Monthly Archives: June 2012

Harold Davis Workshop Updates

Last weekend’s Macros and Close-Ups workshop was held at the western end of Point Reyes in a romantic and historic Coastguard Lifeboat building. Saturday was foggy, but we were surrounded by sea lions, heard the sounds of the waves, worked hard, played hard, and had fun with photography.

This was a great group of photographers who brought fun toys and artifacts, such as the optical plastic spheres shown in the photograph. In the reflections, you’ll see the rail used to lower boats into the water for emergency rescues!

Optical Quality by Harold Davis

Optical Quality © Harold Davis

Workshop updates: Many people have asked me, the Dark of the Moon Bristlecone Pine at Night workshop in mid-August is now full (actually, it is over-subscribed). We do have a few openings:

  • The Tao of Photography workshop with Harold Davis at Green Dragon Temple, August 3-6, 2012 has room for three more photographers. This is a spectacular location, and likely to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to share the life of a working Zen monastery while taking advantage of the photographic possibilities inherent in the  organic flower garden that rolls down to the ocean as well as the dramatic landscape of the Marin Headlands.
  • We have room for only two more photographers in the Photograph Paris with Harold Davis workshop, April 28 – May 5, 2013. This workshop will focus on Paris in bloom, Paris at night, and Paris in black & white, reinterpreting for ourselves some of the images that have been captured in paint and on film by many great artists, including Daguerre, Monet, Atget, Picasso, and Erwitt.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about either of these opportunities—and space, as they say, is subject to availability.

My sponsor, Moab Paper, has arranged for me to show my work, and speak about digital vision and craft, at B&H in New York on September 20, 2012. Here is some information about this presentation.

I’m also in the planning phase for a variety of events related to the publication of my new books Photographing Waterdrops: Exploring Macro Worlds with Harold Davis and Creating HDR Photos: The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Photography, and a trip to the east coast in September. Stay tuned for more details!

Posted in Bemusements, Photography, Workshops

Golden Gate Moonrise

Capturing a dynamic range that includes detail in both the moon and the night landscape is essentially an unsolvable problem. The moon is as bright as daylight and the the night is as dark as night. So even if you create a bracketed sequence that covers this roughly 20EV light-to-dark spread you’ll come up with an image that looks unrealistic to people. Photo-compositing in the moon is even worse: unless you are very careful and unless you get the astronomy right it simply looks fake.

Golden Gate Moonrise by Harold Davis

Golden Gate Moonrise © Harold Davis

When the problem is unsolvable, the answer is usually to compromise. With this image of the moon rising behind the Golden Gate Bridge I bracketed for HDR in a short dynamic range. The image is comprised of three exposures, shot at five seconds, ten seconds, and twenty seconds. I used a tripod and an 18mm focal length, setting the ISO to 200 and the aperture to f/6.3. I processed the images by hand in Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop, and partially blended in a layer created from the three exposures in Nik HDR Efex Pro.

In no respect does the image capture the entire dynamic range between the moon and the dark night landscape in the foreground and to the right. But there is far more suggestion of color and details across the dynamic range than there would  have been in any single shot.

Posted in Digital Night, HDR, Landscape, Photography, San Francisco Area