Monthly Archives: January 2022

Blast from the Past

We found one of my 1980s museum posters for sale on Ebay for $550, “shipped with nice vintage glass and metal frame frame.” Can’t wait to see that vintage glass! (Not really.) Dare I say, “Cheap at the price?” You can read more about the image and my poster here.

New York, New York © Harold Davis

Related story: Halloween in the New York that Was.

Posted in Business of Art, Photography

Bunches of Bunches

Looking at some upright bunches of flowers recently in cylindrical vases, it occurred to me that the bunch itself made an interesting structure for a light box composition.

Tulip Bunch © Harold Davis

One of the key compositional conundrums in light box photography is presenting an underlying structure of the image. Generally, for these kinds of images to be successful, there must be structure. For example—some of the simplest cases—the arrangement may be grounded by a central stalk or stem, or composed as a bouquet.

A related problem is how you handle the boundary problems of the image; in other words, creating a successful treatment of the meeting of the botanical subject and the image frame. Generally, floating the subject in the middle with no connection to the boundaries does not work well. It occurred to me that photographing bunches of flowers might be an exception.

Daffodils and Irises © Harold Davis

It was important in making these images to first place the images in the cylinder, so that the mass of the flowers assumed the bunched shape I was looking for.

Tulip Bunch at the beginning of this story was made from nine captures my with my Nikon D850 and Zeiss Otus 55mm on tripod. Each exposure as at f/16 and ISO 64, with exposure times ranging from 1/30 of a second to 4 seconds.

Daffodils and Irises used the same gear and basic exposure concept, with eight exposures ranging from 1/15 of a second to 4 seconds. 

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Inside Lisianthus

At the florist, it typically goes by the name Lisianthus. It’s also commonly known as the Prairie gentian, reflecting the grasslands where this flower is usually found (when not at a florist!). The modern botanical name is Eustoma, from the ancient Greek words for “pleasing mouth.”

Inside Lisianthus © Harold Davis

By whatever name, the deep blossom shape called out to my macro-probe lens, one of a series of images I have photographed inside flower blossoms including those shown in Hollyhock ‘Halo Candy’, Falling in Love, Inside Digitalis, Flowers or Sea Creatures, and more.

With these photographs, the macro wide-angle lens on a stalk goes with the blossom. I use the builtin ring light to see to focus, then use a relatively long exposure (usually about thirty seconds) to capture the details inside the flower.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Wishing you joy, creativity, and light in 2022!

For us, as for the world, 2021 has been an “interesting” year. Some professional highlights include:

You can click here to view my self-selected best images of 2021 (I have self-selected best images as an exercise in editing since 2013!).

Looking forward, we are hoping that the coming new year may be less “interesting” as events unfold. 

If all goes according to plan, we have photo tours scheduled in April for the southwest of France, and in October for off-the-beaten track Japan. It’s also our hope to present the postponed Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop in August here in Berkeley.

May 2022 be a year of healing, with the blessings of family and community. We are all in this together. Wishing you joy, creativity, and light in 2022!

Posted in Photography