Category Archives: Flowers

Sunflowers on Blue Velvet

It’s nice to pair a bouquet of yellow sunflowers with lush, blue velvet. The sunflower petals have been touched slightly with the Photoshop Oil Painting filter to add a little “van Gogh.” Is the subject of the photo the sunflowers or the blue velvet background? As is often the case, both are important.

Sunflowers on Blue Velvet © Harold Davis

Dahlia. Just Dahlia. Dahlia, darling!

Here are three version of a light box image of a white dahlia from my cutting garden, photographed back in June. The simple monochromatic conversion is shown on top. Next, you’ll see an L-channel LAB inversion of the black & white light box version. The color version of my image is shown at the bottom.

White Dahlia Inversion © Harold Davis

White Dahlia Inversion © Harold Davis

White Dahlia © Harold Davis

White Dahlia © Harold Davis

Brookside-Snowball Dahlia © Harold Davis

Brookside-Snowball Dahlia © Harold Davis

Related story: Dahlia Solos.

Also posted in Photography

New Light Box Work

Happy to have fun playing with flowers on my light box. These recent compositions are partly made from”store bought” flowers, and partly from my garden’s flowers. We’re beginning to enter autumn here in coastal California, and it is looking like (at least in this location) we may be okay in terms of smoke and fire for the remainder of the season. Knock wood, of course—and since I have a little time this coming week I am looking forward to enjoying myself in the garden, and photographing on my light box.

Autumn Bouquet on Scanned Paper © Harold Davis

Autumn Bouquet on Scanned Paper © Harold Davis

Flowers of Autumn © Harold Davis

Flowers of Autumn © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Up Close and Personal Flowers

For me, photographing flowers is a form of worship, and a way to be in touch with my own spirituality. This has ed to fairly straightforward photography. I use (carefully observed) morning sunlight. The camera is tripod mounted. I use a macro lens and extension tube, with the lens stropped down. Nearer my flower to thee!

Let the sunshine in © Harold Davis

Pom Pom Chrysanthemum Orange

Pom Pom Chrysanthemum Orange © Harold Davis

Pom Pom Chrysanthemum Purple © Harold Davis

Pom Pom Chrysanthemum Purple © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

X-Ray Bouquet

The upper photo is an X-Ray of a bouquet of dahlias, nemesia, and kangaroo paw flowers. It was made in May, 2019 using medical x-ray equipment, and processed yesterday while waiting out the foul air in the Bay area in Photoshop from the DICOM file. More x-rays can be found here, and I’ve also posted a photo of a recent print of one of my favorite x-rays, of a sunflower, below.

X-Ray Bouquet of Dahlias, Nemesias, and Kangaroo Paw © Harold Davis

X-Ray Bouquet of Dahlias, Nemesias, and Kangaroo Paw Flowers © Harold Davis

Print of ‘Sunflower X-Ray’ © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome, Photography, X-Ray

Dried Blossoms

I arranged these dried blossoms on my light box in a pattern with an eye towards complementary colors. The background blue blossoms are Nemesias. interlaced with almost-orange-yellow Gaillardia petals, and thin crimson fringes from a flowering Monarda supplying an accent.

Dried Blossoms © Harold Davis

Dried Blossoms © Harold Davis

Dahlia Solos

My Dahlia bed is starting to bloom, providing some very sweet subjects for solo flower portraits!

Brookside-Snowball Dahlia © Harold Davis

Brookside-Snowball Dahlia © Harold Davis

Dahlia 'Southern Belle' © Harold Davis

Dahlia ‘Southern Belle’ © Harold Davis

Dahlia 'Flip-Flop' © Harold Davis

Dahlia ‘Flip-Flop’ © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Flowers from Our Pandemic Garden

It was great fun yesterday to construct and photograph this light box composition. The dahlias are the first from my new dahlia raised bed on the southwest side of the house, which is beginning to produce numerous flowers. I think the next crop of dahlias will be white!

Flowers from our Pandemic Garden © Harold Davis

Flowers from our Pandemic Garden © Harold Davis

Exposure data: Nikon D850, Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4, eight exposures at shutter speeds ranging from 6.0 seconds to 1/13 of a second, each exposure at f/16 and ISO 64, tripod mounted; exposures combined in Photoshop and adding to a scanned paper background.

Also posted in Photography

Print Sold: Sunflower X-Ray

Here’s a snapshot of a recently sold print of my black & white Sunflower X-Ray, hand printed on Moab Juniper Baryta paper. The border of the print looks a bit gray in this capture, but it is actually white!

Print of ‘Sunflower X-Ray’ © Harold Davis

Also posted in Print of the Month, X-Ray

Misty Mountain Dahlias

It is funny how close and closer a flower, such as a Dahlia, can take on abstract appearance so the original flower shape becomes forgotten. So in this Dahlia I see distant mountains, or a mouth with teeth, or a deepening well, and so on, and patterns galore. Or, maybe that is just my visual imagination run riot! One needs to do something to entertain oneself during longish photo exposures.

Misty Mountains© Harold Davis

Misty Mountains © Harold Davis

Exposure data (both): Nikon D850, 150mm f/2.8 Irix “Dragonfly” telephoto macro, 50mm extension tube, f/22 at ISO 64, tripod mounted; 20 seconds exposure duration (above) and 15 seconds exposure duration (below). Both images were lit using controlled sunlight (from the left side) via window shades.

Young Dahlia © Harold Davis

Young Dahlia © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Honeysuckle and Monarda

Sometimes single blossoms are the most elegant. This Honeysuckle (above) and Monarda (below) are from our garden. I photographed the blossoms on a light box, and other than layering-in bracketed high-key exposures, there was minimal post-production.

Honeysuckle © Harold Davis

Honeysuckle © Harold Davis

Exposure data (Honeysuckle): Nikon D850, 85mm Nikor tilt-shift macro, five exposures at shutter speeds from one second to 15 seconds, each exposure at an effective aperture of f/64 and ISO 64; exposures combined in Photoshop.

Monarda © Harold Davis

Monarda © Harold Davis

Exposure data (Monarda): Nikon D850, 85mm Nikor tilt-shift macro, five exposures at shutter speeds from 1.3 seconds to 20 seconds, each exposure at an effective aperture of f/64 and ISO 64; exposures combined in Photoshop.

The Making of Creative Garden Photography | Free Webinar

Our new book Creative Garden Photography has been at least ten years in the making from conception to finished production files. In this free webinar, on Sunday July 5, 2020 at 11am PT, Phyllis and I will be joined by Rocky Nook associate publisher Ted Waitt. We’ll take a look at the images in the book, the ideas behind the book, the techniques the book covers, some of the stories told in the book, book production, how the book design relates to garden design as well as photography, and answer questions from the audience. A discount code for book and eBook purchases from the publisher will be provided.

The webinar is free, but registration in advance is required. Click here to register for the Creative Garden Photography webinar.

We have a number of technique webinars coming up that I hope you’ll find useful. You can find the complete list of webinars by clicking here, and below. Recordings of our past webinars can be found in the Harold Davis Photography YouTube channel. You’ll also find live events (I don’t currently have any scheduled until 2021 due to the pandemic) on this page.

I am particularly excited to be sharing stories and images from the Camino de Santiago on Saturday, July 18. This is a free webinar, but requires registration. Click here for more info.

  • Printing, Proofing, and all about Paper with Moab Masters Scott Barrow, Harold Davis, and Jim Graham [Benefits Equal Justice Initiative] | Thursday September 24, 2020 at 10am PT click here for registration. Seats are limited. Click here for details.
  • Master Photographer Panel with Jennifer King and Alan Shapiro, moderated by Harold Davis [Benefits NAACP] | Saturday October 10, 2020 at 11am PT click here for registration. Seats are limited. 
  • Master Photographer Panel with Anne Belmont and Bryan Peterson, moderated by Harold Davis [Benefits Center for Policing Equity] | Saturday November 14, 2020 at 11am PT click here for registration. Seats are limited. 
Giverny Afternoon © Harold Davis

Giverny Afternoon © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography, Writing

By Twos and Threes

Duo © Harold Davis

Duo © Harold Davis

Sometimes my flowers come all in a group with no social distancing at all. Other times, my flowers come in twos and threes. Which do you like better?

Orange Triad © Harold Davis

Orange Triad © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Cactus Flowers

Down a few blocks, and around the corner, some wonderful cactus flowers bloomed in a pot on the street. Walking with one of my sons we passed the flowers in the early evening. Cactus flowers tend to bloom and fade quickly, and are mostly heliotropic. The next morning I grabbed my camera and tripod, and headed over to photograph these luscious flowers. The light was little on the harsh side, or maybe a lot on the harsh side, but—news flash—the light you’ve got is the light you’ve got. 

Cactus Flowers © Harold Davis

Cactus Flowers © Harold Davis

The inside of this single cactus blossom reminded me of a spiral, or perhaps a spiral galaxy!

Spiral Cactus Flower © Harold Davis

Spiral Cactus Flower © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Red Poppy

All the richness and wealth in the world cannot compare with the worth and beauty at the core of a single flower, and how the flower makes me feel!

Red Poppy © Harold Davis

Red Poppy © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography