Monthly Archives: March 2016

Monet’s Lily Pond at Giverny

This May will mark my fourth visit to Giverny in three years—each time a kind of pilgrimage to this extraordinary and iconic place. Along with Ansel Adams’s prints of the American west, Claude Monet’s painterly abstractions of his wonderful water garden are a large part of what drew me into my life as an artist and photographer—so it is very special for me to be able to spend some time at Giverny.

Monet's Lily Pond at Giverny © Harold Davis

Monet’s Lily Pond at Giverny © Harold Davis

Posted in France

Double Rainbow Pano over Paris

This panorama of a double rainbow over Paris was shot during a spring rain storm from the Pont Solferino as I described in an earlier story. The pano consists of nine handheld pieces shot vertically, then combined and cropped in Photoshop to make a horizontal image. When I do this kind of photography with the intention of making a pano, and I don’t have a panoramic tripod head available, I’m careful to overlap images, and I try to keep in mind rotating around the nodal point for the image—which will be pretty close to what you’d get if you drew a virtual line to the ground from outermost lens element holding the camera in the center of the proposed composition.

Double Rainbow Pano over Paris © Harold Davis

Double Rainbow Pano over Paris © Harold Davis

Check out this panorama, photographed from behind a waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge.

Posted in France, Paris, Photography

Giverny

I am looking forward very much to visiting the gardens at Giverny again with my camera the first week of May! Here are some reflections in Monet’s famous ponds:

Reflections at Giverny © Harold Davis

Reflections at Giverny © Harold Davis

This photo shows the main entrance to Monet’s (definitely bourgeois) house:

Chez Monet © Harold Davis

Chez Monet © Harold Davis

Check out: Giverny via iPhone.

Posted in France

Pont Louis Philippe

An autumn afternoon in Paris on a somewhat sloppy day, with one of the channels of the Seine River photographed from the Pont Louis Philippe, and the golden light of late afternoon just beginning.

Pont Louis Philippe © Harold Davis

Pont Louis Philippe © Harold Davis

Exposure data: Nikon D800, Zeiss Distagon 35mm f/1.4 at f/1.4, handheld; 1/800 of a second at ISO 200.

Posted in France, Paris, Photography

Paris

Rooftops of Paris © Harold Davis

Rooftops of Paris © Harold Davis

Beneath the Pont de la Concorde © Harold Davis

Beneath the Pont de la Concorde © Harold Davis

Pyramide © Harold Davis

Pyramide © Harold Davis

Giverny © Harold Davis

Giverny © Harold Davis

Hotel de Sully, Paris © Harold Davis

Hotel de Sully, Paris © Harold Davis

There’s still time to join us photographing Paris in the spring (and Giverny with special after-hours artist access). Click here for the full itinerary, and here for the Reservation form.

Posted in Workshops

Southwest France Itinerary

If you’d like to armchair travel, we’ve sent out a day-by-day itinerary for the lucky photographers who will be traveling with me soon to the southwest of France. You can checkout the PDF by clicking this link! I am looking forward to this adventure with many good friends who have traveled with me before very much, and also look forward to making some new photography friends among my guests, and in France as well.

Valentre Bridge © Harold Davis

Valentre Bridge © Harold Davis

The destination photography workshop to the southwest of France is full, but we do have space in our Paris adventure the first week in May. Click here for the PDF itinerary, and here for the Reservation Form.

Rooftops of Paris © Harold Davis

Rooftops of Paris © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Workshops

Coming to Life

Following up on the theme of transformation in Metamorphosis (waterfall into human) and Dark Angel (flower into human), and the thoughts I’ve expressed about the new role of digital photography as an art medium in Nude Descending a Ladder, Coming to Life and Spiral Convolution (both below) show another twist: a spiral shell becoming human, or vice versa, that is to say, a human morph and convolution into the spiral structure of a shell.

Coming to Life © Harold Davis

Human Spiral—Nautilus © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, Writing

Dark Angel

In a previous blog post I wrote that “digital techniques have freed us from the orthodoxy of the camera, just as in the past the camera freed painters from the orthodoxies of representational art. But once you go down the road of a new art from, in which digital manipulation joins with digital capture, there are no limits. In a world loose from its moorings, there should be no rules about how images are created…”

In this spirit, and following up on Metamorphosis, I created Dark Angel, shown below.

Dark Angel © Harold Davis

Dark Angel © Harold Davis

To create this image, I started with Angel Anemone:

Angel Anemone © Harold Davis

Angel Anemone © Harold Davis

From Angel Anemone, I prepared Darkling Anemone in color and then in black annd white:

Darkling Anemone Color © Harold Davis

Darkling Anemone Color © Harold Davis

Darkling Anemone Black and White © Harold Davis

Darkling Anemone Black and White © Harold Davis

Meanwhile, I revisiting an earlier in-camera Multiple Exposure, Human Spiral-Nautilus, chosen because of its resemblance to a natural history object when seen from a distance:

Human Spiral---Nautilus © Harold Davis

Human Spiral—Nautilus © Harold Davis

With the aid of a few Photoshop plug-ins (Topaz Glow and Topaz Impression) and creative use of blending modes, Human Spiral-Nautilus became Wheel of Life:

Wheel of Life © Harold Davis

Wheel of Life © Harold Davis

I then converted Wheel of Life to monochromatic and blended it (in two versions, one flipped horizontally) to create my final Dark Angel. Note that my title has absolutely no relationship to the TV series, video game, or book of the same name.

For no apparent earthly reason whatsoever, I conclude with Cold is the colour of crystal:

“Cold is the colour of crystal the snowlight
That falls from the heavenly skies”—Annie Lennox

Upper White River Falls © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, Writing

Clematis in a Blue Bowl

I photographed Clematis in a Blue Bowl as a companion piece to Orchids in a Blue Bowl, shown far below and (with exposure and processing information) in this blog story.

Clematis in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Clematis in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Orchids in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Orchids in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

The Appeal of Venice Off-Season

Photograph Venice in November with Harold Davis

In November, most of the people are gone, skies can be atmospheric and cloudy, and photography of Venice is at its best! Please consider joining me for a fantastic photographic visit to this most incredible of destinations. Click here for the detailed itinerary, and here for the Reservation Form!

Piazza San Marco © Harold Davis

Piazza San Marco © 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.

Bridge of Sighs at Night © Harold Davis

Bridge of Sighs at Night © Harold Davis

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.

Click here for the detailed itinerary, and here for the Reservation Form!

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

Here’s what some participants in past Harold Davis destination photo workshops have to say:

  • “Had an awesome time with Harold and the workshop participants.  Itching to go back.”

    Canals of Venice © Harold Davis

    Canals of Venice © Harold Davis

  • “A once-in-a-lifetime experience that I plan to repeat!”
  • “Harold has great skill, without the ego of most master photographers. Travel arrangements were perfect.”
  • “One thing I really liked about the photo tour that Harold set up is that we had plenty of time to photograph in the best locations, and really prioritized when the light would be good.”
  • “You two did a great job at researching, organizing, and leading this trip.”
  • “Again, thanks for a wonderful trip and a big thank you to Phyllis for everything that she did!”
  • “Harold is genuine, generous, and gracious – he has a world of knowledge and expertise that he loves to share – his wonderful books show his monumental talents and skill set, and his workshops shows the depth of his connecting with others in a very real and personal way.”

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

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 Italy, Workshops

Clematis, and tulips, and irises, Oh My!

Painting with Flowers Inverted © Harold Davis

Painting with Flowers Inverted © Harold Davis

Painting with Flowers © Harold Davis

Painting with Flowers © Harold Davis

Exposure data: Photographed on a light box with a Nikon D810, MC-36A remote release, and Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 ZF-mount. Two panels, combined horizontally. Each panel comprised of 7 exposures from 1/15 of a second (darkest) to 4 seconds (lightest). All 14 exposures at f/16 and ISO 64, combined in ACR and Photoshop. Final master file resolution for each of the two images—on white (above), and the LAB L-channel inversion (top)—at 10,431 X 4,912 pixels by 300 ppi.

Workshops: From iPhone to Art is now full. Some spaces are available in Achieving Your Potential As a Photographer (Maine, in August) and Photographing Flowers for Transparency (December, in California). My 2016 Workshops & Events calendar is here.

More info: Photographing Flowers for Transparency FAQ.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Flowers for Transparency December Session (early-bird discount applies)

Due to many requests, I have opened a new weekend workshop session of Photographing Flowers for Transparency for the Saturday December 3 and Sunday December 4 weekend (2016) here in Berkeley, CA. The workshop provides end-to-end hands-on instruction in my photography and post-production techniques for photographing on a light box (more info and curriculum below). Note, this workshop is currently more than half full, and if past experience is a guide it will fill-up with a waiting list long before the workshop date. There is a $50 discount for early registration by May 1, 2016.

Degrees of Translucency © Harold Davis

Degrees of Translucency © Harold Davis

Click here for my 2016 Workshops & Events Calendar.

Photographing Flowers for Transparency with Harold Davis (Weekend Workshop)

Where: Berkeley, CA

When: Saturday December 3 – Sunday December 4, 2016

Tuition: $645 until May 1, 2016; $695 thereafter.

Workshop limited to 16 participants.

Iris ensata 'Azuma-kagami' © Harold Davis

Iris ensata ‘Azuma-kagami’ © Harold Davis

Photographing Flowers for Transparency with Harold Davis

Master photographer Harold Davis is well-known for his often imitated—but seldom equaled—digital images of luscious transparent and translucent flowers.

In this unique workshop offering master photographer Harold Davis shows the techniques he uses to create his floral masterpieces. Arrangement, composition, photography, post-production will all be covered, as will Harold’s special techniques for shooting on a light box.

Who is this workshop for?

The workshop is intended for photographers of all levels with an interest in flower photography.

Harold is only planning to give this workshop infrequently. There is no better way to learn the floral transparency techniques that he has pioneered. The multi-day format will give participants the chance to complete their imagery using the techniques that Harold will demonstrate.

Here are some comments from previous Floral Transparency Workshops:

“Loved the pace, in-depth instruction and generous sharing.”

“EXCELLENT PRESENTATION AND COVERAGE OF MATERIAL. MR. DAVIS WAS PATIENT TO ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS.”

“Harold, thank you for the time, expense and effort it took to put on a great one-day workshop….You are a wealth of information and share it so graciously.”

“Outstanding workshop!”

“A very packed weekend! Harold is very clear and organized; an outstanding photographer who is also an outstanding teacher.”

Wheel of Flowers (on White) © Harold Davis

Wheel of Flowers (on White) © Harold Davis

What to bring: Your creative imagination and sense of fun, a love of flowers, camera (preferably capable of shooting in RAW and with a manual exposiure mode), camera manual, tripod (if you have one), and a way to make notes!

If you’d like to follow the post-production examples please bring a laptop loaded with Photoshop, and HDR Efex Pro from Nik Software (trial versions of this software are available for free download).

Curriculum – Subject to modification

Day 1

9:30AM – Workshop orientation

10:30 – Glory of the tranlucent petal (understanding translucency and transparency)

11:30 – Introduction to Floral arrangement and composition

12:30 – Lunch break

1:30 – Advanced floral compositon

2:30 – Shooting on a lightbox

3:30 – Understanding high-key hand HDR post-production

4:30 – Advanced HDR topics

5:00 – Review, wrap-up and Q&A

Curriculum – Day 2

10:00AM – Day 1 recap

10:30 – Individual post-production guided practice

11:30 – Backgrounds and Textures

12:30 – Lunch break

1:30 – LAB Color effects

2:15 – Individual practice

4:00 – Fine art botannical prints

4:30 – Review, wrap-up and Q&A

Clematis on Black  © Harold Davis

Clematis on Black © Harold Davis

Click here for registration on Meetup. To register via Meetup, RSVP Yes (using the button on the upper right), and follow the directions for tuition payment.

Posted in Workshops

From iPhone to Art

From iPhone to Art

From iPhone to Art is a full-day workshop on Saturday May 21, 2016 in Berkeley, California. I have often been asked to lead a workshop that explains iPhone photography and processing techniques. I am excited to be assisted in this workshop by Robert Eckardt as my co-teacher. Robert is an extremely gifted iPhone photographer in his own right. There are some places left in this workshop, but it is filling up fast.

Courtyard in Naples © Harold Davis

The iPhone is the most used camera in the world. As they say, the best camera to use is the one you have with you, and this is often your iPhone camera. But the fundamental rules of photography still apply, and you can become a powerful photographer with your iPhone by learning the fundamentals of exposure and composition.

Still Life in Silver Bowl © Harold Davis

Of course, your iPhone is more than just a camera. The computing power within a contemporary iPhone is greater than the computing power that sent NASA to the moon—and many photography apps take advantage of this “darkroom” in your pocket.

Feathers © Harold Davis

In From iPhone to Art, we will learn how to leverage our talents to make the best iPhone imagery we can. Demos, lectures, and hands-on exercises will explore the principles of photography as they relate to the iPhone camera.

Click here to see some more of my iPhone images, and here for workshop information and registration!

Door in Capri © Harold Davis

 

Path beside the Rhine

 

Porto iphone

 

Posted in iPhone, Photography, Workshops

Metamorphosis

A metamorphosis is a transformation. In this image, a model, also shown in Nude Descending a Ladder, is transforming into a portion of Multnomah Falls (or vice versa, the waterfall is transforming into the model). More abstractly, there is a larger view in which the waterfall is itself becoming a figure—vengeful Goddess or otherwise!

Metamorphosis © Harold Davis

Metamorphosis © Harold Davis

The two images I combined to make Metamorphosis are Waterfall (below) and Shout to the Soul (far below). Waterfall is a fairly straight photo of a portion of the upper Multnomah waterfall, while Shout to the Soul has been manipulated and transformed to fit together with the falling water.

Waterfall © Harold Davis

Waterfall © Harold Davis

Shout to the Soul © Harold Davis

Shout to the Soul © Harold Davis

 

Posted in Models, Monochrome

Paris is always a good idea!

Paris Sunset © Harold Davis

Paris Sunset © Harold Davis

Pyramide © Harold Davis

Pyramide © Harold Davis

Paris, as Audrey Hepburn said, is always a good idea. Please consider joining my small group of photographers in Paris (and, oh yeah, at the Monet gardens in Giverny!) the first week in May, 2016.

Click here for the detailed day-by-day itinerary (PDF), here for the Prospectus, and here for the Reservation Form. If you are interested, please let me know right away.

Giverny © Harold Davis

Giverny © Harold Davis

Posted in Paris, Photography, Workshops