Category Archives: Flowers

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

Calligraphy of Flowers

I am a great fan of artistic calligraphy, particularly as seen in Japan and in historic Islamic cultures. So when I arranged these flowers on my light box I tried to very loosely emulate the appearance of the graceful form of the Bismillah. Nature is the language of the divine, and surely whatever one’s culture one can say it using flowers.

Calligraphy of Flowers on White © Harold Davis

Calligraphy of Flowers on White © Harold Davis

 

Calligraphy of Flowers on Black © Harold Davis

Calligraphy of Flowers on Black © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Flowers Round-Robin in a Workshop

This image was made as an in-class demo of light box flower arrangement and post-production. I called on each workshop participant to choose a stem, then arranged them one-by-one on my light box. The top image is an LAB inversion of the composition, the middle image is placed on a scanned background using my background placement blending mode algorithm, and the bottom image is shown as photographing for high-key HDR on a white background.

Flowers 12.03.16 Inverted Version © Harold Davis

Flowers 12.03.16 Inverted Version © Harold Davis

Flowers 12.03.2016 with Background © Harold Davis

Flowers 12.03.2016 with Background © Harold Davis

Flowers on White 12.03.2016 © Harold Davis

Flowers on White 12.03.2016 © Harold Davis

Also posted in Workshops

Workshop Feedback and a Yellow Rose

I’m very pleased with some of the great feedback for the recent Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop. Here’s what some folks said:

  • “Just a fabulous creative presentation for flowers that has so much potential for us to explore. Enjoyed it immensely.”
  • “It was a wonderful workshop, inspirational, much information and tips and tricks a lot.”
  • “Wonderful – very educational for me, nicely organized and inspirational. Thank You Harold! (and Phyllis:) )”
  • “Organized, articulate, creative, in other words fantastic!”

Thanks to a really great creative and energetic group! We couldn’t do it without you, and I am so grateful. You can check out some of the floral art made by participants in this workshop in the Meetup album.

Yellow Rose © Harold Davis

Yellow Rose © Harold Davis

I have two upcoming flower photography workshops scheduled in 2017: Photographing Flowers for Transparency (March 11-12) and Flower Photography Masterclass 4-Day Intensive (June 22-23). If you love flower photography and flowers, please consider joining us for one of these celebrations of floral beauty!

Also posted in Workshops

Upcoming Flower Photography Workshops with Harold Davis

I’m very pleased and excited to be leading a sold-out session of Photographing Flowers for Transparency next weekend here in Berkeley, CA. If this topic interests you, we are running a session of Photographing Flowers for Transparency in March, 2017 (also in Berkeley). I expect this to be the only session of my acclaimed Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop that I will lead in 2017.

Spring Wreath © Harold Davis

Spring Wreath © Harold Davis

I will be leading a 4-day Flower Photography Intensive Masterclass in June, 2017 hosted in the Bay area. The Flower Masterclass will include field sessions, studio work, and post-production techniques. This workshop is filling up quickly. It is open to folks who have taken Photographing Flowers for Transparency, or by portfolio review.

Once your portfolio has been reviewed, and you are approved for the Flower Masterclass (or if you have attended a previous Photographing Flowers for Transparency), you can register on Meetup, or directly with us, with tuition payment by check or credit card. Note that a payment plan is available, and that a $50 discount applies until the end of 2016. We are holding some spaces for folks who have expressed interest, and as these fill expect to be starting a waiting list soon.

Kiss from a Rose © Harold Davis

Kiss from a Rose © Harold Davis

On a personal note, I have a great deal to be thankful for—and some of that is you! Thanks for being part of my photographic community! It is great to be around people who enjoy photographing flowers as much as I do. Bringing beauty into the world is one way we can combat the evils of our times, and is a small contribution towards making life worth living.

Repeating Flower Pattern © Harold Davis

Repeating Flower Pattern © Harold Davis


Photographing FlowersHarold Davis’s Photographing Flowers (published by Focal Press) has been called “the most comprehensive guidebook to flower photography ever written” by Rangefinder Magazine, rated the Best Guide to Flower Photography by Digital Photography Magazine, and was the subject of rave reviews in the Photographic Society of America Journal, the San Francisco Review of Books, and elsewhere.

“In this book Davis offers his knowledge and experience in the art of floral photography, presenting not only the results of his beautiful creations, but explanations of how each photograph was captured: the set up, the equipment and even the camera settings used for each brilliant image. The author takes you beyond the point of capture and discusses processing, both in a lab environment and digital post processing, as well as offers side-trips through history to learn a bit from the masters of art and photography, such as Van Gogh and O’Keeffe. Davis even goes so far as to share affordable and easy use studio setups which he has designed over the years. Using his techniques wonderfully artistic images can be created! For any photographer interested in floral photography – whether amateur or pro – this book will not only tutor them, but will inspire them.”–San Francisco Book Review

Click here for Photographing Flowers on Amazon!

Painting with Flowers Inverted © Harold Davis

Painting with Flowers Inverted © Harold Davis


2016

  • Photographing Flowers for Transparency, Weekend Workshop in Berkeley, CA, December 3-4, 2016; click here for details and registration (workshop full).
  • Photographing Waves on Point Reyes, Saturday December 10, full-day workshop under the auspices of Point Reyes Field Seminars. Click here for registration and information.
  • Tuesday, December 13, 2016—Free webinar with Harold Davis, sponsored by Topaz Labs, more information and registration link to come.

2017

Clematis on Black © Harold Davis

Clematis on Black © Harold Davis


Harold’s workshops are often sold-out, and fill up quickly. To avoid disappointment, please register early. Feel free to contact Harold Davis if you have any questions about our workshops! Please also consider Harold’s online webinar recordings and his Photographing Flowers course with Craftsy. This course is rated 5.0 stars, with 25 out of 26 5-star reviews, and literally thousands of satisfied students. (Save  50% off the full retail price of my course using this link. Cannot be combined with other coupons or discounts. Link and offer expires January 15, 2017.)

Winged Clematis on White © Harold Davis

Winged Clematis on White © Harold Davis

We arrange many of our workshops and events using the Photography with Harold Davis Meetup group. Click here for Group and Workshop reviews on Meetup. Please subscribe to our list and/or blog feed for early notification about new workshop offerings.

Garden Party © Harold Davis

Garden Party © Harold Davis


What folks have said about Harold Davis workshops and events:

  •  “A great artist and speaker!”—W. Anglin
  •  “Harold is genuine, generous, and gracious – He has a world of knowledge and expertise that he loves to share – his wonderful books show his monumental talents and skill set- his workshops shows the depth of his connecting with others in a very real and personal way.”—P. Borrelli
  • “Awesome! He patiently addressed questions from the audience which contained photographers of all levels , molding his answers to the level of understanding for each of us. His presentations covered a wonderful range of technical knowledge as well as emphasizing the need for images to have an emotional quality. The images he shares are breathtaking and he is generous in sharing many facets of how he captures such beauty.”—J. Phillips
  • “Not all photographers are good verbal communicators. Harold is someone who can DO and TEACH. A rare combination of talents.”—B. Sawyer
  • “Inspiring!”
  • “He was very giving of his talents and time. The course was very organized and thorough. Loved it! Learned so much! … I also wanted to let you know that I have more than paid the cost of the workshops I’ve done with you by selling some photos! I have sold three prints already.”—L. Beck
  • “Very creative and a marvelous instructor.”—Kay S.
Tulip Blast © Harold Davis

Tulip Blast © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography, Workshops