Monthly Archives: March 2023

Nice Little Review of Composition & Photography

This is from the February 2023 issue of the PSA Journal:

“The first clue that you’re about to read a unique book is on the Table of Contents page where all the chapter titles are written at a 90 degree angle from the page numbers. From there, Composition and Photography begins its first chapter entitled ‘Expect the Unexpected.’

“As the pages and chapters continue, Davis presents the reader with an assortment of intriguing photos, explaining the concept of this type of composition, what led to his photographing the subject and why he was compelled to do so. By doing this, he urges the photographer to seek different angles in digital imaging. composing a photo, to be aware of positive and negative space, and to notice the symmetry – or the lack of it – in everyday subjects. While the text is compelling, the photographs are stunning and invite the reader to read even more.”

Click here to buy Composition & Photography (use the discount code HDAVIS40 for a 40% discount at checkout), here for Harold’s upcoming webinar Composition Masterclass, and here for information about Harold’s in-person Composition workshop in Maine in August.

Posted in Photography, Workshops, Writing

Fantastic Iris and White Camellia

A great deal of our energy lately has gone into clearing my parents’ house to make it ready for sale. This is a thankless task and emotionally very difficult. Fortunately, we are almost done. But every time I think we’ve removed everything the house disgorges something new—this time a collection of small glass bottles, cowering in a corner.

I used these bottles to anchor some flowers from my garden, photographed with my 85mm tilt-shift macro on a white seamless background.

Fantastic Iris © Harold Davis

White Camellia © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Life and Death

This image is a composite of three photos: a scan from film of an image of a caribou skull that I made long ago on the north slope of Alaska’s Brooks Range; Animism, an in-camera multiple exposure made with a model in the studio (see the bottom image in Multiple Exposures and Models: Star of Brightness); and a version of Shell Spiral (in the eye sockets).

I’m not really sure what the image signifies, although of course I have been thinking a great deal lately about life and death, and what it all means. This image came together when I saw how the shapes of life (the model) fit together with death (the skull) as a composition, and the rest was just playing.

Life and Death © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Rose Pasta Rag

Fun to photograph things besides flowers on my light box! Rosettes of pasta are shown here, with an inner spiral added in Photoshop representing a reduction in the size of the overall image. The image on black (immediately below) is an L-channel inversion in LAB color of the original version (white background, bottom).

Rose Pasta Rag 2 © Harold Davis

Rose Pasta Rag 1 © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

The Essence of Simplicity

A single blossom from my garden is apparently the essence of simplicity. The power of these images of flower blossoms relies on this apparent simplicity: you are supposedly looking at the whole blossom and nothing but the blossom against a straight black background. 

To the casual glance, the only real photographic control involves lighting. Simple as these compositions seem to be, they do depend upon attractive overall lighting.

Sometimes the apparently simplest things are the hardest to pull off. It would be a mistake to underestimate the craft that goes into these straightforward compositions.

Related images: Frilly Goddesses; Topography of Camellia.

Camellia ‘Pearl Maxwell Blush’ © Harold Davis

Camellia ‘Elizabeth Weaver’ © Harold Davis

Ranunculus on Black © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Garden Party

I’ve been working with some wonderful colored Calla Lillies on my light box. Adding blue Irises to the mix seemed to create a great garden party!

Garden Party © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography