Monthly Archives: February 2011


Keira 2

This is a monochromatic studio portrait of Keira, a professional figure model.

Usually, as I note in Creative Portraits, I prefer to use the camera to show someone’s eyes when I photograph them—after all, the eyes are the window of the soul. However, with this photo, I think having Keira’s gaze demurely turned downwards works, because the demure posture contrasts so strongly with the beautiful sensuousness of her naked body.

Posted in Models, Monochrome, Photography


Waves © Harold Davis

Waves © Harold Davis

This is a shot of a breaking wave in pounding surf. The stiff wind is creating the mist you see.

I shot the image on the great South Beach of Point Reyes during a recent workshop I gave.

Here’s the EXIF data: 112mm, 1/640 of a second at f/6.3 and ISO 200, tripod mounted.

Posted in Photography

White Iris

White Iris © Harold Davis

White Iris © Harold Davis

Since I was setup and enjoying photographing flowers on a white background, I decided to add these partially transparent white Iris to the mix.

More Iris here.

Posted in Flowers, Iris, Photography

Hellebore Stems on White

Hellebore Stems on White © Harold Davis

Hellebore Stems on White © Harold Davis

My idea with this shot was to use the same technique as I did with my Cherry Branch on White—using a group of Hellebores. In some respects these flowers are a tougher compositional target than the cherry branches—and you don’t have the immediate visual associations with cherry-blossom goodness to draw upon.

To make this photo first I cut the Hellebore stems from our garden. I placed them upright in a vase, and carefully arranged them against a light box placed vertically. Note that if I had shot against a normal white background (rather than the illumination of a light box) the background would have seemed a dull off-white or gray, rather than the striking white in the photo.

With the camera on a tripod and a macro lens in place, I shot a number of bracketing exposures, all biased to the right side on the histogram (overexposed). You’d expect a right-biased histogram with so much white in the photo, but I continued overexposing way past the normal range. I also did a little light painting as fill on the two larger blossoms.

In Photoshop, I combined the bracketed captures, starting with the lightest one as the background.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

February Print of the Month

Our February, 2011 offering is Stars My Destination. This dramatic and colorful image of stars circling the heavens at night is presented on 22″ X 17″ paper. The actual image size is somewhat smaller, allowing for my hand signature and overmatting when you frame the piece.

Stars My Destination is made by hand and giclee printed with tender, loving care in my studio on 325 gsm Epson archival Exhibition Fiber paper. This popular image will appear in Creative Lighting (Wiley).

My normal, retail price for this archival print is $450.00. For the month of February, 2011, I am offering Stars My Destination for the very special price of $195.00.

You can buy Stars My Destination for the special $195 price using Paypal. The price includes careful, custom packing and insured Fedex ground shipping within the United States. (For orders outside of the United States, please contact me for shipping costs.) We make our prints with a great deal of care with the best archival standards. Even the ink I use to sign our prints is acid free.

I’m not comparing myself with the great masters of photography, but consider that during the many years that Edward Weston and Ansel Adams were active, you could have bought one of their prints for a few hundred dollars (at most). These prints sell for tens of thousands of dollarsat auction today.

Purchase Stars My Destination; Interested in the January print Trees in the Fog? It is still available while we have some on hand.

Posted in Photography

Darkness and Light

Darkness and Light © Harold Davis

Darkness and Light © Harold Davis

Without darkness there is no light, and when things are darkest distant light seems brighter. Metaphor and solace, perhaps, for these troubled times—or at least my meditation on this “grab shot” from the bluffs above Drakes Bay in Point Reyes California.

I made this photo during my recent Photographing Waves workshop.

One doesn’t often think of landscape photography as requiring good reflexes and split-second timing, but sometimes it does, and this image is a case in point. Sunlight, filtered through a gap in the clouds, illuminated the cleft only very briefly. Blink and it was gone.

I underexposed to increase the contrast between the dark cliffs and the sunlight, and shot with the longest lens I had with me. Here’s the EXIF data: 200mm, 1/640 of a second at f/8 and ISO 200, hand held.

Posted in Landscape, Photography, Point Reyes