Monthly Archives: November 2015

Photograph Paris in the Spring: Two spots left

Come photograph Paris and Monet’s gardens at Giverny with us the first week in May, 2016!

Paris slide

Click here for details and itinerary, and click here for Reservation Form.

Posted in Workshops

And now for something completely different…

This is an in-camera double exposure I made on Saturday. The model is Anastasia Arteyeva.

Shelter Within © Harold Davis

Shelter Within © Harold Davis

Related images: View more of my Multiple Exposures (slide show).

Posted in Models, Monochrome

Lost City in Sorrento

Adjacent to the center of picturesque Sorrento, Italy two chasms meet. Long ago, rivers in these gorges flowed cleanly down to the ocean, and were the original settlement in the area. Over time, and thanks in part to construction of the new town of Sorrento, the area became isolated from the harbor and increasingly damp. In modern times, it has been abandoned to the ferns and other vegetation, although the old mill shown in these photos was in use until the late 1800s.

Lost City © Harold Davis

Lost City © Harold Davis

Known as the “Valley of the Mills,” a very short walk from the Piazzo Tasso in central Sorrento leads to a vista point. The Valley of the Mills itself is surrounded by luxury hotels. For me, the most interesting thing visually about the scene is the way the modern city sits right on top of the ancient lost city, with little to differentiate the two—except that the lost city is buried in ferns and slowly and romantically reverting to the materials of the rugged chasms in which it lies.

Lost City 2 © Harold Davis

Lost City 2 © Harold Davis

Posted in Italy, Monochrome

Hieroglyphic or La Dolce Vita

Sunbathing on the boat ramp in Riomaggiore harbor could be La Dolce Vita—the sweet life, and the name of a 1960 Fellini film. Except that the angle of repose causes most of these couples to anchor themselves using wood slots to stop from sliding into the water. Alternatively, as one commentator noted, photographed from above, La Dolce Vita looks for all the world like an abstraction, or a hieroglyphic.

Riomaggiore, 2015 © Harold Davis

Riomaggiore, 2015 © Harold Davis

Posted in Abstractions, Italy, Monochrome

Photograph Venice with Harold Davis (November 2016)

Photograph Venice with Harold Davis—click here for full details and itinerary!

November 6 – November 12, 2016 (seven days and six nights); $6,195 per person (single supplement $425).

Click here to download the Reservation Form. Early registration discount ($500 off) applies for registrations by December 31, 2015.

Venice of Dreams © Harold Davis

Venice of Dreams © Harold Davis

Venice is the largest preserved antique city in Europe, and possibly the world. Extravagant, decadent, charming with ever-changing light, Venice is a photographer’s delight with its fairy-tale canals and endless maze of footpaths and bridges.

Join acclaimed photographer Harold Davis for the experience of a lifetime exploring and photographing La Serenissima, the most serene and exciting Republic of Venice. There you’ll have the opportunity to experience firsthand the places and sights that have inspired artists for centuries.

We’ll focus our lenses on canals, reflections, and the infinite wonder found around every corner in Venice. There will be special emphasis on techniques for impressionistic rendering, and several sessions will be held to teach the related post-production techniques, as well as how best to use an iPhone camera in Venice.

Guided tours of the Doge’s Palace, the Basilica of San Marco, and the Peggy Guggenheim collection are included. We will also explore with our camera many well-known and secretive locations on foot and vaporetti. These include the island of San Gorgio, across the water from San Marco; Murano, the famous island where glass blowing techniques originated; and Burano, a quiet island in the Venice lagoon whose inhabitants make lace and live in colorfully painted houses.

Non-photographic spouses are welcome (there’s plenty to do in Venice besides photography, including cultural and shopping activities!). The group is strictly limited to ten participants.

Burano © Harold Davis

Burano © Harold Davis

Where: The group will be based at the Hotel Flora, a unique and charming Venetian hotel that is an oasis of calm and centrally located a very short walk from Piazza San Marco.

Hotel Flora Garden

Hotel Flora Garden

Hotel Flora - Stairs

Hotel Flora – Stairs

When: Sunday November 6, 2016 (leave US November 5) to Sunday November 12, 2016 (six nights and seven days).

Group Size: This exclusive, small photo workshop tour is limited to ten photographers (non-photographer significant others are also welcome).

Venice Gondola © Harold Davis

Venice Gondola © Harold Davis

Cost: $6,195 per person (single supplement $425). $500 early-registration discount for enrollment by December 31, 2015.

Click here for complete itinerary with a list of inclusions and exclusions.

To Register: Please send us an email expressing interest right away; a completed registration requires a $1000 deposit and Reservation Form, and a copy of your passport page.

Venice in a Silver Light © Harold Davis

Venice in a Silver Light © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Under the Tuscan Skies: Photograph Tuscany with Harold Davis (October 2016)

Under the Tuscan Skies: Photograph Tuscany with Harold Davis—Click here for full details and itinerary!

October 22 – October 29, 2016 (eight days and seven nights); $4,895 per person (single supplement $675); 

Click here for Reservation Form (PDF)$500 early registration discount for registrations by December 31, 2015.

Imagine photographing the autumn vistas under the Tuscan skies! Where fertile land meets the patterns of traditional farming we will photograph olive groves and cypress trees. A deluxe, renovated antique farmhouse near Siena will be our home base as we experience great Italian cooking and the fellowship of talented photographers. Workshop size is strictly limited because we have exclusive use of the farmhouse, and bedrooms are limited.

While we photograph, we will be surrounded by the intimate details of the working farm, which produces organic olive oil and wine. If it is chilly, we will move in beside the word-burning stove, otherwise we will discuss philosophy and photography on the veranda under the Tuscan skies.

This destination photo tour will begin with a guided exploration of Florence. The next day, we’ll move on to the weird antique skyscraper towers of San Gimignano. We’ll explore the strikingly beautiful hill town of Volterra, the ins and outs of Sienna, the Val ‘Orcia countryside, Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino, and more.

The workshop will be enhanced by the hands-on guidance of master photographer Harold Davis, who will focus on the earth and sky of Tuscany in black and white and color, and help each participant to create their best work in an inspirational location.

Ponte Vecchio Night Reflections © Harold Davis

Ponte Vecchio Night Reflections © Harold Davis

Where: The group will meet at the Hotel Balestri in Florence, a boutique 4-star hotel on the banks of the Arno River not far from the Ponte Vecchio.

Agi farm

Agriturismo Marciano Farm

After exploring Florence, we will transfer by private coach to Agriturismo Marciano in the heart of Tuscany. Agriturismo Marciano is a deluxe, renovated ancient farmstead that the group will have exclusively for the week. The ancient Marciano farmhouse dates to the 1700s. Today, the family-run farm is a green oasis surrounded by vineyards and olive trees—the expression of a serene country lifestyle, and genuine traditional organic farming practices.

When: Saturday October 22, 2016 (leave US October 21) to Saturday October 29, 2016 (seven nights and eight days).

Group Size and non-photographers: This exclusive, small photo workshop tour is limited to ten participants. Non-photographer significant others are welcome, but will count towards the total (so there will be no more than ten people).

Agg

Agriturismo Marciano Room

Cooking lessons, and a syllabus in vine growing, wine making and wine tasting are available for non-photographers with advance notice (and subject to additional cost).

Cost: $4,895 (single supplement $675). $500 early-registration discount for enrollment by December 31, 2015. Click here for Reservation Form.

Click here for a complete itinerary, with a list of inclusions and exclusions.

 

To Register: Please send us an email expressing interest right away; a completed registration requires a $1000 deposit and Reservation Form, and a copy of your passport page.

Florence and the Arno River © Harold Davis

Florence and the Arno River © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Canyon Conundrum

The seaside village of Vernazza, Italy makes its living from catching fishes and catering to tourists. Carved into the rocky ledges of the Ligurian coast, behind the village facade facing the sea is a warren and maze of narrow, dark passages with twisting stairs and low tunnels.

Canyons of Vernazza © Harold Davis

Canyons of Vernazza © Harold Davis

Wandering into this maze with my camera and tripod, I felt an eerie sense of having faced similar photographic challenges before. With the narrow, enclosed spaces and the mere glimmer of the sky, the compositional and lighting challenges were much the same as those in the slot canyons of the American southwest.

Both environments present a dynamic range from blackest black to brightest white, and both involve creating images that turn narrow spaces into interesting creative expressions. Strangely, while taking my time in the depths of Vernazza I could almost feel the dry, sandy breath of Antelope Canyon, on Navajo territory near Page, Arizona.

Structure of Time © Harold Davis

Structure of Time © Harold Davis

Related stories: Orange Juice on the Cinque Terre Trail; Structure of Time; Slot Canyon.

Posted in Italy, Monochrome

Vernazza

Coming from the north, Vernazza is the second town in the Cinque Terre (“Five Lands”) on the Ligurian coast of Italy. Of the five lands, I think it is my favorite (although each one has its distinctive attraction). There are no cars in Vernazza. To make this photo, I walked back along the trail to Monterossa, and from above the railroad tracks waited for sunset with my camera on tripod. As I darkness fell, I hopped the train back to the hotel (and group) in Monterosso.

Vernazza © Harold Davis

Vernazza © Harold Davis

Exposure info: Nikon D810, 21mm Zeiss Distagon T* f/2.8, 4/5 of a second at f/8 and ISO 64, tripod mounted.

Posted in Italy

Venice and Waterlogue

Photographing Venice, Italy with my iPhone 6s camera, and processing the images using the Waterlogue app on the phone, is great! In fact, you could say that Venice via the iPhone and Waterlogue are a classical combination, like…Bogey and Bacall, Romeo and Juliet, Simon and Garfunkel, and peanut butter and jelly. Quick, let’s see a suite of six iPhone Waterlogue Venetian images before I come up with more word pairings! (I almost committed “Spock and Kirk”: What are your favorite two-word combos?)

Venice Gondola © Harold Davis

Venice Gondola © Harold Davis

Canals of Venice © Harold Davis

Canals of Venice © Harold Davis

Venetian Mask © Harold Davis

Venetian Mask © Harold Davis

Venetian Barque © Harold Davis

Venetian Barque © Harold Davis

Along the Canal © Harold Davis

Along the Canal © Harold Davis

Burano © Harold Davis

Burano © Harold Davis

I was asked (see comment and response below) what these images look like before they were processed through Waterlogue. It’s a great question! Here’s one of these images straight from my iPhone 6s:

Venice Canals without processing  © Harold Davis

“Venice Gondola” without processing © Harold Davis

 

Posted in iPhone, Italy, Photography

Florence and Venice

Florence and Venice, two great Italian cities, one photographed at the beginning and one at the end of my recent trip to Italy!

Florence and the Arno River © Harold Davis

Florence and the Arno River © Harold Davis

Related story: Harold in Italy.

Venice in a Silver Light © Harold Davis

Venice in a Silver Light © Harold Davis

Related story: Venice of Dreams.

Posted in Italy, Landscape, Photography

Female Gondolier in Venice

There aren’t very many female gondoliers in Venice. You can probably count them on the fingers of one hand. So it was very exciting to meet and talk to a new female gondolier. Chiara is shown in the photos on the first day of her new job as a gondolier.

Chiara 1 © Harold Davis

Chiara 1 © Harold Davis

Chiara 2 © Harold Davis

Chiara 2 © Harold Davis

Posted in Italy

Venice Perspective

At the tip of Dorsoduro, the Venetian Quarter across the Grand Canal from San Marco, sits the Dogana di Mare. The Dogana di Mare is a colonnaded customs station built in the 1600s that now houses a museum (as so many grand buildings in Venice do).

Venice Perspective © Harold Davis

Venice Perspective © Harold Davis

On Saturday when I visited the promenade outside the Dogana di Mare an old sailing vessel was tied-off. I put my camera on the tripod, added a neutral density filter and a polarizer, and made a long exposure (3 seconds). My idea was to capture the softness in the motion of the boat in the waves, while leaving the stone colonnade of the old customs house steady and strong.

For me, the title of this image, Venice Perspective, has two meanings. First, there’s no doubt that lines of perspective are crucial to the composition; the eye follows the lines of the promenade towards the colonnade at the end of the Dorsoduro island. More significantly, Venice is one of those rare geographic places that can shift one’s conscious—your perspective, if you will—simply by the act of visiting and being open to what Venice has to offer.

Exposure and processing info: 28mm, +4 ND filter and circular polarizer, 3 seconds at f/20 and ISO 250, tripod mounted; processed in Adobe Camera RAW, Photoshop, and using Topaz plug-ins.

Related image: Venice of Dreams.

Posted in Italy, Photography

Burano

My friend Mauro and I took the vaporetto across the fog-bound Venice lagoon to Burano. Just like a trip to a remote part of a city served by an on-land metro, this involved several changes of boats—including a synchronized switch at the Lido. Burano is a quiet suburban island with colorful houses, each painted a different color, on a small network of canals. In other words, it is a Fauvist dream. Besides its colorful houses, Burano is also known for lace making, fishing, and oyster farming.

Burano © Harold Davis

Burano © Harold Davis

About the image: My thinking was to create an image using in-camera photographic techniques that echo the colorful qualities of a Fauvist painting. To achieve this look, I used my Nikon D810, a 28-300mm zoom lens at 48mm, a 4 EV neutral density filter, and a polarizer (which helped to amplify the reflections in the canal and saturate the colors). The exposure time was 2.5 seconds at f/18 and ISO 500. I hand-held the image, with my elbows resting on the railing of a canal bridge, and moved the camera slightly during the exposure.

Posted in Italy, Photography

Venice of Dreams

Coming into Venice after a long day on the train from Naples was a dream-like experience. From southern almost summer time I was transported into an early November dark world of chill fog that hit me like a blast as I walked from the train to the boat landing on the Grand Canal.

Venice of Dreams © Harold Davis

Venice of Dreams © Harold Davis

As the vaporetto chugged down the Grand Canal I felt the sweetness of a waking dream. If a place can be a romance, it is Venice, probably the best preserved historic city in Europe (and maybe the world)—and one without cars, where transportation is by foot, or boat, or not at all. The shifting light and translucent fog makes Venice truly a photographer’s paradise.

Posted in Italy, Photography

View from Ravello

Ravello sits about 1,000 feet above the town of Amalfi on the stupendous Amalfi Coast of Italy. Back in the 1200s and 1300s, when Amalfi was a geopolitical powerhouse, Ravello was the summer home for the Amalfiese aristocracy. Later, it was hard enough to get to that it fell into decay.

View from Ravello © Harold Davis

View from Ravello © Harold Davis

Rediscovered toward the end of the 19th century by itinerant British travelers on the Grand Tour of Europe, many of the great villas were restored, including the Villa Rufolo. I made this image from one the the belvederes in the extensive gardens of the Villa Rufolo, which was restored by Scottish industrialist Francis Neville Reid, with an eye towards encouraging vistas of romantic decay in his restoration.

Of course, today Ravello is well known and beloved by many, and hosts a famous music festival.

Posted in Italy, Landscape