A new dawn—and the upcoming Photographing Flowers for Transparency webinar

Watching the inauguration ceremony for President Biden and Vice-President Harris this morning, I wept. Tears of joy at having a competent, caring, decent administration that believes in science in charge. Tears of sadness for all those we’ve lost to Covid-19, and for the shattering of comity, sanity, and truth. Tears of relief that there is hope, and that we can start over without descending further down the rabbit hole of know-nothingism, authoritarianism, and fascism.

Now you know where I stand, if you didn’t know already. If you disagree with me, that is your right, but I hope we can do it with love and respect for each other.

Anyhow. We’ll be presenting the first in my sequence of Photographing Flowers for Transparency webinars this Saturday January 23 at 11am PT.

I’ve been asked several times how this webinar will differ from the recordings I have posted on YouTube and from the previous Photographing Flowers for Transparency live webinar (which I gave back in April 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic).

There’s no really easy answer to this question.

Of course, a live webinar differs from a recording. For one thing, you can ask questions, and also be involved in the community that has coalesced around our webinars. A live webinar is part way to an in-person workshop (which I can’t wait to resume) compared to a recording.

In terms of the content I will present, some of it will be the same. But I don’t really like to repeat myself, and in the intervening months I’ve also been pretty creative with light box photography, and learned a fair amount about webinar presentation. We do expect to present some new material, and I am looking forward to showing you some exciting ways to accomplish great light box results.

I hope you consider joining us!

You’ll find our upcoming schedule of webinars by clicking here. You can view our recordings from the past year by clicking here.

Wheel of Fortune © Harold Davis

Wheel of Fortune © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, Workshops

Webinar Contribution to Project Coyote

Phyllis and I are delighted that the sold-out webinar Finding Meaning in Photography with panelists Guy Tal and Michael Gordon generated a bit more than $1900 as a contribution to Project Coyote

Special thanks to the wonderful and insightful presenters, and everyone who registered and made this possible.

Project Coyote is a national non-profit organization based in Northern California whose mission is to promote compassionate conservation and coexistence between people and wildlife through education, science and advocacy.

You’ll find our upcoming schedule of webinars by clicking here. You can view our recordings from the past year by clicking here.

Eye of the Tower © Harold Davis

Eye of the Tower © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, Workshops

Webinars Coming Up Soon

We’re back in the saddle and starting up the webinars after some time off for artistic (and otherwise) rest and relaxation. Hopefully, the bulk of 2021 will be less stressful than the year behind us that shall not be named.

On this coming Saturday, we are pleased to present Guy Tal and Michael Gordon showing their work and discussing Finding Meaning in Photography. Click here for registration, and here for more information. This is a benefit for Project Coyote.

We recently added a new Night Photography webinar to benefit Alameda County Foodbank. Click here for registration, and here for more information. 

You’ll find our upcoming schedule of webinars by clicking here. You can view our recordings from the past year by clicking here.

Aspens near Sonora Pass

Aspens near Sonora Pass © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

New Year’s Dragon

This dragon was constructed on a light box, using petals from alstroemerias (“Peruvian lilies”), and other flowers. It is wishing you a creative, exciting, and more generally positive year ahead!

New Year’s Dragon on Black © Harold Davis

New Year’s Dragon © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

A Pandemic Year of Webinars—Video Recordings

“Do you have any idea how productive we’ve been?” I asked my spouse, as I compiled a page of links to our recent webinar video recordings. I had no idea myself, until I put together this list. 

You can watch these recordings for free by following the links on the Webinar Video Recording page. There are 37 videos, most well over an hour. The pandemic came along, we hunkered down, and got busy with webinars. You can check them out here, the good, the bad, and not-so-much the ugly in categories including Photographing Flowers for Transparency on the Light Box, Black & White, Photoshop and LAB Color, and Inspiration and Exploration. I’m particularly pleased with the guest photographers we brought in, who helped us contribute to some great charitable causes when they showed their work.

Thanks to everyone who has been part of our photographic community this difficult year!

Please consider joining us live. Click here to see our current schedule of live webinars.

Metamorphosis © Harold Davis

Metamorphosis © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Best wishes for the coming year

We are looking forward to a time when it is safe to have workshops in person. Meanwhile, please consider our new slate of 2021 webinars on Saturdays, with (we hope) something for everyone and some new listings. Click here for the complete schedule.

Wishing you a joyous, healthy, and creative 2021—Harold & Phyllis Davis

Posted in Photography, Workshops

Harold Davis—Best of 2020

Obviously, 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. It was also not the year it started out being for me. Let me explain. In February and March I was first in Yosemite, teaching in a workshop. Next I was in Death Valley, followed by Escalante, Utah and the country around Moab.

I’d noted a news item about a novel disease in China, but didn’t think it would have very much applicability to my life and work. Oh, how oblivious we mortals can be!

My plans were to get home from the southwest, stay a few weeks, then head to Europe to lead a workshop in southwestern France followed by a stint walking as a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago. And so on.

Obviously, my travel plans did not come to pass. We’ve spent the rest of 2020 at home, sheltering-in-place. One of these days I hope to travel again. But in the meanwhile, 2020 has seen my own, personal artist-in-residency-at-home. Which has made for works capturing on a smaller scale than many of my best-of photographs from years gone by, but I think I found plenty to capture at home. On the whole, it has been a productive year for me.

My “Best Of” selections for prior years, going back to 2013, can be found here.

Hydrangea Blossoms and Rock Spiral © Harold Davis

Hydrangea Blossoms and Rock Spiral © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Skim Ice on the Merced © Harold Davis

Skim Ice on the Merced © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Tulip Fandango © Harold Davis

Tulip Fandango © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Folds in the Earth © Harold Davis

Folds in the Earth © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Zabriskie View © Harold Davis

Zabriskie View © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Eye of the Tower © Harold Davis

Eye of the Tower © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Opening Train Bridge © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Power Lines © Harold Davis

Power Lines © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Poppies from our Garden Path © Harold Davis

Poppies from our Garden Path © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

White Papaver Nudicaule Inversion © Harold Davis

White Papaver Nudicaule Inversion © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Parfait Mandala 1 © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Patterns in Glass 3 © Harold Davis

Patterns in Glass 3 © Harold Davis

Egg White © Harold Davis

Egg White © Harold Davis

Nemesia and Gaillardia © Harold Davis

Duo © Harold Davis

Duo © Harold Davis

Florabundance © Harold Davis

Honeysuckle © Harold Davis

Honeysuckle © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Dried Blossoms © Harold Davis

Dried Blossoms © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Flowers from our Pandemic Garden © Harold Davis

Flowers from our Pandemic Garden © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Brookside-Snowball Dahlia © Harold Davis

Brookside-Snowball Dahlia © Harold Davis

Let the sunshine in © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Red Onion Slice © Harold Davis

Pear Slices © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

There's always one in every barrel! © Harold Davis

There’s always one in every barrel! © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Apple Slice Playdate © Harold Davis

Metamorphosis © Harold Davis

Metamorphosis © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Spiral of Flower Karma © Harold Davis

Spiral of Flower Karma © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Bottled Light Study © Harold Davis

White Dahlia Inversion © Harold Davis

White Dahlia Inversion © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Flowers are Multitudes © Harold Davis

Flowers are Multitudes © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story!

Serendipity with Sunflowers Inversion © Harold Davis

Bike Rack © Harold Davis

I hope you’ve enjoyed my images and the associated blog stories. For convenience, I’ve included a link below the image where I’ve written about it in my blog.

Most images available as prints. Please inquire. As of today, we are still running our Pandemic Print special.

Check out my self-selected bests from previous years in Best Images Annuals!

Posted in Best Of

Happy and Healthy Holiday Wishes

Happy & Healthy Holiday wishes! This year 2020 almost past surely wins an award for year most wished to be in the rear-view mirror. As we head into 2021 we are looking for health, peace, and serenity. Best wishes from our family to you and yours!

Posted in Photography

Piles of Petals Are Performative

Piles of flower petals are performative (and alliterative). I’ve fallen into the habit of keeping piles of natural objects, specifically bowls of flower petals in my work area. Gradually, they curl, and ultimately obtain the patina and wrinkles of flower-petal senescence. 

Flowers are Multitudes Inversion © Harold Davis

Flowers are Multitudes Inversion © Harold Davis

To make these images, I started with a conventional structure (like a flower bed with a row of stems) in a garden. After this version was complete, I entered the “Jackson Pollack” phase: spreading dried petals to some extent randomly, and taking advantage of serendipity.

The version below on white is what came out of the camera in the original set of exposures, and the version above on black is an LAB L-channel inversion of the original, white version.

Flowers are Multitudes © Harold Davis

Flowers are Multitudes © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Watching a Mandala Video

I just watched the stop-motion videos that Phyllis made of making these two mandalas. How totally cool! Please consider joining us tomorrow, on Saturday December 12, 2020. We will (among other things) watch and talk about these videos of the making of the two mandala images shown below.

Mandala of Petals © Harold Davis

Mandala of Petals © Harold Davis

Stone Spiral Study Inversion © Harold Davis

Stone Spiral Study Inversion © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Conversation about my photography with John Cornicello

Please consider joining me for a conversation about my photography with John Cornicello and Holger Mischke on Jan 7, 2021 at 10am PT. This is a free event. Click here for more information and the link to join.

Posted in Photography

Mandalas Simple and Complex

A mandala is a circular geometric pattern that symbolically can represent the entire universe. Sometimes, a mandala is meant to represent wholeness and life itself in relation to the infinite and the world that extends beyond and within minds and bodies.

In Eastern religions, a mandala may represent paradise, deities, sacred spaces, or simply be used as an aid to meditation.

These kinds of designs are also significant in Jungian analysis. Carl Jung thought that mandalas offered a “safe refuge of inner reconciliation and wholeness,” and found that the act of creating a mandalas had a calming, focusing effect on his patients’ psychological states.

My Mandalas are primarily created using flower petals on a light box, although I sometimes use other materials as well, and other backgrounds besides the light box. I consider the mandala a fundamental design shape, and am most interested in the form as an issue of formal design.

Please consider joining us for an exciting webinar on Saturday December 12, 2020 at 11am PT as I present and discuss a number of my mandala light box images, and show the process of creating these shapes. Click here for more information, here for registration, and here for our schedule of upcoming webinars.

Lodestar © Harold Davis

Spiral of Flower Karma © Harold Davis

Spiral of Flower Karma © Harold Davis

Lady Pink Apple Slices with Lemons © Harold Davis

Lady Pink Apple Slices with Lemons © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Sunflowers on Blue Velvet

It’s nice to pair a bouquet of yellow sunflowers with lush, blue velvet. The sunflower petals have been touched slightly with the Photoshop Oil Painting filter to add a little “van Gogh.” Is the subject of the photo the sunflowers or the blue velvet background? As is often the case, both are important.

Sunflowers on Blue Velvet © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers

Webinars nouveau est arrivé (Please check out our new webinars!)

Please consider our new slate of webinars, now scheduled through March, 2021 on Saturday mornings (Pacific Time), with (we hope) something for everyone:

  • Models in Stop-Motion: the Multiple Exposure Series [Free Webinar] | Saturday January 2, 2021 at 11am PT click here for registration. Click here for more info. This is a FREE webinar, but seats are limited, and preregistration is required 
  • Finding Meaning in Photography: Guy Tal and Michael Gordon [Benefits Project Coyote] | Saturday January 16, 2021 at 11am PT click here for registration. Click here for more info. All proceeds from this webinar will benefit Project Coyote. Seats are limited, and preregistration is required 
Camellia Blossom © Harold Davis

Camellia Blossom © Harold Davis

Click here for our Workshops & Events page, and here for our past webinar video recordings on YouTube.

Posted in Workshops

Harnessing the Power of Composition Webinar on Saturday

Harnessing the Power of Composition in Your Photography is scheduled for this coming Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 11am PT. In this unique webinar: “Harold Davis shares his work across numerous genres of photography, and explains how he applies compositional excellence to enhance his work. He will provide specific information about how he approaches composition in different contexts, and discuss tips, techniques, and exercises to help you improve composition in your own work.”

Click here for more information about this webinar, and here to register. Also check out our extensive new listings of live webinars for the next few months!

Cayucos Pier

Cayucos Pier © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops