Hydrangea Blossoms and Rock Spiral

I made this light box composition with two spirals: one of small, wet rocks and the other with blossoms cut from a blue hydrangea bloom. I thought to create an homage and distant echo to Robert Smithson’s famous earth sculpture of a spiral jetty.

Hydrangea Blossoms and Rock Spiral © Harold Davis

Hydrangea Blossoms and Rock Spiral © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Out of Chicago Botanic Garden Photography Conference August 23– 27th, 2020

I am pleased to announce that I will be teaching at the Out of Chicago Botanic Garden Photography Conference in Deerfield, Ilinois near Chicago, August 23–27th, 2020. If you care about flower photography as much as I do, this one will be great!

Out of Chicago Botanic Garden will bring together passionate flower and garden photography enthusiasts with world-class photographers all in a great location, where you can learn and shoot side-by-side with working professional photographers who appreciate flower and garden photography.

Highlights include:
• Stay in Deerfield, Illinois and photograph the Chicago Botanic Garden for 5-days.
• Daily, in-the-field, hands-on, small group teaching excursions.
• There will be classes, group critiques and post-processing help.

Don’t miss this one! Reserve by Friday, February 28th, 2020 and save $250 by using my special discount code at checkout, DAVIS.

Visit www.outofchicago.com/chicagobotanic for registration and more information about the Out of Chicago Botanic Garden Photography Conference.

Posted in Workshops

New in Workshops. New In Books. New in Art.

New in Workshops

  • The early-bird registration for Photograph Tokyo (Oct 24 – Nov 1, 2020) ends soon (Jan 31). Please consider joining us for a fabulous destination photography workshop. Click here for workshop information, and here for the Reservation Form.  Please let us know right away if you’d like to come!
  • There’s still space in this year’s Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop (June 20-21, 2020). Click here for information and registration (or contact us for manual registration).
  • Photographing the Great Gardens of Maine (August 16-21, 2020) will be great this year, with Oldie-but-Goldie gardens and new horizons as well. Now open for registration. Click here for information and registration.
  • Please consider joining us in Paris (Spring 2021) for a boutique photography workshop with a great small group of folks. Click here for information, and here for the Reservation Form. I’ll look forward to photographing Paris with you!
Flowers with Dances and Delights © Harold Davis

Flowers with Dances and Delights © Harold Davis

New in Books

My new book Creative Garden Photography is due out from Rocky Nook towards the end of the summer 2020 and is now available for pre-order. The book features garden photography from around the world, some of my best flower images and how they were made, and techniques for use in the field (the garden), close-up, and botanicals in the studio (light box, on black, etc). Phyllis and I are working hard on writing and designing this book, and we think it will be very beautiful (as well as practical and useful).

Creative Garden Photography will be available from the publisher, Rocky Nook, on Amazon, and “wherever fine books are sold.”

New in Art

We are offering for a limited time your choice of one these four photographs by Harold Davis of Claude Monet’s legendary Garden at Giverny, France at a very special price. They are Giverny Afternoon, Flowers at Giverny, Giverny (Bridge), and Red Tulip, Giverny. The images are shown below.

Each print is on 13″ X 17″ paper (the image size is a slightly less than the paper size), hand printed in my studio on wonderful Moab Juniper Baryta extra premium photographic paper, and personally signed by me.

Your print of choice is $295, approximately a 75% discount from our normal retail price for a print of this size of $1,200. $30 shipping within the US (please inquire for international shipping). Sales tax also applies.

Click here to read more!

Flowers at Giverny © Harold Davis

Flowers at Giverny © Harold Davis

Posted in Business of Art, Photography, Workshops

Guest Blog: Beliefs and Answers, Holger Mischke

Holger Mischke is a photographer/writer/musician who works mainly in black and white and combines his images with stories, describing the world around us filtered through the world inside him. You can see more of his work on his website holgermischke.com and follow his writing on his blog holgermischke.blog.


Photo Credit: Jörg Wüstkamp

To live a life I think you need to believe in something, need to find some answers. Without those beliefs and answers, there is no sense of direction, which will make it hard to find it in yourself to make an effort, since you don’t even know whether the next step is getting you closer to where you want to be or further away.

The answers can be found everywhere. Sometimes you already heard them and didn’t recognize them. Sometimes you knew them all along. It’s just that the right questions were never asked.

When I read Ansel Adams’ 1965 article about Edward Weston, one sentence struck home with me: “You might discover through Edward Weston’s work how basically good you are or might become.” The questions I asked myself after reading this and pondering it for a while made me realize something I knew all along. About who I was. And about my work as a photographer.

When They Come © Holger Mischke

It is no coincidence that most people will tell you when asked where they go to wind down, relax, find peace, recharge, that they’ll find all that in nature. I believe that we all feel that way in nature is because we are basically going home. It’s where we belong, it’s where we came from and will go back to. And it’s what we feel disconnected from when we’re back in the everyday “real” world.

X Marks The Spot © Holger Mischke

I am often asked why there are rarely any people in my photographs. I think they are always there. When I take pictures of forests, mountains, the sky, the sea, a sunset, then you can find yourself in there. You, and all the rest of us. I believe that everything in nature is connected and even in this day and age when he have managed to be so out of touch with nature if we are willing to be open, we can find ourselves there again.

Big Sky © Holger Mischke

So when I show you Marram grass in the wind under a stormy sky along the coast, it is you. When I show you fir trees aching under the weight of the snow, it is me. And when I show you the moon reflecting in the ocean stretching out to the horizon, it is all of us and all you will ever need to know. Because at this point the questions will start forming inside you and point you to what we knew all along. And what will help you discover how good you are or might become.

A Wind Is Rising © Holger Mischke

“I know now wherever I go, the path will show itself with every step I take. I’ll never be lost.” This is my idea for The Path (France, 2018).

The Path © Holger Mischke

Posted in Guest Blog

Special Print Offer: A Quartet of Giverny Prints by Harold Davis

We are offering for a limited time your choice of one these four photographs by Harold Davis of Claude Monet’s legendary Garden at Giverny, France at a very special price. They are Giverny Afternoon, Flowers at Giverny, Giverny (Bridge), and Red Tulip, Giverny. The images are shown below.

Each print is on 13″ X 17″ paper (the image size is a slightly less than the paper size), hand printed in my studio on wonderful Moab Juniper Baryta extra premium photographic paper, and personally signed by me.

Your print of choice is $295, approximately a 75% discount from our normal retail price for a print of this size of $1,200. $30 shipping within the US (please inquire for international shipping). Sales tax also applies.

We accept personal checks, credit cards, Paypal, and cash.

All four prints are available for $995 including domestic shipping. This is an additional discount that exceeds 25% off the already discounted individual print price.

Please note that this is a limited time offer; we reserve the right to terminate it at any point. Click here to learn more about my handmade prints.

Giverny Afternoon © Harold Davis

Giverny Afternoon © Harold Davis

Flowers at Giverny © Harold Davis

Flowers at Giverny © Harold Davis

Giverny © Harold Davis

Giverny (Bridge) © Harold Davis

Red Tulip at Giverny © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, Print of the Month

Harold Davis featured on See.me

These images use both cutting edge photographic techniques, digital painting adapted from my background as a painter, and software post-production to create images that are unique and uniquely different. I want viewers to experience the fabric of reality a little differently after they have viewed my images. What is real, and what is not? The answer is not so apparent, and we are only as good as our fantasies.

Harold Davis featured on See.Me.

Curled Epiphany © Harold Davis

Curled Epiphany © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Under the Dumbarton Bridge

For reasons I won’t go into at this time, I find myself these days often driving south to Palo Alto on the peninsula. It’s about an hour from my home in Berkeley with no traffic, and hell-on-wheels when there is traffic. One of the routes I use crosses San Francisco Bay on the Dumbarton Bridge.

Dumbarton Bridge © Harold Davis

Dumbarton Bridge © Harold Davis

There’s something about photographing under bridges that floats my boat. Perhaps it is that salty, sensual melody from “Under the Boardwalk” rattling around in my neurons, and I’ve mistaken a bridge for a boardwalk. In any case, check out Under the Yaquina Bay Bridge and Bridge of Light for examples.

So I was pleased to learn that the underside of the Dumbarton Bridge is pretty cool. The image above is a quick photo from the eastern end, where I plan to photograph again when I have more time. You can click here for a view of the underneath of the western side.

Posted in Monochrome, Photography, San Francisco Area

New Book: Creative Garden Photography to be published this summer

My new book Creative Garden Photography is due out from Rocky Nook towards the end of the summer 2020. The book features garden photography from around the world, some of my best flower images and how they were made, and techniques for use in the field (the garden), close-up, and botanicals in the studio (light box, on black, etc). Phyllis and I are working hard on writing and designing this book, and we think it will be very beautiful (as well as practical and useful).

Here are two versions of a light box composition that I just made!

Light Box Study - Untitled © Harold Davis

Light Box Study – Untitled © Harold Davis

Light Box Study - Inversion © Harold Davis

Light Box Study – Inversion © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Spring in California

It’s mid-January, and that means springtime in Berkeley. Witness two iPhone photographs: the soles of Phyllis’s gardening shoes with dirt contrasting to the treads, and the gate to a neighbor’s lush garden. I am really excited this year as we have many Papavers to plant, small-sized and straight from the nursery. Hopefully, they’ll be in bloom when I get back from the Camino de Santiago towards the end of May, and voilà! My models will await me. 

Garden Gate © Harold Davis

Garden Gate © Harold Davis

Planting Shoes © Harold Davis

Planting Shoes © Harold Davis

Here are our front stairs from last year with plantings:

Home © Harold Davis

Home © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Orange Rose

Starting the new year right, I took my time with a bouquet of orange and white roses, first photographing a white rose close up for differential focus. Next, I made several different views of the orange roses, horizontal (top), an “O’Keeffe like” view (middle), and a side angle of the petals (bottom).  What a fun way to spend some time with my camera and some pretty flowers!

Orange Rose © Harold Davis

Orange Rose © Harold Davis

Yellow Rose 2 © Harold Davis

Orange Rose 2 (after O’Keeffe) © Harold Davis

Yellow Rose 3 © Harold Davis

Orange Rose 3 © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

White Rose

When I saw this white rose, I wanted to contrast the spiral center with its clear delineations and the softness of the outer petals. I used a Lensbaby 85mm Velvet, and made two exposures, with my Nikon D850 on a tripod. The exposure for the center was stopped down at f/16, and for the outer petals wide open at f/1.8. I combined the two exposures using a layer, layer mask, and the Brush Tool in Photoshop.

White Rose © Harold Davis

White Rose © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

First Flowers of the Decade

Altar of Roses © Harold Davis

Altar of Roses © Harold Davis

First and foremost, we enjoyed the pale orange and white roses with the coming of the New Year. Next, I photographed petals close-up (these are still to come as I haven’t processed them yet). Finally, I photographed some of the flowers using one of my light boxes (this resulting image is shown above).

The world, as poet William Blake put it, can be found in a grain of sand, or a water drop. It can also be found in a human body, or a single flower. I could spend my life working with one blossom. Ultimately, there is so much in the world to see and photograph that getting bored—or being boring—makes no sense to me.

Click here for my best of 2019.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Happy New Year!

Click here for my Workshops & Events; here for my Best of 2019; here for my blog; and here for a link to my reflections on my life in and out of photography!

Posted in Photography

Updates to My 2019 Best; Happy New Year!

I’ve updated my self-selected 2019 Best of Harold Davis selection with a few new images. These were either photographed or processed after I initially compiled the list. Since the selection is chronological, based on the date posted to my Flickr account, the new entries are at the end of the story.

Check out my complete 2019 best, including Old Schoolhouse Trail shown below, by clicking here.

And, a Happy New Year to one and all! Can’t we work our best towards building a better, more serene, and lovely world in the year to come rather than striving to tear each other down?

Along the Old Schoolhouse Trail © Harold Davis

Along the Old Schoolhouse Trail © Harold Davis

About the image: I photographed Along the Old Schoolhouse Trail along the eponymous trail in the coastal range mountains above Kensington, California. I was hiking with a friend on a somewhat foggy day in November. What caught my eye was the way the old California oak trees seemed almost to be dancing with one another, like spirits of the forest frozen in time. 

With my camera on tripod, I waited until the breeze had stilled and I could be sure there were no other hikers or dog walkers. I made three exposures with my Nikon D850 and my 28-300 “walk-around” general purpose lens at 190mm. Each exposure was at f/22 and ISO 64, with exposure times of 3, 6, and 10 seconds.

As an editorial observation, I’d note that the great technicians of the black-and-white analog darkroom knew how to control and extend dynamic range with great results. Some of the same creative ideas they used, and some new ones, are required to fulfill the vision of making exciting digital imagery that also prints well. The technical expertise required is no longer that of the wet darkroom.

Knowing how to proceed in the digital darkroom means knowing how to work with software files in Photoshop and other digital post-production tool sets. It takes no less skill than the wet darkroom did, but the skills required are certainly different. You have to know the technical side of cameras and photography, and also how to work with software.

Most images available as prints. Please inquire. © Harold Davis. All rights reserved.

Posted in Photography

Print Sold: San Francisco Moonrise

San Francisco Moonrise © Harold Davis

San Francisco Moonrise © Harold Davis

I’m happy to have sold a print of my San Francisco Moonrise to a collector particularly interested in local (San Francisco) imagery. By the way, a color version of this image is reproduced on the title page of my book Creative Lighting.

Posted in Photography, Print of the Month