Monthly Archives: June 2009

Simple Poppy

Simple Poppy

Simple Poppy, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

This is a simple Papaver Rhoeas, photographed with an unvarnished macro lens for depth-of-field. The flower may be simple, and the idea behind the image straightforward, but the context wasn’t either: I was talking with several people, and answering questions with “sound bites” for an audio recording as I composed and exposed this flower image in my garden.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Leaves of Grass

Leaves of Grass

Leaves of Grass, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

I realized that I needed a fast shutter speed to capture this field of grass blowing in a brisk wind. Otherwise, the pattern would have gone mushy. The point of the thing is best seen when the image is larger.

[200mm, 1/1000 of a second at f/10 and ISO 320, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Landscape, Patterns, Photography

The Photoshop Darkroom—new Harold Davis book

If you haven’t seen much of me lately, and if my blog posts have seemed a bit thin, it’s because I’ve been getting my new book The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Post-Processing out the door. At this point, the project is essentially done. The publisher, Focal Press, has a September 15, 2009 publication date set, and The Photoshop Darkroom is available right now on Amazon for pre-orders (hint, hint!).

I’m very proud of my new book. I think it presents Photoshop and digital photography in a new and revolutionary way. The concepts explained are basic, and simple once you know them, and have a great deal of power.

This is not a tricks, bells, or whistles book, and it is not about the latest and greatest version of Photoshop. My book presents extremely detailed instructions for achieving the results shown, and almost all the techniques in the book can be done with older versions of Photoshop.

I’m particularly pleased to be published by Focal Press. Focal has a distinguished history of photographic book publication, and they’ve been very supportive of this unusual project.

You’ll find more information about The Photoshop Darkroom, and links to sample content below the cover image.

Front and back cover (PDF)
Table of Contents (PDF)
Introduction (PDF)
Sample content (Expanding tonal range by using layers, a layer mask and gradient to multi-RAW process a landscape, PDF)

From the back cover: The Photoshop Darkroom offers limitless possibilities for photographers looking for jaw-dropping results, using powerful and innovative creative post-processing techniques. If you want folks to ask “How did you do that?” then this is the book for you!

The images in The Photoshop Darkroom will inspire you and help you unleash your creative potential. You’ll learn to view your own digital photography with new eyes.

Step-by-step directions show you real world examples of how to achieve the results you want from your photography and post-processing.

  • Learn how to work with RAW image files
  • Understand the Photoshop darkroom workflow
  • Multi-process RAW files
  • Create High Dynamic Range (HDR) images by hand
  • Use layers and masking for compositing
  • Best use Photoshop’s tools to create stunning black & white images
  • Create striking color effects using LAB color

Information about the cover photo.

Posted in Photography, Photoshop Techniques, Writing

Surf, Kirby Cove

Surf, Kirby Cove

Surf, Kirby Cove, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

On a recent overcast evening, with my guest from Finland, on a bluff above Kirby Cove, I waited for the night lights of the Golden Gate Bridge.

To pass the time, I tried long exposures of the white surf on the dark beach. My idea was to get the exposure as long as possible, so I used a circular polarizer to make things darker (and increase the tonal contrast). I also wanted to underexpose the overall image, because I knew I could pick up the white waves in post-processing.

This was an image that I pre-visualized in black and white, although I exposed in full digital RGB color and converted using the techniques I explain in The Photoshop Darkroom.

Posted in Landscape, Monochrome, Patterns, Photography

Harold Davis Workshop Updates

It was a dark and stormy night. Actually, it was a San Francisco fogbound night. I was out shooting with a guest from Finland. The fear was that the low ceiling would make photography unrealistic, but sometimes the apparently worst weather produces interesting imagery, so we heeded the siren call of the Golden Gate.

I stopped the photo shown here down to f/22 for a long exposure, and opened the shutter up for three minutes (at ISO 100).

Workshop notes follow below the photo.

Siren Call of the Golden Gate

Siren Call of the Golden Gate, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Harold Davis Workshop Notes

For your reference, here’s the link to the main Harold Davis Workshops & Appearances page (you can check for current information and new events as I schedule them) and here’s what those who’ve attended Harold Davis events have said about my digital photography teaching.

  • Friday, October 9 – Sunday, October 11, 2009: Night Photography Weekend Workshop in the historic Coastguard Boathouse near Chimney Rock, outer Point Reyes, California under the auspices of Point Reyes Field Seminars. I’m very excited that the Park Service has agreed to open the Point Reyes lighthouse specially for us on Saturday night, weather permitting. My Point Reyes night photo workshops do sell out, so I’m giving my readers advance notice. This workshop hasn’t been posted yet on the Point Reyes Field Seminars registration site, but you can register before the workshop is publicly advertised by calling 415.663.1200 extension 373.
  • Friday, September 25 – Sunday, September 27, 2009: Night Photography Weekend Workshop
    I’m excited to be giving this night photography workshop under the auspices of the Center for Photographic Arts in Carmel, California. There are some wonderful night photo shooting locations in the Carmel and Monterey area. Information and online registration is now available; you can also call 831.625.5181 for registration.
  • Saturday, July 18 and Sunday July 19, 2009: Digital Post-Processing with Harold Davis (weekend workshop) This hands-on weekend workshop explains multi-RAW processing, hand HDR, black & white in Photoshop, photo-compositing, stacking star trails, creative use of LAB color, and more. There are still some spaces available (class size is limited to 16); here’s the link for information & registration.
  • Sunday, July 12, 2009: Digital Landscape Photography Workshop Point Reyes Field Seminars,
    Point Reyes, California. This late afternoon and early evening half day workshop provides a gentle opportunity for guided shooting on Point Reyes as well as a discussion of landscape photography and digital post-processed in the context of participants own work and interests. Registration link.
Posted in Digital Night, Photography, San Francisco Area

Pagoda of Poppies

Pagoda of Poppies

Pagoda of Poppies, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Briefly noted: I used my 200mm f/4 telephoto macro lens to focus on the more distant poppies while letting the foreground poppies blur. The isolation of the sharp subject from the out-of-focus closer flowers creates a painterly effect.

The exposure details: f/14 at 1/250 of a second and ISO 100, tripod mounted. The “tripod mounted” with this lens almost doesn’t have to be said, you can’t reasonably hand hold this heavy piece of glass. The good news: the lens is equipped with a very convenient tripod collar. In my opinion, all lens should have one.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Wheels Within

Wheels Within

Wheels Within, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger and even bigger.

This is a wire-spoke wheel of a classic Jaguar that I have manipulated into an abstraction in the Photoshop Darkroom.

Posted in Photography