Search Results for: bixby

Big Sur Coast from Bixby Bridge Overlook

As sunset turns to dusk, and dusk to night, colors linger on the towering westward-facing Pacific cliffs of the Big Sur peninsula. Long after the landscape is a murky, dark gray to human eyes, the camera explores, captures, and records these gorgeous colors.

Big Sur Coast from Bixby Bridge Overlook © Harold Davis

Big Sur Coast from Bixby Bridge Overlook © Harold Davis

Photographed looking south from the overlook at the north end of Bixby Bridge about an hour after sunset with my camera on the tripod. Three combined exposures at 78mm focal length: 90 seconds and f/8 at ISO 64; 90 seconds and f/8 at ISO 200; 30 seconds and f/8 at ISO 64. Exposures processed in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) and Photoshop, using Nik and Topaz filters, and my own LAB color techniques.

Related stories: Bixby Bridge; Bixby Bridge Blues; Bixby Bridge by Starlight.

Posted in Landscape, Photography

Bixby Bridge by Starlight

I’ve enjoyed photographing the dramatic Bixby Bridge on the Big Sur coast at night over the years, and it is always fun to take a workshop group to the location. Getting out of the car, it is hard at first to see much in the inky blackness except that it is a long way down to the Pacific Ocean. As things resolve, it becomes clear that one can create interesting images, provided one keeps the camera open long enough, since there really isn’t much light. But in this case the camera sees more than we do!

Bixby Bridge by Starlight © Harold Davis

Bixby Bridge by Starlight © Harold Davis

Exposure information: Nikon D800, Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 lens, ten exposures, each exposure at four minutes, f/2.8 and ISO 500, tripod mounted; exposures stacked using the Photoshop CC Statistics script.

Related stories: Bixby Bridge Blues; Steep Slope; Big Sur Coast.

 

Posted in Digital Night, Landscape, Photography

Bixby Bridge Blues

Bixby Bridge 2

Bixby Bridge 2, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

I crossed the road for another view of Bixby Bridge as the night turned to deeper blue and the nostalgic lines of car lights crossed the scene like ghosts in the wind and fog.

Posted in Digital Night, Photography

Bixby Bridge

Bixby Bridge 1

Bixby Bridge 1, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

On a recent foggy night, I photographed Bixby Bridge, one of the most iconic bridges on US 1 along the Big Sur coast of California.

Things started to get good, and I started to get really cold, when my exposure time reached 30 seconds. The upper red light you see as a line hanging the air is the tail light of a camper that was slowly driving across this 1930s bridge.

Exposure data: 16mm, 30 seconds at f/7.1 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.

Posted in Digital Night, Landscape, Photography

Printed, Signed, and Curing

This batch of prints are signed. We’ll let them cure a couple of days, then they will be ready for their new homes! Printed on Juniper Baryta, with special thanks to Moab Paper, and to my collectors.

"Bixby Bridge at Night" curing © Harold Davis

“Bixby Bridge at Night” curing © Harold Davis

Prints curing © Harold Davis

Prints curing © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Lost Coast of California

Black Sands Beach, Lost Coast © Harold Davis

Black Sands Beach © Harold Davis

Some two hundred miles north of San Francisco, California lies a wilderness area known as the Lost Coast. In these ever-more-crowded times, the sobriquet “Lost Coast” is often used with some affection to encompass an almost entirely empty wilderness; but back in day when efforts to populate this stubborn, obdurate, and unyielding shore came to nothing, the use of the descriptive phrase surely was indicative of a measure of defeat and unhappiness.

This is the most wild, undeveloped, and remote portion of the California coast, and it is surprising that it lies so close to San Francisco.

Starting in Orange County, Highway 1 (California SR 1) doggedly follows the coast of California north, passing through Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, the Central Coast, and Big Sur. In Big Sur, a land almost as topographically rugged as the Lost Coast, Highway 1 came near to meeting its match, but finally barreled through in a series of bridges built between 1919 and 1937. (You can click here for some of my images of Bixby Bridge along the Big Sur coast.)

Further north, above San Francisco, Highway 1 follows the Mendocino shore until the town of Rockport, where it turns inland to avoid the steep mountains of the King Range and the Lost Coast.

Lost Coast of California © Harold Davis

Lost Coast of California © Harold Davis

Extending for about sixty miles, the Lost Coast region sits astride Mendocino and Humboldt counties, and administratively is mostly part of the King Range National Conservation Area (administered by the Federal BLM) and Sinkyone Wilderness Park (under the State of California). There’s one decent paved east-west road that more-or-less bisects the Lost Coast, ending in the settlement of Shelter Cove on a small plateau above the ocean (population 693 as of the 2010 census).

It is to be noted that the other roads in this area are often of the muddy, four-wheel-drive variety, and that “shelter” and “cove” are relative terms. There’s no such thing as a sheltered cove along this wild-and-woolly coast, no breakwaters, no piers, and no docking or anchoring in the water.

Needle Rock © Harold Davis

Needle Rock © Harold Davis

The Lost Coast Trail (LCT) runs the length of Lost Coast, although the most common backpacking trip is north from Black Sands Beach in Shelter Cove to Mattole Point. With constant ups and downs, this is not a hiking trail for the faint of heart; an eye to the tide tables is essential, as portions of the trail are impassable at high tide.

The ocean here is a hungry sea. You don’t turn your back on it. Rip tides, sneaker waves, and undertow come standard. Walking along Black Sands Beach, the waves rumble on small-sized gravel, hissing like a thousand snakes on their way back to the ocean as though they’d like to take you with them, and it would be nothing, and you’d be gone in a snap.

Seaward © Harold Davis

Seaward © Harold Davis

Backwoods communities of off-the-grid hippies have persisted in this rugged and inaccessible area. In the 1970s a lumbering operation that later failed to make inroads against the natural topography burnt an earlier generation’s homesteads to the ground to keep squatters out. This hasn’t stopped those who like living on their own at the world’s edge from keeping to a rugged lifestyle, and in recent years the area is apparently awash in marijuana money. How this will shake-out as grow-it-yourself small farm marijuana is increasingly ceded to pot agri-businesses is anyone’s guess. But this is a region used to booming and busting.

Windblown Weed, King Range © Harold Davis

Windblown Weed, King Range © Harold Davis

The Lost Coast is one of those quintessentially remote American areas with a flavor all its own, formed by the rugged topography of the King Range where it meets the ocean as much as by those who have tried to occupy the land. I’d certainly recommend a visit, and getting to know the area—but this is not an area that gives up its secrets lightly or easily. It’s not that the Lost Coast is playing hard it get: it is hard to get there, both geographically and metaphorically. It is elusive in every way.

Wrapped Pole, Mattole Beach © Harold Davis

Wrapped Pole, Mattole Beach © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Selective LAB Sharpening

What is selective LAB sharpening?

LAB sharpening means working in the LAB color space with the L-channel selected. This only sharpens black and white information, and leaves the color pixels alone. Any sharpening tool can be used, but I recommend the Unsharp Mask filter (found in Photoshop via Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask).

You can choose which areas to sharpen by using this technique on a duplicate layer in LAB, masking the layer, and painting in the areas you want to selectively sharpen.

So LAB Sharpening when used on a duplicate layer that is associated with a layer mask is what I mean by “selective LAB sharpening.”

Apartments on the Boulevard Haussmann

What are the benefits of selective LAB sharpening?

Selectively sharpening in LAB gives you a double benefit: first, the color pixels aren’t sharpened, and color data is usually where unattractive oversharpening is most noticeable. Second, by “painting in” the L-channel sharpening on a layer mask, you can selectively pinpoint the areas you want to sharpen, drawer the attention of a viewer to portions of the image you want to emphasize, such as the eyes in a portrait. Interestingly, the viewer is often unaware that this is happening.

Generally, moderate sharpening of the lines in the L-channel using a tool like the Unsharp Mask creates a pleasing effect that is both sharper and “mellow.”

Ford Richmond Plant

When do I use selective LAB sharpening?

You should use selective LAB sharpening towards the end of a creative workflow. This is generally my final step before creating a master file to archive. The master file is then used to create individual files for specific purposes, such as printing or to create a JPEG for display on the web.

What are the kinds of sharpening from a workflow perspective?

If you are working with a RAW file, it is generally moderately sharpened as part of the conversion accomplished by programs such as Adobe Camera RAW or Lightroom.

Output sharpening is intended for specific output devices, such as when you are making a large print, or when a particular publication specified an amount and mode of sharpening.

Selective sharpening as used in this FAQ falls between input and output sharpening in terms of its place in a workflow, and is intended for aesthetic effect: to improve the visuals of an image without the need to address defects or technical issues.

Cable Car Wheels

What is LAB color, and how is it implemented in Photoshop?

LAB color is a color “space,” or model, specified by an international body of scientists (the CIE). It is a color space in the sense that RGB is a color space (used on monitors and on the internet), and CMYK is another color space (used in offset printing).

As opposed to RGB and CMYK, LAB is largely theoretical, meaning that you can work in LAB in Photoshop, but to do anything (such as displaying or printing it) you need to first convert the LAB file back to RGB (or CMYK).

LAB consists of three channels: L, A and B. The L-channel contains black and white information, sometimes also referred to as “luminance” information, or “grayscale.” The A-channel is used for Green and Magenta, and the B-channel is used for Yellow and Blue.

Lantern Mandala

What are the benefits of LAB color?

The primary benefits of LAB are:

  • It is the widest gamut color space of them all
  • Black and white information can easily be processed separately from color information, since the black and white information is contained in a discrete channel
  • The channels in LAB are “color opponent”

Bixby Bridge by Starlight

What does “color opponent” mean?

“Color opponent” means that each channel contains a color and its opposite, for example one end of the L channel is white, and the opposite end is black. This makes it easy to do powerful color manipulations and adjustments in LAB.

How does the gamut of LAB compare to that of other spaces, and what the **!!??*** is a “gamut” anyway?

Color “gamut” refers to how many colors can be reproduced using a given color space. The wider the color gamut, the more potential colors. LAB has the widest gamut of any color space (see diagram comparing color gamuts below), and is even capable of specifying colors that the human eye cannot perceive, and cannot be reproduced.

LS0017

How do I convert to LAB color in Photoshop?

The first time you convert an image to LAB color in Photoshop choose Edit > Convert to Profile. In the Convert to Profile window, choose LAB Color from the Destination Space Profile drop-down list. In the Conversion Options box, make sure that Adobe (ACE) is selected as the Engine, and that Intent is set to Relative Colormetric.

Check the Use Black Point Compensation box, and click OK.

Note that on subsequent conversions, you can use Image > Mode > Lab Color as a shortcut. The settings you entered in the Convert to Profile window will be used by default.

Can I convert a document with layers between color spaces?

Did you ever have a grade school teacher who said, “You can but you may not”? I did. This is one of those you can but you may not situations. Photoshop won’t stop you from converting documents with multiple layers from one color space to another—it may send up a warning noting that it is unwise—but the results can be unpredictable. It’s a better practice to flatten documents, archiving as necessary, before converting from one color space (such as LAB) to another (such as RGB).

Nautilus February 20 2014

Why do you suggest sharpening on a duplicate layer?

Sharpening on a duplicate layer allows you to add a layer mask to the sharpened layer, and paint in only specific areas of the image you want sharpened.

What tools should I use to paint in the sharpened area on the layer mask?

The most commonly used tools for painting on a layer mask in Photoshop are the Brush Tool and the Gradient Tool.

Which channel should I sharpen in LAB, and how do I know that only that channel is selected?

Open the Channels palette (Windows > Channels) and make sure that only the L-Channel is selected.

Tulips 2

But don’t I want to see the impact of sharpening on the entire image, not just on a single channel?

It’s a good idea to see the impact of sharpening on all channels, not just the L-Channel, even if the L-Channel is the only channel selected. To do this, with only the L-Channel selected in the Channels palette, use the Eye tool in the left hand column of the Channels palette to make all three channels visible. It’s important to understand that a channel can be visible without being active.

How does the Unsharp Mask filter work?

The principle of the Unsharp Mask is based on a technique used prior to the digital era in which a blurred copy was contact printed with the original negative, cancelling out some of the blurring, and increasing the contrast in lines in the image (and therefore making it seem sharper).

Note that the Unsharp Mask filter is not always the best tool for general sharpening. It works best on black and white information. Specifically, it is highly recommended for sharpening the L-Channel of a file that has been converted to LAB.

Tulip Within © Harold Davis

What settings should I start with for the Unsharp Mask filter?

The Unsharp Mask in Photoshop has three settings: Threshold, Radius and Amount (you should tackle them in this order).

Threshold goes from 0 to 255, and represents how far two pixels need to be from each other for sharpening to be applied. The lower the number, the more the sharpening. Generally, settings between 0 and 20 are used. For sharpening the L-Channel, I suggest a starting Threshold setting of 9.

Radius controls the width of the lines used for sharpening. You want these lines to be as wide as possible without intruding themselves on the viewer. I recommend a starting Radius setting for the L-Channel of 4.2 pixels.

With Amount, first set the Threshold and Radius, and then play with the Amount slider. Generally, an Amount between 50% and 100% will work well for selective LAB sharpening, producing a noticeable effect without overdoing it.

Note that these suggested settings are only for L-Channel sharpening in the LAB color space. For more general used of the Unsharp Mask you would probably want to raise the Threshold to around 15, and lower the Radius to between 0.2 and 2 pixels.

Rose Center Curves © Harold Davis

What can I do if I’ve oversharpened my duplicate layer?

Simply take down the overall opacity of the duplicate layer that was used for sharpening. By the way, to see the impact of sharpening it is a good idea to inspect an image at a variety of magnifications, from extremely magnified to quite small. You want to make sure that it looks good across the spectrum of possible magnifications.

Where can I go for further information?

A number of my books cover Selective Sharpening in LAB Color in detail (along with information about other aspects of working with LAB). You’ll find this in The Way of the Digital Photographer, The Photoshop Darkroom pages 151-203 and Creative Landscapes, pages 222-223.

I’ve also recorded a webinar specifically about Selective Sharpening in LAB Color in which I work through a number of actual case studies. Click here for more information, and here to purchase access to the webinar recording.

Where in the world is Harold Davis?

Anybody else remember Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? My kids sure don’t! Their world of computer gaming is deeply involved with Minecraft. Anyway, where in the world is Harold Davis? Right now, abroad at home, but for me this year is “back-end loaded” with travel, and I wanted to give you a heads-up.

First, the upcoming Black & White workshop I am giving in San Francisco the weekend of April 12-13 is my last scheduled workshop in San Francisco in 2014. This will be a small workshop oriented at field photography, and (as noted) I do have a few places left. Click here for more information and registration.

Cable Car Wheels © Harold Davis

Cable Car Wheels © Harold Davis

From mid-April through mid-May I will be in France, leading a photography workshop in Paris, and then exploring some rural parts of southern France on my own with my camera.

In June I’ll be presenting my prints at Photo Oakland in a free event, then leaving for Germany towards the end of the month. I’ll be giving two workshops at the Heidelberg Summer School of Photography. Although I expect most of the participants to be German photographers, I’ll be giving the workshops in English, and there are a few places still open. My workshops in Heidelberg are in flower photography and black & white. My sponsor, Zeiss Camera Lenses, will be loaning lenses for workshop participants to try!

Back in the States in mid-July, I’ll head pretty much straight away for Denver, where I’ll be making another online course with Craftsy. By the way, you can use this link for a $10 discount on my first Craftsy course, Photographing Flowers.

Chateau des Nazelles © Harold Davis

Chateau des Nazelles © Harold Davis

In August, I’ll be back in coastal California, with two weekend workshops in very cool locations: a Night Photography workshop in Big Sur August 1-3, and Creative Landscape Photography on Point Reyes August 8-10. There are some spaces available in each of these workshops.

I am planning to be back in Japan in October. One of the purposes of this trip is to scout locations for my Japan Photographic Odyssey, now tentatively scheduled for April 5-25, 2015. I will bring a very small group of photographers to explore some of the less-known areas of Japan. Stand by for details!

At the end of October I’ll be in New York for PhotoPlus Expo. I’ll head back to Europe in time to co-lead the Photographic Caravan to Spain and Morocco for most of November. By the way, if this interests you, we are taking waiting list applications (and it is not unusual to have one or two drop-outs due to personal reasons).

In December, I have the fifth annual winter Waves Photography workshop on Point Reyes scheduled for Saturday, December 13. Whether there are almost no waves (like last year) or massive surf in a storm (three years ago), this is always great fun! Please save the date, and check the Point Reyes Field Seminars website for registration availability.

Bixby Bridge by Starlight © Harold Davis

Bixby Bridge by Starlight © Harold Davis

They say travel broadens, and often this is true. You can learn much about what you have by seeing “the other.” I also find that travel also shows me what I care most about at home, and I am more able to be truly present when I am home knowing I will be soon adventuring again with my camera. I hope that you may be able to join me one of these days on one of my photographic adventures—and if you have a particular destination that you’d like to see me lead a workshop to, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

 

Into the votex of the universe © Harold Davis

Into the vortex of the universe © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Photograph San Francisco in Black and White—also Workshop Updates

Photograph San Francisco in Black and White

Please consider joining me the weekend of Saturday April 12 and Sunday April 13, 2014 for a black & white photographic tour of San Francisco. I like to think of this as the film noir workshop of San Francisco, although of course we will be working in digital. Click here for details, curriculum and registration.

Sunset on the Bay

Sunset on the Bay © Harold Davis

Depending on light, weather and group inclinations, we will shoot famous locations and those known only to locals, possibly including (but not limited to) the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, Fort Point, the Cable Car Museum, Urban Ore and Market Street at Night. We will photograph in the daytime, and include at least one night shoot (Saturday night). Classroom sessions will cover black and white conversion, monochromatic HDR, and creating high tonal-range imagery.

The workshop will be based in Berkeley, California (we will carpool to locations) and the tuition is $695 per person. Click here for details, curriculum and registration.

Cable Car Wheels © Harold Davis

Cable Car Wheels © Harold Davis

City as Landscape © Harold Davis

City as Landscape © Harold Davis

Updates

My understanding based on email responses is that the Photographic Caravan to Spain and Morocco is almost full. However, we are taking firm registrations when we get completed applications and deposit checks—so if you are on the fence, send yours in now because there may still be a possibility of getting that last spot, and also we will be taking a waiting list.

Nearer to home, I am giving two extraordinary workshops on the coast of California you may wish to consider in August, 2014. I am very excited about both these workshops. Night Photography in the Big Sur Landscape is hosted by the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA the weekend of August 1-3 and Creative Landscape Photography on Point Reyes will take place at the historic and romantic Coastguard Boathouse the weekend of August 8-10 under the auspices of Point Reyes Field Seminars.

Perhaps needless to say, we do expect these workshops to be popular. To avoid disappointment, I urge you to register early.

Bixby Bridge by Starlight © Harold Davis

Bixby Bridge by Starlight © Harold Davis

Here are the related Meetup groups for these workshops:

If you are interested in flower photography, please keep in mind the Best of Botanicals National Juried Photography Exhibition partially benefiting the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Related to this exhibition, I will be presenting and discussing my botanical prints on Saturday, June 7 (this event is free). Finally, I am pleased to offer my Photographing Flowers online course at $10 off the $59.99 price (use this link for the special discount).

Tulip Pano © Harold Davis

Tulip Pano © Harold Davis

Posted in Monochrome, Workshops Tagged , , , , , , |

My best of 2013

As an exercise, and also to participate in a compendium of “best of” blogged photos, I’ve put together what I think are my best photos from 2013. This has been an exciting and varied year of photography for me, with locations both abroad and at home.

It’s never an easy job editing one’s own photos. My favorite photo is always my next one! I love them when I make them, but then they fall out of favor, and it takes a while before I can see them clearly. You have to let go of the feelings you had when you took the image, and begin to view them objectively: often not the easiest thing to do.

I also had a problem of definition: does an image made in 2013 count, or does it have to be photographed in 2013? This is an issue for me because many of my images are made from photos shot in earlier years. For the sake of this collection, I am sticking with images using only photos shot in 2013 (I have no shortage of those!), but this does mean omitting some composite imagery that I like.

How do you compare apples to oranges? Are you in the mood for botanicals or landscapes? This is all very subjective, but basically these are my picks (with a little input from Phyllis). I also used favoriting on Flickr as a data point (but certainly didn’t rely solely on Flickr feedback). What do you think? Which are your favorites? Have I omitted an image of mine that should be included (or vice versa)?

Herewith, the Harold Davis best of 2013 (in alphabetical order):

Anemones 1 © Harold Davis

Anemones 1 © Harold Davis

 

Bixby Bridge by Starlight © Harold Davis

Bixby Bridge by Starlight © Harold Davis

 

Cayucos Pier © Harold Davis

Cayucos Pier © Harold Davis

 

Chateau des Nazelles © Harold Davis

Chateau des Nazelles © Harold Davis

 

Church at Auvers © Harold Davis

Church at Auvers © Harold Davis

 

Dawn in the High Fields © Harold Davis

Dawn in the High Fields © Harold Davis

 

Dawn of the Dragon © Harold Davis

Dawn of the Dragon © Harold Davis

 

Eiffel Tower from Sacre Couer © Harold Davis

Eiffel Tower from Sacre Couer © Harold Davis

 

Flowers of Late Summer © Harold Davis

Flowers of Late Summer © Harold Davis

 

Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

 

Lights of Paris © Harold Davis

Lights of Paris © Harold Davis

 

Kira at Passy Station © Harold Davis

Kira at Passy Station © Harold Davis

 

Red Tulips in a Glass Vase © Harold Davis

Red Tulips in a Glass Vase © Harold Davis

 

Rose Center Curves © Harold Davis

Rose Center Curves © Harold Davis

 

La Basilique du Sacré Cœur © Harold Davis

La Basilique du Sacré Cœur © Harold Davis

 

Story of O © Harold Davis

Story of O © Harold Davis

 

Tulip Within © Harold Davis

Tulip Within © Harold Davis

 

Waves on Drakes Beach © Harold Davis

Waves on Drakes Beach © Harold Davis

Posted in Best Of, Photography

Excerpt from The Way of the Digital Photographer

Peachpit Press has published an excerpt from my book The Way of the Digital Photographer: Walking the Photoshop post-production path to more creative photography. Click here to read the excerpt from the chapter on Working with Layer Masks in Adobe Photoshop.

Bixby Bridge by Starlight © Harold Davis

Bixby Bridge by Starlight © Harold Davis

Posted in Writing

Harold Davis Workshop Updates

Eiffel Tower from Sacré Coeur © Harold Davis

Eiffel Tower from Sacré Coeur © Harold Davis

The $500 “early-bird” discount on the 2014 Photograph Paris with Harold Davis workshop expires at the end of this month on September 1, 2013. This discount represents a substantial price savings on the cost of the workshop, so if you are interested in photographing Paris with me I suggest you take advantage of it.

I’m very pleased to announce the 2014 Photograph Paris with Harold Davis Workshop, from April 26-May 4, 2014. Click here for the complete itinerary, terms and conditions, and online registration. A $500 per person “early-bird” discount applies if you enroll before September 1, 2013.

It is my fond hope that you’ll join Mark Brokering and myself for the extraordinary experience of photography in Paris, the City of Light. The 2014 workshop will once again be located at the wonderful and atmospheric Hotel Lutetia.

We’ve included many of the highlights from the 2013 workshop for this occasion, such as the visit to Monet’s garden at Giverny with after hours access (one of my personal favorites from 2013), and also added a day. If you check out the itinerary, I think you’ll also see some wonderful locations we didn’t get to last time, such as the top of the Tour Montparnasse at night, the Parc de Sceaux, and Père Lachaise.

As one of the participants in last year’s workshop said, put Paris ”on your bucket list ‘cause you may not see this in Heaven.”

Click here for complete details and itinerary, and here for online registration.

workbenchThere are only a few places left in my Monochromatic HDR in the Big Sur Landscape workshop September 27-29, 2013. This workshop is sponsored by the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA.

Workshop participants will take advantage of Carmel and historic Monterey as well the glorious landscape of Big Sur, photographing subjects as varied as Bixby Bridge along Highway 1, Point Lobos, Mission Carmel, and more. In the classroom, hands-on guidance will explain techniques for extending dynamic range, monochromatic conversion methods, and best practices where the two technologies intersect.

Click here for information, curriculum, and online registration.

Papaver and IridaceaeIf you are interested in my unique technique for photographing flowers on a lightbox—and the related work in the Photoshop darkroom—there is only one spot left in the two-day Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop, December 7 and December 8, 2013. The workshop is located in downtown Berkeley, California near the 4th Street boutique shopping district.

In this unique workshop offering master photographer Harold Davis shows the techniques he uses to create his floral masterpieces. Arrangement, composition, photography, post-production will all be covered, as will Harold’s special techniques for shooting on a lightbox.

Harold is only planning to give this workshop once this year. There is no better way to learn the floral transparency techniques that he has pioneered. The two-day format will give participants the chance to complete their imagery using the techniques that Harold will demonstrate.

Here are some comments from the 2012 Floral Transparency Workshop:

  • “Loved the pace, in-depth instruction and generous sharing.”
  • “EXCELLENT PRESENTATION AND COVERAGE OF MATERIAL. MR. DAVIS WAS PATIENT TO ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS.”
  • “Harold, thank you for the time, expense and effort it took to put on a great one-day workshop….You are a wealth of information and share it so graciously.”
  • “Outstanding workshop!”
  • “A very packed day! Harold is very clear and organized; an outstanding photographer who is also an outstanding teacher.”

Click here for information and registration.

We’ve opened a new session of the Full Moon Golden Gate Workshop on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 to take advantage of the full moon rising shortly after sunset, framed by the Golden Gate Bridge.

Join master photographer Harold Davis for an late afternoon and evening adventure, photographing the Golden Gate Bridge from various locations around the bridge.

Note: This workshop is being offered well in advance because it is timed according to sunset and moonrise, and to help you plan. Due to limited size, our experience is that it will fill up—in other words, to avoid disappointment please don’t delay!

Click here for information and registration.

I have some exciting new workshops in the planning stages for 2014, so please stand by for further information.

Posted in Workshops

New Workshop: Monochromatic HDR in the Big Sur landscape

Friday, September 27 through Sunday, September 29, 2013—Sponsored by the Center for Photographic Art (CPA), Carmel, CA

Click here to register for the Monochromatic HDR in the Big Sur Landscape with Harold Davis workshop.

Workbench © Harold Davis

Workbench © Harold Davis

When folks think of HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, they tend to have color imaging in mind. But the fact is that HDR techniques are just as applicable to monochromatic photography as to color.

In both cases, the point is to extend the dynamic range of the resulting image beyond what is normally seen in a single exposure—and, indeed, beyond normal human perception. When working in digital black and white, the tonal range is extended from the lightest lights to the darkest darks. This results in images with great graphical appeal that make for splendid monochromatic prints.

In this workshop, Master Photographer Harold Davis guides participants in both aspects of the monochromatic HDR process: shooting and post-processing.

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur © Harold Davis

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur © Harold Davis

Workshop participants will take advantage of Carmel and historic Monterey as well the glorious landscape of Big Sur, photographing subjects as varied as Bixby Bridge along Highway 1, Point Lobos, Mission Carmel, and more. In the classroom, hands-on guidance will explain techniques for extending dynamic range, monochromatic conversion methods, and best practices where the two technologies intersect.

In addition, the workshop will provide extensive coverage of the creative vision required to successfully create monochromatic HDR images as well as the workflow necessary to make art prints from this specialized image-making technique.

Under the Old Oak Tree © Harold Davis

Under the Old Oak Tree © Harold Davis

Tuition: $400 (CPA members); $450 (non-members)

Click here for more information, detailed curriculum, and registration.

Posted in Monochrome, Workshops

Digital Black & White Workshop

Please consider joining me for a hands-on black and white weekend workshop in beautiful Carmel, California, from Friday October 14 through Sunday, October 16, 2011 under the auspices of the Center for Photographic Art (CPA).

This workshop will examine the craft and vision of digital monochrome in the context of your own work. Field sessions will teach participants how to best see the world monochromatically. We will explore the craft of shooting for black and white in a world-class location that has undeniable associations with the history of black and white photography.

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur © Harold Davis

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur © Harold Davis

Here’s some more information about the workshop—you can also check out the CPA website. Registration is $350 for CPA members ($400 for non-members).

Digital Black & White: Vision and Craft with Harold Davis
October 14th (6:00 – 9:00 pm)
October 15th (9:00 am – 7:30 pm)
October 16th (9:30 am – 4:30 pm)
Sunset Center
Carmel, CA

Monochromatic imagery is deeply tied to the history of photography, and indeed some people only recognize photography as art if it is in black and white. However, in today’s digital photography world, digital sensors “see” the world in color by capturing RGB data—even if the resulting exposure is converted in the camera or computer to monochrome.

This paradox gives rise to a new way of approaching black and white photography. How do we see monochromatically in a post-film world? What kinds of imagery work best in digital black and white? How should you prepare for photography if you know your work will be presented monochromatically?

This hands-on workshop will examine the craft and vision of digital monochrome in the context of each participant’s own work. Field sessions will teach participants how to best see the world monochromatically. We will explore the craft of shooting for black and white in a world-class location that has undeniable associations with the history of black and white photography.

Classroom sessions will demystify the monochromatic conversion workflow, and explain monochromatic conversion techniques including in-camera conversion, RAW conversion, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop adjustments, the “Ansel Adams” effect using Photoshop’s Channel Mixer, and Nik’s Silver Efex Pro.

Nautilus by Harold Davis

Nautilus © Harold Davis

An optional night photo shoot on the Big Sur Coast is included. Price, including lunch: Members: $350. Non-Members: $400. Workshop is limited to 16 participants.

About the Instructor
Master photographer Harold Davis is the author of Creative Black & White: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), which has been the number one selling black and white photography book on Amazon for more than a year. He is the author of many other bestselling photography books, including Creative Landscapes: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley) and The Photoshop Darkroom series from Focal Press. Harold is a contributing author at Photo.net, and writes the popular Photoblog 2.0. Harold’s workshops and presentations are highly acclaimed, with many of his workshops selling out quickly.
Click here for workshop schedule, what to bring, and registration (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Posted in Monochrome, Photography

Big Sur Coast

Bixby Bridge 3

Bixby Bridge 3, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Here’s the Big Sur coast of California and Bixby Bridge by moon and starlight. The faint colors of sunset linger, even though this is a thirty second, wide-open exposure. If you look closely, you can see the shadow of cliffs in the water cast by moonlight.

Shown earlier in the fog and clouds: Bixby Bridge 1 and Bixby Bridge 2. Background information: Steep Slope.

Exposure data: Nikon D300, 12-24mm lens at 12mm, 30 seconds at f/5.o and ISO 100, tripod mounted.

Posted in Digital Night, Landscape, Photography