Monthly Archives: March 2018

Edward Weston’s Kitchen

In September 2013 I spent a night in the guest cottage of famed photographer Edward Weston’s house at Wildcat Hill along the Big Sur coast, following a workshop I gave in Carmel, California. The gracious hosts, Kim and Gina Weston, rent the cottage as an occasional retreat, and it was like spending the evening in a museum. In the morning, I roamed the grounds with my camera.

Edward Weston’s Kitchen © Harold Davis

As a photographic hero of mine, I perhaps should have tried to emulate Weston’s wonderful monochromatic imagery in his own house. Instead, this rather colorful image of the Weston kitchen is what I came up with!

You can read more about my stay at the Weston house in the original blog story that I wrote contemporaneously with my visit.

Posted in Photography

I Wasp Eye

Early this morning I came downstairs in my pajamas and found myself face-to-face with this wasp, somnolent before the heat of the day. I pulled some close-up gear together, and got down face-to-face and jowl-to-proboscis to eyeball her ladyship. Glad am I that our relative sizes are not reversed, as She is a formidable looking creature indeed!

I Wasp Eye © Harold Davis

In 2005, towards the beginning of my career in digital photography (for more about my roundabout route back into digital photography, check out Behind the Lens with Harold Davis on the Topaz Labs Blog), I climbed an unsteady stack of diaper cartons to photograph another sleepy wasp on our living room ceiling. (You can see the rinky-dink-and-possibly-dangerous setup in the linked story.)

The 2005 Wasp has been a surprise hit on the image licensing circuit. Special thanks to Pixsy for helping to protect this image from unauthorized use. Of course, my hope is that my more modern wasp will also be popular (for authorized use only)!

Posted in Photography

Color Field of Flowers

Thanks for participating in my previous request for comments on Decorative Grasses and Blades of Grass. Today’s Which variation do you prefer? And, why? involves six images. What these variations have in common is the subject matter: the same floral arrangement was photographed in each.

Four of the images involve different processing of the full composition, with a version on white, an inversion on black, a version with a virtual “frame,” and a woodcut-like black & white version. I have presented these images as verticals.

The other two images, shown as horizontals, involve closer-in captures, with a different (stronger) magnification.

Which do you like best, and why? I particularly appreciate comments entered directly on the blog story (the comment box is below, or follow this link!). Thanks.

Color Field of Flowers on White © Harold Davis

Color Field of Flowers on White with a Deckled Edge © Harold Davis

Inverted Color Field of Flowers © Harold Davis

Black and White Field of Flowers © Harold Davis

Flower Friends © Harold Davis

Papaver Nudicaule © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Decorative Grasses

Thanks for all the input on my Blades of Grass series. I appreciate the (varied) input. Here’s another sequence of Decorative Grasses. Which is your favorite variation, and why? I particularly appreciate comments entered directly on the blog story (the comment box is below, or follow this link!). Thanks.

Decorative Grasses Variation D © Harold Davis

Decorative Grasses Variation C © Harold Davis

Decorative Grasses Variation B © Harold Davis

Decorative Grasses Variation A © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Blades of Grass

Which version do you like better, and why?

Blades of Grass Variation A © Harold Davis

Blades of Grass Variation B © Harold Davis

Blades of Grass Variation C © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography


Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Coming downstairs on a school-day morning, I found a boiled egg that Nicky spurned alone in a small white bowl. The bowl was lit by beautiful ambient (but strong) sunlight from the kitchen window.

Somewhat groggily (it was before my first dose of caffeine) I contemplated my technical options from iPhone to full-court drill with camera, tripod, and Zeiss Otus. I went for the middle ground: the DSLR (Nikon D850) with a macro lens (Zeiss 50mm f/2), handheld, bumping the ISO to compensate for the lack of a tripod (I wanted to get to the cup of coffee sometime in this life!).

My interest was to use the available light to make the ovoid shape of the egg stand out above the shadows, and it is always fun to create an abstraction (or a semi-abstraction) from the everyday things around one.

Egg © Harold Davis

Posted in Monochrome, Photography

Katie Rose and the Swallow

Alas, Katie has had a sinus infection, and antibiotics have been prescribed. She has graduated from solution to pills, but she does not like swallowing them, and makes a production out of it twice a day! Katie is the youngest in our family, and I am always amazed at how fast the years go, and how slow it sometimes seems (simultaneously!). I picture time as a river, with rapids and slow-moving water in stretches that occupy the same topography.

Katie Rose contemplating the swallow © Harold Davis

Posted in Katie Rose, Kids

I am deleting my Facebook account in one week

I am deleting my Facebook account one week from today. The week’s delay is to give my real friends on Facebook, many of whom hail from other parts of the world, a chance to connect with me IRL or via other social media (my preference among photo-sharing and social media sites remains Flickr, call me an old stodgy).

Here’s what I wrote on Facebook: 

I am deleting my Facebook account one week from today. #deletefacebook I no longer want to be complicit with the egregious misuse of personal information at the behest of commercial profit.

I will miss many of my Facebook friends’ updates, and hope that you decide to keep in touch with me off Facebook. My website is – My contact info is publicly available on my website at snail mail, phone, and email). I work hard to respond in reasonable real-time to personal emails at harold [at] digitalfieldguide [dot] com. You can subscribe to one of my email lists at

Finally, if you want to laugh (or cry) about all this, check out Alexandra Petri’s Deleting Facebook? Don’t Worry I’ll Replace It for You from the WaPo.

Bullseye on Black © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Slay a Bucket-List Dragon

Time to slay your bucket list and visit Malta with me (photographed on the streets of Valletta). Click here for a detailed itinerary (PDF) and here for the Reservation Form. Small group of photographers, November 2018.

St George Slays Dragon © Harold Davis

Posted in Malta

Vitruvian Woman

Vitruvian Woman © Harold Davis

I titled this piece Vitruvian Woman, after the famous Leonardo da Vinci drawing of an ideal man. The model is Muirina Fae; click here for her IG stream, this model is also shown in Devotional Pose and Avatar.

You can see more of my Multiple Exposure series, made, as was Vitruvian Woman using in-camera multiple strobe exposures, by clicking here.

Posted in Models, Multiple Exposures

Bouquet for Phyllis

Bouquet for Phyllis © Harold Davis

With love, gratitude, and appreciation to Phyllis for all she does to make my life complete, and for our family—and her patience, strength, and fortitude in the face of life’s vicissitudes. Thank you, Phyllis! I love you always.

FAQs on how I make this kind of image: Photographing Flowers for Transparency and Using a High-Key Layer Stack.

Posted in Flowers

Devotional Pose

Devotional Pose © Harold Davis

Click here for a related image, and here for more in my Multiple Exposure series.

Model: Muirina Fae

Posted in Models, Monochrome, Multiple Exposures

Avatar or Artifact?

I made this image in collaboration with the beautiful model Muirina Fae. It’s an in-camera multiple exposure. There are some more details about how I made the image below. If you are interested in seeing more images like this one, you can click here to see more from my Multiple Exposures series.

Avatar © Harold Davis

It’s interesting to me that you can see different subject matter when the image is thumbnail sized, perhaps something organic, like a vegetable, rather than the actual, human form of the model.

Perhaps you see this too?

The model and I collaborated to make six choreographed exposures on a black background. Each exposure was lit by a single strobe from right and above. The camera was on a tripod to keep its position constant.

The model stood mostly on her right leg, and raised her left leg. Following some experimentation, we put her right leg in a black stocking, so that it blended into the black background, and makes her appear to be off the ground for the entirety of the exposures.

The six RAW exposures were combined in my camera using the Nikon D850’s multiple exposure menu. Following retouching and adjustments in Photoshop, I converted the image to monochromatic, then applied sepia and antiquing effects using Photoshop and plugins.

Posted in Models, Multiple Exposures, Photography

Paul Klee in Wabi-Sabi’s Garden

Paul Klee in Wabi-Sabi’s Garden (Inversion) © Harold Davis

Paul Klee in Wabi-Sabi’s Garden © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Detailed Malta Day-by-Day Itinerary; Workshop Opportunities

We’re delighted to have available the detailed itinerary for our November 2018 Destination Photography Workshop to Malta (as a PDF download). Making this visit especially timely: Valletta, Malta will be hosting the title of European Capital of Culture in 2018! This destination photography workshop includes many extras such as a Heritage Malta pass to most Maltese attractions for each participant. Click here for the detailed day-by-day itinerary (PDF) and here for the Reservation Form.

Other workshop notes: 

Long Exposure Wave Study 2 © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops