Monthly Archives: April 2023

Glory of the Garden

How wonderful to be photographing flowers from my garden at this time of year when the world comes to life and all the colors glow and are so glorious!

Glory of the Garden © Harold Davis

Glory of the Garden 2 © Harold Davis

Glory of the Garden 3 © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Off-the-Beaten Track Japan Photography Adventure with Harold Davis

Step into the fabled Japan of myth and legend. Journey back in time to a Japan that few westerners are familiar with. Join a small group of compatible photographers led by Harold Davis and a professional guide for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. 

Buddha Samadhi, Tokyo © Harold Davis

This small and compatible group of photographers will meet at our hotel in Tokyo, Japan. After exploring the new and old sides of Tokyo, we’ll travel back in time through the Japanese Alps via the ancient Nakasendo way. We’ll visit well-preserved villages in the Kiso Valley, Matsumoto Castle, the castle town of Takayama, and the World Heritage site of Shirakawa-go. Following a stop in the culturally important city of Kanazawa, we will wrap up the destination photo workshop with a dreamlike visit to the gardens and temples of Kyoto, where the tour will end.

Nachi-san © Harold Davis

Regarding the ancient Nakasendo trail, our in-country partner writes:

Where will this path lead us? The town of Magome hugs the side of the mountain, and the Nakasendo Trail here is lined by inns, wood crafters, and small eating establishments. What waits beyond? The ancient signboards at the top of the town warn travelers the rules of travel with an admonishment to be on your best behavior in town. Now, as you head out of Magome, your journey really begins – views over mountain peaks give way to the ancient Nakasendo as it winds behind farmhouses and small shrines lovingly tended by their neighbours. You pass waterfalls, and stands of bamboo and you walk a section of old paving stones. The path is wide like a smile, welcoming you into the woods.Will you have long conversations with your friends, perhaps new, perhaps old? Will you listen as the cicadas or the crickets or the frogs sing to you?

Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?

Click here for full details, and here for the Reservation form. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Panorama of the Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

Panorama of the Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, Workshops

Upcoming Exhibition | Translucent Flora: Photographs by Harold Davis

I’m excited about my upcoming exhibit at San Francisco Botanical Garden’s Helen Crocker Russell Horticultural Library. Please join me if you can for the reception on Sunday, June 11, 2023 from 4-6 pm (details below).

Posted in Photography

Prints on Entrada Rag Natural Coldpress by Moab

I was asked by Moab Paper to try out their new paper, Entrada Rag Natural Coldpress 100% Cotton Fine Art Paper (in full disclosure, Moab is a much appreciated sponsor of mine). This is an excellent and surprising paper that combines texture and cotton goodness with full tonal range photographic printing, as you can see in these samples.

Prints on Entrada Rag Natural Coldpress © Harold Davis

The paper feels thick and luscious, and the combination of an almost “watercolor” texture with the ability to render crisp, dynamic photography makes for an incredible pairing for many images, as you can see from the selection shown above and below, all printed on Entrada Rag Natural Coldpress Cotton Fine Art Paper. 

Click here for Moab’s Entrada Rag page (scroll to the bottom for Natural Coldpress 300).

The prints below are Daffodil Bunch (2022), Hotel de Sully (Paris, 2014), Back Canal (Venice, 2022), Bottle Collection and Tripping the Glass Fantastic (both Maine, 2022). Also shown above are Nachi-san (Japan, 2013) and Dahlia Daze (2022).

Click the images to view the prints larger. Please contact us if you are interested in one of my prints.

Print of “Daffodil Bunch” © Harold Davis

Print of “Back Canal” © Harold Davis

Print of Hotel de Sully © Harold Davis

“Bottle Collection” and “Tripping the Glass Fantastic” © Harold Davis

Posted in Print of the Month

Composition and Photography Hands-On Workshop at Maine Media in August

Please consider joining me at Maine Media Workshops on mid-coast Maine in August for a 5-day in-person photography workshop. The dates are Monday August 7, 2023 – Friday August 11, 2023. This is a very special workshop to me, and I have enjoyed honing my teaching skills in relationship to photographic composition over the years!

In this hands-on workshop we will approach composition as an instance of open-ended two-dimensional design. Photographic exercises will start with simple shapes, such as lines and circles, and proceed through patterns and repetitions, and onward to spirals, fractals, and abstractions.

Field sessions will take advantage of the “target-rich” mid-coast Maine scenery. It is wonderful to be able to spend some time with a compatible group of photographers exploring this luscious area with our cameras.

Classroom discussions will be intended to provoke thought about composition basics and continuing to enable individual integration of the process of composition into each participant’s creative practice.

Click here for more information and registration!

Tulip Pano © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Rojasianthe Superba

This Rojasianthe superba, sometimes called “White Sunflower Tree,” was growing in the entry garden of San Francisco Botanical Garden, where (with permission) I cut this specimen.

The seeds of Rojasianthe were collected by a botanist on the slopes of a volcano in Guatemala, and sent to the garden to propagate. Currently, only San Francisco Botanical Garden and UC Berkeley grow this amazing specimen outside of its native habitat.

San Francisco’s moist, relatively warm, and sunny climate make it ideal for growing plants that are originally from cloud forests in subtropical high-mountain ecosystems, where these flora may be endangered in the wild.

Rojasianthe superba © Harold Davis

After cutting the specimen (special thanks to SFBG!) we brought it back to my studio across the Bay in Berkeley in water with a growing medium added. On the light box, I used six exposures with my Nikkor 85mm tilt-shift macro, each exposure at ISO 64 and an adjusted aperture of f/64. Shutter speeds ranged from 2/5 of a second to 13 seconds. The exposures were combined using Photoshop as explained here and here and placed on a virtual scanned-paper background as explained here.

Perhaps this image will be a print in my exhibition at San Francisco Botanical Garden’s Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture coming up in June, 2023.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Wilder Shores of Love

What is love? It is, of course, a “many-splendored” thing: supple, wonderful, wistful, and maybe all of these at once and maybe more. The passionate rush of dopamine when encountering the inamorata is not the same as the click of logical desire when the beauty of flowers from my garden becomes apparent, yet both feelings use the same nomenclature. Surely we should have an enhanced vocabulary, at least as many nuanced terms as some peoples are said to have around snow.

Wilder Shores of Love 2 © Harold Davis

The images in this series were made with flowers all in bloom right now in my garden, and photographed on my light box.

Wilder Shores of Love 1 © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography