Webinar: Out in the World | the Making of Four Photos

What: Out in the World | the Making of Four Photos

When: Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 11am PT. Duration between one and two hours, including Q&A

Where: On your computer or mobile device from anywhere via Zoom. A tuition payment of $34.95 is required for enrollment. Seating is limited. The registration link is https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_uvBNGl-5TcmHc5xC3y3p_w

Bishop Castle Interior © Harold Davis

Details: As the world slouches towards a “new normal,” we are all concerned with what has changed, what stays the same, and how this impacts both our photography and travel.

In this webinar, Harold addresses the issues of where we are going and what are the new opportunities the world offers. He’ll also discuss his ongoing photography and travel workshop plans.

In this context, Harold will explore some of his recent work in the light of the post-production techniques needed to complement the photographic captures. He will detail the process of how four images were made. Learn some of the great behind-the-scenes “secrets” of extraordinary image making!

The techniques shown will include:

  • Hand-HDR, using layers and masking in Photoshop
  • Multi-Raw processing, to expand the dynamic range of a single image
  • Monochromatic conversions, and creating effective black & white photos
  • Essential LAB inversion and sharpening techniques, and how to apply a Curve adjustment in LAB

Folks have asked for it, and here it is! Many of you watched Harold & Phyllis’s live webinars during the first pandemic year, and have been clamoring for more webinars as the world opens. Fasten your seat belts, because it is going to be a fun ride!

There will be ample time for Q&A.

Cripple Creek, Colorado © Harold Davis

Who should attend: In Harold’s view, the process of photography includes both capture and post-processing. This webinar will help you learn the techniques you need to know to master advanced image creation, as well as to pre-visualize the process from beginning to end. In addition, Harold will put the process of image creation in the context of today’s world, in which the only thing constant is change.

Tuition: The tuition for this webinar is $34.95, and requires prior registration. Seating (on a first come, first served basis) is limited. You must register via Zoom to be enrolled in this webinar! The registration link is https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_uvBNGl-5TcmHc5xC3y3p_w

About Harold Davis: Harold Davis is an artist, photographer, educator, and the bestselling author of many books, including most recently Composition & Photography from Rocky Nook. The 2022 Photographic Society of America Progress Award winner, he is the developer of a unique technique for photographing flowers for transparency, a Moab Master, and a Zeiss Ambassador. His recent publications include the 2022 release of his Tulip Pano Forever postage stamp by the United States Post Office. He is an internationally known photographer and a sought-after workshop leader. His website is www.digitalfieldguide.com.

Dune Composition © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Maine and Colorado

Here are two images from my recent trip to Maine and Colorado. The first image is of a stairway in Fort Knox, Maine. That’s right: there is a Fort Knox in Maine! Both the Fort Knox in Maine and the better-known Fort Knox in Kentucky were named after Henry Knox. Major General Knox, considered one of the United States “founding fathers,” was Chief of Artillery in the American Revolutionary War and the first United States Secretary of War.

Stairs at Fort Knox © Harold Davis

The image below was made while slogging up the sand slope in Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado near the New Mexico border. It’s a single RAW capture, processed three times using multi-RAW EV variations to account for the vast dynamic range between the clouds in the sky and the foreground in partial shadow.

Sea of Sand © Harold Davis

Great Sand Dunes NP is a wonderful location, and a kind of adult playground in the sand. I hadn’t been there since I was a youngster. I enjoyed photographing the location, and feel it is comparable to the wonderful austerity of the Eureka Dunes section of Death Valley.

Posted in Photography

Steam Train

I was photographing some derelict factory buildings in La Jara, Colorado, when a natty gentleman came out of the mostly disused train station beside the overgrown train tracks. He was the city manager of La Jara, which is near the New Mexico border, and his office was in the train station. He told me about the steam-powered Cumbres & Toltec scenic railroad, and said that I could just about arrive in time for today’s departure from Antonito.

Steam Train © Harold Davis

I drove to Antonito, and arrived just as the train was “gathering a head of steam” and pulling out of the station. I drove ahead a bit, and parked by the tracks to grab a sequence of shots, including this one. It looked pretty good in color. I decided to try taking it to monochrome, and don’t regret it!

About the Cumbres & Toltec scenic railroad:

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is a National Historic Landmark that moves.  At 64-miles in length, it is the longest, the highest and most authentic steam railroad in North America, traveling through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Rocky Mountain West.

Owned by the states of Colorado and New Mexico, the train crosses state borders 11 times, zigzagging along canyon walls, burrowing through two tunnels, and steaming over 137-foot Cascade Trestle.

Posted in Monochrome, Photography

Bottle Collection

Today we photographed many beautiful and magical things—like the glass bottle collection shown here, and continuing to a very wonderful and rather weird historical fire-engine-restoration workshop. I’ll show the fire engine images when I can process them, but for now here is my photo of a collection of glass bottles!

Bottle Collection © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Rockland Breakwater and the Endless Summer Flower Farm

Today my Maine workshop group photographed at the Rockland Breakwater, and also at the Endless Summer Flower Farm. The idea, borrowed from Composition & Photography, was to start with simple shapes. Such as lines, dots, and circles, and to build up from the simple shapes to create interesting compositions.

Dahlia at the Endless Summer Flower Farm © Harold Davis

Triangle on the stone causeway © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Coming into Maine

Coming into Maine in the cool of the evening, I spent my first night in Maine in a cabin off-the-grid on the verge of the great northern forest. I woke early to the dappled light through the trees. On my way as the sun rose, I stopped by the banks of the Penobscot River to photograph sunrise, a bridge, and grass along the banks of the water.

Richmond-Dresden Bridge © Harold Davis

River Grass © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Helichrysum bracteatum

I photographed this Helichrysum bracteatum (strawflower) blossom on my light box (far below), then inverted the image in LAB Color, and converted to monochromatic (directly below).

I’m headed tomorrow to Maine to teach a workshop in Composition & Photography. I am looking forward very much to the week on mid-coast Maine at Maine Media Workshops, where I haven’t been since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 (webinars are great, but they don’t take the place of in-person workshops!).

Should you be feeling nostalgic for 2020 and the early pandemic, you can also check out Love in the Time of the Coronavirus on my blog.

Helichrysum bracteatum © Harold Davis

Helichrysum bracteatum on white © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Video Games Are Actually Good for Your Brain

A little more than fourteen years ago, my daughter Katie Rose was born very prematurely. Today, Katie’s Video Games are Actually Good for Your Brain has been selected to be showcased at the California STEAM Symposium in Anaheim, CA on October 1-2, 2022. Congratulations Katie!

Sleeping Angels © Harold Davis

Posted in Katie Rose, Kids, Photography

Butterfly of Flowers

It’s fun to use flowers to create animistic shapes on the light box, like good-luck dragons and this “Butter-flower” shown below.

Butterfly of Flowers © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

The Eternal City: Albumen Print Simulations

I’m excited to be headed back to Italy this autumn, and have been looking through my archives. What work have I done in Italy, and how can I make progress from there?

These digital simulations of albumen printing are based on images I made in Rome. I had forgotten this series, from 2016, but now as I revisit it I am pleased (if I say so myself!).

Rome from St Peter’s Dome © Harold Davis

I briefly mentioned the image above in a blog story about a workshop I gave: “The sepia image of the eternal city (Rome) shown above was a classroom demonstration, with the file drawn from my recent trip to Italy.” I think what happened is that I liked the in-class demo so much that I worked through the other images (shown below) using the same set of techniques, and style!

Forum of Rome © Harold Davis

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi © Harold Davis

Posted in Monochrome, Photography

Dancing with the Pasta Stars!

It’s amazing what one can do with pasta stars, a light box, and LAB color. Dancing with the Pasta Stars was created using LAB in Photoshop from the version of the pasta spiral photographed on my light box (below) and then inverted (bottom).

Dancing with the Pasta Stars © Harold Davis

Spiral Pasta Nebula © Harold Davis

Spiral Pasta Nebula Inversion © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, Photoshop Techniques

Long Live Monochrome Memories!

Here are a few of my favorite monochromatic black and white images that I haven’t posted in a long time.

Bolinas Beach by Harold Davis

Bolinas Beach (2012) © Harold Davis

Apparently, despite its success as a large-sized print, Bolinas Beach has been resurrected from my files once before!

Reflections in a Maine Pond (2015) © Harold Davis

My original blog story on Reflections in a Maine Pond quoted the journals of Thoreau:

“To be calm, to be serene! There is the calmness of the lake when there is not a breath of wind. . . . So it is with us. Sometimes we are clarified and calmed healthily, as we never were before in our lives, not by an opiate, but by some unconscious obedience to the all-just laws, so that we become like a still lake of purest crystal and without an effort our depths are revealed to ourselves. All the world goes by us and is reflected in our deeps. Such clarity!”

Chateau de Nazelles 1 by Harold Davis

Chateau de Nazelles (2013) © Harold Davis

The Chateau de Nazelles was a really fun place to spend a few days in the heart of the Loire Valley; more about my thinking in making this image here.

Posted in Monochrome

Seize the Day

Having been occupied by family matters lately, it is hard to make the time for flower photography. Work on a light box does not respond well to impatience. The time to slowly understand the composition that the flowers themselves would like is required. 

Seize the Day © Harold Davis

In this work, not all the time is spent arranging or photographing. Sometimes I find myself in front of the light box staring into space—or, more politely, meditating. 

The flowers in Seize the Day (above) were among those that survived from the recent and very pleasurable Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop held here in Berkeley, California. Click here for upcoming workshops (they will be listed as they are scheduled).

Posted in Photography

Composition & Photography Workshop at Maine Media

Please consider joining me at Maine Media Workshops on mid-coast Maine in September as autumn has begun for a 5-day photography workshop. The dates are September 12, 2022 – September 16, 2022.

In this hands-on workshop we will approach composition as an instance of open-ended two-dimensional design. Photographic exercises will start with simple shapes, such as lines and circles, and proceed through patterns and repetitions, and onwards to spirals, fractals, and abstractions.

Field sessions will take advantage of the “target-rich” mid-coast Maine scenery. Classroom discussions will be intended to provoke thought about composition basics and continuing to enable individual integration of the process of composition into each participant’s creative practice.

Click here for more information and registration!


Tulip Pano © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Household Magic

When you look at everyday, household objects with fresh eyes, it is possible to see their magic. For example, someone told me the image below (Jaws Inversion) looks like a leg-hold trap. Actually, in non-magical life this is my daughter’s hair clip with the spring clip tied open. 

Jaws Inversion © Harold Davis

In this case, the non-living object has been imbued with a spirit, although possibly one that borders on the black hat rather than the white. The kitchen mixing bowls in the two images below are much more neutral.

Mixing Bowls © Harold Davis

Nesting Bowls and a Nautilus Slice © Harold Davis

Nesting Bowls and a Nautilus Slice © Harold Davis

Sometimes a shadow adds depth and purpose to the ordinary object, as in the Egg Yolk Separator shown below and Egg Slicer.

Egg Yolk Separator © Harold Davis

Egg Slicer © Harold Davis

Finally, domestic subjects can reverse the process of objectification. This approaches anthropomorphization: In Alter Ego, below, a squash becomes a dinosaur with a mystery about its shadow.

Alter Ego © Harold Davis

Related stories: Nesting Bowls and a Nautilus Slice; Egg Yolk Separator; Egg Slicer; and Alter Ego.

Posted in Photography