Author Archives: Harold Davis

Flowers that Remain

I had a great Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop over the weekend, with a nice group of workshop participants who were eager to learn, and I think had fun! I’m looking forward to scheduling the workshop again next year, in June of 2020. If you are interested in this workshop, keep your eye out for it on my Workshops & Events page (or add yourself to my email list for an alert), as I do this workshop only once a year, and it does fill up.

What do you do with left-over flowers? There were quite a few that remained from the workshop, so I put them on my largest light box, and photographed them as a block of blossoms.

Flowers that Remain Behind © Harold Davis

Flowers that Remain Behind © Harold Davis

Of course, it is hard to create a wall of flowers like this one without also wanted to invert the composition in LAB color.

Flowers that Remain Behind Inversion © Harold Davis

Flowers that Remain Behind Inversion © Harold Davis

During the workshop, I created some demos to show various techniques. This first image was a collaboration, with workshop participants handing me flowers. I was arranging them in real-time in front of the group, which doesn’t have quite the serenity of the way I prefer to work, but was fun, and I think came out okay.

Bouquet © Harold Davis

Bouquet © Harold Davis

I use this circular image to demo painting in transparency by sampling petals, and then painting in the values.

Mandala with Clematis and Poppies © Harold Davis

Mandala with Clematis and Poppies © Harold Davis

A singleton poppy made a nice and simple demonstration of the formula for adding a flower to a scanned background.

Poppy on Papyrus © Harold Davis

Poppy on Papyrus © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, Workshops

Photograph Southwest France with Harold Davis (Spring 2020)

Click here for detailed itinerary, and here for the Reservation Form.

Posted in Workshops

Making a Flower Block and LAB Collage

Last week I photographed a medley of flowers from our garden on the light box, with one result shown in a previous story. The flowers together formed almost a kind of color block print:

Flower Block on White © Harold Davis

Flower Block on White © Harold Davis

Running the block print image through LAB color adjustments, I couldn’t help enjoy the variations, and constructed an eight-panel collage. Each panel represents an LAB channel equalization or inversion, all based on the original flower block. Click here or on the collage to view it larger.

Collage of LAB Flower Blocks © Harold Davis

Collage of LAB Flower Blocks © Harold Davis

For more on how this collage was made, check out my Creative LAB Color in Photoshop course.

Posted in Photography

Surreal Lady Fish

Take one model (Katlyn Lacoste). Make two in-camera studio multiple exposures of the model using strobes on a black background. Turn the exposures sideways, and mix and match in Photoshop. Add Harold’s eye. What do you get? A surreal lady fish.

Surreal Lady Fish © Harold Davis

Surreal Lady Fish © Harold Davis

Posted in Multiple Exposures, Photography

Papaver Triptych

The Nearly Perfect Poppy close-up is the center panel of the Triptych. Click here or on the image to view it larger.

Papaver Triptych © Harold Davis

Papaver Triptych © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Nearly Perfect Poppy

Waking up to a morning of partial sunshine, I saw this new, glowing, orange Poppy blossom in the plantings along our front porch. It was definitely dappled and dawn-drawn. Although I have met and photographed many fine Papavers in my life, this one seemed nearly perfect to me in every way.

Nearly Perfect Poppy © Harold Davis

Nearly Perfect Poppy © Harold Davis

If you are interested in how I photographed this flower, I brought it indoors and suspended it over a black velvet background. I used diffused sunlight for ambient backlighting, and added an LED macro flash for fill from both sides. The camera was my D850 on a heavy-duty RRS tripod. I used 60mm of extension tubes with my 85mm Nikkor t/s macro. A +4 close-up filter graced the business end of the lens.

I exposed for 30 seconds at ISO 64 and an effective aperture of f/64.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Waves on Drakes Beach

Today I reprocessed this image of Waves from a while back so that the photo would work for a substantial enlargement. I wanted to keep the soft quality of the breaking waves in the background while sharpening the foreground just a smidgen, all while interpolating the image a bit larger. The tool I used was Topaz A.I. Gigapixel, and I think it (and I) did a fine job.

Waves on Drakes Beach © Harold Davis

Waves on Drakes Beach © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, Point Reyes

Announcing Romantic Southwest France (April 29-May 7, 2020): Photography in the Lot River Valley

We are pleased to announce a new destination photo workshop to southwestern France in the spring of 2020. Join a small compatible group of photographers in a 15th Century fortified farmhouse in the lush countryside of southwest France in the springtime. We will be hosted at the  Mas de Garrigue, a 15th century fortified farm near the Lot River in the heart of romantic southwestern France. This is an area of gardens, gourmet French home cooking, ancient medieval villages and castles, and a photographer’s and walker’s paradise.

Click here for more info, here for the detailed itinerary, and here for the Reservation Form. A significant early-bird discount applies for enrollment by August 15, 2019. Please keep in mind that this destination photo workshop is filling fast!

Confluence of Two Rivers © Harold Davis

Our group will meet at a special hotel in Toulouse in the southwest of France on the afternoon of Wednesday April 29, 2016 where we will be spending the night. After exploring Toulouse, we’ll transfer by private mini-bus to Mas de Garrigue in the area of Calvignac on the banks of the beautiful Lot River. Along the way we will stop at the historic city of Albi, with its ancient bridge over the Tarn River.

Morning Mist © Harold Davis

The Lot is a region of beautiful rivers and valleys, stark cliffs with ancient clinging villages, sacred pilgrimage routes, stone bridges, churches that date from the era of the crusaders, beautiful flowering gardens, and much more. 

Cordes sur Ciel at Dawn © Harold Davis

Click here for more info, here for the detailed itinerary, and here for the Reservation Form. A significant early-bird discount applies for enrollment by August 15, 2019.

Posted in Workshops

Papaver Rhoeas Medley

It was fun to spend a slow weekend morning with the family at home. Everyone was engaged, no one was bored or whining or hungry. I photographed flowers from our garden: Poppies, delphiniums, and roses. The idea was to make a great color explosion. The music to photograph by was Pink Floyd and Bizet’s Carmen. The central flowers are Papaver rhoeas ‘Falling in Love’.

Papaver Rhoeas Medley © Harold Davis

Papaver rhoeas Medley © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Nautilus X-Ray Series

I made this series of X-Ray and Fusion X-Ray Nautilus shell compositions in collaboration with Dr. Julian Köpke in April in Heidelberg using conventional digital x-ray equipment and DSLR cameras, and yesterday was able to find some time to process the images. If this kind of imagery interests you, e.g., digital X-Rays, fusion X-Rays, or imagery of Nautilus shells, also check out: X-Ray portfolio; Tulip X-Rays and Fusion X-Rays; X-Ray Flower Medley Fusion; Nautilus Within Without; Nautilus X-Rays; Nautilus in Black and White.

Nautilus Shells LAB © Harold Davis

Nautilus Shells LAB © Harold Davis

Nautilus Shells on White © Harold Davis

Nautilus Shells on White © Harold Davis

Nautilus Shells on Black © Harold Davis

Nautilus Shells on Black © Harold Davis

Nautilus Shells on Black - Fusion © Harold Davis

Nautilus Shells on Black – Fusion © Harold Davis

Posted in X-Ray

Exploring Tokyo for Photographers (Oct 24-Nov 1, 2020)

Photograph Tokyo with Harold Davis and Mark Brokering (Oct 24-Nov 1, 2020)

One of the truly great cities of the modern world, Tokyo is extraordinarily photogenic, and surprisingly easy to get around in. When the maple trees change color in the autumn, and ultra new meets ancient and old, Tokyo can be particularly beautiful. Please click here for details of the itinerary, and click here for the Reservation Form!

An early-bird discount applies until Oct 31, 2019.

We look forward to exploring Tokyo with you.

Join acclaimed photographer Harold Davis and co-host Mark Brokering for the experience of a lifetime in Tokyo exploring the culture, food, and art of Japan—all with our cameras!

Umbrellas, Tokyo © Harold Davis

Japanese cuisine is probably my favorite food. And I am not alone in this affinity. Did you know that there are more three-star Michelin restaurants in Japan than in France?

I feel lucky to be exploring Japan with someone as knowledgeable about food and cooking as Mark Brokering. Mark has been teaching cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma for the past year. And he has been enjoying the cooking of his Japanese sister-in-law for decades. He’s been to Japan many times for work and for family visits. He tells me that noodles like ramen and soba, a staple of Japanese home cooking, are ideal anytime—breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

You may also not know that in Japan there are a wide variety of tasty egg dishes, including assorted tamagoyaki (kind of an egg-roll omelet) and tamago sushi (rice topped with sliced cooked egg and wrapped around with a strip of Nori seaweed).

Of course, if you’re into sushi, you won’t find another country that offers raw fish in such variety and elegance of preparation.

On this photo trip, we will explore the Tokyo culinary scene together, making sure that there are plenty of comfort food options, as well as ventures into the exotic and unknown.

Buddha Samadhi, Tokyo © Harold Davis

Here’s what some participants in past travel workshops with Harold Davis had to say:

  • “Had an awesome time with Harold and the workshop participants.  Itching to go back.”
  • “What an agreeable group of travel companions they were! A once-in-a-lifetime experience that I plan to repeat next spring!”
  • “Would follow Harold and his camera anywhere!”
  • “Harold has great skill, without the ego of most master photographers. Travel arrangements were perfect.”
  • “One thing I really liked about the photo tour that Harold set up is that we had plenty of time to photograph in the best locations, and really prioritized when the light would be good.”

An early-bird discount applies until Oct 31, 2019. Click here for itinerary details and other information, and here for the Reservation Form.

Posted in Workshops

Paris in the Spring (April 24-May 2, 2021)

Please click here for itinerary details, and click here for the Reservation Form! We look forward to exploring Paris with you. An early-bird registration discount applies.

There’s nothing like photographing Paris in the spring! Let’s spend some glorious days together in April and May of 2021 making photos in Paris, and having a great time.

Photography begins with the medium of light, which the artist captures and applies to the canvas in endlessly surprising ways. And what better place to explore this medium than Paris, the City of Light?

Join acclaimed photographer Harold Davis and co-host Mark Brokering for the experience of a lifetime in Paris, the birthplace of photography. There you’ll have the opportunity to experience firsthand the places and sights that have inspired artists for centuries.

Paris Sunset © Harold Davis

We’ll focus our lenses on Paris in bloom, Paris at night, and Paris in black & white, reinterpreting for ourselves some of the images that have been captured in paint and on film by many great artists, including Daguerre, Monet, Atget, Picasso, and Erwitt. We’ll have a grand time photographing and we’ll return home with many priceless shots to treasure!

Photo tour includes an excursion to Monet’s famous gardens at Giverny, with what is always one of the highlights for any photographer: exclusive after-hours artist access to the gardens and lily pond area.

Harold’s photographs of Paris have appeared in books, exhibitions, and been published worldwide on travel sites.

Double Rainbow over Paris © Harold Davis

Here’s what some participants in past Photograph Paris with Harold Davis Workshops had to say:

Eiffel Tower from Sacré Coeur © Harold Davis

Eiffel Tower from Sacré Coeur © Harold Davis

  • “Had an awesome time with Harold and the workshop participants.  Itching to go back.  If you’re a photographer, Paris at night is a ‘Must Do!’.  Put it on your bucket list ‘cause you may not see this in Heaven.”
  • “Photographing Paris at night in the company of a group of fellow photographers had instant appeal.  Inspired by the scenes of Brassai, I imagined myself at the top of the steps at Montmartre, taking wonderful black-and-white images.  I already admired Harold Davis, and had confidence that he would lead us to fantastic places – and he did!  What came as a delightful surprise was the level of talent and variety of approaches that my fellow travelers employed to capture the marvelous churches, gardens, and people of Paris, Giverny, and Fontainebleau.  I learned from every one of them.  And what an agreeable group of travel companions they were! A once-in-a-lifetime experience that I plan to repeat next spring!”
  • “Harold has great skill, without the ego of most master photographers. Travel arrangements were perfect.”
  • “One thing I really liked about the photo tour that Harold set up is that we had plenty of time to photograph in the best locations, and really prioritized when the light would be good.”

Please click here for itinerary details, and click here for the Reservation Form! We look forward to exploring Paris with you. An early-bird registration discount applies.

Posted in Workshops

Our Lady of Chartres

I recently was privileged to visit Chartres Cathedral with my group of Paris photographers. The upper two images were made inside Our Lady of Chartres with a fisheye lens and the camera on a tripod. You can see that the inside has been cleaned and looks almost new. On my previous visit, in 2013, some parts had been cleaned but the ceiling was untouched, and scaffolding was still up for cleaning and restoring the rest (as shown in the bottom image).

Our Lady of Chartres (color) © Harold Davis

Our Lady of Chartres (color) © Harold Davis

Our Lady of Chartres (b&w) © Harold Davis

Our Lady of Chartres (b&w) © Harold Davis

Chartres © Harold Davis

Chartres (2013) © Harold Davis

Click here for the blog story from my 2013 visit to Chartres.

Posted in France, Photography

Lost in the folds of a rose

It’s easy for me to get lost in the folds of a rose. Each petal is a curve and a valley, and a landscape of pleasure. Why go anywhere else besides the country of the rose? Roses from this bush in our garden smell at least as good as good as they look. Here’s to getting lost in the folds of a rose!

Old-Fashioned Rose © Harold Davis

Old-Fashioned Rose © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Baby’s Breath

I brought home some flowers, and arranged them into bouquets. A small sprig of Baby’s Breath (Gyposphila) broke off, and I put it in a little glass jar. The stem looked almost like a bonsai in the water, and I photographed the stem and flowers on a light box, using a macro light to fill in the white cloud of flowers.

Baby's-Breath © Harold Davis

Baby’s-Breath © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography