Category Archives: Flowers

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

Clematis that Remains

This spiral structure is what remains when you don’t deadhead a Clematis flower, and leave it on the vine. You can see how the core of the flower has expanded into the spiral, and the petals have dropped away. The view below is from the underneath, or back; the front view, the top of what used to be the flower, is shown here.

Clematis © Harold Davis

Clematis © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome, Photography

Eye Dahlia

Eye Dahlia © Harold Davis

Sometimes individual flowers call out to me as so unique that I need to photograph them on their own. This rather small dahlia, photographed at the Endless Summer Dahlia Farm, made me think it I had an eye with a pupil in the center. I used my 50mm Zeiss macro with a 24mm extension tube, both on my tripod, to get close while rendering the detail well.

Also posted in Photography

Endless Summer Dahlia Farm

The Endless Summer Dahlia Farm, in Rockport, Maine, is an incredible place run by nice folks with very exceptional dahlias. Here are a few, photographed the other day.

Dahlia at the Endless Summer Farm © Harold Davis

Orange Dahlia © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Playing with Lilies

There’s nothing like a carpet of oriental lilies on my light box for photographic fun! Shown here with a few petunias, roses, and jasmine blooms to round out the prevailing pink. An L-channel LAB inversion, putting the image on a black background, is shown below.

At Play with Lilies © Harold Davis

At Play with Lilies © Harold Davis

At Play with Lilies Inversion © Harold Davis

At Play with Lilies Inversion © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Mallow and Friends

I like the way this light box image, never before blogged, shows the translucency of the rose petals with the mallow coming through, diffracted but loud and clear!

Mallow and Friends © Harold Davis

Mallow and Friends © Harold Davis

The Story of a Cactus Flower

Cactus Flower © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower © Harold Davis

Phyllis told me she saw a giant cactus flower at about camera height near the small shopping area of Kensington, California about 1/2 mile from our house when she passed through the Kensington strip in the morning. So I went up with my gear, and in a small, arid strip next to a parking lot there was indeed a barrel cactus, possibly a Ferocactus cylindraceus, with a large, white flower. The cactus seemed to be nestling in the shade of a Yucca, also in bloom and dripping sap. The flower was perhaps a foot in diameter with a yellow center (see photo above) and exuding a strong, pungent odor.

I had hoped to use my tripod, but there was a fierce wind blowing the petals of the flower, hence no real point to the tripod. Most of the images shown in this story were made with my 150mm Iris ‘Dragonfly’ macro hand-held, with the aperture pretty close to wide open (f/2.8).

My thought was to come back in a few hours in the early evening, when the light would be softer, and perhaps the wind would have died down. But when I got back, the bloom was off the cactus. This indeed is an illustration of the ephemeral nature of beauty: the flower had a lifespan of less than a day.

Cactus Flower Detail I © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail I © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail II © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail II © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail III © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail III © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail IV © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail IV © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail V © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail V © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome, Photography

Angel’s Trumpets

Phyllis and Nicky came home with this branch from an Angel’s Trumpets shrub (of the Brugmansia genus). They had cropped it from an overhanging specimen in the neighborhood. Since Brugmansia flowers wilt almost instantly, I hurried to photograph it on my light box.

Angel's Trumpets © Harold Davis

Angel’s Trumpets © Harold Davis

Some interesting facts about Angel’s Trumpets: The common name of this plant and flower comes from the large, trumpet-shaped flowers that Brugmansia shrubs and bushes exhibit. A close relative of Datura, Brugmanisa is highly toxic, and is one of the most poisonous decorative plants. Although fairly popular in gardens, Brugmansia is extinct in the wild. It is believed that the extinction of some animal responsible for spreading the seeds of the Brugmansia became extinct, causing the plant extinction in the wild, although of course the plant continues to exist as a human cultivar.

In the past, several South American cultures have used Brugmansia to discipline naughty children, so that they might be scolded by their ancestors in the spirit world, and become better behaved. Mixed with other psychogenic agents, maize beer and tobacco leaves, it has also been used to drug wives and slaves before they were buried alive with their dead master.

Another beautiful but deadly flower: Gloriosa Lily.

Also posted in Photography

Fresh from the Garden

This relatively straightforward yet elegant (if I say so myself) light box composition uses flowers directly from our garden.

Campanulas, Poppies, and a Clematis © Harold Davis

Campanulas, Poppies, and a Clematis © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Papaver Triptych

The Nearly Perfect Poppy close-up is the center panel of the Triptych. Click here or on the image to view it larger.

Papaver Triptych © Harold Davis

Papaver Triptych © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography