Monthly Archives: March 2010

Games Turkeys Play

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Hiking down to Tennessee Beach with Mark we came across this wild turkey.

It’s the time of year for turkeys to strut their manly stuff. This dude was inflating and puffing out his feathers, totally showing off for the three nearby females.

The gals for their part were doing their best to pretend to ignore him. I could see, however, an occassional glance at him when one of them thought he wasn’t looking.

The whole scene was palpably human with its affectations of cool and dance of interest/disinterest. After witnessing this I may have to go for Tofurky come Thanksgiving.

Exposure data: 200mm, 1/250 of a second at f/8 and ISO 200, hand held.

Posted in Bemusements, Photography



Waiting, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

My Mom came back from giving a workshop in Guatemala. Late last night found me at SFO to pick her up.

Waiting. The plane was late. Next, the wait for luggage. Not Godot, luggage.

I was bored so I snapped this distorted photo of the carousel using my Lensbaby Composer with the fisheye optic, at 1/15 of second using the f/5.6 aperture ring and ISO 100, hand held. Waiting for luggage, or Godot—whichever comes first—with a fisheye lens.

Posted in Bemusements, Lensbaby, Monochrome, Photography

Converting to Black & White


Courtyard, photo by Harold Davis.

For a preview of my upcoming Creative Black & White: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques check out Converting to Black & White, the most recent column in my Creativity in the Photoshop Darkroom series on

About this image: This is an HDR capture, created using combined exposures in Photomatix, and converted to monochromatic. There were six original exposures at 12mm, shutter speeds from 1/250 of a second to 1/25 of a second, each exposure at f/14 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.

My idea with this black and white HDR image of an old courtyard in Havana, Cuba was to challenge the usual assumptions about framing an architectural photo. When you realize that the camera was positioned at the bottom of a courtyard, it’s easy to see you are looking up at the sky. However, at a glance the nearly square patch of sky and cloud could also be a framed work of art on the wall.

As I’ve noted, converting your Photomatix HDR to black and white means never having to apologize again for garish colors.

Posted in Bemusements, Cuba, Monochrome, Photography, Writing

Magnolia World

Magnolia World

Magnolia World, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

This is another Lensbaby fisheye. I put the camera on tripod up very close to the magnolia tree and used the f/22 aperture ring. I intentionally overexposed to create a high-key effect.

In post-processing I used FocalPoint from onOne Software, a Photoshop plugin, to give the image a sense of focus in the middle and to help blur the edges. Then I partially desaturated the image using the High Structure filter in Nik Silver Efex Pro. My goal was to get the image looking almost like old-fashioned needlepoint.

Posted in Flowers, Lensbaby, Photography

Lensbaby Fisheye

Leucospermum Fisheye

Leucospermum Fisheye, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

This is a close-up fisheye of my Leucospermum Scarlet Ribbons. I photographed the flower with the Lensbaby Composer and the new Fisheye Optic.

The image you see is a hand-HDR composite of five exposures, all at ISO 100 on tripod. Each exposure used the f/22 aperture ring. Exposure time ranged from 1/4 of a second to 1/30 of second.

Posted in Flowers, Lensbaby, Photography

Nautilus Solarization

Nautilus Solarization

Nautilus Solarization, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

This a digital solarization of my black and white Nautilus shell image. The technique is explained in my new book Creative Black & White (to be published later this spring, but now available for pre-order).

Other monochromatic solarizations: Solarized Hellebore; Web Solarization; Kimi Solarization.

Posted in Monochrome, Photography

Coiled, Tied and Knotted


Coiled, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Bondage, as practiced in the plant kingdom, can be an involuntary affair. A Passiflora vine makes beautiful flowers, but it is surely an agressor without conscience. Left to its own devices, spring-boarding with coiled energy, it will tie and knot to everything and anything, killing neighbors. The only way to get this territorial imperialist to let go is to cut it free.


View this image larger.


View this image larger.

All shots with 200mm macro lens, 36mm extension tube, tripod mounted.

Posted in Bemusements, Flowers, Photography



Contemplation, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

This is a portrait of Christianna, a professional model. I processed this image to bring out the contrast between her white skin and her very dark hair hanging down.

Normally, I like to see the eyes of my subjects—but this one works for me with Christianna looking down instead of at the camera.

Posted in Models, Monochrome, Photography