Yearly Archives: 2005

Heart of an Artichoke

This is an extreme close-up of an artichoke flower. The artichoke plant grows in our vegitable garden, and is a perennial. There is hope next year for eating artichokes, not just photographing their flowers.

I used my macro lens on the D70 along with 6X worth of extension tubes to get this close.

For some reason, extreme macros always seem to have artifacts that need cleaning up. Besides get ridding of these stray pixels, I did the normal RAW processing stuff: adjusting levels and sharpening.

I wanted to keep the effect natural, but I also wanted to add some punch to it, so I added a small amount of vignetting to the edges, and a slight lens flare to the area that was already bright.

Posted in Flowers, Hearts, Photography, Photoshop Techniques

Caught in the Act

Imagine my surprise when I went to put out a bag of trash finding this cute guy in our can!

We didn’t quite know what to do with him, so we called Berkeley animal control – in the phone book, it is very politically correctly listed as Animal Care Services. They sent someone out right away, who turned our trash can over and let the raccoon out (well, I could have done that, too!).

Turns out that raccoons are another species we coexist with, like deer, dust mites, spiders, rats, and so on.

Isn’t this one a cutie? He kind of reminds me of the boys!

Posted in Bemusements, Photography

Heart of a Flower

More in the “how close can you go” series in my garden.

This photo was taken with my Nikon D70 SLR with a 105mm macor lens and a 6X set of Kenko extension tubes. Obviously, I can go pretty close with high resolution – although there’s a very narrow plane of what can be captured this way.

Interestingly, a much less expensive setup of a non-SLR digital camera – like my Canon Powershot (or comparable) – produces really good macro shots with much less trouble than an SLR. So don’t despair of macro photography if you don’t have fancy equipment! (But do experiment with the effects of stopping the camera down as far as it will go to maximiuze depth of field.)

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Orange Zinnia

This is one of the series of close macros I shot in my garden with my macro lens and 6X combined extension tubes. The flower is actually surprisingly small!

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Close Kingdom of My Garden

I’ve been experimenting with my Kenko extension tube set and my 105mm macro lens in my garden. This combination gets me really close. There’s a whole new close kingdom of colors to enjoy!

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Flowr Pie

flowr pie, photo by Harold Davis.

Phyllis and I created this flowr pie using flowers (not flour) from our garden to enter in a flickr virtual pie contest.

Posted in Bemusements, Flickr, Flowers, Photography

Just Be There!

Sometimes photography is about just being there.

Yesterday I was out with Julian at sunset just before his bed time (he’s eight). We hopped on top of Indian Rock just in time for me to snap this picture (in Landscape automatic mode, with a polarizer) of the sun setting behind Mt. Tamalpais. One second later, the sun was gone. Nothing much to it, except being there.

Posted in Landscape, Photography, San Francisco Area

How Close Can You Go?

We had some cut asiatic lilies, and a bud came off. I looked at it, and said, “What can I do that is a little different?”

I love photographing lilies, but I wanted to try something new. This time I decided to see how close I could get. I stacked all three of my Kenko extension tubes (for a 6X extension tube, 3X + 2X + 1X) behind my 105mm macro lens, put the D70 on a studio tripod, focused the lens as close as possible, and then moved the bud closer to see how close I could go. As you can see, pretty close!

This is the small part of a lily that is in the very center of the flower. By the way, I am not a botanist – so if anyone call me what exactly it is I’d appreciate it. Note: It is the pistil, the delectable female part of the flower. (Thanks to MontanaRaven on Flickr for the info.)

Next stop was to experiment with depth of field. With the camera set on aperture-preferred mode, I tried almost everything betwen f/8 and f/40. This one at about f/32 seemed best to me.

Posted in Bemusements, Flowers, Hardware, Photography


Tea, photo by Harold Davis.

The kids go down between eight and nine PM. There are three boys, and usually a fair amount of protest, fuss and cacophony. They do not go gently into this good night. Sometimes sweetly, but seldom gently.

The first order of business once the last bath is done and the last story told and they are asleep is a cup of tea. Chamomile for me, in my backpacking cup. Serenity.

Posted in Bemusements, Photography

Fuschia Throne

I like the way this image came out, particularly the saturation of the colors.

There’s something about the mysterious that turns me on, and I don’t always believe in sharing how an image was made. Particularly in the context of todays hybrid imagery: one part digital photography and one part image manipulation using Photoshop.

There are various schools of thought about image manipulation. Some folk believe that only an image that has essentially not been manipulated in post-production process counts as a “true” photograph.

I come from a different camp. I care what an image ends up looking like, and I don’t believe in creating artificial divisions about the means to the end.

The truth is that all imagery is about manipulation of the physical world into an articial construct of pixels (in other words, your camera is manipulating). To pretend otherwise is to create an artifically segregated society of digital images, separating the “have-not” manipulated from those that have. Or the straight photos from those that have been gayly manipulated!

For the record, this image is fairly straight.

I used the wonderful feature in Photoshop CS2 that lets you use the RAW conversion settings from a previous conversion (since the other photos in my Crystal World set use essentially the same settings). I adjusted levels slightly, sharpened, and cleaned up blemishes, all part of the standard post processing of a digital image.

In addition, I sharpened the center of the fuschia a bit by selected the central area with the Lasso Tool and applying CS2’s Smart Sharpen filter with the radius set quite high to the selected area.

Posted in Bemusements, Flowers, Photography, Photoshop Techniques

Bay Sunset

I was down with Nicky yesterday evening in Chavez Park in the Berkeley marina. The wind was blowing and the sun was setting. Nicky was playing with a little girl we met. Both kids were throwing pebbles into the Bay.

I had the camera on a tripod, with a polarizer, and stopped it way down. Post-processing included copying some clouds from another image from the same set onto a layer, blending with about a 70% opacity in Multiply mode, applying an nik Color Efex Bicolor filter (with user-defined colors and settings), a fair amount of cloning and patching, and the usual level and sharpening stuff.

Posted in Landscape, Photography, Photoshop Techniques, San Francisco Area

Aye of the Crystal

I’m working on a large set of photos I created today. This is the first I’ve processed. Can you tell what it is? Hint: I shot this in RAW, so I needed to adjust the levels and sharpen it, also to clean up some spots and pixels. But otherwise it has not been manipulated in Photoshop!

Posted in Bemusements, Photography, Photoshop Techniques

Honeysuckle Blossom

I cut this honeysuckle blossom off the vine in our garden and put it on my mirror to photograph. I used my 105mm macro lens with an extension tube. The thing to realize is the scale: this whole photo covers an area about an inch high.

I think it looks extravagant – like a fancy floral bouquet. If one didn’t know, one would think the area of the photo was much bigger thanit actually is.

Posted in Flowers, Patterns, Photography

Wet Rose

Wet Rose, photo by Harold Davis.

This rose in my garden is like a young child – just about to open!

Taken with my 105mm macro lens using one of my nice Kenko extension tubes, stopped down, on a tripod (of course).

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Yucky Spider Not

This spider was weaving its web right outside our living room window. I photographed it against the sunset with my 105mm macro lens.

I recognize that this spider is a citizen of nature and quite visually interesting. However, I also think it looks a bit creepy (or yucky).

A kind Flickrite informs me that it is a common European garden spider, and essentially harmless. So the label is really unfair.

In the meantime, I used Photoshop to enhance the creepiness. Here’s the Ink Outlines filter applied on a layer copy using Multiply blending mode:


I think this effect makes it look like the spider is crawling up an eye socket! How’s that for creepiness?

Posted in Bemusements, Photography, Photoshop Techniques