Category Archives: Flowers

Flower Power

Flower Power. It’s hip to be square—as in the floral carpet image (below). Making space for conversations with flowers (middle image on white, bottom image an LAB L-channel inversion on black) is an important part of my life. Kind of like meditation with my petaled friends (most are from our garden). 

Flowers Squared © Harold Davis

Flowers Squared © Harold Davis

Speaking with Flowers © Harold Davis

Speaking with Flowers © Harold Davis

Speaking with Flowers (on Black) © Harold Davis

Speaking with Flowers (on Black) © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Tulips like Stained Glass

Tulip like Stained Glass © Harold Davis

Tulip like Stained Glass © Harold Davis

I got these tulips when they were nearly unopened, sourced from a local organic farm (the same place my anemone models came from a while back). After a while, the blossoms opened, the pale pink turned reddish, and in the insides came alive when placed on a light box like stained glass.

Tulip Fandango © Harold Davis

Tulip Fandango © Harold Davis

Orange Rose

Starting the new year right, I took my time with a bouquet of orange and white roses, first photographing a white rose close up for differential focus. Next, I made several different views of the orange roses, horizontal (top), an “O’Keeffe like” view (middle), and a side angle of the petals (bottom).  What a fun way to spend some time with my camera and some pretty flowers!

Orange Rose © Harold Davis

Orange Rose © Harold Davis

Yellow Rose 2 © Harold Davis

Orange Rose 2 (after O’Keeffe) © Harold Davis

Yellow Rose 3 © Harold Davis

Orange Rose 3 © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

White Rose

When I saw this white rose, I wanted to contrast the spiral center with its clear delineations and the softness of the outer petals. I used a Lensbaby 85mm Velvet, and made two exposures, with my Nikon D850 on a tripod. The exposure for the center was stopped down at f/16, and for the outer petals wide open at f/1.8. I combined the two exposures using a layer, layer mask, and the Brush Tool in Photoshop.

White Rose © Harold Davis

White Rose © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

First Flowers of the Decade

Altar of Roses © Harold Davis

Altar of Roses © Harold Davis

First and foremost, we enjoyed the pale orange and white roses with the coming of the New Year. Next, I photographed petals close-up (these are still to come as I haven’t processed them yet). Finally, I photographed some of the flowers using one of my light boxes (this resulting image is shown above).

The world, as poet William Blake put it, can be found in a grain of sand, or a water drop. It can also be found in a human body, or a single flower. I could spend my life working with one blossom. Ultimately, there is so much in the world to see and photograph that getting bored—or being boring—makes no sense to me.

Click here for my best of 2019.

Also posted in Photography

Double Mandala

A mandala as wreath is nice, and more so with a starfish. So, why not twice as nice? Hence this Double Mandala.

Double Mandala © Harold Davis

Double Mandala © Harold Davis

Echinacea Seed Pod X-Ray

Echinacea Seed Pod on Black © Harold Davis

Very special thanks to the scientists in the Photon Science group at the Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs who used the Beamline when it was in maintenance mode to help with this capture.

Check out more x-ray photos of mine here.

Echinacea Seed Pod - Sepia © Harold Davis

Echinacea Seed Pod – Sepia © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome, X-Ray

Flower Magic

This is a light box image of sunflowers, tulips, and irises, with bamboo cut from the neighborhood. Click here for an FAQ about my techniques for photographing flowers for transparency, and here for the next session of my Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop in June. My workshop is end-to-end, starting with floral arrangement, continuing to individual hands-on photography, and explaining the post-production techniques I use in these images.

Flower Magic © Harold Davis

Flower Magic © Harold Davis

The image shown here was photographed on a light box; the resulting image on white was then added to a scanned paper background, using the techniques I teach in my online Photoshop Backgrounds & Textures course.

Also posted in Photography

Mandala with Starfish

I’ve been experimenting with creating light box mandalas that include seemingly unlikely objects, particularly as the central element. Last week I built the mandala around a succulent plant. Along with the autumn leaves this helped to create an effect like a seasonal wreath.

The mandala below is “anchored” using a starfish.

Mandala with Starfish © Harold Davis

Mandala with Starfish © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Peonies mon Amour on Washi

The image shows a print of my 2012 Peonies mon Amour, one of my most popular botanical images, as printed on simulated Awagami Unryu washi, distributed in the United States by Moab Paper. My hand-stamped inkan (a Japanese version of a “chop” that can be used in place of a signature) is shown on the lower right of the print.

In this simulated view, the inkan is a bit larger than actual life size in proportion to the print. The inkan roughly translates to “Photographer as Poet.”

For collectors who are interested in one of my botanical prints on washi, I offer the option of including a stamp of my inkan in addition to my signature.

Peonies mon Amour © Harold Davis (2012), print on Unryu washi with hand inkan stamp

Most of my images are available as prints. Please inquire.

Happy Hydrangeas

I added some red carnation petals to the Hydrangea Blossoms composition. The result is a really emotive light box image: this piece says “happiness” to me.

Hydrangea and Carnation Petals © Harold Davis

Hydrangea and Carnation Petals © Harold Davis

Hydrangea Blossoms

Hydrangea Blossoms © Harold Davis

Hydrangea Blossoms © Harold Davis

These hydrangea petals were placed on a light box. I photographed them above with my Nikon D850 using the techniques explained in my Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop, and below with my iPhone 6s. I think these little hydrangea flowers look almost like butterflies, ready to take off!

Hydrangea Petals (via iPhone) © Harold Davis

Hydrangea Petals (via iPhone) © Harold Davis

Also posted in iPhone

Dandelions and the Rolling Stones

Dandelion don't tell no lies © Harold Davis

Dandelion don’t tell no lies © Harold Davis

These two images are extreme close-ups of Dandelions magnified to about twice life size using the Laowa FF 100mm F2.8 CA-Dreamer Macro 2X lens. Did the Rolling Stones get it right about Dandelions way back when?

Dandelion will make you wise © Harold Davis

Dandelion will make you wise © Harold Davis

Click here for an album of dandelions!

Also posted in Photography

Farewell to After-Hours Access at Giverny

Giverny Afternoon © Harold Davis

Giverny Afternoon © Harold Davis

Sadly, the Monet gardens at Giverny have ended their program allowing artists, photographers, and writers to access the gardens before and after the public admission hours. I don’t know why this decision was made. All things must pass, and the only thing constant is change.

If you have been with me and my Photograph Paris in the Spring groups over the years, wasn’t it wonderful to wander and photograph in these gardens without the crowds? This is an opportunity that will not easily come again, so it is important to savor the time we did have, the photographs we made, and the memories.

If you are considering joining our group in Paris in the spring of 2021, don’t worry: there are many wonderful gardens and excursions in and near Paris, and we will find our way into some wonderful gardens and photographic adventures.

And keep in mind (in life as well as in photography) that since all things change, it makes huge sense to carpe diem.

Flowers at Giverny © Harold Davis

Flowers at Giverny © Harold Davis

Willow Reflections, Giverny © Harold Davis

Willow Reflections, Giverny © Harold Davis

Giverny © Harold Davis

Giverny © Harold Davis

Also posted in France, Paris, Photography

Flowers on Black versus an Inversion

Orchids on Black © Harold Davis

Orchids on Black © Harold Davis

The image above, Orchids on Black, was created by photographing the flowers on a black background, with a bit of enhancement in LAB color. Flower Magic on Black, shown below, was photographed on a light box. The background of the image was converted from white to black using an LAB inversion of the L-channel.

Click here for my complete Creative LAB Color in Photoshop course, here for the FAQs on my website, and here for info about the 2020 session of the Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop.

Special thanks to Jack and Ellen Anon.

Flower Magic on Black © Harold Davis

Flower Magic on Black © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography, Photoshop Techniques