Monthly Archives: October 2018

Last Day in Paris

This is my last day in Paris until the spring. I took the Metro into Concorde, walked over to the Orangerie, and sat for a while and marveled at the wonderful installation of Monet’s mammoth water lilies, abstractions created based on his ponds at Giverny

La Tour Eiffel © Harold Davis

Next, I wandered across the Tuileries to the Jeu de Paume. The most interesting exhibition there (at least to me) showed the work related to social injustice of Dorothea Lange. While not always the greatest photographer from a technical perspective (e.g. framing, composition, and exposure) she certainly had an eye for faces and telling details, and she cared. The caring may matter more than the technical considerations.

Manzanar diorama via iPhone capture © Harold Davis

What does a diorama of the World War II era Japanese-American internment camp at Manazar have to do with this? In a museum in Paris, looking at the contemporaneous photos of the camp by Lange, I was solipsistically struck with the thought that I had just been (a little more than a month ago) to the memorial museum on the site of Manazar in the arid Eastern Sierra. What a small world we live in, where one thing has consequences for other things, and there are no coincidences!

After I left the museum I wandered the banks of the Seine with my camera until it started to rain. Then I stopped into a restaurant for a late lunch, and made my way back to the hotel.

The car picks me up early tomorrow to get to Malta. I have enjoyed my relatively short visit to Paris, but I am also hoping for a bit warmer weather in the southern Mediterranean.

Posted in France, Paris, Photography

Rainy Day in Paris

Last night as a lay under my quilt in my garret room I heard the wind in a racing howl across Paris. I fell asleep to the rhythm of the rain playing percussion on the roof.

Rainy Day in Paris © Harold Davis

Sure enough, in the morning it was indeed a rainy day in Paris, and the water drops danced on the glass of my window facing the Eiffel Tower. Yet somehow the new day brought light and promise beyond the storm, which washed the city at least a bit cleaner.

By midday the storm had broken, although the wind was still strong. Everyone seemed fresher and fortified in the new light from beyond the rain, even in the depths of the Metro where the music was more original and less lip-synched to Piaf. It’s hard not to admire Paris, although I have no real clue about what accounts for the existential magic.

Posted in France, Paris, Water Drops

Abstracting Sacré-Cœur

High atop the hill of Montmartre sits the cathedral of Sacré-Cœur—which, as I’ve pointed out before, is emblematic (when constructed) of a hard-right quasi-fascism as encouraged by the Church. From a visual standpoint, it is kitsch and rococo, and just a bit weird.

Knocks against its politics of origin and the kitsch aesthetic aside, it is a hecka fun monument to photograph on the exterior (the interior not so much). The rear of the Sacré-Cœur exterior is shown here in an abstraction of wheels-within-wheels (arched arcades over arched arcades), and processed to look as much like a lithograph as a black and white photo.

Sacré-Cœur, exterior detail © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Monochrome, Paris

View of Paris from my room

My garret room in Montmartre is part way up the hill to Sacré-Cœur.  Under the hotel eaves, the room is on the sixth floor (fifth floor by European reckoning), and small. There’s barely room for the bed and my computer, and the wifi is pretty thin (so I am in the hotel common room writing this where connectivity is a bit better).

The room isn’t fancy, and neither is the hotel. But the location is fun, and oh that wonderful view over Paris in the ever-changing light—which makes it all worthwhile!

Paris from Montmartre © Harold Davis

Another view, made with my iPhone, is shown below!

View from my room © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Paris


At sunset, the crescent moon reflected in the intertidal flats. The moon does not produce light. We see the moon because of reflected sunlight.

In this photo, only the crescent is really bright, but the further shape of the moon can easily be seen behind the shadow of the earth.

Earthlight © Harold Davis

Posted in Digital Night, Photography

Crepuscular Coast

The sun coming over the mountains, and fog rising from the ocean, combined in crepuscular rays to first illuminate the coastal bridge and then with chiaroscuro light the rocky shore.

Crepuscular Coast © Harold Davis

Light and emotion go together. There cannot be light without darkness in contrast, so the two coexist as equal parts of ourselves and our world. When the darkness and light combine in just the right chiaroscuro mixture, then we see an echo of ourselves, the good and bad within, and the light to strive for. And, you can only photograph light—light that is reflected or emitted. You cannot photograph an object in-and-of-itself. The only subject of photography is truly light.

Crepuscular Coast – Black and White © Harold Davis

I photographed these images on Cape Perpetua in coastal Oregon. The color and monochromatic view of the coast with crepuscular rays (above) was mode in morning light. The images of Heceta Head Lighthouse (shown below) were made right about at sunset.

Heceta Head Lighthouse © Harold Davis

Heceta Head © Harold Davis

Posted in Landscape, Photography

Hologic 2019 Calendar of X-Ray and Fusion X-Ray Images

This blog story shows the cover (above) and a single month (January, below) from the 2019 promotional calendar that Hologic is publishing using the x-rays and fusion x-rays that Dr. Julian Köpke and I have created. Hologic is the maker of the x-ray equipment that Julian and I used to make the images.

Click here for an FAQ related to these images, and here for an online gallery of x-ray and fusion x-ray images.

Posted in X-Ray

Photos from the legendary eye of Harold Davis

This is a promotional piece sent out on behalf of my studio via Agency Access, a marketing list service for creatives.


Posted in Business of Art

A Creative Palette of Possibilities Webinar Recording and a Porcupine

I’ve been asked many times when this recording would be posted. Of course, the answer was, “When it is ready!” That time is now.

So I’m excited to let you know that here’s the link to the online recording of my recent webinar for Topaz Labs, A Creative Palette of Possibilities using Topaz with Harold Davis (that’s me!).

And, here’s the porcupine (that’s not me except on a very bad hair day!).

Porcupine © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography


A mandala is a circular pattern that in spiritual usage—principally in Hinduism and Buddhism—represents the universe. More secularly (but still with a soupçon of spirituality), the pattern of a mandala is circular and symmetrical, with repeating access points into the center of the construct. This geometric pattern can be held up as a metaphoric representation or the cosmos, or as a symbolic version of the macrocosm or universe at large.

Often I do not recognize the pattern of my own work until after a body of work has been well under way. It seems that over a few years I have been creating mandalas on the light box using flower petals, followed by an LAB L-channel inversion adjustment of the white background of the image to black.

Here are three of the many mandalas I have created using this set of techniques in the past few years!

Floral Mandala on Black © Harold Davis

Study in Petals on Black © Harold Davis

Low Geostationary and Decaying Orbits around the Clematis Inversion © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Klamath Bar

In the darkness before dawn we drove to the Klamath overlook, and brought out the cameras and tripods as the first light was hitting fog banks over the Klamath sandbar—a beautiful time to be in a beautiful place!

Klamath Bar © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Bridge of Light

Along the Oregon coast, hard by Heceta Head Lighthouse, we paused to photograph Cave Creek Bridge, lit by crepuscular rays in the morning mist.

Too often in this life we see the darkness, not the light. But just as often around the corner there is a bridge built of light—to take one ahead as a vessel of lightness. Shadow and light alternate, but we should attempt to take the bridge of light when it is presented to us. Too often we pause in mediocrity, or stare blinded by the darkness, when our best selves are better blinded by the light.

Bridge of Light © Harold Davis

Posted in Monochrome, Photography

Endless Summer

The last few days on the Mendocino coast have been an endless summer with blue arcing skies, crisp waves, and orange sunsets. Today we headed north past the Lost Coast, and into the long forest of redwoods and fog. Tomorrow Oregon on this very cool road trip. 

Sunset and Waves © Harold Davis

Posted in Landscape

Springtime in Paris for the Flaneur with Camera

We’ll always have Paris! You may not need me to remind you of the beauty of Paris, the City of Light. Perhaps this is a treasured memory for you. Along with the joy of strolling Paris city streets and visiting French gardens as a flaneur with a camera! But if you’ve never visited Paris with your camera, then Oh là là! You have a peak experience in store.

Paris Sunset © Harold Davis

Please consider joining me and a select group of photographers in Paris towards the end of April this coming year. If you know Paris, you know how special it is in the spring. If you haven’t ever visited Paris, you are in for a treat.

Giverny © Harold Davis

We will focus our lenses on the boulevards and springtime airs of Paris, gardens (the trip includes a special artist hours tour of Monet’s famous gardens at Giverny), Paris at night, and Paris in black and white. Paris as it ought to be seen, experienced, and photographed. We will be photography flaneurs in the best sense of both words with a small group of like-minded souls!

Rooftops of Paris by Harold Davis

Rooftops of Paris © Harold Davis

We’d love to have you join us, and there are a few places left. But hotels in the time period are filling quickly, and we have booked into a boutique 4-star hotel in the prized 6th Arrondissement, only a couple of blocks from the Luxembourg Gardens. Accommodations are in fact limited. If you would like to come, please let us know as soon possible.

Click here for more information about this destination photography workshop. To reserve your spot, drop us an email letting us know you’d like to come and then complete the Reservation Form. Please feel free to contact us with any questions!

I hope to photograph Paris with you in the spring.

Luxembourg Gardens by Harold Davis

Luxembourg Gardens by Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, Workshops

Devil’s Postpile

Deep in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, down the drainage of the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River from the Minarets, Mt Banner, and the Ritter Range, lies the formation of basalt pillars that is the basis for Devil’s Postpile National Monument. As it happens, a dead-end road leads from the ski resort town of Mammoth Lakes, over the Pacific Crest, and before the road ends at the Reds Meadow pack station passes within half a mile of Devil’s Postpile. 

Devil’s Postpile © Harold Davis

In September, on my way to the night photography workshop in Lone Pine, on a deliciously golden sunlit day, I took the time to travel over to Devil’s Postpile. With my camera on tripod, I made a series of abstract exposures, much more interested in the shapes of the formation than any larger sense of context.

Posted in Landscape, Monochrome