Author Archives: Harold Davis

Harold Davis—Best of 2019

The journey continues! 2019 was an exciting year for art, photography, books, teaching workshops, and travel. Abroad, I walked another pilgrimage trail; this time from Tui, on the River Minho and the Portuguese border to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. At home I enjoyed time with my family as well as some exciting new artistic horizons. I am looking forward to a gazillion fresh adventures in art, photography, and travel in 2020!

The images are more-or-less in the order made in the course of the year; or, at least, in the order processed and uploaded. Below each image, I’ve added links to the relevant blog stories that include my selected images (where I blogged them). I’ve been in a reflective mood lately; to see some of my musings please click here to read my Guest Blog Post, Photographer As Poet, Harold Davis.

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

Crepuscular Coast v2 © Harold Davis

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Gerbera Petals © Harold Davis

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Eiffel Tower in Paris Landscape © Harold Davis

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Night Highway © Harold Davis

Baltazar Chrysanthemum © Harold Davis

Blue #1 © Harold Davis

Pale Garden © Harold Davis

Pale Garden © Harold Davis

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Quartet © Harold Davis

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Wisteria Gate © Harold Davis

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Japanese Bridge, Schwetzingen Garden © Harold Davis

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X-Ray Floral Medley Fusion © Harold Davis

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Nautilus X-Rays © Harold Davis

Nautilus X-Rays © Harold Davis

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Tulips X-Ray Fusion © Harold Davis

Tulips X-Ray Fusion © Harold Davis

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Paris Landscape © Harold Davis

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Flowers at Giverny © Harold Davis

Flowers at Giverny © Harold Davis

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Giverny Afternoon © Harold Davis

Giverny Afternoon © Harold Davis

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Inside Tui Cathedral © Harold Davis

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Tulips Fusion X-Ray © Harold Davis

Garden along the Camino © Harold Davis

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Scallop Shell Symbol on the Side of the Cathedral of Santiago © Harold Davis

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Rose Bouquet © Harold Davis

Sunset at Sea © Harold Davis

Old-Fashioned Rose © Harold Davis

Old-Fashioned Rose © Harold Davis

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Flower Block on White © Harold Davis

Flower Block on White © Harold Davis

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Flowers that Remain Behind © Harold Davis

Flowers that Remain Behind © Harold Davis

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Columbine © Harold Davis

Angel's Trumpets © Harold Davis

Angel’s Trumpets © Harold Davis

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Nesting Bowls and a Nautilus Slice © Harold Davis

Nesting Bowls and a Nautilus Slice © Harold Davis

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Weaving with Light © Harold Davis

Weaving with Light © Harold Davis

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Cactus Flower Detail V © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail V © Harold Davis

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Eye Dahlia © Harold Davis

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Red Vein Indian Mallow © Harold Davis

Solar Flare © Harold Davis

Dark Angel © Harold Davis

Dark Angel © Harold Davis

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Bench © Harold Davis

Bench © Harold Davis

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Flower Magic © Harold Davis

Flower Magic © Harold Davis

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Curled Epiphany © Harold Davis

Curled Epiphany © Harold Davis

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Rollback © Harold Davis

Rollback © Harold Davis

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Gaillardia-gami © Harold Davis

Gaillardia-gami © Harold Davis

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Dawn Chorus Unbound © Harold Davis

Dawn Chorus Unbound © Harold Davis

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Sound of the Sea © Harold Davis

Sound of the Sea © Harold Davis

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Love of Spirals © Harold Davis

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Through the Rabbit Hole © Harold Davis

Through the Rabbit Hole © Harold Davis

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The Spiral Heart © Harold Davis

The Spiral Heart © Harold Davis

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Falling into Spirals V2 © Harold Davis

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Hydrangea Blossoms © Harold Davis

Hydrangea Blossoms © Harold Davis

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Wreath © Harold Davis

Wreath © Harold Davis

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Untitled In-Camera Multiple exposure © Harold Davis

Untitled In-Camera Multiple exposure © Harold Davis

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Mandala with Starfish © Harold Davis

Mandala with Starfish © Harold Davis

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Echinacea Seed Pod © Harold Davis

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my images and the associated blog stories. Most images available as prints. Please inquire. Check out my self-selected bests from previous years in Best Images Annuals!

Posted in Best Of, Photography

Echinacea Seed Pod X-Ray

Echinacea Seed Pod on Black © Harold Davis

Very special thanks to the scientists in the Photon Science group at the Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs who used the Beamline when it was in maintenance mode to help with this capture.

Check out more x-ray photos of mine here.

Echinacea Seed Pod - Sepia © Harold Davis

Echinacea Seed Pod – Sepia © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Monochrome, X-Ray

Under the Dumbarton Bridge

In 1982, a new Dumbarton Bridge replaced the old, cast-iron cantilevered span across San Francisco Bay from Hayward to Palo Alto. The hardest part of the construction was the giant cast iron footings deep down into the muck and mud of the Bay. This location was close to the first bridge crossing the Bay, an abandoned train bridge finished just after the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

Under the Dumbarton Bridge © Harold Davis

Under the Dumbarton Bridge © Harold Davis

Climbing down the side of the bridge to get under it reminded me a bit of an earlier adventure with Berkeley Municipal Pier. The footing was treacherous in stagnant salt water, mud, and detritus, and I made my way carefully around and through a bend in the dilapidated barbed-wire fencing. 

Once under the bridge, I found myself on a confronting the colossus of the cement footings of the bridge. These underpinnings were reflected in the inter-tidal zone mud flats. 

I put my camera (a Nikon D850) on the tripod and added a polarizing filter to amplify the reflections of the underbelly of the bridge. I made eight exposures using my 28-300mm Nikkor lens at 58mm. Each exposure was stopped down (at f/29) because I needed maximum depth-of-field to render sharply both the nearby reflections and the recession of pillars through the opening in the columns. The sensitivity was ISO 64. My exposure speeds were from 1/20 of a second to 6 seconds. 

I combined and processed the exposures using Adobe Bridge, Adobe Photoshop, Nik HDR Efex Pro, Nik Color Efex, Nik Silver Efex, Topaz Adjust, and Topaz Simplify.

I like to photograph the naked underbelly of bridges. Here’s another one of mine that has had considerable play: Under the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

Posted in Monochrome, San Francisco Area

Flower Magic

This is a light box image of sunflowers, tulips, and irises, with bamboo cut from the neighborhood. Click here for an FAQ about my techniques for photographing flowers for transparency, and here for the next session of my Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop in June. My workshop is end-to-end, starting with floral arrangement, continuing to individual hands-on photography, and explaining the post-production techniques I use in these images.

Flower Magic © Harold Davis

Flower Magic © Harold Davis

The image shown here was photographed on a light box; the resulting image on white was then added to a scanned paper background, using the techniques I teach in my online Photoshop Backgrounds & Textures course.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Mandala with Starfish

I’ve been experimenting with creating light box mandalas that include seemingly unlikely objects, particularly as the central element. Last week I built the mandala around a succulent plant. Along with the autumn leaves this helped to create an effect like a seasonal wreath.

The mandala below is “anchored” using a starfish.

Mandala with Starfish © Harold Davis

Mandala with Starfish © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Black Friday Workshop Discounts

In honor of the great tradition of Black Friday, we are offering special discounts (through Sunday December 1) this week for workshop registrations, as follows:

The “Black Friday” discounts are by way of saying thanks for early registration, which makes planning easier for us, and is in addition to those early-bird discounts that already are applicable.

With Photographing Flowers for Transparency, if registering through Meetup, deduct $50 from the Paypal amount to pay (or contact us for direct registration). With Tokyo, Patagonia, or Paris, please drop us an email to say you’d like to come, and note the Black Friday deduction on your Reservation Form. 

Learn about LAB Color          Backgrounds & Textures in Photoshop     Creative Black & White [Use code HDAVIS40 at checkout for discount]

Pale Garden on Black © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Untitled In-Camera Multiple Exposure

Untitled In-Camera Multiple exposure © Harold Davis

Untitled In-Camera Multiple Exposure © Harold Davis

I’m back at the in-camera Multiple Exposures. This one can be visually interpreted in a number of ways if you don’t look too closely, as is the case for many of the Multiple Exposures on my blog.

To create this image, there were ten individual exposures, combined in the camera. The model was the talented and somewhat incredible (in a very good way) PoppySeed Dancer (click here for her Instagram).

Posted in Models, Multiple Exposures, Photography

My life story in and out of photography along my road less traveled

Harold Davis: Self portrait with moustache

Self Portrait with Moustache © Harold Davis

In Guest Blog Post: Photographer as Poet Harold Davis I write that selfies are silly and that photography is poetry. I also tell some of my life story in and out of photography along my road less traveled. Check it out!

Road Less Traveled by Harold Davis

Road Less Traveled © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, Writing

Wreath

A good time of year for wreaths, this is a not-quite-Thanksgiving wreath slash mandala in California style with a succulent in the center and autumn grasses arranged symmetrically around the edges, photographed on my light box.

Wreath © Harold Davis

Wreath © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Trio of Prints Sold: Sometimes Simplicity Is Best

Bench © Harold Davis

Bench © Harold Davis

I’m very happy to have sold a trio of lightly sepia-toned monochromatic prints on Moab Juniper Baryta to a collector.

In garden photography, sometimes simplicity is the point. I made the images shown in these prints in August while teaching a week-long garden photograph course at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine. The first image shows a wooden bench just outside the front gate to the well-known and spectacular Abbey Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor, Maine. You can see the bench in this wide-angle view of the garden gate!

The stone arrangement and patterned shakes in the two images below were taken at Shleppinghurst, a unique garden built into the landscape of an abandoned Maine quarry over 40 years by Ken Cleaves.

Stones and Lichen © Hartold Davis

Stones and Lichen © Harold Davis

Shakes © Harold Davis

Shakes © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Tracking the Curls

I don’t know how to keep track of the curls any more. Maybe the best way is to run a train track through the curls in the two-dimensional substrate. Any train on these tracks can pass through a green defile on to fly across a sunset sky with distant mountains, and, curving onward, steam back again through a distant green land. Ah, the malleability of pixels!

Trouble with Tracks © Harold Davis

Trouble with Tracks © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Peonies mon Amour on Washi

The image shows a print of my 2012 Peonies mon Amour, one of my most popular botanical images, as printed on simulated Awagami Unryu washi, distributed in the United States by Moab Paper. My hand-stamped inkan (a Japanese version of a “chop” that can be used in place of a signature) is shown on the lower right of the print.

In this simulated view, the inkan is a bit larger than actual life size in proportion to the print. The inkan roughly translates to “Photographer as Poet.”

For collectors who are interested in one of my botanical prints on washi, I offer the option of including a stamp of my inkan in addition to my signature.

Peonies mon Amour © Harold Davis (2012), print on Unryu washi with hand inkan stamp

Most of my images are available as prints. Please inquire.

Posted in Flowers

Print Sold

Print of Through the Rabbit Hole © Harold Davis

I am grateful to a longtime collector and friend who recently purchased this print on Moab Juniper Baryta of my Through the Rabbit Hole.

Most of my images are available as prints. Please inquire.

Posted in Photography

End of Days

End of Days © Harold Davis

End of Days © Harold Davis

Soon the hot wind from on high is among us, and we feel the devil’s riding crop. What unknown blasts fuel the motion of an already unstable and pockmarked sphere? Give me a marble and you never know what I’ll do!

Hidden Worlds (within marbles); more impossible imagery; the Eye of Sauron in his cups; marbles below.

Forging Worlds © Harold Davis

World on Fire © Harold Davis

Most images available as prints. Please inquire.

Posted in Photography

Leek and Lichen

Leek & Lichen should perhaps be the name for a pub on the outskirts of London, somewhere past Elephant & Castle and nearby to the Queen’s Head and Artichoke. Alas, the reference here is to photos of two prosaic subjects (although hopefully the photos themselves are anything but prosaic): a cross-section of a leek that later became part of our dinner, and lichen scraped from a tree and then dried. It is interesting that one need not travel anywhere exotic to make photos; photography is about seeing, and vision is just as valid close to home as it is abroad.

Leek Cross-Section © Harold Davis

Leek Cross-Section © Harold Davis

Lichen © Harold Davis

Lichen © Harold Davis

Posted in Monochrome