The Making of the Abstractions

Abstract 3 © Harold Davis

This image and the two other abstracts shown in a previous story were constructed by allowing strong sunlight to pass through bottles filled with fluid (dark brown maple syrup and red wine). In the foreground I placed glassware (a wine cup stem in this image, flower vases in the previous two). A water glass made of blue glass added some reflected color to the images.

I photographing the setup extremely close with a very low depth-of-field, hand holding a Lensbaby Sweet 85 wide open (at f/1.8) with an extension tube, and using short duration shutter speeds (e.g., 1/2000 of a second). The result was extremely shallow focus and a painterly effect for everything out of focus, and clearly the precise point of focus was a crucial issue. I do think this would have been hard to pull off without an optical viewfinder.

Thanks to everyone who hypothesized in comments on my blog and on my IG feed!

This entry was posted in Abstractions, Photography.


  1. Ken Smith February 18, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

    Harold these are terrific! Keep on inspiring us all. Looking forward to your Topaz webinar tomorrow. Thanks

  2. Mark May 18, 2019 at 6:26 am #

    I have purchased two of your books and read your blog. GREAT WORK AND THANK YOU.
    I am about to print and frame some of my black and white images. Please tell me what paper or papers names you like to print on. Thank you for your advice.

  3. Harold Davis May 18, 2019 at 8:24 am #

    Hi Mark, thank you for writing. For my black and white prints I am very partial to Moab Juniper Baryta. Very best wishes, Harold

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