Search Results for: alstromeria

Light Box Floral Composition with Sunflowers, Irises, Alstromerias, and Glads

I’ve been taking advantage of my interlude at home (being at home for me has become increasingly rare in recent years and hence an unexpected pleasure) to photograph flowers on the light box. It’s fun doing this surrounded by family, as in “Don’t move, Daddy’s exposing!”

I photographed this relatively complex composition using my Photographing Flowers for Transparency set of techniques in two panels, with six exposures each. In post-production, first I combined the exposures, then I put the two panels together to create the composition.

Floral Composition © Harold Davis

I used an LAB color invert adjustment, and some fairly simple LAB tweaks, to created an inverted version of the original composition, on a black background rather than on white.

Floral Composition Inversion © Harold Davis

What do I do when I am at home fooling around with flowers? Here are some other recent stories: Black Dahlia; Rose Rose in Rose and Black and White; Pretty in Pink; and Flowers for Kwangsik. Also check out Of Beauty and Art, The Long and Winding Road Takes the Path Less Traveled; and an announcement of an upcoming exhibition of my work (opening November 9, 2017).

Posted in Flowers

Alstromeria World

Alstromeria World

Alstromeria World, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

I photographed this handsome bouquet of Peruvian Lilies—Alstromeria—straight down with a fisheye lens with the idea of creating a round world effect using the flowers.

Fisheye close-ups of flowers are surprisingly difficult to pull-off from a technical perspective. Here are a couple of other shots that I think work: Lensbaby Fisheye and Passiflora. Here’s another cool shot of Alstromeria—they are beautiful flowers indeed!

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Alstromeria Medley

Alstromeria Medley on White

Alstromeria Medley on White, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Briefly noted: While photographing the Helleborus, I also placed these alstromeria blossoms on the lightbox; the black variation is a luminance inversion of the original capture.

Alstromeria Medley on Black

View this image larger.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Alstromeria

I’ve never blogged this photogram of a Peruvian Lily (Alstromeria), and looking at it again I think it’s worthy.

Posted in Flowers, Photograms, Photography

Spiral of Flower Karma

To create this image, I soaked some chrysanthemum flowers (just the blossoms) and alstromeria (Peruvian Lily) petals overnight to make the flowers pliable. The fuchsias come fresh from my garden. The spiral was as large as I could create using two old, used baking sheets as the background.

Spiral of Flower Karma © Harold Davis

Spiral of Flower Karma © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Sunflower Mandala

The Peruvian lily (botanically alstroemeria), or “Lily of the Incas,” was once limited to two small ranges in South America, one blooming in the winter (Chile), and one in the summer (Brazil). Hybridization across the winter and summer species, starting in the 1980s in Holland, led to today’s flower that is a staple of the modern commercial flower industry—and is green and growing most of the year in our garden. The genus alstroemeria was named after the Swedish baron Clas Alströmer, a close friend of Linnaeus, he of the classifications.

Sunflower Mandala (Black) © Harold Davis

Petals from the alstroemeria are wonderfully translucent, colorful, and a great palette for my light box compositions when the blossoms are dissected. As a last light box hurrah before my month-long upcoming trip, I pulled a collection of alstroemeria petals apart, and arranged them around a sunflower. Katie, wandering through the living room, took a look at the proceedings—and indicated her disapproval of the deconstruction of a “living thing,” the Peruvian lily flowers.

Sunflower Mandala (White) © Harold Davis

Posted in Abstractions, Flowers

Top Photography Blog Honor; More Fusion X-Rays

I am honored to be included as one of the top fifteen photography blogs in the English language worldwide. This is good company to be in. Thanks for the award!

Moving on, here are two more fusion light box (Flowers for Transparency) and x-ray images, one of Cala Lilies and the other of Alstroemerias. It has been really fun working with Julian to create these images, and I look forward to using conventional cameras and medical x-ray imaging gear to make and process more imagery.

Cala Lilies Fusion X-Ray © Harold Davis

Alstroemerias X-Ray Fusion © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, X-Ray

New Year’s Day Design

I spent part of my day on January 1, 2018 making a floral design on a light box while listening to Bob Dylan (still hard to think of him as a Nobel-prize laureate!). Phyllis helped me separate Alstromeria petals by color and shape, and I arranged the petals in concentric rings around an Asiatic Lily. This is somewhat the same idea as A Palette of Petals.

Ring Theory on Black © Harold Davis

Ring Theory on White © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers

A Palette of Petals

On Christmas Day, the guests had left. The presents were unwrapped and enjoyed. OK, I admit I’d heard the yodeling pickle (a gag gift that Julian got for Mathew) one too many times. The chocolate coins had been unwrapped and demolished. The kids headed for their headsets and computer games of galactic conquest.

Floral Mandala on Black © Harold Davis

In the peace that descended, I got out my light box and placed it on a low table in the living room. Phyllis helped me work through two bunches of Alstromeria, gently taking the petals off the flowers, and separating the petals into four categories.

Floral Mandala on White © Harold Davis

With my “palette of petals,” I arranged the mandala shape shown here. Nicky and Mathew helped me carefully lift the light box to the floor. With the added height I was now able to obtain, I photographed the composition with my Zeiss 55mm Otus using my Nikon D850, and processed a blend of photos for high-key HDR. The white floral mandala that resulted is shown immediately above.

Taking the image on white, I used an L-channel inversion in Photoshop’s LAB color to place the mandala on a black background, as shown at the beginning of this story.

Happy holidays to one and all, and may good will reign privately and publicly!

Posted in Flowers, Photography

It Starts with a Petal and Ends with a Twist of Fate

It started with two wonderful bunches of alstromerias (“Peruvian Lilies”), one purple and one yellow. On the alstromeria flower, the blossoms have exterior petals that are mostly solid colors (e.g., somewhat translucent, but without markings). In addition, there are usually three interior petals on each blossom that are mostly “tiger striped”—and great for transparency on the light box. You can get a good close-up look at both kinds of alstromeria petals in another of my blog stories.

Alstromeria Petal Mandala © Harold Davis

After we’d enjoyed the flowers for a while, I decided to use the interior, tiger-striped petals to make a pattern. My idea was to create two concentric spirals, one from the purple petals, and one from the yellow petals.

A Simple Twist of Fate © Harold Davis

This is a design that is somewhat maze-like in nature, and I have been drawing this double spiral as long as I can remember (essentially, this is a floral version of the doodle that got me through the boredom of law school many years ago!). The finished version, depending on how you look at things (and I have heard all of these by now), can be a maze, the spiral galaxy, a school of fish, human spermatozoa, a giant’s fingerprint—or even (in the school of a pipe sometimes just being a pipe!)—flower petals.

A Simple Twist of Fate 2 © Harold Davis

With the version on white (shown at the top of this story) I thought I was done, but of course, for the wicked as for the artist, there is never any rest! No, I in truth I am not seriously wicked. Alas, as much as I might like to be a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “bad boy” I am probably not wicked at all.

I had great fun inverting the original image in LAB color in Photoshop, creating a straight “translation” of whites to black and blacks to white (the “straight” LAB inversion is the first A Simple Twist of Fate image above).

A Simple Twist of Fate 3 © Harold Davis

Looking at the simple inversion, I immediately I thought of Paul Klee, and color field painters such as Kenneth Noland and Larry Poons from the 1960s. This made me feel impelled to have fun with more complex LAB manipulations, shown here with a black background.

As you can see, it all started with a flower petal, and ended in a simple twist of fate! Of course, the intermediate steps required a certain delicacy in handling and “drawing” with flower petals, not to mention expertise in high-key HDR photography, Photoshop workflow, and creative uses of LAB.

A Simple Twist of Fate 4 © Harold Davis

Which version is your favorite (and how twisted is fate?)?

I am looking forward to printing these six images as an ensemble. A very special thanks (and a very deep discount) to any of my collectors (or a new collector) who would like to place an advance order for one of these prints—or, better yet, for the suite of all six prints (contact me to discuss, or if interested, for details of this offer)!

A Simple Twist of Fate 5 © Harold Davis

Posted in Patterns, Photograms

Pretty in Pink

The upper image shows Anemones and Alstromerias (“Peruvian lilies”) from my garden, both pink flowers, and if you look carefully, two butterflies as well. I used a slightly modified technique for Pretty in Pink when I photographed it the other day, compared to my orthodox Photographing Flowers for Transparency approach, because I photographed the composition in three separate batches (anemones, alstromerias, and butterflies) and then combined the sections in post-production—which is also the approach I took with Practicum Perluciditatem, shown at the bottom of this story, although the visual point of the image (made back in 2015) is quite different since it is really about translucency.

Pretty in Pink © Harold Davis

 

Practicum Perluciditatem © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers

Design for a Stained Glass Window Made of Flowers

To create this design for a stained glass window, I started by laying down a series of mallow blossoms in a loose spiral (the magenta flowers). Next, I filled in the reverse portion of the spiral with “two-week” iris blossoms, using the three-pronged stamen of the flower as a radial sub-pattern. Finally, I filled in most of the white spaces with “tiger-striped” petals from the alstromerias in our garden. Other than the alstromerias (“Peruvian Lilies”), the pattern is made up of California natives!

Design for a Stained Glass Window Made of Flowers © Harold Davis

To reverse the pattern on a black background (below), I inverted the L-channel in LAB. As I’ll teach in my upcoming Flower Photography Intensive here in Berkeley and in Maine the first week of August, my technique is to then apply a curve adjustment to bring up the petals selectively. Next, I convert back to RGB, and selectively paste in the LAB three-channel inversion using the Exclusion blending mode.

Design for a Stained Glass Window Made of Flowers (on Black) © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photoshop Techniques

Floral Tondo

Tondo is a Renaissance term for a circular painting. To create my floral tondo, I started with a circular pattern on my light box. I arranged an array of petals—mostly alstromeria but also some rose petals and Agapanthus blossoms—around the central core of a rose. I then photographed the composition for transparency (see my FAQ for more info on this technique).

Floral Tondo 1 © Harold Davis

Floral Tondo 1 © Harold Davis

In post-production, after processing my high-key layer stack, I added a black background to emphasize the tondo effect, and used the Warp transform in Photoshop to make the flowers seem to slightly wrap around the white space created by the circular background.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

My Best of 2014

2014 has been an exciting year for me photographically, from many viewpoints, including the geographic and chronological. When I am not suffering from temporal displacement syndrome (otherwise known as jet lag), being lost in time and space has its virtues for a photographer—since so much of photography is about time and geographic locale, and feeling disconnected from each allows for much fruitful meditation, as well as consideration of the differences between cultures.

Compiling my annual best list of photos is a difficult exercise, but it helps me put the year in perspective, and last year’s Best of 2013 has remained one of the most popular stories on my blog throughout the subsequent year.

You are welcome to comment at the end of this story; also, please feel free to add a link in your comment to your own Best of 2014 photos. Editing is one of the most important aspects of the craft of photography, and compiling your own annual best list is a great way to exercise your editing skills.

This is my year in pictures. I am going to start with some flowers because, at home or abroad, I always enjoy creating botanical imagery. Here are some of my personal favorite flowers from the year, with other subject matter and places following the botanicals:

White Poppy © Harold Davis

White Poppy © Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

Tulips on White © Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

Tulip Panorama © Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

Tulips 1 © Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

Red Tulip, Giverny © Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

Into the Vortex of the Universe © Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

High-Key Tulips © Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

Flowering Quince © Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

Bounty of the Garden © Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

Alstromeria Ballet © Harold Davis

Related stories: Flowers Category on the blog; White PoppyWe Happy Flower Few; Trio of Tulips at Giverny; Harold Davis posters from Editions Limited; Photographing Flowers for Transparency; Flowering Quince; What Flowers Are These?

There’s a natural progression from photographing flowers to Paris in the spring. Rainbows seem a good place to start. I was lucky enough to be out on the Pont Solferino footbridge as a spring rainstorm was coming to an end, and to capture this double rainbow over Paris and the Seine River.

Double Rainbow over Paris

Double Rainbow over Paris © Harold Davis

Underneath the Pont Solferino there was action as well. I thought it looked like a stairway to heaven:

Pont Solferino © Harold Davis

Pont Solferino © Harold Davis

On this trip to Paris my group stayed near the Seine, so photographing along the banks of the river and under the bridges was natural—generally using an exposure that played on time and motion. This one is a long exposure from Under the Pont de la Concorde:

Under the Pont de la Concorde © Harold Davis

Under the Pont de la Concorde © Harold Davis

Worth noting: for the first time, iPhone captures are creeping into my personal bests! I captured this image of Les Deux Magots, the famous St Germaine-des-Pres haunt of Hemingway and other literati back when one could afford to be bohemian in Paris, using my iPhone camera, and gleefully processed it using the latest apps to look old-fashioned to match the traditional costume of the waiter.

Les Deux Magots © Harold Davis

Les Deux Magots © Harold Davis

Back to the banks of the Seine River, in Behind the Wall I played with camera motion (rather than subject motion).

Behind the Wall © Harold Davis

Behind the Wall © Harold Davis

Any way you slice it, Paris is a great city for night photography. I enjoyed the chance to shoot the skyline at dusk again from the Tour Montparnasse in Paris Sunset.

Paris Sunset © Harold Davis

Paris Sunset © Harold Davis

Of course, the Pyramide in the central court of the Louvre is a wonderful subject for night photography, even if photographing Night at the Louvre does involve an occasional  cat-and-mouse game with the tripod gendarmerie.

Pyramide © Harold Davis

Pyramide © Harold Davis

You can see more of my Paris photography in the Paris category on my blog. I do also love to photograph the gardens that are a short excursion from Paris. An iPhone capture, and a more formal version, of one of the famous green bridges in Monet’s glorious garden at Giverny are shown below.

Giverny Waterlogue Watercolor © Harold Davis

Giverny Waterlogue Watercolor © Harold Davis

Giverny © Harold Davis

Giverny © Harold Davis

Related stories: Giverny Waterlogue Watercolor; Giverny.

The Parc de Sceaux is accessible from Paris via the RER (suburban railway). To understand the title of this image, Ghosts in the Enchanted Garden, you’ll need to look at it carefully!

Ghosts in the Enchanted Garden © Harold Davis

Ghosts in the Enchanted Garden © Harold Davis

It was a great pleasure in May to begin to explore the southwest of France. This is a region I enjoyed immensely, for the scenery and history—and, no surprise, the food. I hope to be back. Here’s the Pont Valentre in Cahors photographed conventionally, and captured via my iPhone and processed using the iPhone Waterlogue app :

Valentre Bridge © Harold Davis

Valentre Bridge © Harold Davis

Pont Valentre Waterlogue © Harold Davis

Pont Valentre via Waterlogue © Harold Davis

Related stories: Valentre Bridge and Impregnable.

Making my way to an overlook above a Bend in the Dordogne River on a misty day, I carefully shot the multiples needed to create a panorama.

Bend in the River © Harold Davis

Bend in the River © Harold Davis

Visiting Bourges, I was impressed with the still-unfinished grand cathedral, a World Heritage site and one of the most impressive examples of 13th century high Gothic style—but more impressed with the light on the cathedral as seen through my Window in Bourges!

Window in Bourges © Harold Davis

Window in Bourges © Harold Davis

Related story: France category on my blog.

Back home, I photographed the sacred and the profane; namely, San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, a restored temple to Henry Ford’s assembly line, and models in motion. I particularly enjoyed choreographing in-camera multiple exposure techniques with models to create striking, painterly effects.

Graced with Light at Grace Cathedral © Harold Davis

Graced with Light at Grace Cathedral © Harold Davis

Ford Richmond Plant © Harold Davis

Ford Richmond Plant © Harold Davis

Tender Dance (via iPhone) © Harold Davis

Tender Dance (via iPhone) © Harold Davis

Wheel of Life © Harold Davis

Wheel of Life © Harold Davis

Falling © Harold Davis

Falling © Harold Davis

Dance of the Seven Veils #2 © Harold Davis

Dance of the Seven Veils #2 © Harold Davis

Passion © Harold Davis

Passion © Harold Davis

Les Desmoiselles © Harold Davis

Les Desmoiselles © Harold Davis

What rough beast? © Harold Davis

What rough beast? © Harold Davis

Kali © Harold Davis

Kali © Harold Davis

Gates after Rodin

Gates after Rodin © Harold Davis

Related stories: Tender Dance; Wheel of Life; Falling; Dance of the Seven Veils #2; Passion; Les Desmoiselles; What Rough Beast; Kali; A Rorschach for MFAs.

Over the summer I taught flower photography and digital black & white in Heidelberg, Germany. I had a great group of students, and a wonderful time getting to know Heidelberg and exploring the area.

The Old Bridge in Heidelberg was the first bridge across the Neckar River, and is still in much use today. It’s a great subject for black and white.

Alte Brucke, Heidelberg © Harold Davis

Alte Brucke, Heidelberg © Harold Davis

In contrast, the Great Hall at the old campus in Heidelberg is not much used except ceremonially; I was lucky to be able to take my time photographing in this historic place.

Great Hall, Heidelberg © Harold Davis

Great Hall, Heidelberg © Harold Davis

My hosts made sure I visited many local attractions, including Speyer cathedral in a city along the Rhine River not far from Heidelberg.

Speyer Cathedral (via iPhone) © Harold Davis

Speyer Cathedral (via iPhone) © Harold Davis

While I was in Germany, Germany won the World Cup. This iPhone still life composition of refracted wine glasses shows just a small bit of the celebrating that went on.

Wine Glasses © Harold Davis

Wine Glasses © Harold Davis

Related stories: Germany category on my blog; Cheap shots; More cheap shots.

My next trip was to New York for some meetings and appearances related to a photography trade show. I’m of the general opinion that life in New York City has some resemblance to a stage show. At the very least, New Yorkers are definitely into appearances—so when I was able to sneak away from business and practice my craft of photography in Central Park at night it was fitting that New York seemed to me to be a stage.

Bethesda Fountain © Harold Davis

Bethesda Fountain © Harold Davis

In Barcelona, I shot straight up at the amazing ceiling of Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, and captured an almost endless internal spiral staircase in black and white.

Sagrada Familia © Harold Davis

Sagrada Familia © Harold Davis

Stair in the Sagrada © Harold Davis

Stair in the Sagrada © Harold Davis

Traffic and the lighting of a fountain on the Gran Via gave me a chance to practice photographing car trails at night in Barcelona, while the odd positioning of my hotel room gave a peculiar perspective for my 15mm lens in the crooked, old streets of the Gothic Quarter.

Gran Via © Harold Davis

Gran Via © Harold Davis

Gotic Quarter © Harold Davis

Gotic Quarter © Harold Davis

In Morocco, I enjoyed photographing the great outdoor marketplace, the Jemaa-al-Fna, in Marrakech at night and the sand Kasbahs on the far side of the Atlas Mountains. When it rained in Rabat, my iPhone was ready to help me capture the view through the bus window.

Rain in Rabat © Harold Davis

Rain in Rabat © Harold Davis

Jemaa-al-Fna © Harold Davis

Jemaa-al-Fna © Harold Davis

Market in Marrakech © Harold Davis

Market in Marrakech © Harold Davis

Castle Made of Sand © Harold Davis

Castle Made of Sand © Harold Davis

Related stories: Jemaa-al-Fna; Market in Marrakech; Castle Made of Sand. After delays at Casablanca airport, I snapped an iPhone shot of leaving Morocco both lyrical and indicative of some travel fatigue.

Goodbye Morocco © Harold Davis

Goodbye Morocco © Harold Davis

Back home, I settled in to prove that one can make photos of the mundane as well as the marvelous; hence this image of a Venetian blind in my kitchen, drawn to allow bright sunlight to creep through.

Blind © Harold Davis

Blind © Harold Davis

Giving a Waves workshop on Point Reyes, California in December I was lucky to find a break in relentless rains and a stunning day for photography along the open Pacific Ocean.

Waves © Harold Davis

Waves © Harold Davis

Sunset at Point Reyes Head

Sunset at Point Reyes Head © Harold Davis

Storm at Sea

Storm at Sea © Harold Davis

Related story: Photographing Waves.

Coming a full circle, as almost befits a spiral, my last photo is of a Nautilus Shell, shot in my studio. Apart from the iPhone images, my photography has greatly benefited from a high-resolution full frame DSLR sensor paired with some excellent glass from my sponsor Zeiss. In the case of this Nautilus, I used the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4.

Nautilus © Harold Davis

Nautilus © Harold Davis

Related link: Monochrome category on my blog.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this story, please feel free to comment. Please also consider creating your own best-of list, it is a great way to learn more about your work, and to practice your editing skills!

Posted in Best Of, Photography

Flash Craftsy Sale

Photographing Flowers is the acclaimed online Craftsy course with Harold Davis. Sign up with a special 50% off today for yourself or as a gift!

ALL Craftsy classes (choose from an extensive catalog) for just $19.99 or less now through December 25th, 2014. Click here to take advantage of this special flash sale.

Rainy Day © Harold Davis

Rainy Day © Harold Davis

Sintra Garden © Harold Davis

Sintra Garden © Harold Davis

Alstromeria Ballet © Harold Davis

Alstromeria Ballet © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography