Celebrating Beauty Where I Find It

Daffodils and Irises © Harold Davis

Dear Ones:

In our garden, the Iris and Freesia are flowering. The peony bush I planted last autumn has produced an enormous, platter-sized blossom. This is Paeonia ‘Morning Lilac’, an Itoh Peony—also called “Intersectional”. Itoh Peonies are hybrids between Tree Peonies and herbacious Peonies, with some of the best properties of each. This was not an easy hybridization, begun in the 1940s in Japan by Toichi Itoh. Only a few Itoh Peonies have recently made it into commerce.

It is spring in Berkeley, with the air redolent of the rich, fragrant California floral perfume that I smell nowhere else.

Of course, no matter where one lives, and however immersed one may be in horticulture and flower photography, one cannot ignore the events in the wide world. My heart bleeds for those whose lives are ruined or ended by the greed of autocrats and under the fascist boot. I would so like to see the forces of evil defeated, and humanity approach decision making with more thoughtfulness, gratitude, humility—and caring for others. In the meantime—I am generally an optimist, but I am not really holding my breath—I intend to live life to the fullest, and to celebrate beauty where and how I find it.

Professionally, this has been an exciting time for me. My new book, Composition & Photography: Working with photography using design concepts, is available as an eBook, with the actual “real” books to get here soon. The USPS stamps using my work are now available. And I am to be the 2022 Photographic Society of America (PSA) Progress Award winner.

Regarding the PSA Progress Award, this comes as a total surprise to me. I am so grateful, and certainly in good company, considering the previous annual award winners. Most of all, it means to me that people are “listening” to me—that I am seen. That my work is seen. I do not plan to “rest on my laurels.” This is not the end, it is only the beginning. Thank you PSA, so very much!

I am very excited to be leaving soon on extended travels. I’ll be meeting friends in Paris, then leading a small photography group in the southwest of France, then hiking on my own as a pilgrim on a portion of the Camino de Santiago (click here for a video discussing some of my previous Caminos).

Please consider joining me in August in Berkeley, California for Photographing Flowers for Transparency, in September in Maine for Composition and Photography, or in October for Off-the-Beaten-Track Japan. Click here for my 2022 Works & Events schedule.

I send my very best wishes in photography,

Harold Davis

Peony One © Harold Davis

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