Monthly Archives: October 2020

Announcing new Homage to Blossfeldt limited edition prints

We’re pleased to announce a new series of eight limited edition Harold Davis prints in homage to the great botanical photographic artist Karl Blossfeldt, now available for sale on Saatchi Art. Click here for the collection of Homage to Blossfeldt prints, and here for Harold’s Saatchi Art page.

Queen Anne's Lace © Harold Davis

Queen Anne’s Lace © Harold Davis

Related stories: Tulip Petal Detail after Blossfeldt; Special Pandemic Prints.

Posted in Monochrome, Print of the Month

Skeletons in the Hood

This year, there seems to be plenty of pre-Halloween activity in the neighborhood. Perhaps in the same pandemic spirit as the many close-by home improvement projects: the psychology seems to be, we’re home, we’re bored, we have time on our hands, let’s have at the new patio or deck.

Or, along with boredom at sheltering-in-place, with some conscious or unconscious irony: what better time of year to consider how easily death might invade our daily lives than Halloween?

The schadenfreude hardly needs to be pointed out: we and our neighbors are here at the periphery of this plague to enjoy Halloween displays in the neighborhood, while others are dead, or sick, homeless, or unemployed.

Spectral Light © Harold Davis

Spectral Light © Harold Davis

Masks © Harold Davis

Masks © Harold Davis

Posted in Coronavirus times, iPhone, Photography

Halloween in the New York that Was

I made the photos shown in this story in or around the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in the 1980s in New York City. The versions of my images shown here were re-photographed using my iPhone from the reproductions in the book Masked Culture: The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade (Columbia University Press, 1994).

Mask of the Plague © Harold Davis

Mask of the Plague © Harold Davis

For the most part, to make these images I used Kodachrome slide film, with direct flash connected to the camera using an extension bracket. My habit was to talk to the subjects and ask their permission to make the photo (most were enthusiastic since of course a great deal of work went into their costumes).

I would also ask them to say what they were costumed as, which usually became my title for the image (although sometimes the costume was pretty obvious, and the caption became merely descriptive).

Punk Dog with Cigarette © Harold Davis

Punk Dog with Cigarette © Harold Davis

My kids are incredulous when I tell them that phone booths used to be a thing, so the photo (below) of the witch does double-duty as evidence.

Witch in a Phone Booth © Harold Davis

Witch in a Phone Booth © Harold Davis

As I noted, the original photos were photographed on Kodachrome, and I still have my archive and these slides (hidden in plain sight somewhere in my larger archive!).

One of these days I am going to go through the old images and make some high resolution scans. The problem, of course, is that I would rather look ahead and make new work rather than recycle the past. In the meantime, if New York City before the fall of the World Trade Towers interests you, you can check out this story.

Posted in Photography

Finding the Mysterious in Photography webinar on Saturday

Please consider joining us for a wholesome-but-spooky pre-Halloween photographic experience at Finding the Mysterious in Photography on Saturday October 24 at 11am PT. Click here for more info and here for registration.

You are cordially invited to submit images for this webinar. After you have registered, click here for submission guidelines.

Click here for our currently scheduled webinars and workshops.

Asclepias physocarpa © Harold Davis

Asclepias physocarpa © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Metamorphosis to Autumn

Even here in the Bay area, in a season rife with wild fires and air that is unseasonably warm, we can feel the shift towards autumn. Renewal, I am reminded, comes after the darkest time of year. So it is with hope that I look forward to the metamorphosis to autumn, and bring hope to the thought that come November we will collectively start to find a better way forward.

Metamorphosis © Harold Davis

Metamorphosis © Harold Davis

I photographed these beautiful sunflowers, dahlia, and roses—all a little past their prime in a wabi-sabi kind of way—using an old baking sheet as the background. To finish the image in Photoshop, I added some texture overlays and a frame. 

The title of my image, Metamorphosis, represents the change that autumn brings, followed first by the coolness of winter, then the reprieve of renewal.

Click here for our current webinar offerings.

Posted in Photography

Coming Up Soon! And, hanging in there…

I hope everyone is doing well, and hanging in there (as we are). We have four kids doing distance learning from home (two in college, one in high school, and our youngest Katie in middle school). They are doing surprisingly well in terms of academics, but I am concerned about the long-term impact on their relationships with the world, and with other people.

While this is no time to relax one’s vigilance, and my fingers are deeply crossed regarding the upcoming election, I do believe that we can see, if not the light at the end of the tunnel, at least the light at the end of the tunnel refracted on the internal curvature in the tunnel’s wall. In other words, I am hopeful that sometime towards the middle of 2021 we may be able to resume more-or-less normal life. 

Although, of course, it is hard to predict things, particularly about the future. These days, even my short-term crystal ball seems pretty cloudy.

This week, I want to call your special attention to the Patterns, Abstractions & Composition webinar on Saturday October 17, 2020. Click here for registration, here for more info, and here for our ongoing webinar schedule.

A special thanks to those who have reviewed our new book Creative Garden Photography. I am deeply appreciative, and these reviews contribute greatly to our ability to successfully continue with my work.

We are continuing to offer special edition prints to individual collectors for the duration of the pandemic at a very special price. Click here for details. Of course, if you’d like a larger size print, these are available as well. Please contact us to discuss the specifics, and for a quotation.

Finally, I want to call out and thank our great panelists Jennifer King and Alan Shapiro, and all of you who attended their webinar. Collectively, we were able to contribute a tidy sum to the NAACP.

Our next Master Photographer panel is on November 14, 2020 and benefits the Center for Policing Equity. With panelists the inspirational floral photographer Anne Belmont and legendary photographer and author Bryan Peterson, you won’t want to miss this one. Click here for registration, and here for more information.

Eureka Dunes 5 © Harold Davis

Eureka Dunes 5 © Harold Davis

Posted in Coronavirus times, Photography, Writing

Special Pandemic Prints

I’d like to remind potential print collectors that we are still offering a “pandemic” print special (please click the link for the details of our offer). Of course, we are hoping for respite from the pandemic as soon as possible, and for things to go back to normal. And, inevitably, normal will mean an end to our pandemic print special.

But until then, it is great to be able to put my work in tangible form in the hands of collectors at an affordable price, and great when I hear from a discerning print recipient (as I did the other day): “Thanks Harold for the print. It is deliciously delicate and I love it!” Another collector writes “[Our print is] so beautiful and we will enjoy it in our home. We knew it would be wonderful, but this far exceeds what we imagined.”

It is worth pointing out that pandemic print special applies to almost all of my images. The choice of image is yours, and I will try to match the image with the best paper to make the most graceful and beautiful print possible!

Print of ‘Sunflower X-Ray’ © Harold Davis

Posted in Print of the Month

5-Star Reviews of Creative Garden Photography

I am very pleased and thankful for the positive reviews of our new book Creative Garden Photography on the publisher’s website and on Amazon. These reviews are tremendously helpful to us, and mean a great deal to me personally.

If you’ve written and placed a review, thank you very much indeed! If you are a considering writing a review, thanks in advance.

Here are a few of my favorite snips:

  • “One could never be disappointed looking through this book for ideas on what to try next. … I can’t wait to read it again.”
  • “The book is full of great information, inspiration and lovely photos. Thank you Harold for another fantastic work of art.”
  • “So many great ideas to try. A book of exploration and inspiration.”

Click here for Creative Garden Photography on RockyNook’s website (the publisher, use the discount code GARDEN40 at checkout for a 40% discount) and here for my book on Amazon.

Posted in Photography, Writing

Contribution to the NAACP

Thanks to you—our photography community—and the very special panelists, photographers Jennifer King and Alan Shapiro, we were able to contribute $839.08 to the NAACP. Thanks again!

If you weren’t in the audience, I think you’ll find watching the recording very rewarding (and if you were there, you might want to take a second look!). The recording of the Master Photographer webinar panel will be posted to the Harold Davis Photography YouTube channel (subscribe to channel to be notified as we upload webinar recordings). 

Click here for a schedule of our upcoming webinars.

Black and White Cookie © Harold Davis

Black and White Cookie © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Starfish Mandala

I spent much of yesterday creating this Starfish Mandala designed on my light box (the LAB inversion is shown above on black, and the “straight” light box version below). Yesterday also included photography the mandala. Because petals dry out and curl quickly, this usually needs to be done expediently.

Today I processed the image.

Stay tuned for an upcoming webinar about how I make mandalas on the light box. Click here for our schedule of upcoming webinars.

Starfish Mandala Inversion © Harold Davis

Starfish Mandala Inversion © Harold Davis

Starfish Mandala © Harold Davis

Starfish Mandala © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Hawk Feather and Dried Sunflower

Hawk Feather and Dried Sunflower (in black and white) and the detail of the Hawk Feather (in color, below) were photographed using low-key HDR on a black velvet cloth.

I used the photographic technique and the post-production process explained in my new book Creative Garden Photography (pages 272-279) and in the Photography on Black webinar recording Phyllis just uploaded to our YouTube channel

Hawk Feather and Dried Sunflower © Harold Davis

Hawk Feather and Dried Sunflower © Harold Davis

Hawk Feather © Harold Davis

Hawk Feather © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Master Photographer Panel with Jennifer King and Alan Shapiro on Saturday

Phyllis and I are proud to present Master Photographer Panel with Jennifer King and Alan Shapiro on this coming Saturday (October 10, 2020) via Zoom. The tuition for the event is $19.95, with all proceeds going to the NAACP Empowerment Funds.

Image credit: © Jennifer King

Jennifer King is an internationally acclaimed photographer, writer, teacher and speaker. Click here for her website.

Alan Shapiro’s macro work can be seen throughout the entire hospital set on ABC’s The Good Doctor, in the launch campaigns for the Apple iPhone, filling walls in Bose stores and Ritz Carlton Hotels worldwide, in addition to hanging in numerous private and corporate art collections. His tabletop and food photography can be seen in publications including Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple and Saveur. Click here for his website.

Following the presentations by these great photographers, Harold Davis will moderate a panel discussion open to your questions. Come expecting to be inspired and entertained!

Image credit: © Alan Shapiro

The session will be recorded and posted to YouTube, but please consider enrolling (and paying the tuition) even if you won’t be able to attend the live event. All proceeds will be going to the NAACP Endowment fund, and if you are interested in the panel, it would be great to have you contribute.

Click here for an upcoming benefit Master Panel with Ann Belmont and Bryan Peterson, and here for our schedule of webinars.

Posted in Photography

The Past Is a Different Country

Phyllis likes to say that the past is a different country. Certainly, in this time in which we cannot travel to other countries, the past and different countries have in common that they are both not visit-able: the past in lieu of a time machine, and other countries until we have a novel coronavirus vaccine. 

Photography is a very temporal activity. Most often, the act of capture occurs within a matter of seconds.

Coming back to the notion of the past being a different country, even if one could go back, or if one returns to the same location, nothing is ever the same.

In that spirit, here are five images from the different countries of the past that I just processed for the first time: two are from a sunrise session above the Klamath Bar on California’s north coast in 2018, and three were photographed in Owens Valley, east of the Sierra, from the autumn of 2017.

Morning Mist © Harold Davis

Morning Mist © Harold Davis

Klamath Bar © Harold Davis

Klamath Bar © Harold Davis

Autumn Passage © Harold Davis

Autumn Passage © Harold Davis

Cottonwood © Harold Davis

Cottonwood © Harold Davis

Tufas in Autumn © Harold Davis

Tufas in Autumn © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Mandalas

I had a little down-time today, and I did something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while: organized most of my Mandala images into a single album on Flickr.

A mandala is a circular geometric pattern that symbolically can represent the entire universe. Sometimes, a mandala is meant to represent wholeness and life itself in relation to the infinite and the world that extends beyond and within minds and bodies.

In Eastern religions, a mandala may represent paradise, deities, sacred spaces, or simply be used as an aid to meditation.

My Mandalas are primarily created using flower petals on a light box, although I sometimes use other materials as well. In case you are interested, I will be constructing a mandala on a light box using flower petals on live webcam in my webinar on December 12, 2020.

Study in Petals on Black © Harold Davis

Study in Petals on Black © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Sharpness is a Bourgeois Concept

“Sharpness is a Bourgeois Concept,” declared Henri Cartier-Bresson. What did iconic photographer Cartier-Bresson mean, and why is this a humorous remark?

To find our why, consider attending this Saturday’s Photography and Writing: Using Your Words To Become a Better Photographer

This three-part webinar will start with a look at the role writing has played in the work of some great photographers from Ansel Adams (of course) to Minor White, and beyond. The second part of the presentation will continue with how I have used the synergy of writing and photography with particular emphasis on my award-winning blog, and conclude with some suggestions about how to integrate the discipline of writing into your photography practice. The idea is to enhance facility and creativity in both disciplines!

Click here for more information, here to register for Photography and Writing, and here for a schedule of our upcoming webinars.

Stairs at La Défense © Harold Davis

Stairs at La Défense © Harold Davis

I’d also like to call your special attention to the Master Photographer Panel with Jennifer King and Alan Shapiro, scheduled for Saturday October 10, 2020. All proceeds from this webinar will benefit the NAACP Endowment Fund.

Please check out our upcoming webinar schedule. There’s a great deal of variety, with tutorials and fun across a wide domain of topics. Our webinars are a mixture of free, paid, and paid-as-a-benefit with all proceeds going to a good cause.

As always, stay healthy, keep photographing, and be creative!

Posted in Photography