Pentaptych of Tulip Petals

Inspecting some pink tulips the other day, I noticed that the demarcation behind petals and leaves was not as clear as I had thought it would be. With this flower, the difference between the leaves and petals was gradual and a difference of degree rather than an absolute—the closer to the flower core the more petal-like it looked.

Pentaptych of Tulip Petals © Harold Davis

Pentaptych of Tulip Petals © Harold Davis—click to view the image larger

So some of these petals are leaves, and some of these leaves are petals. Be that as it may, and referring to all as petals, I noticed that the petals were wonderfully colorful when placed on the light box.

I photographed each of the five petals separately as a high-resolution vertical image, using a macro lens with an added extension tube to get sufficient magnification. I then combined the five horizontal images to make the single horizontal shown.

Obviously, this is a very high resolution file (although the reduced JPEG shown here may not give much sense of that). Putting it together in post-production strained the resources of my twin 6-core 128GB RAM high-end Mac.

You can view the image a bit larger by clicking here, or by clicking on the image itself.

My thought is to take advantage of the resolution, and make a really large print, perhaps twenty feet wide, which would let the viewer really see the details in the petals.

A triptych is a work of art divided in three sections, a tetraptych is a work of art in four sections, and a pentaptych is a work of art in five sections (the numerical prefixes come from the ancient Greek number words). So it seemed natural call my image Pentaptych of Tulip Petals—one “tych” for each of the five petals!

Posted in Flowers

Harold Davis Topaz Webinar on YouTube and Topaz Discount Code

Click here for the replay of my webinar sponsored by Topaz, Beyond Photography: Painterly Effects with Harold Davis.

Topaz Labs has generously provided discount codes as well (these codes are good through Sunday January 17, 2016). Use the code haroldweb3 to take 20% off all Topaz products, and the code haroldtexture to take $20 off the price of Topaz’s new product, Topaz Texture Effects. Click here for the online Topaz store.

Burning Off the Fog © Harold Davis

Burning Off the Fog © Harold Davis

Harold Davis - Flowers Gone Wild

Flowers Gone Wild © Harold Davis

Harold Davis - Saint Roman

Saint-Roman © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Blast from the Past: Travels with Samantha

Originally published November 24, 2014Editor’s update: After publishing this post, I received a number of inquiries as to what I was doing traveling with “another woman” (Phyllis seems to have many friends). Apparently these interlocutors had only skimmed the story, and not realized that Samantha was an “artificial intelligence” (e.g., nav system), rather than flesh and blood.

I’m normally a map, or a map-and-compass, kind of guy. But when I rented my car in Portugal I also rented a navigation system. Getting lost in obscure foreign parts where I didn’t speak the language was definitely getting old.

The man who set up the navigation system for me at Europacar wanted to know whether I wanted British or American English, and also whether I wanted the Jack or Samantha voice. I picked Samantha.

In some respects, Sam is a navigational prodigy, getting me places on a wing and a prayer that I would never have accomplished on my own. For example, the route Sam took me on to the door of my hotel in the historic district of Porto involved several one-way alleys, numerous roundabouts, the lower deck of the famous bridge in Porto, and—strangely—a vacant lot.

Porto at Night © Harold Davis

Porto at Night © Harold Davis

When she’s good, Sam is very, very good—but the price for her help is that she wants control. Occasionally she also gets things wrong, directing me up roads closed to traffic, or alleys that are only intended for foot traffic. In these cases, she gets repetitive, and there is clearly a shrillness to the directions, as if she’s asking, “Why can’t you even follow simple instructions?”

She’s also not very sympathetic to the stops I make for photography. She calculates an arrival time for each destination. Apparently, my photographic stops throw this off. “Recalculating,” she announces, and you can almost see the virtual eyeball rolling. “You are now fifteen minutes later than the original time-to-destination.” It certainly sounds like she gets more annoyed the more photographic stops I make.

Once today I reached a new highway that wasn’t in Sam’s database. Her display showed me and the car rolling across open fields, and her directions to correct my course were increasingly implausible, until at last the real world and her maps coincided again, and there was peace in the relationship once more.

Like any neurotic relationship there are communication problems, and as I mentioned, a battle for control. But I’ve grown accustomed to the strident, dulcet tones of my Samantha, telling me she is recalibrating, and to go right in 100 meters on a street whose name in Portuguese she has totally mangled—or often, turn in 250 meters on “Road” with no other name. It’s relaxing knowing I can blunder anyplace in this country, more or less, and Sam will get me to where I need to go no matter how lost I am.

Posted in Photography

Blast from the Past: Free Wrecked Blue Couch for House Guests You Hate

Originally published June 1, 2015. Editor’s update: Phyllis eventually had to pay to have the couch hacked into pieces and hauled away. The response to the Craig’s List ad quoted below did not garner any takers for the couch, but did result in a number of people contacting me to say how funny the ad was, and (in several cases) that they had a couch like the one described that could also send unwanted house guests packing.

Wrecked Blue Couch © Harold Davis

Wrecked Blue Couch © Harold Davis

Here’s an ad I wrote for Craig’s List recently about one of the two couches we are trying to get rid of:

Too many folks trying to crash at your place? Let them sleep on this couch and they’ll move on fast! All four of my kids have had their way with this blue couch, and wife now wants to upgrade. It’s not in great shape, note the tear on the right arm fabric, but with a throw over it it still looks half way decent, and I could see it in a man cave or something. Basically, you are getting a wreck—with a width of about six feet. Come take it away for free, and win our thanks!

Not very surprisingly, we’ve had no takers. But it was fun writing the ad copy…

Posted in Photography

Two to Achieve Their Potential, and Two to Photograph Paris, too!

I have two places left in Achieving Your Potential as a Photographer (March 12-13, and ongoing mentoring), and two for Paris Photography in the Spring. These won’t last long, so if you are interested in either please let us know right away!

Achieve Your Potential in 2016

The 2016 edition of Achieving Your Potential As a Photographer is an ongoing mentoring opportunity; this time round we will be following the structured exercises in the workbook that accompanies my new book as well as working over a period of six months to fulfill our potentials. The initial session is scheduled for March 12-13, 2016.

Hall of Mirrors, Prague © Harold Davis

Hall of Mirrors © Harold Davis

Achieving Your Potential as a Photographer—2016 Edition

A Multi-Modal Ongoing Six-Month Workshop with Harold Davis

This workshop presents a unique opportunity for mentoring by Harold Davis in the context of a supportive group environment. Each participant will conclude the workshop with a completed project such as a book, portfolio, or planned exhibition.

Harold states, “I am very fortunate to have met some extremely advanced photographers in my workshops and through my books. But many of these individuals are stuck and have not been able to move ahead. If this sounds like you, I believe I can provide you with the tools and structure to help take you to the next level.”

What some participants said in the past about this workshop:

• “Such a wonderful group. I am truly inspired! Thanks, Harold.”

• “Thank you for provided the tools I need to take my photography up not one notch, but many notches, to the next level indeed!”

• “The Achieving Your Potential workshop has had a substantial impact on my photographic journey. Thanks for the mentoring, assistance, and inspiration.”

• “I particularly liked getting feedback from the group and from Harold regarding my goals and progress each month. As opposed to workshops where you just meet for a fixed time and there is no follow-up, Achieving Your Potential provides a well-thought-out and concrete ongoing follow-up mechanism via the webinars.”

Click here for more information about the workshop, and how to register.

Workbench © Harold Davis

Workbench © Harold Davis

Photographing Paris in the Spring with Harold Davis

Click here to download the Reservation Form.

There’s nothing like photographing Paris in the spring! Let’s spend a week together this May making photos in Paris, and having a great time.

Photography begins with the medium of light, which the artist captures and applies to the canvas in endlessly surprising ways. And what better place to explore this medium than Paris, the City of Light?

Join acclaimed photographer Harold Davis for the experience of a lifetime in Paris, the birthplace of photography. There you’ll have the opportunity to experience firsthand the places and sights that have inspired artists for centuries.

Paris Sunset © Harold Davis

Paris Sunset © Harold Davis

We’ll focus our lenses on Paris in bloom, Paris at night, and Paris in black & white, reinterpreting for ourselves some of the images that have been captured in paint and on film by many great artists, including Daguerre, Monet, Atget, Picasso, and Erwitt. We’ll have a grand time photographing and we’ll return home with many priceless shots to treasure!

Photo tour includes an excursion to Monet’s famous gardens at Giverny, with exclusive after-hours artist access.

Double Rainbow over Paris © Harold Davis

Double Rainbow over Paris © Harold Davis

Harold’s photographs of Paris have appeared in books, exhibitions, and been published worldwide on travel sites.

Here’s what some participants in past Photograph Paris with Harold Davis Workshops had to say:

Eiffel Tower from Sacré Coeur © Harold Davis

Eiffel Tower from Sacré Coeur © Harold Davis

  • “Had an awesome time with Harold and the workshop participants.  Itching to go back.  If you’re a photographer, Paris at night is a ‘Must Do!’.  Put it on your bucket list ‘cause you may not see this in Heaven.”
  • “Photographing Paris at night in the company of a group of fellow photographers had instant appeal.  Inspired by the scenes of Brassai, I imagined myself at the top of the steps at Montmartre, taking wonderful black-and-white images.  I already admired Harold Davis, and had confidence that he would lead us to fantastic places – and he did!  What came as a delightful surprise was the level of talent and variety of approaches that my fellow travelers employed to capture the marvelous churches, gardens, and people of Paris, Giverny, and Fontainebleau.  I learned from every one of them.  And what an agreeable group of travel companions they were! A once-in-a-lifetime experience that I plan to repeat next spring!”
  • “Harold has great skill, without the ego of most master photographers. Travel arrangements were perfect.”
  • “One thing I really liked about the photo tour that Harold set up is that we had plenty of time to photograph in the best locations, and really prioritized when the light would be good.”

Where: The group will be based the centrally located, luxurious and comfortable 4-star Hôtel de l’Abbaye. The Hôtel de l’Abbaye is on the left bank of the Seine, in the heart of the 6th Arondissment, and is located near many of the prime photographic locations such as the Luxembourg Gardens and San Sulpice..

When: Sunday May 1, 2016 (leave US April 30) to Saturday May 7, 2016 (six nights and seven days).

Group Size: This exclusive, small photo workshop tour is limited to ten photographers (non-photographer significant others are also welcome).

Pont Solferino © Harold Davis

Pont Solferino © Harold Davis

Click here for details and theDay-by-day itinerary and here for the Reservation Form. I look forward to photographing Paris with you!

Posted in Workshops

Painterly Effects with Topaz: Free Webinar

Beyond Photography: Painterly Effects with Topaz
Presented by Harold Davis
Tuesday January 12, 2016 at 2PM Pacific Time

SORRY – THERE ARE NO MORE SPACES LEFT. This will be recorded and rebroadcast on YouTube and the Topaz site. If you were able to reserve a space, I suggest you logon early!

Cost: Free
Registration link

2016 is a ‘Year of the Monkey’—so in honor of this new year in which we can expect the unexpected let’s kick it off with an exciting presentation from master photographer and digital artist Harold Davis. This webinar begins with the premise that elegant digital art can be made using photos as the source material and applying tools including Topaz Adjust, Topaz Glow, Topaz Impression, Topaz Simplify, and Topaz Texture Effects. The idea is to go beyond photography and create imagery that has the freedom and wild expressiveness of fine art painting. Harold Davis will show you how to use the Topaz tools to unleash the power and creative freedom of your unbridled imagination!

Beyond the blue light © Harold Davis

Beyond the blue light © Harold Davis

There will be time for a Q&A session following the webinar presentation.

This is a free webinar presentation sponsored by Topaz Labs, but pre-registration is required. Click here to register.

Manarola Painting © Harold Davis

Manarola Painting © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Blast from the Past: Noriko Tries to Poison Me

Originally published November 4, 2013

Well, not really. In actual fact, Noriko took me to a wonderful, varied and seasonal dinner at a restaurant with no external signage in the Gion district of Kyoto. The kind of restaurant, and meal, that tourists can generally only dream of having in Japan.

Fugu via iPhone © Harold Davis

Fugu via iPhone © Harold Davis

I was half way through a tasty dish of some kind of baked fish with a subtle barbecue sauce when Noriko said, “Don’t worry, they are licensed here.”

I must have looked blank, because she continued, “This is Fugu!”

I must have still looked blank, because she said, “You know, Blowfish. It’s also called ‘Pufferfish.’ The poison fish.”

Licensed to what? Licensed to kill?

“There’s no danger,” Noriko continued. “The poison is near the intestines. The only people who die are those who eat the intestines anyway, because they are greedy people and the intestines taste so good. The government licenses people who serve this fish.”

At which point she translated our conversation for the immaculately clad-in-white, smiling and bowing chefs behind the counter, who thought it was hilarious. I pantomimed doubling up and keeling over from the poison, which they thought was even funnier, then allowed as I trusted them.

I told Noriko I wished I’d known about the fish before I’d eaten it so I could have photographed the dish with my iPhone. She said, “In that case, I’ll order it prepared a different way. But after you photograph it, you must eat it, you know.”

You can see in the iPhone shot above that the slices in the second dish of Fugu are so thin they are translucent.

Thank you, Noriko!

Posted in Photography

Blast from the Past: Between Earth and Sky

Originally published September 22, 2008

Between Earth and Sky

Between Earth and Sky, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

On our way home from a sunset-to-night hike on the Tomales Point fork of Point Reyes, Mark and I stopped at the wreck of the Point Reyes fishing trawler. Many people like to photograph this trawler, which is easily accessible outside of Inverness, California.

The week before, at my Point Reyes night photography workshop, I’d been stymied in my idea of stacking photos to produce circular star trails (stymied because it was cloudy). But this time it was clear. The stars were bright, although a little less than on Tomales Point, probably because of the ambient light pollution.

I pointed the camera north, and used a digital fisheye lens to maximize the celestial rotation of the star trails.

First I tested the light with a one minute exposure at ISO 800 at f/3.5. Then I made an eight minute ISO 100 exposure (with in-camera long exposure noise reduction enabled) for the foreground. This image in its entirety is found below (I think it is interesting in its own right, with the still stars at the center and circular star trails around the edges).

Next, I turned noise reduction off, and programmed my Nikon MC-36 remote for twenty exposures, each capture at four minutes, ISO 100, and f/5.6.

It was damp and a bit chilly in the dark, and for a while Mark and I left my camera on autopilot and sat some distance away in my car, listening to the superb and eerie music of Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. After twelve exposures (about 48 minutes) our patience wore out and weariness won. Mark had a plane to catch in the morning for a business meeting, and I’ve been going on fumes since Katie Rose was born. I stopped the automated exposure process, and packed it in.

This morning, I combined the thirteen images in Photoshop using the Statistics script, choosing Maximum as the method for combination. An airplane trail in one of the captures made it into the stack, and I decided to keep this apparent visual anomaly. Finally, I layered in the longer exposure for the detail in the foreground and boat.

[Above: Thirteen captures, all captures Nikon D300, 10.5mm digital fisheye, tripod mounted; one capture 8 minutes at f/3.5 and ISO 100; twelve captures 4 minutes at f/5.6 and ISO 100; star trails created by statistical stacking of 13 exposures; foreground created by layer with the 8 minute exposure using a gradient and layer mask. Below: Nikon D300, 10.5mm digital fisheye, 8 minutes at f/3.5 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Point Reyes Trawler at Eight

View this image larger.

Posted in Photography

Blast from the Past: Sacré Coeur Passage

Originally published June 26, 2013:

La Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre sits high on a hill overlooking Paris. Controversial from long before the start of construction, the design of Sacré Coeur was a response to the supposed “moral decline” of France in the century following the French revolution, with the more proximate cause the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.

If this defeat represented divine punishment, as asserted by Bishop Fournier, then Sacré Coeur was an iconic response by the hard right-wing allied with monarchists and the Catholic church to the democratic rabble of Paris and the commune. This was not the first, nor the last, time that the forces of repression and the church were on the same side against their common enemy, the people when empowered—but it still was a bitter pill for some to swallow standing tall above the city of light.

Sacré Coeur Passage © Harold Davis

Sacré Coeur Passage © Harold Davis

Visited by millions of people a year, Sacré Coeur gets surprisingly little traffic up in the passage that circles the grand dome.  Perhaps the narrow and twisting stairs—all 280 of them—inhibit guests. The views are superb, as you can see in another image of mine from the dome that includes that other Parisian icon, the Eiffel tower.

Up in the passage around the dome of Sacré Coeur, the “rabble” has had its revenge. On the one hand, it is sad to see the elegant surfaces defaced by layer upon layer of graffiti and a general patina of neglect over time. On the other hand, this defilement—at least in part a deliberate statement—stands as mute testament to the true sentiments of many of those who visit: as much as a holy temple, Sacré Coeur is a political symbol created by those who would keep the people in their place.

Patina of Time © Harold Davis

Patina of Time © Harold Davis

Exposure data, Sacré Coeur Passage: 22mm, eight exposures at shutter speeds between 1/20 of a second and 3 seconds, each exposure at f/22 and ISO 200, tripod mounted; exposures processed in Nik HDr Efex Pro and Photoshop, and converted to monochromatic using Photoshop, Topaz Adjust, and Nik Silver Efex Pro; Patina of Time: 82mm, seven exposures at shutter speeds between 1/30 of a second and 1.3 seconds, each exposure at f/22 and ISO 200, tripod mounted; exposures processed in Nik HDr Efex Pro and Photoshop, and converted to monochromatic using Photoshop, Topaz Adjust, and Nik Silver Efex Pro

Posted in France, Monochrome, Paris, Photography

Get Your Camera Off Auto

Once every two or three years I give a session of my Get Your Camera Off Auto all-day workshop. We have a session coming up here in Berkeley, California on Saturday January 23, 2016.

Romanesco Broccoli © Harold Davis

The point of this workshop is to demystify the underlying tools of photography—including exposure, aperture, f-stops, shutter speed, ISO, and focal length—and to demonstrate how they are related. This is a hands-on workshop.

There will be demonstrations and structured exercises in a supportive environment.

Once the concepts are clear, we will work one-on-one with participants to help them understand mentally and physically how to implement these ideas using their individual camera. Participants will be encouraged to apply the concepts that they are learning in conjunction with gaining an appreciation for seeing the world photographically.

If you are someone who thinks they have an affinity for seeing, but whose photos don’t quite match their vision with the camera on automatic, then this is definitely the workshop for you.

Also, this workshop is a great deal of fun, and a stimulus to creativity in other areas of your life in addition to photography!!!

Tuition is $99. To reserve your place, click here for more information, syllabus, and registration.

In a Blue Hour

Posted in Workshops

Positano Morning

The early morning light from my hotel room, the Villa La Tartana, in Positano, Italy was warm and life-affirming. I positioned my camera on the tripod, and bracketed a series of photos to combine to make this image. Back in the USA, we made a 40″ X 60″ print on Moab Slickrock Silver, one of Moab’s wonderful metallic papers, for display at the upcoming West Coast Art and Frame show in Las Vegas.

Positano Morning © Harold Davis

Positano Morning © Harold Davis

Posted in Italy

Davis Family Startup

Now if only I could direct them away from Minecraft and Wizard 101 into something that pays…from left to right in our computer lab for the kids, top row: Julian, Katie Rose. Bottom row: Nicky, Mathew.

Davis Family Startup © Harold Davis

Davis Family Startup © Harold Davis

Posted in Kids

Romanesco Broccoli

Browsing in the produce section of Berkeley Bowl I was transfixed by spiral nature of Romanesco Broccoli, an edible flower in the broccoli family.  The flower’s form approximates a natural fractal because each flower is composed of a series of smaller flowers, each arranged in a logarithmic spiral. This pattern is replicated in smaller sizes at different levels on the flower. The pattern is only an approximate fractal since the pattern eventually ends when the flower size becomes really small. The number of spirals found on the head of Romanesco broccoli is always a Fibonacci number.

Romanesco Broccoli © Harold Davis

Romanesco Broccoli (Black and White) © Harold Davis

I brought a nice head of Romanesco Broccoli home, and photographed it on white seamless using a macro lens with an extension tube to get close enough to show the spirals. The version above is in black and white, with the color version below.

Romanesco Broccoli (color) © Harold Davis

Romanesco Broccoli (color) © Harold Davis

By the way, I recently saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Some Romanesco Broccoli is featured in The Force Awakens. No, it is not the mystical, Fibonacci-driven world that Luke retires to (in case you wondered). The Romanesco Broccoli is a mere extraterrestrial garnish in the exotic drink Rey is handed in the scene in Maz Kanata’s Castle (along with a weird-looking fruit, a Citron, which coincidentally I also photographed recently). I guess the Disney stylists for The Force Awakens also wandered in the produce aisles at Berkeley Bowl!

Posted in Patterns, Photography

Happy New Year!

2016-HD-NewYear

Words to Live and Create By

Being Creative => peace · joy · love · creativity · harmony · beauty · imagination · exploration

Being Loving => freedom · exploration · hugs · prosperity · harmony · happiness · love · friends · family · serendipity · hope · energy · passion

Working with Joy => clarity · persevere · love · courageous · dazzling · focus · fierce · bubbly ·

Being Passionate and Spontaneous => delight · change · electrifying · artistic · creativity · assertive · love · enthusiasm · growth · bounty · hope · brave · spontaneous

Click here for my website; here for my blog; here for workshop info; and here to learn more about my prints.

Posted in Photography

Best of 2015: Backwards and Forwards

As a photographer and artist, I’m the kind of person who would much rather look forward than backward. The next adventure, or the next photo, is always more interesting to me than the completed adventure (or the image that has already been made).

That said, those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it. Taking stock of what one has done in a given year can be a good prelude to ratcheting it up a notch for the next year (and, of course, the coming of a new year is a traditional time to make this inventory). Creating this kind of list is part of the process of establishing a baseline that I explain in Achieving Your Potential As a Photographer.

In this spirit in years gone by I have compiled My Best of 2014 and My Best of 2013. Now, in roughly chronological order, here are some of my best photos and adventures from 2015. In many cases you’ll find a bit about the backstory of the image, and links to the full story about the image on my blog.

By the way, if you are interesting in coming with me on a new photography adventure, there are a very few spaces remaining in Photograph Paris in the Spring. Phyllis and I are also offering two Italian destination photo workshops in the autumn of the new year, Under the Tuscan Skies and Photograph Venice.

New Span of the Bay Bridge

When the new Sheriff comes riding into town, everyone needs to adjust. The same thing is true for photographers when a new public structure goes up, particularly when the change is striking and vast enough, like it or not, to totally change the landscape. When this kind of change happens we must assess the alteration to our familiar landscape, and seek out new vantage points to include the new element in our photographs. Read more.

New Span of the Bay Bridge © Harold Davis

New Span of the Bay Bridge © Harold Davis

Amazing Anemones

Back lighting emphasizes the translucency of the petals, and the transparent colors that are reminiscent of stained-glass. Read more.

Amazing Anemones © Harold Davis

Amazing Anemones © Harold Davis

Flower of Spring’s Desires

Photographed Friday on my light box using my Nikon D810, Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 at f/16 and ISO 64 on the tripod. Eight blended exposures at shutter speeds from 8 seconds to 1/15 of second. Processed over the weekend using Adobe Camera RAW, Photoshop, Nik HDR Efex Pro, Nik Color Efex Pro, Topaz Adjust, and Topaz Simplify.

Please see my FAQ for more info about how I made this image. Read more.

Flowers of Spring's Desire  © Harold Davis

Flowers of Spring’s Desire © Harold Davis

Clematis on Black

To photograph this Clematis Bee’s Jubilee blossom, I placed it on a light box and photographed it straight down using a tripod with a Nikon D810 and my special Zeiss Otus 55mm f1.4 lens. Read more.

Clematis on Black  © Harold Davis

Clematis on Black © Harold Davis

Hall of Shadows

The Oakland 16th Street Station, also called the Central Oakland Station, was built in the early 1900s as a grand terminus for the Southern Pacific Railway. In service until 1994, the station also served as a transportation hub, connecting the local East Bay Electric Railway and Amtrak with the Southern Pacific. Read more.

Hall of Shadows © Harold Davis

Hall of Shadows © Harold Davis

D Ranch

Point Reyes National Seashore is probably unique among the American National Parks in that this public land is shared with working cattle and dairy ranches. These ranches date from the early 1800s and are very much a part of the history of Point Reyes. Many have been in the same family for generations. Read more.

D Ranch, Point Reyes © Harold Davis

D Ranch, Point Reyes © Harold Davis

On Point Reyes in the spring, I photographed the details of the deteriorating buildings in the historic (but abandoned) D Ranch. Walking back towards my car I turned and saw the ranch buildings against a dramatic sky. Read more.

D Ranch (Color) © Harold Davis

D Ranch © Harold Davis

Memory Lane

Certainly, there is something very dramatic about coming upon these trees standing by themselves in the windswept landscape of Point Reyes. Read more.

Memory Lane © Harold Davis

Memory Lane © Harold Davis

Translucency of Rosa and Translucency of Rosa on Black

Translucency of Rosa © Harold Davis

Translucency of Rosa © Harold Davis

Translucency of Rosa on Black © Harold Davis

Translucency of Rosa on Black © Harold Davis

Inside the Old Market Tower (Looking Down and Looking Up)

Inside Prague’s Old Town Square Tower they’ve constructed an elegant spiral ramp, with an elevator in the middle. Read more.

Inside the Old Market Tower - Looking Down © Harold Davis

Inside the Old Market Tower – Looking Down © Harold Davis

Inside the Old Market Tower - Looking Up © Harold Davis

Inside the Old Market Tower – Looking Up © Harold Davis

Spires of Prague

I’ve never seen such a veritable cacophony of spires in a European city as in Prague. These wonderful spires, or towers, help to impart Prague’s unusual and distinctive flavor. What is it about upright towers reaching for the sky that appeals to the engineers among humanity? Wait, hold that thought! Read more.

Spires of Prague © Harold Davis

Spires of Prague © Harold Davis

House of Mirrors

On top of Petrinske Sady (Petrin Hill) in Prague, Czech Republic is a tower built to replicate the Eiffel Tower at 1/5 scale. From the top of the tower, it is one of the best views of Prague, and apparently the place in Prague to take a romantic date for a kiss. Next to the foot of the Petrin Tower is a maze and House of Mirrors. Read more.

House of Mirrors, Prague © Harold Davis

House of Mirrors, Prague © Harold Davis

Strahov Monastery Library

Under the communists the library was turned into a National Literature Memorial. After the velvet revolution, the Strahov Monastery was returned to the Premonstratensian diocese, with restoration still underway in the famous libraries and also the monks devotional efforts to brewing quality beer. Read more.

Strahov Monastery Library © Harold Davis

Strahov Monastery Library © Harold Davis

Bend in the Neckar River

On a great bend in the Neckar River, about 15 kilometers up-river from Heidelberg, Germany lies the town of Neckarsteinach. Four dramatic castles sit atop the crags overlooking the Neckar. Julian, one of my workshop participants, brought me here the day I was flying home, and together we explored the area. Read more.

Bend in the Neckar River © Harold Davis

Bend in the Neckar River © Harold Davis

Path beside the Rhine

The Rhine has been navigated for thousands of years, since Roman times, and the channels have been straightened and broadened. The river used the meander much more with wetlands. These banks of the old Rhine have been preserved as park lands in places, and it is here we went with our cameras! Read more.

Path beside the Rhine © Harold Davis

Path beside the Rhine © Harold Davis

Still Life in Silver Bowl

Sometimes the beautiful things are all around us, like this group of fruit in a reflective bowl. Read more.

Still Life in Silver Bowl © Harold Davis

Still Life in Silver Bowl © Harold Davis

Beneath the Pont de la Concorde

The modernism of the underpinnings of this bridge over the Seine River in Paris, France belies the ornate fancifulness of the bridge from above. This is one of the joys of photographing in Paris—styles with huge inherent differences are cheek and jowl together, and somehow work in harmony. Read more.

Beneath the Pont de la Concorde © Harold Davis

Beneath the Pont de la Concorde © Harold Davis

Forest Reflection

The underlying photography in this image consists of two photographs of trees reflected in a puddle that I made in the Parc de Sceaux in suburban Paris, France with the camera on a tripod. One photo was made when the water was still, so the reflections of the trees were very clear. The other was made from the same position when it was windy. Read more.

Forest Reflection © Harold Davis

Forest Reflection © Harold Davis

Maple Leaves

Maple Leaves © Harold Davis

Maple Leaves © Harold Davis

Old Train Bridge

I photographed this old train bridge in Maine, with the idea of extending the apparent length of the bridge visually as far as I could. Read more.

Old Train Bridge © Harold Davis

Old Train Bridge © Harold Davis

Reflections in a Maine Pond

Reflections in a Maine Pond © Harold Davis

Reflections in a Maine Pond © Harold Davis

Inside the Pemaquid Lighthouse

Today I visited Pemaquid Point, Maine and its well-known lighthouse. This is still an operational lighthouse, run by the United States Coastguard. After I visited the top of the tower, the docent was kind enough to let me set my tripod up under the spiral stairs leading up. Read more.

Inside the Pemaquid Lighthouse © Harold Davis

Inside the Pemaquid Lighthouse © Harold Davis

Monhegan Storm

Monhegan Island is a small island twelve miles off the coast of Maine. The island clings to the edge of the ocean, and the coast of the mainland is only a smudge at the edge of vision. Read more.

Monhegan Storm © Harold Davis

Monhegan Storm © Harold Davis

Mandahlia

© Harold Davis

Mandahlia © Harold Davis

 

Shores of the Inland Sea

In Japan, there’s an aesthetic that embraces remarkable beauty, and at the same time is able to create landscapes that bear a passing resemblance to Hell itself, from the vast human ant piles of the urban Japan to the industry on the shores of the Inland Sea. Read more.

Shores of the Inland Sea © Harold Davis

Shores of the Inland Sea © Harold Davis

Feathers

Feathers © Harold Davis

Feathers © Harold Davis

Spider Web Bokeh

The other day dawned here in Berkeley, California with low, clinging fog. It was like being in the middle of a cloud. The thing about this kind of weather is that it’s rare—and wonderful—to have the water droplets in the fog physically on myriad objects. Read more.

Spider Web Bokeh © Harold Davis

Spider Web Bokeh © Harold Davis

Low Geostationary and Decaying Orbits around the Clematis Inversion

Low Geostationary and Decaying Orbits around the Clematis Inversion © Harold Davis

Low Geostationary and Decaying Orbits around the Clematis Inversion © Harold Davis

Ponte Vechio Night Reflections

How amazing it is to leave California in the afternoon, transit through an airline haze of mediocre movies and reading materials, and more-or-less the next morning to arrive in Italy! Read more.

Ponte Vecchio Night Reflections © Harold Davis

Ponte Vecchio Night Reflections © Harold Davis

Manarola

I am particularly fond of the patterns of buildings and rooftops you see in European towns and cities. Read more.

Manarola © Harold Davis

Manarola © Harold Davis

Riomaggiore

Sunbathing on the boat ramp in Riomaggiore harbor could be La Dolce Vita—the sweet life, and the name of a 1960 Fellini film. Except that the angle of repose causes most of these couples to anchor themselves using wood slots to stop from sliding into the water. Read more.

Riomaggiore, 2015 © Harold Davis

Riomaggiore, 2015 © Harold Davis

Lost City

Adjacent to the center of picturesque Sorrento, Italy two chasms meet. Long ago, rivers in these gorges flowed cleanly down to the ocean, and were the original settlement in the area. Over time, and thanks in part to construction of the new town of Sorrento, the area became isolated from the harbor and increasingly damp. In modern times, it has been abandoned to the ferns and other vegetation, although the old mill shown in these photos was in use until the late 1800s. Read more.

Lost City © Harold Davis

Lost City © Harold Davis

Gardens of the Villa San Michele

At the end of the 1800s an eccentric Swedish physician with aristocratic connections, Axel Munthe, began work on his “dream house” on the island of Capri in Italy. The location was a ledge about 1,000 feet above the town of Capri, and adjacent to the small village of Anacapri. Read more.

Gardens of the Villa San Michele © Harold Davis

Gardens of the Villa San Michele © Harold Davis

View from Ravello

Ravello sits about 1,000 feet above the town of Amalfi on the stupendous Amalfi Coast of Italy. Back in the 1200s and 1300s, when Amalfi was a geopolitical powerhouse, Ravello was the summer home for the Amalfiese aristocracy. Read more.

View from Ravello © Harold Davis

View from Ravello © Harold Davis

Piazza San Marco

During daylight hours, and well into the evening in warm months, San Marco is of course jam-packed. Competing classical schmaltz bands strive to drive tourists into over-priced outdoor cafes. Public events are staged in the square. But at night, when it is foggy and chill, the piazza empties. Read more.

Piazza San Marco © Harold Davis

Piazza San Marco © Harold Davis

Bridge of Sighs at Night

The Ponte dei Sospiri, or Bridge of Sighs, is one of the most famous landmarks in Venice, Italy. It connects the Doge’s Palace with a prison on the opposite side of the canal. The name, coined by Lord Byron, comes from the idea that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken across to their grim cells, often to remain imprisoned for the rest of their lives. Read more.

Bridge of Sighs at Night © Harold Davis

Bridge of Sighs at Night © Harold Davis

Venice of Dreams

Coming into Venice after a long day on the train from Naples was a dream-like experience. From southern almost summer time I was transported into an early November dark world of chill fog that hit me like a blast as I walked from the train to the boat landing on the Grand Canal. Read more.

Venice of Dreams © Harold Davis

Venice of Dreams © Harold Davis

Tall Ships

On a Venetian morning socked in with fog, my friend Mauro and I took the vaporetto across to the island of San Giorgio. The normally inspiring view from the top of the San Giorgio campanile was a blank white wall. But the boats in the nearby harbor were moving slightly, putting me in mind of sepia Dutch nautical drawings. Read more.

Tall Ships © Harold Davis

Tall Ships © Harold Davis

Manhattan from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade

I was in New York City just now for 48 hours, give or take an hour or two. It’s hard for me to visit New York without sensing a bit of personal dislocation. It’s as though there is one Harold who stayed in New York, where I grew up, and had a photography studio for a number of years. There’s another Harold who moved out of “the city” twenty-odd years ago, as in fact I did on the time line that feels most like reality. Read more.

Manhattan from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade © Harold Davis

Manhattan from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade © Harold Davis

Cross Bronx Expwy

I visited upper Manhattan, where I walked across the newly reopened High Bridge to the Bronx at sunset, and made a photo of traffic jammed like a pinball game on the Cross Bronx Expressway (and, why isn’t “Cross Bronx” hypenated?). Read more.

Cross Bronx Expwy © Harold Davis

Cross Bronx Expwy © Harold Davis

In a Blue Hour

Over the weekend on Saturday I led a fun workshop sponsored by the Point Reyes Field Institute on Point Reyes photographing Waves. I had some very enthusiastic participants and I think we all had a good time. It was fun to be leading a workshop so close to home compared to my recent travels, and there is no doubt that Point Reyes National Seashore is a visual resource and national park second to none, no matter how far one might roam. Read more.

In a Blue Hour © Harold Davis

In a Blue Hour © Harold Davis

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