Search Results for: nicky

Nicky Now and Then

Nicky Now © Harold Davis

Nicholas [“Nicky”] was three when I started this blog, and the subject of one of its first stories (photo below of Nicky Then)—the fourth story to be precise.

You can see from the photo of Nicky Now (above) that he has grown a great deal in the intervening years—but the essential character is still the same! I am very proud of Nicholas, he is truly a great guy.

My blog has also grown. In the thirteen intervening years I have posted literally thousands of stories, and thousands of photos.

Nicky Then © Harold Davis

Posted in Kids

Flowers for Nicky

My twelve year old son Nicky (shown here a while back) was in the ensemble at Berkeley Playhouse for a teen production of the musical Shrek. For opening night, his Grandma sent him flowers.

Flowers for Nicky © Harold Davis

Flowers for Nicky © Harold Davis

He (and we) enjoyed the bouquet for a while. Then, a couple of days after the performance, I spread them out on my light box, and photographed the flowers for transparency.

For more information on my technique, check out my FAQ: Photographing Flowers for Transparency.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Nicky in a fedora

We recently celebrated Nicky’s eleventh birthday. The fedora hat shown in this photo was one of the birthday presents he had requested. I don’t know where he gets his sense of sartorial style—it is probably not from either of his parents.

Nicky in a fedora by Harold Davis

Nicky in a fedora © Harold Davis

For more images of Nicky, see Nicky and Friend and Nicky is Nine (I seem to have missed number ten!).

Posted in Kids, Photography

Nicky and Friend

Nicky and Friend

Nicky and Friend, photo by Harold Davis.

To get this portrait of Nicky, I asked him to make an expression like that on his plush Penguin.

Posted in Kids, Photography

Nicky Is Nine

Nick Is Nine

Nick Is Nine, photo by Harold Davis.

Happy Birthday, Nicky! We celebrated this weekend with a noisy, chaotic, and fun house full of kids.

Amazing how time flies when you have kids. Here are some past stories featuring a younger Nicky:

Nicky in the Bath
After the Burger King Star Wars Meal
The Carousel
Portrait of Nicky
Nicky is 4
Julian and Nicky
Nicky and the Chocolate Sandwich
Ducky Dialog
Kids and Hiking
Kid Break
Nicky Jumping
Kids in Yosemite
Katie’s Big Brothers
Nicky on Black
Nicky with Face Painting
Alien Monster
Nicky Is Seven
Snaggle-Tooth Nicky
Nicky is Eight

Nicky is a wonderful kid, now—and all along the journey. He’s thoughtful, creative, considerate, fun, and full of life. He is simply the greatest!

Posted in Kids, Photography

Nicky Is Eight

Nicky is Eight

Nicky is Eight, photo by Harold Davis.

We recently had a great time celebrating Nicky’s eighth birthday with family and a few of his friends. Nicky is such a great guy.

It is not an original observation, but the years sure do pass swiftly. It seems only yesterday that he was quite little—but still smiling, because that is Nicky.

Katie Rose enjoyed the birthday party. She’s at the stage where the wrapping paper and box are just as exciting as the present inside.

Katie Rose Presents

Great reasons to be thankful!

Posted in Katie Rose, Kids

Portrait of Nicky

Portrait of Nicky

Portrait of Nicky, photo by Harold Davis.

I took this portrait of Nicky—now missing his snaggle tooth and with a gap—using my new Lensbaby Composer with the optic swap system, plastic optic, and the 0.42X super wide angle auxillary lens. I used a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second on manual exposure control (there’s no way to control the aperture with the plastic lens attachment).

I’m still getting to know the Lensbaby Composer system, but I’m currently wild about it. A great new universe of totally weird creative possibilities that are far away from the f/64 school of photography (and I say that with true affection for both approaches).

Posted in Kids, Lensbaby, Photography

Snaggle-Tooth Nicky

Snaggle-Tooth Nicky

Snaggle-Tooth Nicky, photo by Harold Davis.

Nicky is very proud of losing his front baby teeth. The snaggle tooth shown in this photo came out a few minutes after I took it. He’s so excited! He can’t wait to get to school and show his friends.

Posted in Kids

Nicky’s Birthday

Nicky on His Seventh Birthday

Nicky on His Seventh Birthday, photo by Harold Davis.

Nicky is seven, and it’s hard to understand where the time has gone. I remember him the day he was born, even then all mischief and sweetness and obvious intelligence.

Nicky celebrated his birthday with his first-grade class (the photo above is in his classroom), in after-school, and (of course) with us and his grandparents. The photo below shows the aftermath of opening birthday and “unbirthday” presents.

I don’t mean to give a false impression of extravagance with this photo. This year, like so many others, we are watching every penny. Each brother got a book, a lego toy, and a set of Kapla blocks. Once again, Phyllis made her famous castle cake (a/k/a Faulty Towers Cake). The boys sure enjoyed the presents, and the fierce rush of joy of present opening.

After all the toys were open, Nicky said, “Dad, this is my best birthday ever!”

Birthday Quake

View this image larger.

Other Nicky photos: Nicky is 4; Nicky on Flickr.

Posted in Bemusements, Kids

Nicky with Face Painting

Nicky with Face Painting

Nicky with Face Painting, photo by Harold Davis.

Nicky came home from camp at Berkeley Montessori with this cute face painting of a mouse, and I couldn’t resist photographing his tribal markings for posterity.

To make the colors appear more saturated, and to visually separate Nicky’s head from the background of the photo, I intentionally “under exposed” this capture. When I processed the image in Photoshop, I started with a “normal” (dark) rendering, then layered successively lighter versions on top. This allowed me to keep parts of the photo dark (the background and Nicky’s shirt), other parts saturated (the face painting) while controlling which areas got brighter (Nicky’s eyes and hair).

[Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR zoom lens at 95mm (142.5mm in 35mm terms), 1/160 of a seoncd at f/8 and ISO 500, handheld using image stabilization.]

Posted in Bemusements, Kids, Photography

Nicky on Black

Nicky on Black

Nicky on Black, photo by Harold Davis.

Nicky and I were fooling around taking his picture. I gave him the flower-on-black treatment: I covered a high-backed chair with black cloth, and put him on the chair. Then I radically underexposed to enhance the depth of black in the background. I was careful to focus precisely on Nicky’s right eye.

In post-processing, I pulled Nicky out of the darkness layer by layer. Next, I selectively softened the image using the Smoothness setting on the Filter palette of the Noise Ninja Photoshop plug-in: both to compensate for the noise in this high-ISO image and to create a pleasing softness in the face and hair.

Finally, I shifted the image to LAB color mode, and carefully used the luminance channel and layer masking to modestly sharpen Nicky’s eyes, and only Nicky’s eyes.

[Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR zoom lens at 95mm (142.5mm in 35mm terms), 1/250 of a second at f/5.6 and ISO 2,500, hand held with vibration reduction turned on.]

Posted in Kids, Photography, Photoshop Techniques

Nicky Jumping

Nicky Jumping

Nicky Jumping, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

On a recent trip to Alcatraz, Nicky started jumping in the exercise yard.

I was mindful of Philippe Halsman’s famous portrait technique of asking his subjects to jump. As Halsman put it, “When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears.” For example, here’s a famous Halsman portrait of Marilyn Monroe jumping on the cover of Life Magazine.

So when Nicky started jumping, I viewed it as a photo opportunity. I had my little Canon Powershot G9 set on aperture-preferred metering at the smallest aperture (f/8) to take advantage of the magnificent depth-of-field implied by the small sensor size of the camera. (For more about this effect, see pages 56-57 of my Light & Exposure for Digital Photographers.)

I knew there would be shutter lag, a delay between when I pressed the shutter release button and when the exposure was actually made. So I waited until Nicky was just taking off, pressed the button, and caught him in mid-air.

Nicky’s comment on looking at the photo: “I was trying to fly.” Well, fortunately Nicky is not quite the Birdman of Alcatraz, but he certainly made a good stab at flight!

[Canon G9 fixed lens, appx. 45mm in 35mm equivalent terms, aperture-preferred mode, f/8 at 1/160 of a second and ISO 80, hand held with image stabilization engaged.]

Posted in Bemusements, Kids, Photography

Nicky’s Graduation

Nicky’s moving on to elementary school Kindergarten after three years of pre-school. He’s been very happy at Step One, and these have been good years for him. But he’s very excited and happy to be graduating, and counting the days until his new school begins.

We’re very proud of Nicky.

It was a bit dark at Nicky’s graduation ceremonies because it was indoors and the kids were in constant motion. I considered using flash, but thought that would be disruptive and inconsiderate. So instead, I boosted the ISO and took advantage of image stabilization to photograph hand held.

[200mm Vibration Reduction lens, 300mm in 35mm equivalent terms, 1/40 of a second at f/5.6 and ISO 400, hand held.]

Posted in Kids, Photography

Nicky and the Chocolate Sandwich

For a treat, when he’s been really good, I sometimes make Nicky a chocolate sandwich. In this photo, he ate the center of the sandwich and is peering through the crust-as-frame. By the way, Nicky’s big brother Julian prefers ice cream sandwiches (my style, not store style), perhaps I’ll provide that recipe as well at some point! (Here are Julian and Nicky, my two older kids, together.)

Chocolate Sandwich Recipe

Lightly toast white bread (remove from the toaster before the first discoloration). An oven-style toaster works best, leave it running. Slather the toast with butter. Return to toaster and toast until very lightly golden. Remove from toaster and place on a large paper plate. Cover each piece of toast as evenly as possible with chocolate drops. Replace in toaster, toast until chocolate starts to melt. Remove. Place two slices of bread together, chocolate in the middle. Cut sandwich in half (note: handle with care, chocolate sandwich is hot and gooey). Place chocolate sandwich in freezer, and cool to taste.


Two slices “white bread style” white bread
Small stick of soft butter
Generous handful of chocolate drops

Time: about five minutes, great entertainment value in the process.

Posted in Bemusements, Kids, Photography

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