Monthly Archives: January 2019

Creative LAB Color Collage

Harold Davis LAB collage © Harold Davis

This is a collage of LAB channel color adjustments, developed for my Creative LAB Color in Photoshop course for in LinkedIn Learning. To really get the idea, click here to view full screen.

Posted in Photography

Giant Ficus Tree

Giant Ficus Tree © Harold Davis

This giant Ficus tree, Ficus macrophyllia, dominates one corner of Ventura’s Plaza Park. It was planted in 1874, and you can see how big it is by comparing the size of the car parked on the street to the left of the tree, and the street light to its right that is dwarfed by the giant tree.

Posted in Monochrome

Pixel Pie

Pixel Pie © Harold Davis

When I was a kid growing up in the east they used to have “snow days”—when school was called on account of snow. You went back to bed, covered your head with the blankets, forgot about homework, and looked forward to a blissful day playing in the snow.

What do you do when work is called on account of rain? Part of my answer is to go exploring with my camera in the rain, but when that gets old, I like to play with pixels—in this case LAB channel operations, Photoshop blending modes, mirroring, and reflecting.

Can we count the ways? © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Ventura Pier and Dark Sea

It rained all day as I was recording, but towards late afternoon there was a break in the weather. I positioned myself on the roof of a parking garage, and photographed the Ventura Pier. This pier is a great wooden structure, built in 1872, and well maintained since then.

Ventura Pier © Harold Davis

Heading down along the walk beside the beach, the lowering sky again threatened rain. In the gathering darkness I made a fairly long exposure (about thirty seconds) near the Pipeline, a well known Ventura surfing break. I started in on a longer exposure, but the rain really was coming down, so I protected my camera as best I could, and called it a night!

Dark Sea © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Workshop and Travel Opportunities—Off to make a new video course!

I’m spending next week near Santa Barbara making a new video course. This one is about the Creative Use of LAB Color in Photoshop. I’ve been scripting and rehearsing the course this past week, and I’m excited to see it come together. I’ve been too “heads-down” on authoring my upcoming course to think about much else, but I do want to bring to your attention some upcoming workshop and travel opportunities:

  • Garden and Flower Photography, Palm Beach Photographic Centre, Palm Beach, Florida, February 8-10, 2019; click for information and registration. Coming up very soon, and there is still space! This is my first workshop in Florida, and I am looking forward to exploring. Come join me for some great botanical photography!

Double Rainbow over Paris © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Harold’s LAB Color Action: New Version Available

My Abstraction © Harold Davis

I am feeling smug that I still have some decent computer skills. The last time I updated this Photoshop Action (a kind of macro using Photoshop’s internal scripting language) was a decade ago, for the publication of The Photoshop Darkroom.

The updated Action (Version 01.09.2019) contains some new usability features such as better labeling and hotkey access, and two new LAB color adjustments included in the palette. Click here to download the Readme file for Harold’s LAB Color channel adjustment action, and here to download the zip file containing Harold’s LAB action

My LAB Color Action is free to download for personal use. For detailed instructions regarding creative LAB color and how to best use this action, stay tuned for the new Creative LAB in Photoshop course I am doing for In Learning.

Fractal Faces Collage © Harold Davis


Posted in Photography

Before the LAB Color Creates

I’m using this image as one of the starting examples for the new course I am recording next week on working with creative LAB color in Photoshop. Click here for my existing online courses!

Anemones, Tulip, and Queen Anne’s Lace © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, Workshops

Marble, Don’t Jump!

The marble languidly perches on the cornice of the volumes of the collected New Yorker cartoons, high above the carpet. “Marble, don’t jump, ” I cry, as I spring into action with my new Laowa 24mm f/14 2X Macro Probe.

Marble Don’t Jump © Harold Davis

One of my first impulses when I started to learn to use this unique but totally weird lens was to put it up the central cylinders of flowers, with some results from a Calla Lily shown below. What I think I’m learning as I go along is that this lens is really about providing an ant-eye view of the world: incredibly close, wide angle, and able to fit into really tight places, and not necessarily the angle of view one would expect.

Spadix of a White Calla Lily © Harold Davis

Spadix © Harold Davis

Related story (from 2006, using more conventional macro gear): Spadix.

Posted in Photography

A Tale of Three Flower Workshops

I am giving three flower-related photography workshops in 2019. I have been asked a number of times how these workshops differ, and how they overlap—so I’d like to make things as clear as possible so that, if you are interested, you can make the right choice.

First, Photographing Flowers for Transparency in June in Berkeley is the only workshop I will be giving that exclusively focuses in depth on my light box techniques.

Poppies and Mallows on White © Harold Davis

Here are some more details about how to choose between the workshops:

The three workshops are very different in focus. My annual Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop here in Berkeley is a studio-and-Photoshop based course in photographing and processing high-key light box images. This is a complex technique, and it is the only technique the workshop covers, with the goal of getting each proficient technically capable of making this style of image on their own.

You can find the full workshop curriculum on the workshop listing page if you scroll down. The short version is that Day 1 is about arranging and photographing flowers on a light box, and Day 2 is about the related post-production. Light box work—photographing flowers for transparency—is all this workshop will cover.

In contrast, the garden and flower photography workshop at the Palm Beach Photography Centre in early February is largely a field photography workshop. We will be photographing gardens and flowers in a variety of local locations, and also exploring a spectrum of studio photography techniques in the studio, along with critiquing work with an eye to improvement and forming an individual style.

Red Tulip, Giverny © Harold Davis

The workshop will demonstrate a range of techniques, including light box work, but the light box will only be a small portion of what is covered, just enough to give a taste of the technique.

I believe the workshop description a gives a pretty good idea of what is involved. For me, my first at the Palm Beach Photo Centre, a special feature of this workshop is that it coincides with a workshop led by national photography treasure, Joyce Tenneson, Light Your Creative Spark. Joyce has a thing or two to say about many aspects of photography, including flower photography. We’re hoping to co-lead some joint workshop sessions while we are both there; and, if you’ve already taken a workshop with me, you might consider Joyce’s workshop as an alternative to repeating with me.

I will be giving a third related workshop in 2019, the week of August 11-17, 2019 at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine, where I have been teaching for a number of years. This will be a five-day workshop on photographing the great gardens of Maine. This year we have lined up some extraordinary public and private gardens to photograph. Besides the field sessions, we will also be sharing work, learning studio floral photography techniques, and exploring how to enrich our individual creativity, and to express the ineffable with flower photography. I’ll post the registration link once it is available.

Shrub Mallow © Harold Davis

So, to summarize, the Maine and Palm Beach workshops are comparable, except for where they are given, and the lengths (three days for Palm Beach versus five for Maine). Light box work will be shown in a demo, but this is probably not really enough to master the technique in-depth. The Flowers for Transparency workshop is one I give annually, and is an intensive and immersive experience that has been designed to thoroughly teach my light box techniques (but does not include any field photography or visits to locations).

Obviously, potential workshop participants need to choose what works for them in terms of their own schedule and where they are located geographically, as well as what they are most interested in. For the light box process, come to Berkeley in June. You should expect to photograph some really spectacular gardens in Maine in August with me, and in Florida enjoy February’s special flora in a great location, along with the creative synergy that Joyce and I can create (personally, I would consider just signing up for the Joyce Tenneson workshop if I weren’t teaching at the same time!).

Click here for my Workshops & Events listings.

Falling Rose Petals on Unryu washi © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Looking forward to 2019—2019 Harold Davis Workshop Schedule

In 2019 I am looking forward to another exciting year, with travel, creative projects, books to deliver, more online courses, and workshops.

If you are interested in my workshops, I particularly want to call your attention to our destination photography group visiting Paris and Monet’s gardens at Giverny in the spring. Also, the weekend Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop here in Berkeley in June guides you through the technique I have pioneered.

It is not too late to join my Paris group of select photographers, and there is still limited space in the transparency workshop.

Poem of the Road © Harold Davis

Lonely Road (Poem of the Road) © Harold Davis

May your road carry you into creative growth in 2019, with time to savor the wonder, mystery, and magic of being human, and to foster the creative spark that lives in all of us.

I have come to believe that sometimes simple is best. Who needs gaudy ephemeral things when the world around us presents perfection if we take the time to truly see?

Summer Grass © Harold Davis

Here’s my 2019 workshop schedule so far, subject to change and to sessions filling up:

  • Garden and Flower Photography, Palm Beach Photographic Centre, Palm Beach, Florida, February 8-10, 2019; click for information and registration.
  • Webinar sponsored by Topaz, Tuesday February 19, 2019 at 2PM PT—free with advance registration, registration link TBA.
  • Photograph Paris in April with Harold Davis (co-host Mark Brokering), April 27-May 5, 2019; explore and photograph the City of Light; Destination Photography Workshop includes several excursions, including after-hours photography exclusive to artists at Monet’s gardens at Giverny. Click here for more information and here for the Reservation Form; please contact us for more information. We look forward very much to photographing Paris in the spring with you!
  • Photographing Flowers for Transparency—Covers Harold’s light box and floral photography and post-production techniques; two-day workshop Saturday June 22 and Sunday June 23, 2019 located in beautiful downtown Berkeley, CA. Click here for more information and to register via Meetup.
  • Photographing the Great Gardens of Maine, August 11-17, 2019 at Maine Media Workshop. This year we’ll have a great range of public and unique private gardens to photograph. Registration page and detailed description to come.
  • Northern Morocco Photography Adventure, October 19-30, 2019 (12 Days and 11 Nights), cost is $3,200 per person. Click here for the Prospectus and FAQ, here for the complete Itinerary, and here for the Reservation Form.
Posted in Photography