Monthly Archives: October 2014

The end of the Berkeley Pier

The Berkeley Municipal Pier stretches almost a half a mile out into San Francisco Bay. Along the way out to the end there are views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate, Alcatraz, and Mt Tamalpais. The pier used to go even further, so the end is boarded up with the slats you see here, which look decorative in the sunset light. By the way, the view from under the Berkeley Pier is also pretty cool!

End of the Berkeley Pier © Harold Davis

End of the Berkeley Pier © Harold Davis

This image was shot on a tripod, and used three blended exposures. I used a Nikon D810 and Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 set to f/22 and ISO 64 (the native ISO for the D810). The shutter speeds were 2.5 seconds, 8 seconds and 25 seconds. Post-production included HDR blending and minor perspective correction.

Posted in HDR, Landscape, Photography, San Francisco Area

I never know which me

This is an in-camera multiple exposure, consisting of ten individual exposures combined in the camera. I used a Nikon D810 mounted on a tripod with a Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 lens. The background was black seamless paper, and two studio strobes triggered by wireless were used for lighting.

I never know which me © Harold Davis

I never know which me © Harold Davis

Related image: Quo Vadis. For the entire cycle of images see Multiple Exposures.

Credits—Model: DashaStudio: The Lighthouse Berkeley.

Posted in Models, Multiple Exposures, Photography

Night Photography in San Francisco Workshop Feb 20-22, 2015

Please take $50 off the normal tuition for this workshop if you register before October 15, 2014!

In a letter to his brother Theo, the great artist Vincent van Gogh wrote, “It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly colored than the day.” The advent of digital photography has revolutionized the practice of night photography because a digital sensor can record the spectacular colors of the night. These colors are created by light waves in spectrums that are invisible to the naked human eye. For the first time we can truly “see” the world of the night around us.

Night covers the globe half the time and—surprising to many—photographic opportunities with digital equipment are as exciting at night as they are during the day. Join night photographer Harold Davis, the author of Creative Night: Digital Photo Tips & Techniques, a book explaining night photography techniques and 100 Views of the Golden Gate, a book celebrating the visual glories of San Francisco’s iconic structure, as we explore the freedom of the night in the glorious surroundings of San Francisco.

What: Night Photography in San Francisco with Harold Davis

When: Feb 20-22, 2015

Where: Berkeley, CA (classroom sessions); field locations around the San Francisco Bay area

Tuition and registration: ($695; early-bird special $645 for registration prior to Oct 15, 2014); click www.meetup.com/Harold-Davis/events/207470572/ to register for this workshop.

Workshop size: Minimum 4 and Maximum 12 participants

Field locations: Depend on conditions and group inclinations, may include Berkeley Pier, Oakland Waterfront Park, Mare Island, Marin Headlands, Golden Gate Bridge, Kirby Cover, Lombard Street curves, San Francisco waterfront and Bay Bridge

Full Moon Rising © Harold Davis

Full Moon Rising © Harold Davis

On Friday, Harold will cover techniques, equipment, and night safety issues during an orientation session before moving outdoors to create images of the night. In the morning we’ll regroup to demystify post-processing of night time captures in Photoshop and evaluate our work in the context of personal goals.

A second night shoot on Saturday gives participants the opportunity to put into practice their newly acquired skills.

Time permitting, we will take advantage of the wonderful locations available to also shoot some daylight landscapes!

Classroom sessions will provide critiques of participant work, and demonstrate night photographic post-production Photoshop techniques including multi-RAW processing, stacking, layering, and LAB enhancements.

Field locations depend upon conditions, but will likely include the Golden Gate and the Marin Headlands, the curves on Lombard Street, Berkeley Municipal Pier and downtown San Francisco. Conditions permitting, we may be able to take advantage of the early-setting new moon the weekend of Feb 21-22 to also practice capturing star trails.

Please take $50 off the normal tuition for this workshop if you register before October 15, 2014!

San Francisco Moonrise © Harold Davis

San Francisco Moonrise © Harold Davis

We will learn to make beautiful night landscapes together, and enjoy the spectacular San Francisco scenery from a unique perspective. You’ll leave the workshop with great images and the skills to capture the world of the night while others sleep.

Please take $50 off the normal tuition for this workshop if you register before October 15, 2014!

Lombard Street Curves © Harold Davis

Lombard Street Curves © Harold Davis

About Harold Davis

Harold Davis is an internationally-known digital artist and award-winning professional photographer. He is the author of many photography books including The Way of the Digital Photographer ( Peachpit), Monochromatic HDR Photography (Focal Press) and Creative Night: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley Publishing).

In addition to his activity as a bestselling book author, Harold Davis is a Moab Master printmaker and a Zeiss Lens Ambassador. Harold Davis’s work is widely collected, licensed by art publishers, and has appeared in numerous magazines and other publications. His black and white prints are described as “hauntingly beautiful” [Fine Art Printer Magazine] and his floral prints have been called “ethereal,” with “a purity and translucence that borders on spiritual” [Popular Photography].

Harold Davis leads popular technique and destination photography workshops to many locations including Paris, France; Heidelberg, Germany; and the ancient Bristlecone Pines of the eastern Sierra Nevada.

You can learn more about Harold and his work on his website, www.photoblog2.com.

Posted in Workshops

We Happy Flower Few

A great Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop was held this past weekend, with we happy flower few photographing roses, irises, lilies, tulips and more on several large light boxes. One memorable moment: the facility caretaker managed to burn something in the microwave setting off the fire alarm. He couldn’t turn off the alarm, and before we knew it fire fighters in full regalia were marching past the light boxes and flowers. Fortunately, the workshop participants took it all in stride!

I regard the image of a leaf below as a kind of “doodle.” It was part of an in-class demo of using backgrounds and working creatively with LAB color .

Lab Leaf 2 © Harold Davis

Lab Leaf 2 © Harold Davis

We also did more conventional light box work, for example this entire vase full of tulips on a white background. Everyone took their turn shooting the tulips and other flowers, and a great time was had!

Tulips on White © Harold Davis

Tulips on White © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Workshops

Ghosts in the Enchanted Garden

On May Day, a national holiday in France, the fountains were going full force in the Parc de Sceaux. Of course, on a holiday weekend, the park was full of people, who showed up as “ghosts” in this bracketed exposure sequence, combined using HDR. I removed most of the ghosts in post-production, but if you look closely you’ll see I left a few ghosts to wander in this enchanted garden.

Ghosts in the Enchanted Garden © Harold Davis

Ghosts in the Enchanted Garden © Harold Davis

Another technical point: my usual recommendation is to bracket shutter speed by one EV increments, keeping the other settings in the exposure triangle constant. But in this case I essentially created two bracketed sequences at differing ISOs and apertures, one sequence intended to provide long exposures and a smooth effect on the water in the fountains, the other intended to capture the water as it sprayed crisply.

Both sequences were then combined into one image. I used a 70mm focal length on a tripod. The three fast-shutter-speed exposures were at ISO 320 and f/8, and ranged from 1/80 of a second to 1/500 of a second in duration. The four slow-shutter-speed exposures were at ISO 50 and F/32, and ranged from 1.3 seconds to 1/6 of a second.

The point of this process was to show both silky slow-motion water along with crisp spray from the fountains.

Ghosts in the Enchanted Garden (Black & White) © Harold Davis

Ghosts in the Enchanted Garden (Black & White) © Harold Davis

Of course, there is something decidedly old-fashioned about this kind of view, almost like a digital version of Eugene Atget in his photography of parks and gardens such as those at Versailles. So I decided to make this appeal explicit in the monochromatic version shown here. You can still see the ghosts if you look closely, but they are wandering around in black and white.

Learn more about my techniques for monochrome in this webinar recording: Converting to Black & White with Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex and also please consider my Black & White Weekend Workshop in March, 2015.

 

Posted in France, Landscape, Photography

Quo Vadis

This is ten in-camera multiple exposures, with the camera and tripod mounted on a ladder looking down at the model on a black background. I asked the model to think about being photographing from above, and to be careful about the perimeters of the area the camera captured.

Quo Vadis © Harold Davis

Quo Vadis © Harold Davis

This is an issue of collaborative, synchronized and choreographed photography, as the model and I both need to keep track of the photos, and make sure that each one of the exposures going into the multiple exposures going into the in-camera multiple exposure is interestingly and attractively posed and positioned.

Related image: Dance of the Seven Veils.

Credits—Model: DashaStudio: The Lighthouse Berkeley.

Posted in Models, Multiple Exposures, Photography