Category Archives: Digital Night

Blue Danube

The Danube River meanders from central Europe down through Budapest, finally to end in a Black Sea delta in southeastern Romania. The photo below shows the Danube at blue-hour-into-night looking towards the Chain Bridge and Hungarian Houses of Parliament as the river curves through central Budapest, Hungary.

Blue Danube © Harold Davis

The next photo shows the Elizabeth Bridge, also across the Danube in central Budapest, as dusk has deepened. The solid lines are boats on the Danube. I was helped to find locations by ace night photographer and guide to Budapest Miklos Mayer, who also helped me get into location on the following evening for the fireworks display for Hungarian National Day. If you visit Budapest with your camera, and want to make some special images, Miklos is highly recommended.

Elizabeth Bridge, Budapest © Harold Davis

Finally, the photo below is a three-exposure monochromatic HDR blend of the central part of the parliament building from right across the Danube River.

Houses of Parliament © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Fireworks in Budapest

In Budapest, Hungary over the weekend they were celebrating Hungarian National Day with a massive fireworks display. This was photographed across the Danube River, with the Houses of Parliament on the right.

Fireworks in Budapest © Harold Davis

When, Where, and How to Photograph the Eclipse

The August 21st 2017 total solar eclipse is gonna be a crazy event in the United States. 12 million people live in the path of totality, and many more are planning to journey to find the totality.
 
The creators of the photo planning app PhotoPills have written a detailed tutorial on both planning and photographing the eclipse. You can check it out here: http://www.photopills.com/articles/solar-eclipse.
Also posted in Photography

Moon over Xlendi Bay

The sound of the waves in narrow Xlendi Bay on Gozo, the Maltese island of Calypso, put me to sleep. Waking in the middle of the night, moonlight streaming through the open doors woke me. I didn’t even check the time. The whole world was in a dream state.

I went onto the balcony naked in the warm breeze, opened up my tripod, and made an exposure long enough ( 15 seconds) to show the movement of the clouds and waves in the glorious moonlight. Then I went back to sleep, and wondered, if it had all been a dream, when was I going to wake? The image remains as evidence that dreams sometimes converge upon waking reality.

Moon over Xlendi Bay © Harold Davis

Moon over Xlendi Bay © Harold Davis

Also posted in Malta

On the Brooklyn Bridge

Today I guest-hosted an informal Meetup of New York photographers. We gathered at the bridge tower on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge. There was a great deal of talk about photography, many nice people, and I answered all the questions I could. The sunset looked to be unpromising, but as you can see it had its moments.

© Harold Davis

On the Brooklyn Bridge © Harold Davis

Exposure data: Nikon D810, 16mm fisheye, three blended exposures, each at shutter speeds of 8 seconds and ISO 64; f/8, f/11, and f/14; tripod mounted. Processed in ACR and Photoshop.

Also posted in New York, Photography

Dawn along the Tiber River

My friend and I woke in the darkness before the first light of dawn in our hotel near the Spanish Steps in Rome. We grabbed our cameras and tripods, donned our headlamps, and walked west to the Tiber River, which was swollen with autumn rains. The river itself ran sluggish and muddy in its broad channel between two steep embankments. A stair led down to the river bank, and a pedestrian path followed the river. As we walked towards the Vatican and central Rome, I noticed homeless camps beneath the bridges with the kind of makeshift shelters that you find in all the major cities of the world in places where poor people can escape notice for a night. 

Ponte Sant'Angelo © Harold Davis

Ponte Sant’Angelo © Harold Davis

We stopped by the Ponte Sant’Angelo, originally built by the Emperor Hadrian in 134 A.D., to photograph the first light of dawn. This is a location in the heart of the ancient Roman Empire, and near to the core citadel of the Roman Catholic faith, but if you look carefully you can see the incursions of the modern world—the reflections of the lights of an Apple Store in the muddy waters of the Tiber River.

Also posted in Italy

Dark of the Moon Night Photography Workshop in the Eastern Sierras (Oct 2017)

Alabama Hills Star Trails © Harold Davis

Alabama Hills Star Trails © Harold Davis

Dark of the Moon Night Photography in the Eastern Sierra

Three nights; arriving Friday, October 20, 2017 and departing Monday, October 23, 2017

***Some participants may choose to arrive late and/or depart early, if necessary for work-related reasons.

Where: Locations in and around Lone Pine, CA (details provided to registrants closer to the date of the workshop)

Group size: Limited to 12 participants.

Tuition: $675 until March 10, 2017; $725 thereafter.

Registration: Click here to register via Meetup.com or contact us for direct registration. It’s free to join the Photography with Harold Davis Meetup, and members can register with a YES RSVP.

Join award-winning photographer Harold Davis, author of the bestselling Creative Night: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), for a once in a lifetime adventure practicing night photography in the rugged and beautiful Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. 

The workshop is timed to coincide with the low-light phases of the moon to maximize the possibilities of combining star circle photography with imagery of the incredible landscape. Harold and his associates will help with the technical aspects of field night photography, and post-production of night imagery.

The workshop will be based in Lone Pine, California (please contact us for a recommended list of hotels in Lone Pine). Our primary field location will be the fantastic Alabama Hills, located only a few miles from Lone Pine. Note that lodging, meals, and transportation are not included in the workshop tuition.

During the day, we will take advantage of the unique workshop location for photography. Several photographic field sessions will explore the waterfalls below Mount Whitney and the rugged country to the east of Lone Pine. Side trips to Manazar and the Bristlecone Pines in the White Mountains are also a possibility, depending on group inclinations and weather conditions. Sunrise photography on Saturday and Sunday is also a possibility, depending on conditions and group desires.

Stars My Destination © Harold Davis

Stars My Destination © Harold Davis

Classroom demonstrations will cover use of an intervalometer (interval timer), minimizing noise in long exposures, safety at night, post-processing night photos, and much more.

Curriculum

Friday, October 20, 2017:

4PM Meet in Lone Pine
4-5PM    Orientation, night safety, night photography overview
6PM Carpool to locations in Alabama Hills, Sunset & night photography

Saturday, October 21, 2017

possible early morning shoot

9-10AM Breakfast

10-12:00 Classroom: Night Photo presentation, previous night’s shoot, interval shooting
12:00-12:45PM Lunch
1PM-3:00PM Field session (Whitney Portal, or to be determined)
3:00-5:00PM Free time
5PM Early dinner
6:00 PM Night photography.
Sunday, October 22, 2017

possible early morning shoot

9-10AM Breakfast
10-12:00 Image review, night planning tools
12:00-12:45PM Lunch
1:00-5:00 Field session, location tbd
5:30-6:30PM Dinner
7PM – 11PM Night photography, stars and light painting

Monday, October 23, 2017

possible early morning shoot

8:00-9:00AM Breakfast
9:00-10:30AM Image review and Workshop wrap-up

Ladyboot Arch © Harold Davis

Ladyboot Arch © Harold Davis

Registration: Click here to register via Meetup.com or contact us for direct registration. It’s free to join the Photography with Harold Davis Meetup, and members can register with a YES RSVP.

Sunrise, Alabama Hills © Harold Davis

Sunrise, Alabama Hills © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography, Workshops

Starry Night by Harold Davis in exhibition at Weston Gallery

I am very pleased and honored that a print of my Starry Night (shown below) is on exhibit at the Weston Gallery in Carmel, CA as part of Night Vision: Photographing in the Dark. Night Vision will be shown November 12, 2016 – January 8, 2017.

Starry Night © Harold Davis

Starry Night © Harold Davis

Here’s the list of photographers contributing to the Night Vision exhibition: Bob Kolbrener, Michael Kenna, Paul Kozal, Rolfe Horn, Robb Johnson, Dale Johnson, Ernst Haas, Harold Davis, Berenice Abbott, Brett Weston, André Kertész, Jerry Uelsmann, Mark Citret, Sally Mann, Chip Hooper. I am excited to be included along with a number of my top photographic heroes of all time such as Haas, Kertész, Uelsmann, and Weston.

Hotel Room with a View

I like to photograph from my hotel room, and I make a point of requesting rooms with a view. Sometimes this works. There’s nothing particularly characteristic of Milan, Italy in these views from my hotel balcony in central Milan at the NH Milano President (basically a middle of the road business hotel), but it was fun photographing car light trails with the stationary trolley at night (bottom image), and when the rain made it too wet to go outside with the camera and tripod, the impressionistic iPhone image of Milan in the rain (upper image) was easy to make without getting too cold and wet!

Rainy Night © Harold Davis

Rainy Night © Harold Davis

Some other hotel rooms with a view: Positano Morning; Window in Bourges; Room with a View.

Via Verziere, Milan © Harold Davis

Via Verziere, Milan © Harold Davis

Also posted in iPhone, Italy

Saint-Sulpice at Dusk

This is an image I made earlier this year outside the wonderful Saint-Sulpice in Paris as day faded to night (see this earlier story, also this one, and also this one for the inside of Saint-Sulpice). I used my 16mm Nikkor rectolinear fisheye lens, with the camera on tripod.

Saint-Sulpice at Dusk © Harold Davis

Saint-Sulpice at Dusk © Harold Davis

I am headed to Italy in the coming week, and hope to be blogging about my adventures in photography while I am there—unless I am having so much fun, and taking so many photos, that I don’t get the chance! In which possible case, TTFN.

Also posted in Paris, Photography

Carcassonne in Black & White

Carcassone Outer Fortifications © Harold Davis

Carcassone Outer Fortifications © Harold Davis

The techniques shown in this image—bracketed sequence photography, processing for extended dynamic range, layer stack monochromatic conversion, all with an added antique effect—are detailed in my new book. It is available for pre-order on Amazon and the publisher’s website. Thanks to everyone who has made The Photographer’s Black & White Handbook: Making and Processing Stunning Digital Black and White Photos the #1 New Release in Black & White Photography on Amazon and Amazon’s #1 “Hot New Release” in this category!

9781580934787

Also posted in France, Monochrome, Writing

Nocturnes Exhibition and Competition at the Southeast Center for Photography

I am the juror for Nocturnes a competition and exhibition based around night photography at the Southeast Center for Photography.

Here’s the description:  A nocturne is a musical composition that is inspired by, or evocative of, the night. Enter your best photos that express the poetry of the night referentially in visual symbolism. Show us you night images, your light painting talents. Imagery should be evocative of the night and our human relationship to nocturnal darkness. Structures are okay, as is the urban landscape. It’s fine to include celestial features such as star trails or the Milky Way, but images should include terrestrial markings as well; this will be an exhibition about the human relationship, and feelings about the night.

Submissions close on June 5, 2016. Click here for the prospectus for the competition and exhibition.

Edge of Night © Harold Davis

Edge of Night © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography, Workshops

Carcassonne at Night

Coming back to my base in Carcassonne after a long day of exploring Cathar castles—more on this later—I took my gear out on the old bridge after dark. Photographing back at the the old city of Carcassonne, the well-lit ramparts contrast in a visually odd way with the modern buildings and pollarded trees below the fortifications.

Carcassonne at Night © Harold Davis

Carcassonne at Night © Harold Davis

Also posted in France

Cordes sur Ciel at Dawn

I set the alarm for an hour before sunrise. When it rang in the darkness well before dawn, I put on the warmest clothing I had with me and made my way into position to wait for the light of dawn to illuminate the ancient hilltop citadel of Cordes sur Ciel, France.

© Harold Davis

Cordes sur Ciel at Dawn © Harold Davis

Also posted in France

Piazza San Marco at Night

One reason to photograph at night in a tourist destination is, as I explained in Photographing the Bridge of Sighs at Night, to avoid selfie-stick-toting tour groups. Another reason is to present a different emotional aspect of the place, as in this image of the Piazza San Marco.

Piazza San Marco © Harold Davis

Piazza San Marco © Harold Davis

During daylight hours, and well into the evening in warm months, San Marco is of course jam-packed. Competing classical schmaltz bands strive to drive tourists into over-priced outdoor cafes. Public events are staged in the square. But at night, when it is foggy and chill, the piazza empties. Symmetrical lighting adds to the symmetry of the architecture, and it is possible to capture an entirely new view of the Piazza San Marco.

Also posted in Italy, Monochrome, Photography