Search Results for: julian

My Son Julian’s Valedictorian Speech

My oldest son Julian graduated last week as valedictorian from Bayhill High School. If you are interested, here is the speech he made at commencement. We are very, very proud of Julian—and the hard work, personality, and perseverance that has made this possible.

Posted in Kids

Julian Graduates from Middle School

My oldest son Julian graduated today from Middle School at Star Academy. We are very proud of him—and very appreciative of the work the school has done with him to make this possible.

Julian Graduates from Middle School

I shot this image at the graduation ceremony with my iPhone camera—like everyone else. As time goes by, mobile phone cameras have become the camera one always has with one, and “good enough”—the 110 Instamatics of our time!

Posted in iPhone, Kids

Julian and Katie Rose

Julian and Katie Rose

Wherever you go, there you are. If you have an iPhone there you are with a fairly decent camera. A fairly decent camera with some interesting features. Great for photographing Julian and Katie Rose on our way down to the playground this evening.

Posted in iPhone, Katie Rose, Kids, Photography

Julian at Mirror Lake

Julian at Mirror Lake

Julian at Mirror Lake, photo by Harold Davis.

Julian was in his element at Mirror Lake in Yosemite, trying to see if he could crack the ice on the lake.

Posted in Kids

Julian on the Headlands

Julian on the Headlands

Julian on the Headlands, photo by Harold Davis.

The child is the father of the man, but at eleven years one can see both child and man in Julian, shown here in his element exploring the Marin Headlands over his winter break.

Posted in Kids

Emperor Julian

Emperor Julian

Emperor Julian, photo by Harold Davis.

In this photo Emperor Julian is shown with his brothers Indiana Skywalker (a/k/a the Alien Monster, on the right) and the deceptively innocent-looking Holy Terror (stage left).

Worth noting: In the grand tradition of Scarlett O’Hara and Carol Burnett, Phyllis fashioned the Emperor Julian’s toga from old curtains. The laurel wreath was likewise handcrafted using an old coat hanger and leaves from our garden.

Posted in Kids, Photography

Julian in Yosemite

Julian came with me to Yosemite, played in the snow, and woke me every morning so I could be sure to photograph dawn.

He had, I think, a very good and special time, although the immensity and ferocity of the winter landscape sometimes gave this child of California pause. What did he do while I was engrossed in photographing the Merced River or some other heroic landscape? He built ice castles by the banks of the Merced River, and enjoyed snowballs!

Julian and Snowball in Yosemite

Posted in Kids, Photography, Yosemite

Julian in Yosemite

Going through my digital archives, I came across these photos of Julian in Yosemite from March 2006. He seems so happy in the snow that I can’t resist posting them.

I’ve my Nikon dSLRs set to capture both RAW and JPEG for each image. Mostly I use the JPEG as an aid to reviewing photos, and work to post-process the RAW to get the image I’d like. I find that the JPEG usually gives me a better idea of an image’s potential than the RAW, but of course the JPEG is much less desirable for working with in Photoshop.

With these images, basically snapshots of my oldest son, I decided for once to take the lazy path. I think the JPEG version (the camera’s automated idea of how to render the RAW) is just fine for these!

Julian in Snow

Posted in Kids, Photography

Julian Climbing Indian Rock

This is a photo of my nine-year-old son Julian climbing Indian Rock a few weeks ago.

Yesterday Julian fell out of a tree. He is in intensive care with a skull fracture and some other serious injuries. We have every hope that this will be a hiccup rather than a detour on his road through life. Still, no parent ever wants to hear what Julian said to me, “Daddy, I’m damaged and I will never be repaired. I want to die.”

If my photos have touched you, if you believe in the power of prayer, please pray for Julian and my family.

Posted in Kids, Photography

Julian Herds Geese

Julian and I were walking in the park at Port Oakland. He loves to chase the wild geese, but he can never (of course) catch them. In this capture, the geese are caught in mid air, with the skyline of downtown San Francisco in the background.

Posted in Bemusements, Kids, Photography, San Francisco Area

Julian and Nicky

They’re brothers, but they are so different! I like the comment on Flickr: “Watch out for Nicky, he looks so cheeky!”

Nicky would understand cheeky, but he’s nothing compared to Mathew his youngest sibling: a real force of nature.

Posted in Kids, Photography

Julian and Mammoth

This is Julian beneath the Mammoth in front of the main gondola up Mammoth Mountain in this well-known ski resort in the eastern Sierra.

Julian and I had a great time riding the gondola to the top of the mountain, staying in a fancy condo, and eating in a nice restaurant. Once more he ate a whole rack of ribs, to the amazement of the staff!

On top of the mountain, Julian played in a snow patch and we found a butterfly:

Butterfly on Mammoth Mountain

To me, this butterfly proves there is beauty in devastation. The Mammoth Ski Resort is part of Inyo National Forest. I respect everyone’s right to ski and have fun, and don’t want to be a kill-joy on behalf on an environment cause. But it is astounding the havoc the ski lifts, hotels, artificial snow machines and so on inflict on the wilderness. A whole section of the High Sierra wilderness has been wrecked for everyone but the skiers.

I can only imagine some form of payola to those in the national forest who are responsible for administering wilderness, and I would dearly love to know more about the specifics.

Posted in Kids, Photography

Looking Backward

“It’s tough to predict things, particularly about the future,” as baseball catcher and American wit Yogi Berra said. And, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” in a quotation attributed with small variations to George Santayana, Edmund Burke, and George Orwell. To which author Kurt Vonnegut responded, “I’ve got news for Mr. Santayana: we’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That’s what it is to be alive.”

Deadhorse Point © Harold Davis (Feb 2020)

Deadhorse Point © Harold Davis (Feb 2020)

Looking Backward, a famous novel by Edward Bellamy, was not a look backwards, despite the title, borrowed for this blog story. It’s a Utopian attempt to look forward 112 years from 1888 via the protagonist-in-a-trance trope, when the United States was mired in an era of deep unrest, inequality, and economic insecurity, to the year 2000, when the country had become a socialist paradise (as if!).

For me, looking backward even three months, let alone 112 years, is very strange. Three months ago, in mid February, I was free-range traveling-the-American-west photographer. After enjoying teaching at a wonderful, and probably historically unique, photography conference in Yosemite, I spent some time in Death Valley with my friend Julian from Germany, then drove west, and met another friend, Eric, in Escalante, Utah. We spent some time exploring the back-country there, as well as Arches and Canyonlands around Moab, before taking the long road home.

Earth Ramparts © Harold Davis (Feb 2020)

Earth Ramparts © Harold Davis (Feb 2020)

I had no idea what was “coming down the pike,” as I think most of us did not. My forward plans were focused on upcoming travel to Europe and a trek on the Camino de Santiago (come to think of it, that would have been right about now in a hypothetical alternative universe in which the pandemic was contained and isolated in Wuhan).

So as I get around to processing some of my photos from only a short while ago, it is easy to see how much I didn’t know then. Knowing how little I knew then, it is still no less hard to know where things go now. After all, it’s tough to predict things, particularly about the future. I can hope for a better world, with more justice, equality, common sense, and a vaccine—but those of us who make it to the world of the future will see what actually has transpired.

Posted in Coronavirus times, Photography, Writing

Exciting Ride to Tower Arch

So there were four of us, or six if you count me, myself, and I: also my old friend Eric, my German friend and colleague in x-ray photographics Julian, and Loki the Australian sheep dog. We happy few drove in Eric’s Blue Ganesh, an off-road modified high-clearance Toyota 4-Runner with under-armor plates, video front and aft, a pop-top sleeper, a snorkel like an elephant trunk, and a hobbit-like stove pipe bringing up the rear. You’d have to see this vehicle to believe it.

Eric, who had just completed a certificate course in off-road driving, was of course at the wheel. A fact I was glad about as the off-road trail I had picked turned radically into a stone and mud obstacle course, and Eric proved the usefulness of having a split differential. Who knew that each wheel functioning on its own could make such a difference when climbing a wall of rocks?

At the end of the bone-jolting ride a short walk led up and over and through the kind of stone maze that I love to traverse, and at the end of the walk there was Tower Arch, photographed here looking back through the opening west at near sunset using a horizontal fisheye.

View through Tower Arch © Harold Davis

View through Tower Arch © Harold Davis

Exposure data: Nikon D850, Nikkor 8-15mm fisheye at 15mm, eight exposures from 1/60 of a second to 2.5 seconds, each exposure at f/29 and ISO 62; tripod mounted. Exposures combined and processed using Nik HDR Efex Pro and Photoshop.

Posted in Photography

Petal Pushing

I’m back at my old habits, building compositions constructed from flower petals on a light box, photographing the assemblage in high-key HDR, then combining for transparency in Photoshop, finally inverting using creative LAB color techniques.

Here’s where this composition started:

Circular Petal Composition © Harold Davis

Circular Petal Composition © Harold Davis

When I inverted the composition so it was on a black background, I got the image shown below. My son Julian told me I should turn it into an animated GIF, so I did (shown at the top of this story), using  Photoshop wire-frame animation.

Circular Petal Composition Inversion © Harold Davis

Circular Petal Composition Inversion © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography