Author Archives: Harold Davis

Class Demo

At the end of the Garden Photography workshop this past week, I quickly arranged some flowers on an LED panel to demonstrate my Photographing Flowers for Transparency technique. This LED panel was the closest thing to a light box we could find, and was originally purposed as lighting, rather than a photographic surface. Which goes to show, improvisation is often crucial to artistic endeavors.

Class Demo © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Eye Dahlia

Eye Dahlia © Harold Davis

Sometimes individual flowers call out to me as so unique that I need to photograph them on their own. This rather small dahlia, photographed at the Endless Summer Dahlia Farm, made me think it I had an eye with a pupil in the center. I used my 50mm Zeiss macro with a 24mm extension tube, both on my tripod, to get close while rendering the detail well.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Garden Gate

Entering the Enchanted Garden © Harold Davis

Gardens are about more than flowers. An important component of any garden is how you get in, or if you get in at all. Gardens have entrances and exits, and, yes, gates. The garden gate helps signify the kind of garden you should expect: formal versus informal, exclusive versus inclusive, playful versus serious, and so on.

What does the garden entrance shown here, to the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller garden, with the garden’s Spirit Path shown through the gate, suggest about the character of this lovely garden?

Garden Gate © Harold Davis

Top photo using a circular fisheye is intentionally overexposed to suggest an enchanted garden within; bottom photo (shown immediately above) is a panoramic crop of a horizontal fisheye indicating the extent of the wall surrounding the garden.  

Posted in Photography

It Be a Bee then Froggie and Me

The real denizens of any garden are the animals and insects. We humans are just visiting and passing through.

I found the frog, or the frog found me, in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden; the bee was happily mining for nectar in the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

Froggie and Me © Harold Davis

Bee Mine © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Endless Summer Dahlia Farm

The Endless Summer Dahlia Farm, in Rockport, Maine, is an incredible place run by nice folks with very exceptional dahlias. Here are a few, photographed the other day.

Dahlia at the Endless Summer Farm © Harold Davis

Orange Dahlia © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Finding the Attic

Phyllis just reminded me via Facetime that Maine is “Stephen King” country. So it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I opened a door I had never noticed before (or always thought of as a locked closet) in the house the workshop organization is putting me up in. The door led to a rickety flight of stairs and an attic with many needful things, and the dormer window you see here.

Attic (via IPhone) © Harold Davis

The photograph above is via iPhone, processed in Snapseed and ImageBlender. The photo below is monochromatic HDR processed in Photoshop, and captured with my D850 and a 15mm horizontal fisheye on a tripod.

Attic Monochrome © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Celebrating LAB Color

Pale Garden on Black © Harold Davis

I’m really pleased with a comment in my Instagram feed about my Creative LAB Color in Photoshop course: “I am currently taking your LAB editing course on LinkedIn. And I cannot say enough good things about it! It is so awesome that you shared those techniques with the rest of us so we can at least try to produce some of the gorgeous output you produce! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.”

No, thank you (you know who you are): for taking the time to give me such wonderful feedback.

If you are interested in a unique (this is information about techniques that I have developed, and cannot be found anywhere else), hands-on (all images that are shown are available as low-resolution teaching files), complete, step-by-step guide to working creatively with LAB in Photoshop, please check it out!

I’m off to mid-coast Maine today to teach my garden photography course, and am looking forward to flowers (photographing, that is) and lobsters (yes, eating!)…you never know, of course: I might mix and match.

Nautilus Shells LAB © Harold Davis

Nautilus Shells LAB © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

From O’Keeffe to Blossfeldt…or, is it a Davis photo?

I’ve long been tickled to find my Kiss from a Rose attributed as a Georgia O’Keeffe painting. To be clear: tickled for my work to be confused with the great artist O’Keeffe, but way less than thrilled to have my image used all over Pinterest and other websites without correct attribution (that would be to me!), permission, license, or fee.

Kiss from a Rose © Harold Davis

Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932) was a great German botanical photographer. In my new book, Creative Black & White 2nd Edition, I included a section on simulating the “Karl Blossfeldt effect” using digital monochromatic post-production techniques. 

Recently, I found that a major European art publisher and distributor was selling an image of mine (shown below) as a Blossfeldt image, and has included my image in a catalog page of Blossfeldt imagery. Once again I am subject to competing emotions: honored to have my work mistaken for one of my photographic heroes, but outraged that my work has been pirated without attribution, permission, license, or fee for someone else’s profit. What were they thinking? Did they not read my copyright notice?

Queen Anne's Lace © Harold Davis

Queen Anne’s Lace © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Now open for registration: 2020 Flowers for Transparency Workshop

Flowers for Transparency Workshop 2020

We are pleased to announce the 2020 session of Photographing Flowers for Transparency with Harold Davis (June 20-21, 2020) to be held in Berkeley, CA. Click here for more information, and here for registration, or contact us for information or registration.

Posted in Workshops

Now You See: Two Pods and a Bee

Yesterday I photographed at a local garden, and came back with images of a bee, and two flowers gone to seed. I used the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8 for each of these images.

Bee the Light © Harold Davis

Bee the Light © Harold Davis

Seed Head © Harold Davis

Seed Head © Harold Davis

Seed Head 2 (color) © Harold Davis

Seed Head 2 (color) © Harold Davis

Posted in Lensbaby

LAB Color Variations

From the block-print-like flower composition on white (shown second from the bottom of this story), I used LAB color to apply individual color channel adjustments to create the eight variations shown in the Photoshop collage (immediately below). To learn how to do this in detail and step-by-step, check out my complete online video training course Creative LAB Color in Photoshop. This course provides unique and detailed information, substantially the result of years of research, work, and experimentation on my part, that you can find nowhere else.

Collage of LAB Flower Blocks © Harold Davis

Collage showing LAB Flower variations © Harold Davis

I created the original version shown below using my Photographing Flowers for Transparency technique on a light box. The channel adjustments in the collage (above) use variations that do not involve inversions of the L-channel, which swap whites for blacks (and blacks for whites), and (in this case) create a black background effect. An example of an L-channel inversion of the block-print flower image is shown at the bottom of this story.

Flower Block on White © Harold Davis

Flower Block on White © Harold Davis

Flower Block L-Channel Inversion © Harold Davis

Flower Block L-Channel Inversion © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

My Photoshop Courses Now Available for Standalone Purchase

I am pleased to be able to offer my Creative LAB Color in Photoshop and Photoshop Backgrounds & Textures courses for standalone purchase. Each course costs $44.99, and you can have it yours for good without having to worry about subscriptions, unsubscribing, and all the rest.

The courses are available from LinkedIn Learning. As I noted, you can buy my courses individually; alternatively, you can still subscribe to the entire platform of LinkedIn courses (not just my LinkedIn Learning courses). The subscription is really a pretty good deal: you get the first month free (and can cancel at any point), and with the wealth of Photoshop course offerings it is a great way to hone your Photoshop skills.

Here’s some more information about my courses!

Photoshop Backgrounds & Textures

Click here to buy or view my course on LinkedIn Learning.

Poem of the Road © Harold Davis
Poem of the Road © Harold Davis (as shown in the course, this image uses two texture files)

Course Description:
Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Learn how to transform relatively straightforward photographs into distinctive visual art, using Photoshop backgrounds and textures.

In this course, photographer and digital darkroom expert Harold Davis walks through the technical specifics of adding backgrounds and textures to your Photoshop compositions, and provides the inspiration and resources you need to get fantastic results.

Learn how to provide context and “frames” with backgrounds, and use textures as nondestructive overlays to enhance the look and feel of your images. Harold shows how to use scans and photos of found objects as the basis for custom textures, and even license textures from commercial libraries.

Plus, discover a post-production workflow for the iPhone that maximizes your flexibility, mobility, and creativity, and explore four iOS apps that Harold recommends for iPhone photography.

Topics Include:

  • Using blending modes, masks, and selections to build backgrounds
  • Creating and sourcing backgrounds
  • Creating effects with textures
  • Adding textures to portraits and landscapes
  • Licensing textures
  • Creating texture-based effects on the iPhone

Duration: 2h 18m

Click here to view my course on LinkedIn Learning. There is a free preview. The full course is behind the paywall, but note that a free trial subscription is available for one month. Alternatively, you can buy my course as a standalone.

Creative LAB Color

Click here to view or buy my course on LinkedIn Learning. Here’s a preview:

 Photoshop: Creative Lab Color by Harold Davis

Course Description:
Explore the tools, techniques, and creative possibilities of Lab Color in Adobe Photoshop. Lab opens new opportunities for photo enhancement and creative image making, enabling you to apply contrast, sharpening, inversion, and equalization adjustments to individual LAB channels. If you want more exciting images, it’s time to explore Lab Color. In this course, Harold Davis explains how Lab compares to other color spaces and how it is implemented in Photoshop. He walks through his own professional post-production workflow for enhancing and transforming images with Lab Color. Then learn how to use Lab for more creative fun and image-making prowess with Harold’s custom Photoshop Lab action, color channels, and blending modes. Plus, learn how to leverage images in Lab for pattern making and surface design.

Topics Include:

  • Converting images to Lab Color space
  • Applying Curves to Lab channels
  • Selective sharpening
  • Inverting channels
  • Making per-channel equalizations
  • Using the Lab action
  • Combining Lab Color with blending modes
  • Making patterns with Lab images

Click here to view or buy my course on LinkedIn Learning.

Posted in Photography


As George Carlin put it in one of his most memorable routines, a house is nothing but a pile of stuff with a cover on it. In contrast, I suppose a home might be something more important than the mere stuff in a house, having to do with where the heart is. Since a home is where the heart is, it is transportable: your home is where ever your family and those you love are.

In any case, love stuff or hate it, we all seem to gather it. Here are two photos, and one variation, of some of the stuff in my house, made with a macro lens on a black background of some of our stuff. The first image shows flowers from my garden that have been drying for a while, along with shells, lichen, a sea horse, and a blue jay feather I found on a walk the other day.

Collection © Harold Davis

Collection © Harold Davis

The next image is of a pile of elastic bands, specifically, rubber elastic bands used to keep hair under control. I’ve been telling Phyllis I would photograph these for years, and somehow she never believed I really would. Finally (far below) I made an LAB adjustment in Photoshop, by equalizing the L-channel, of the elastic band image, with somewhat surprising results.

Elastic Bands © Harold Davis

Elastic Bands - L-channel Equalization © Harold Davis

Elastic Bands – L-channel Equalization © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Playing with Lilies

There’s nothing like a carpet of oriental lilies on my light box for photographic fun! Shown here with a few petunias, roses, and jasmine blooms to round out the prevailing pink. An L-channel LAB inversion, putting the image on a black background, is shown below.

At Play with Lilies © Harold Davis

At Play with Lilies © Harold Davis

At Play with Lilies Inversion © Harold Davis

At Play with Lilies Inversion © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Creative Black and White 2 Ed (and Discount Code!)

I’m very pleased that my new book, Creative Black & White, 2nd Edition, is now available. The publisher, Rocky Nook, is offering a 40% discount. Click here to buy Creative Black & White 2nd Ed directly from the publisher. Use the code “HDAVIS40” [no quotes] at checkout to apply the discount (you can also use my discount code for all other Rocky Nook books, by the way!).

Here are the links for my book on and on B&N as well, so the choice of supplier is yours.

If you like Creative Black & White, 2nd Edition, I would really appreciate a thoughtful review. Thanks!

Creative Black & White has been revised, substantially expanded, and brought up to date.  I’ve added entire sections, substantially enlarged the book (it is 80 pages longer than the first edition), and most of the photos are new. Every photo includes information about how it was made, both from a technical perspective, and also the story about my thinking behind the image.

Click here to buy my book from Rocky Nook (please use the HDAVIS40 discount code for your discount), here for my book on Amazon, and here on Barnes & Noble.

Posted in Photography