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

Posted in France, Landscape, Paris, Photography

Claude Monet’s Bedroom

At Giverny during the regular admission hours it was too crowded inside Monet’s house to even consider photographing with a “big boy” camera. So I had fun working with my iPhone instead. This image shows Claude Monet’s bedroom, processed in my iPhone using Waterlogue for a somewhat impressionistic effect.

Claude Monet's Bedroom © Harold Davis

Claude Monet’s Bedroom © Harold Davis

Posted in France, iPhone

Another Stage Set and Some Signage

Courtesy of my iPhone, here is another stage set maquette and also some Parisian signage.

Stage Set Two © Harold Davis

Stage Set Two © Harold Davis

Attention! © Harold Davis

Attention! © Harold Davis

Say Cheese © Harold Davis

Say Cheese © Harold Davis

Defense d'uriner © Harold Davis

Defense d’uriner © Harold Davis

Related stories (German signs): Cheap Shots; More Cheap Shots.

Posted in France, iPhone, Paris, Photography

Opera Garnier Stairs

It was fun to photograph again today in the crazily ornate Opera Garnier. This one is nine exposures using a fisheye lens. Since no tripods are allowed, I very carefully placed the camera on a ledge. I used auto-bracket mode and a remote trigger to fire nine exposures separated by one f-stop each. The bracketed sequence was combined using Nik HDR Efex Pro.

Opera Garnier Stairs © Harold Davis

Opera Garnier Stairs © Harold Davis

Posted in Monochrome, Paris

Stage Set

This is an iPhone photo of a maquette of a stage set at the Opera Garnier in Paris, processed on my iPhone using Plastic Bullet, Mextures, and Lo-Mob.

Stage Set

Stage Set © Harold Davis

Posted in France, iPhone

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

Posted in France, Paris, Photography

Saint-Sulpice

Our hotel in Paris is around the corner from Saint-Sulpice, a church made famous in the otherwise pretty silly book, The Da Vinci Code. The soaring interior spaces of this edifice are beyond belief. I’ve shown the cross made by the cruciform architecture, with the long nave crossed by the transept. The famous Saint-Sulpice organ can be seen at the bottom of the image. I used a hand-held fisheye lens to make this image.

Saint-Sulpice © Harold Davis

Saint-Sulpice © Harold Davis

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

Posted in France, Landscape, Photography

Chemin de Halage

Under the cliffs beside the Lot River, and below the picturesque medieval village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, the Chemin de Halage makes for spectacular walking, and is part of one of the French feeder routes to the pilgrimage trail of Camino de Santiago, better known for the routes to the southwest on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees.

Today we wandered this path with our cameras amid intermittent sunshine and rain squalls.

Chemin de Halage © Harold Davis

Chemin de Halage © Harold Davis

The cliffside path is shown above in a fisheye view, with the Lot River framed by the stone of the trail. I’ve also added below an impressionistic version of the cliffs and Lot River created using my iPhone.

Along the Lot River © Harold Davis

Along the Lot River © Harold Davis

Posted in France

Recent iPhone Sketches in France

Here are some recent iPhone images from southwestern France I made today and yesterday, and processed on the fly on my iPhone while traveling on the bus. With the first image, I was walking around the wonderful historic village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. When I saw the white dog, I got down on the ground at his eye level, and made a portrait with the village in the background. It was processed using Lo-Mob.

White dog in an old town © Harold Davis

White dog in an old town © Harold Davis

The next image is in the little square next to our guide Francis’s home, just outside Chateau Biron. I processed it using Waterlogue.

Faubourg Chateau Biron © Harold Davis

Faubourg Chateau Biron © Harold Davis

Finally, the statue shown in this image is outside the church adjacent to the central square of the bastide town of Montpazier. I processed the image using Plastic Bullet and Lo-Mob.

Christ in Montpazier © Harold Davis

Christ in Montpazier © Harold Davis

Posted in France, iPhone

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.

Posted in France, Landscape, Monochrome

Carcassonne at Night

Coming back to my base in Carcassonne after a long day of exploring Cathar castles—more on this later—I took my gear out on the old bridge after dark. Photographing back at the the old city of Carcassonne, the well-lit ramparts contrast in a visually odd way with the modern buildings and pollarded trees below the fortifications.

Carcassonne at Night © Harold Davis

Carcassonne at Night © Harold Davis

Posted in Digital Night, France

Cordes sur Ciel at Dawn

I set the alarm for an hour before sunrise. When it rang in the darkness well before dawn, I put on the warmest clothing I had with me and made my way into position to wait for the light of dawn to illuminate the ancient hilltop citadel of Cordes sur Ciel, France.

© Harold Davis

Cordes sur Ciel at Dawn © Harold Davis

Posted in Digital Night, France

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

Posted in France, Landscape, Photography

Recent Flower Images

Before I leave for France later this week I wanted to blog a few of my recent flower photos. Enjoy!

Clematis 'Bees Jubilee' and 'Daniel Deronda' © Harold Davis

Clematis ‘Bees Jubilee’ and ‘Daniel Deronda’ © Harold Davis

Clematis 'Bees Jubilee' and 'Daniel Deronda' Color Inversion © Harold Davis

Clematis ‘Bees Jubilee’ and ‘Daniel Deronda’ Color Inversion © Harold Davis

Clematis 1 © Harold Davis

Clematis 1 © Harold Davis

Tulips Are for Peeking © Harold Davis

Tulips Are for Peeking © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers