Category Archives: Flowers

The Whole Magnolia Branch

This is the magnolia branch I brought home and used for macro photography practice in an image I showed earlier.

The Whole Magnolia Branch © Harold Davis

The Whole Magnolia Branch © Harold Davis

Composition of the entire branch was a bit of a challenge, and I’m glad I got this done and archived, because I won’t see my production machine for about a month—and by then my attention undoubtedly will be taken up by other subjects.

Magnolia Blossom

Wandering the paths and stairways of the Berkeley hills, I came upon a gardener shaping a venerable flowering magnolia tree. A largish branch lay on the ground. I asked if I could take it, and carried it home.

Magnolia Blossom © Harold Davis

Magnolia Blossom © Harold Davis

Generally, these flowers are hard to capture at the macro level outdoors because they tend to be high up, and are in motion in the slightest breeze. But indoors was a different story! I also enjoyed capturing the entire pattern of the branch on a black velvet background. The broader image will help provide a context, and I plan to process a sequence later today if I have time after packing before I leave for Vietnam.

White Rose Blushing in Color and Black and White

I thought this white rose with a hint of satin-like blush was going to look great in black and white, but when I processed it I saw that the color had some appeal as well. One of the great things about digital black and white is that you can have a “two-fer”: a color image and a monochromatic image. 

White Rose with a Blush 2 © Harold Davis

White Rose with a Blush 2 © Harold Davis

 

White Rose in Black and White 2 © Harold Davis

White Rose in Black and White 2 © Harold Davis

I photographed this white rose using ambient sunlight with my 200mm f/4 Nikkor macro lens on a tripod, and a 18mm extension tube to get a little closer. Each image is a blended combination of six exposures, stopped down to f/32 and bracketed one EV apart for each exposure (by shutter speed).

White Rose with a Blush © Harold Davis

White Rose with a Blush © Harold Davis

 

White Rose in Black and White © Harold Davis

White Rose in Black and White © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome

Harold Davis Presents Photographing Flowers for Transparency at School of Visual Arts Masters in Digital Photography

I’m pleased to share with you my presentation on Photographing Flowers for Transparency at New York’s School of Visual Arts in the Masters in Digital Photography program. Enjoy!

If for some reason the video of my presentation doesn’t load here, you can also watch it on YouTube!

Also posted in Photography

Cherry Branches

Cherry Branches for a wet and windy weekend! Phyllis brought these back from a neighborhood tree, and I photographed them using high-key HDR on a light box, then combined the images in Photoshop, and added a background. I hope you enjoy my image!

Cherry Branches © Harold Davis

Cherry Branches © Harold Davis

For some other cherry blossom images click on these stories: Cherry Blossoms; Cherry Blossom Special; and Cherry Blossoms on Skin. Searching my blog for “cherry” yields quite a few additional entries! Clearly a wet, early spring in Berkeley is a great time to photograph cherry blossoms, as I have done across a number of years.

Hellebore

In my garden in the rain the hellebores are in bloom. These lovely bell shaped flowers face downward in nature in a wide variety of colors and internal configurations.

Hellebore © Harold Davis

Hellebore © Harold Davis

It’s calming to photograph flowers and to realize that nature carries on. Flora worries on a different time scale about some of the things that make us fauna unhappy. These flowers have naturally selected for beauty, and there are worse things.

More Hellebores!

Also posted in Photography

Flower Power

Peace Symbol © Harold Davis

Peace Symbol © Harold Davis

Darkness and Light

Tulip Mandala on Black © Harold Davis

Tulip Mandala on Black © Harold Davis

 

Tulip Mandala on White © Harold Davis

Tulip Mandala on White © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Fancy Tulip

Flowers in all their finery are often symbolic of the best our world has to offer. That is to say, flowers can serve to represent the entire natural world that surrounds us and that we are part of.  In a more metaphorical way, flowers can represent the blessings of peace, of harmony in fellowship, and even romantic love. 

Fancy Tulip © Harold Davis

Fancy Tulip © Harold Davis

It’s easy then to forget that flowers can be also symbolic of war, and the forces of evil and chaos that so often threatens what we build. Looking closely at this fancy tulip, I can see both viewpoints, and a world tottering at the tipping point. Flower, please forgive me if I’ve read too much meaning (and too much chaos) into a fragile and ephemeral blossom!

Playing with Flowers

Roses and Daffodils on Black © Harold Davis

Roses and Daffodils on Black © Harold Davis

 

Roses and Daffodils on White © Harold Davis

Roses and Daffodils on White © Harold Davis

Related image: Daffodil on a Bed of Roses.

Also posted in Photography

Yellow Daffodil

It’s a little early for Valentine’s Day, but I though this yellow daffy on a bed of mauve roses says it in a kind of understated way!

Daffodil on a Bed of Roses © Harold Davis

Daffodil on a Bed of Roses © Harold Davis

White Tulip—Three Ways!

White Tulips (Wabi-Sabi) © Harold Davis

White Tulips (Wabi-Sabi) © Harold Davis

 

White Tulip (Close-Up) © Harold Davis

White Tulip (Close-Up) © Harold Davis

 

White Tulip (Simulated IR) © Harold Davis

White Tulip (Simulated IR) © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Mums the Word

I pulled these pretty images of a field of chrysanthemums on a light box from my files, and processed it the other day. Did you know that “Odour of Chrysanthemums” was D.H. Lawrence’s first published prose fiction, accepted by Ford Maddox Ford, the then editor of The English Review, partly on the basis of the subtlety of the title—chrysanthemums in fact only smell faintly. 

Related story: Digital Pop Art.

Mums the Word 2 © Harold Davis

Mums the Word 2 © Harold Davis

 

Mums the Word © Harold Davis

Mums the Word © Harold Davis

Floral Tondo Variations

Which of these versions of my first floral tondo do you like better? My favorite is Flower Tondo 1 Variation Inversion, shown immediately below on black, without the fancy curvilinear “virtual” framing of the original version (and the bottom variation). What do you think? Comment or write and let me know if you have a choice!

Flower Tondo 1 Variation Inversion © Harold Davis

Flower Tondo 1 Variation Inversion © Harold Davis

 

Flower Tondo 1 Variation © Harold Davis

Flower Tondo 1 Variation © Harold Davis

 

Floral Tondo Inversion 1 © Harold Davis

Floral Tondo Inversion 1 © Harold Davis

Floral Tondo

Tondo is a Renaissance term for a circular painting. To create my floral tondo, I started with a circular pattern on my light box. I arranged an array of petals—mostly alstromeria but also some rose petals and Agapanthus blossoms—around the central core of a rose. I then photographed the composition for transparency (see my FAQ for more info on this technique).

Floral Tondo 1 © Harold Davis

Floral Tondo 1 © Harold Davis

In post-production, after processing my high-key layer stack, I added a black background to emphasize the tondo effect, and used the Warp transform in Photoshop to make the flowers seem to slightly wrap around the white space created by the circular background.

Also posted in Photography