Monthly Archives: September 2018

Levitation and Meditation

Third I (Eye) © Harold Davis

Technique: in-camera multiple exposure, with five exposures each.

Model Credits: Amelia Simone (above) and Muirina Fae (below).

FAQ: Multiple Exposures of Models.

Online Gallery: Multiple Exposures.

Devotional Pose © Harold Davis

Posted in Models, Multiple Exposures

Bird of Paradise X-Ray

This is an x-ray photograph of a Strelitzia reginae, commonly known as the Bird of Paradise flower.

Bird of Paradise X-Ray © Harold Davis

More: X-Ray and Fusion X-Ray Gallery; FAQ: X-Ray Photos of Flowers; X-Ray Photography and the Inner Form of Beauty; Revealing the Unseen with X-Ray Photography of Flowers; X-Ray and “Fusion” X-Ray Images of Flowers.

Posted in Flowers, X-Ray

Stories that weave through my blog

I’ve been writing this blog since 2005, which is to say over twelve years. Sometimes there’s more, and sometimes I have less to say, but the average is about ten stories a month. That’s quite a bit of material; back-of-the-envelope it comes to more than 1,400 stories.

Of course, some are more weighty than others. But it will probably come as no surprise that some stories are serial and sequential, and build on each other through an adventure or fraught life event. 

Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

The purpose of this meta-blog story is to point out a few of these embedded series, and to show you where you might start reading if you are interested.

The Birth of Katie Rose—My daughter was born very prematurely, and we didn’t know if she would survive. I photographed her in the NICU, and wrote about what was happening in real-time. You can start with First Look or The Birth of Katie Rose Davis (written after she came home and was out of danger).

Hands © Harold Davis

Hiking the Kumano Kodo—In 2013 I hiked the famous Kumano kodo pilgrimage trail in Japan. You can read about some of my adventures in Japan starting with Noriko Tries to Poison Me, and read about my hike starting with On the Kumano kodo.

Tree and Reflection, Nara © Harold Davi

Tree and Reflection, Nara © Harold Davis

Camino de Santiago—More recently, in the spring of 2018, I hiked a portion of this famous pilgrimage trail in Spain. My pilgrimage story starts with Beginning My Compostela.

Romanesque Bridge along the Camino © Harold Davis

Does the Wilderness Care About Me?—Back in 2005, I launched myself on an ill-prepared early season venture into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. I survived to tell the tale that starts in A Walk on the Wild Side.

Alone I Stand © Harold Davis

Vietnam—In 2017 I visited Vietnam with my longtime friend Eric. Our ostensible goal was to visit the largest cave in the world, Son Doong. Along the way, we saw many strange and wondrous things, starting with the Long Bien Bridge that was important during the American-Vietnamese war because it connects Hanoi by rail with the port of Haiphong.

Son Doong Cave © Harold Davis

Cuba—In 2009 I visited Cuba with a photography group. You can read some of my observations starting with Fifty Years after the Cuban Revolution.

On the Cover © Harold Davis


Posted in Cuba, Japan, Katie Rose, Vietnam, Writing

New on my website and blog

I’ve added some content recently that may interest you. This is in addition to my regular postings on my blog, which I think of as my “Daybook”—in the sense that Edward Weston had a Daybook, which he used to jot down his contemporaneous thoughts about his photography, and his life.

Anyhow, the new pages on this website are:

Rising © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Detailed Malta Day-by-Day Itinerary—November 2018

We’re delighted to have available the detailed itinerary for our November 2018 Destination Photography Workshop to Malta (as a PDF download). Click here for more info.

Making this visit especially timely: Valletta, Malta is 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.

Posted in Workshops

Three, Eight, Nine

Do I Know You? © Harold Davis

Eight © Harold Davis

Nine © Harold Davis

Models: Do I Know You? and Eight, Gin N Tonic; Nine, Zoe West. Gallery of Multiple Exposure images; Multiple Exposures FAQ; an introduction about how these images are made.

Posted in Models, Multiple Exposures

Free Live Webinar: A Creative Palette of Possibilities Using Topaz presented by Harold Davis

When: Tuesday, September 25 2018 at 2PM PDT.

Where: At your computer, anywhere!

Registration Link: ***The webinar is free, but registration is required. Early registration is strongly suggested!

What: In this all-new webinar, Harold Davis demonstrates how he uses Topaz Studio, Glow, Adjust, Simplify, Impression, and Texture Effects as a creative palette of possibilities for taking his work to the next level.

Harold will show his favorite effects within each of these Topaz Photoshop plugins, and demonstrate how he combines the use of the Topaz software with the use of Photoshop layers, masking, and blending modes for pinpoint control and enhanced creativity.

Harold notes that he is “often asked by clients to make very large prints. While I am working with high-resolution RAW files, I still need to enlarge these for good results. With the release of Topaz A.I. Gigapixel, I have a new and excellent tool for my resizing needs.” This webinar will conclude with an overview demo of how Harold includes A.I. Gigapixel in his printmaking workflow.

There will be time following the presentation for Q&A, so please attend with your questions in mind.

About Harold Davis: Harold Davis is an internationally recognized digital artist and photographer, the bestselling author of many books about photography, and a notable photographic educator and workshop leader. He is a Moab Master and a Zeiss Ambassador. His website is

Be sure to stick around after the webinar for a short Q/A and to see if you’re one of the 2 winners of the Topaz Studio Gro Pro Adjustment Bundles that we’ll be giving away.

Posted in Workshops

X-Ray Photography and the Inner Form of Beauty

The process of making these x-ray images of flowers and shells is more like making a photogram—what Man Ray called a rayograph—than it is like using a conventional camera. The flowers are arranged on top of the capture medium, in this case a digital sensor and then exposed. But the exposure is to x-rays rather then to light in the visible spectrum, as in a photogram, where objects are placed on top of a photosensitive medium (historically, more oftern emulsion-coated paper rather than a digital sensor).

X-Ray, Sunflower © Harold Davis

The x-rays reveal the inner form and shapes rather than the surface manifestation of the object. It is possible to look at the petals of a flower as though they are gauze or veils, and to see the capillaries within a leaf.

Spray Roses X-Ray © Harold Davis

Rather than the surface of a shell, when the x-ray “camera” is pointed at a shell, the inner spirals, shapes, and forms of the structure is revealed. 

Shell Collection X-Ray © Harold Davis

More: Revealing the Unseen with X-Ray Photography of Flowers. Sometimes the seen and the unseen, the surface and the shapes within, come together by combining high-key visible light photography with x-ray captures: X-Ray and “Fusion” X-Ray Images of Flowers.

Posted in Flowers, Monochrome, X-Ray

Visit Paris in the Spring with a small group of Photographers

Visit Paris in the Spring with Harold Davis and a small group of photographers. Click here for more information. Features after-hours artist access to Monet’s delicious gardens at Giverny!

Posted in Workshops

Announcing a new session of Photographing Flowers for Transparency—June 22-23, 2019

We’re pleased to announce by popular demand a new session of Harold’s acclaimed Photographing Flowers for Transparency weekend workshop, to be held in Berkeley, CA Saturday and Sunday June 22 and 23, 2019. Enrollment is limited. Registration is now open on a first-come-first-served basis.

Click here for more information about this workshop, here for the Photographing Flowers for Transparency FAQ, and here for Harold’s upcoming event, workshop, and destination photo tour schedule. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

The Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop is a great deal of fun, and covers Harold’s light box techniques as well as related topics (see the partial list below). If you are interested in Harold’s unique approaches, this is the best way to learn. Each participant will produce their own fully processed images following Harold’s lectures and demonstrations, and with Harold’s personal hands-on supervision.

Flowering Dogwood & Friends © Harold Davis

Topics covered in the Photographing Flowers for Transparency Workshop include:

  • Floral arrangement and composition
  • Botanical art in the digital era
  • Shooting on a light box
  • Understanding high-key post-production
  • Working with Photoshop layers
  • High-key HDR
  • LAB color effects
  • Backgrounds and textures
  • Preparing to make floral pigment prints
  • Tips & techniques from Harold Davis
  • Implementing one’s own vision

Flowers at School © Harold Davis

Here are what some participants in Harold’s recent Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshops have said:

  • “Harold is unmatchable! An honor to be able to be able to have him as a mentor…. for photography and for life.”
  • “AWESOME!!! Harold has a great teaching style, and it was great to learn some new shooting and post-processing techniques.”
  • “Excellent!!! Recommend to anyone who wants to take their flower art to the next level.”
  • “Amazing teacher! Patient, knowledgeable, thoughtful and sharing, easy to learn from. Looking forward to many more workshops with Harold! What a total gem… “

Floral Composition © Harold Davis

From Harold’s introductory note to workshop participants:

My belief is that folks learn most when they are hands-on, and having fun. So we will be doing a great deal of flower arrangement and flower photography—and I think along with new ways of seeing, you will learn some techniques, and ways of using your camera, that may not have occurred to you before.

These new approaches are great with flower photography, but also go way beyond floral subject matter, and are really applicable to many kinds of photography.

Besides floral photography, floral arrangement, working on a light box, and various kinds of special lighting effects, we will be exploring high-key HDR, post-production in Photoshop, backgrounds and textures, and LAB color, and much more. As you can see, it will be a very special, busy, and creative weekend!

Click here for more information about this workshop, here for the Photographing Flowers for Transparency FAQ, and here for Harold’s upcoming event, workshop, and destination photo tour schedule. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

Kiss from a Rose © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Photoshop: Backgrounds and Textures with Harold Davis Now Live!

I am very pleased and excited that my online course Photoshop: Backgrounds and Textures is now live.

Click here to view my course on LinkedIn Learning and here to view my course on There is a free preview. The full course is behind the paywall, but note that a free trial subscription is available for one month.

The description of my course follows below the image! Please let me know what you think.

Poem of the Road © Harold Davis

Poem of the Road © Harold Davis

Course Description:
Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Learn how to transform relatively straightforward photographs into distinctive visual art, using Photoshop backgrounds and textures.

In this course, photographer and digital darkroom expert Harold Davis walks through the technical specifics of adding backgrounds and textures to your Photoshop compositions, and provides the inspiration and resources you need to get fantastic results.

Learn how to provide context and “frames” with backgrounds, and use textures as nondestructive overlays to enhance the look and feel of your images. Harold shows how to use scans and photos of found objects as the basis for custom textures, and even license textures from commercial libraries.

Plus, discover a post-production workflow for the iPhone that maximizes your flexibility, mobility, and creativity, and explore four iOS apps that Harold recommends for iPhone photography.

Topics Include:

  • Using blending modes, masks, and selections to build backgrounds
  • Creating and sourcing backgrounds
  • Creating effects with textures
  • Adding textures to portraits and landscapes
  • Licensing textures
  • Creating texture-based effects on the iPhone

Duration: 2h 18m

Click here to view my course on LinkedIn Learning and here to view my course on There is a free preview. The full course is behind the paywall, but note that a free trial subscription is available for one month.

Posted in Workshops

Under the Wide and Starry Sky

As Robert Louis Stevenson put it, “Under the wide and starry skies glad did I live.” But if you live in a city or even a town, it is likely that you don’t often see the wide and starry skies in all their glory.

Nothing compares to the experience of lying out under the stars and watching the Milky Way and our fantastic galactic core rotate their amazing show through the heavens—seen here with Ladyboot Arch in the Alabama Hills east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the foreground.

Ladyboot Arch © Harold Davis

Exposure data: Nikon D850, 28mm, 30 seconds at f/3.5 and ISO 3,200 with minimal post-production.

Posted in Digital Night

Rainbow Falls in Black and White

I hiked into Rainbow Falls in Devils Postpile National Monument. No rainbows this day, but a great waterfall in monochrome!

Rainbow Falls in Monochrome © Harold Davis

Posted in Monochrome, Photography

East of the Sierras

Coming down the long steep road from Tioga Pass, the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains was hazy. In the distance, thunder rumbled. Then, to my surprise, a sharp rainstorm.

As the squall passed, amid the ozone smell, I stopped beside a dirt track road, and photographed the brush against the background of the western wall of peaks.

East of the Sierras © Harold Davis

Posted in Landscape, Photography

Multiple Exposures and Models: Star of Brightness.

The technical idea behind my in-camera series of multiple exposures of models is to work with the models to use the human body to create an external shape, as defined by the models’ positioning when the strobes fire. The philosophic idea is to use external shape creation of the human form to allude to the divine, in a variety of guises and traditions.

Star of Brightness © Harold Davis

The model in Star of Brightness (above) is Muirina Fae. She’s also the model in Vitruvian Woman, Devotional Pose, and Avatar or Artifact.

The model, and communication with the model, makes a huge impact on this kind of image making. Animism (below) is a collaboration with A Nude Muse, who can also be seen in the White Daemon Series and Once Upon a Tintype

If you are interested in the archetypes and iconography of this series, check out Introducing Multiple Exposures and the Multiple Exposures online gallery.

Animism © Harold Davis

Posted in Models, Multiple Exposures, Photography