 300 ppi.

Workshops: From iPhone to Art is now full. Some spaces are available in Achieving Your Potential As a Photographer (Maine, in August) and Photographing Flowers for Transparency (December, in California). My 2016 Workshops & Events calendar is here.

More info: Photographing Flowers for Transparency FAQ.

Also posted in Flowers

From iPhone to Art

From iPhone to Art

From iPhone to Art is a full-day workshop on Saturday May 21, 2016 in Berkeley, California. I have often been asked to lead a workshop that explains iPhone photography and processing techniques. I am excited to be assisted in this workshop by Robert Eckardt as my co-teacher. Robert is an extremely gifted iPhone photographer in his own right. There are some places left in this workshop, but it is filling up fast.

Courtyard in Naples © Harold Davis

The iPhone is the most used camera in the world. As they say, the best camera to use is the one you have with you, and this is often your iPhone camera. But the fundamental rules of photography still apply, and you can become a powerful photographer with your iPhone by learning the fundamentals of exposure and composition.

Still Life in Silver Bowl © Harold Davis

Of course, your iPhone is more than just a camera. The computing power within a contemporary iPhone is greater than the computing power that sent NASA to the moon—and many photography apps take advantage of this “darkroom” in your pocket.

Feathers © Harold Davis

In From iPhone to Art, we will learn how to leverage our talents to make the best iPhone imagery we can. Demos, lectures, and hands-on exercises will explore the principles of photography as they relate to the iPhone camera.

Click here to see some more of my iPhone images, and here for workshop information and registration!

Door in Capri © Harold Davis

 

Path beside the Rhine

 

Porto iphone

 

Also posted in iPhone, Workshops

Paris is always a good idea!

Paris Sunset © Harold Davis

Paris Sunset © Harold Davis

Pyramide © Harold Davis

Pyramide © Harold Davis

Paris, as Audrey Hepburn said, is always a good idea. Please consider joining my small group of photographers in Paris (and, oh yeah, at the Monet gardens in Giverny!) the first week in May, 2016.

Click here for the detailed day-by-day itinerary (PDF), here for the Prospectus, and here for the Reservation Form. If you are interested, please let me know right away.

Giverny © Harold Davis

Giverny © Harold Davis

Also posted in Paris, Workshops

Achieving Your Potential As a Photographer at Maine Media Workshops

I’ll be teaching a week-long version of my popular Achieving Your Potential As a Photographer workshop in Maine from August 7 to August 13, 2016. Immersing oneself in photography for a week on the beautiful Maine coast at MMW is a life-transforming experience! Not to mention, all the lobster you can eat…

Have you ever wondered what it really means to be the best photographer you can be? Do you feel blocked by petty circumstances, or lack the creative space to do the work you know you can do?

This workshop is for every photographer who wants to draw their line in the sand to become the best photographer and artist they can be.

Reflections in a Maine Pond © Harold Davis

Reflections in a Maine Pond © Harold Davis

The workshop will include group and individual exercises and assignments. There will be guided field sessions, and work in the classroom. Technical and practical skills and topics will be covered.

Click here for information and registration.

Lobsters for Dinner © Harold Davis

Lobsters for Dinner © Harold Davis

Also posted in Workshops