Category Archives: iPhone

The Bouquet I left Behind

This is a handheld iPhone capture of a light box flower arrangement (the full resolution “big boy” camera version will follow in the due fullness of time). The light box in this capture is turned off, so essentially it is a white background with ambient front lighting. I processed the image on my iPhone using the Snapseed, Mextures, and DistressedFX apps.

The Bouquet I left Behind © Harold Davis


Also posted in Flowers

From the iPhone files

Here are two recent iPhone images. I photographed the tree in the Walnut Creek area in the foothills below Mt Diablo. This was originally two iPhone captures, one exposed for the bright sun coming through the tree, and the other for the darker foreground. 

Tree © Harold Davis

I combined the two exposures using the manual option in the TrueHDR iPhone app, then finished it with DistressedFX and Snapseed.

I photographed the tulips (shown below) the other day at our local Trader Joe’s store. I processed the image in Waterlogue to create the watercolor effect with borders, then reprocessed the Waterlogue version with the original (using ImageBlender) to walk the Waterlogue effect back a bit.

Tulips © Harold Davis

I’m often asked how iPhoneography compares to “real” photography with my “Big Boy” cameras. It’s worth saying again that there is no right or wrong. Photography is about vision and seeing, not about gear. The craft of photography is always a craft of trade-offs, and there are things I can do with my iPhone camera and related apps that I cannot do with my Nikon D850 (and of course vice versa as well).

Also posted in Flowers, Landscape

Bay Bridge

This is an iPhone photo from Treasure Island over the Bay Bridge towards San Francisco, taken during my recent (very much fun) San Francisco in Black & White extended field workshop!

Bay Bridge © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome, Photography, San Francisco Area

Dracul’s Birthplace

Above a bar in the Citadel of Sighisoara in remote Transylvania is a room where Count Dracula was born. Or, so it is claimed. For five Romanian lei (a little more than a dollar at current exchange rates) you can enter said chamber and inspect the dimly lit paintings that appear on red velvet walls surrounding an ersatz coffin. Not a mirror is in sight.

Did I hear you ask, “You mean he lived and died in the same room?” Yes, this thought flitted through my mind as well.

The image shown below is an iPhone composite of a ghoulish painting showing Vlad Dracula having dinner while doing his impalement thing, and a portrait of Dracula.

By the way, Vlad is a very common Romanian first name, and Dracula himself seems to be generally fairly well regarded around here: he fought for his country, and was no more brutal than his times. And where did Bram Stoker get off on writing about a country he had never even visited?

Dracul’s Birthplace © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography, Romania


One of the best purposes of photography is to create order in an inherently disorderly world and universe. This is achieved through a variety of mechanisms. As photographers, we recognize patterns. We know when to step back and capture something from an unforeseen angle (as in the boat hull from a Maine shipyard viewed from underneath in the image immediately below). We see with mild amusement the corporate logos of yesteryear (like the Citroen symbol on an antique permanently parked in my neighborhood, and shown at the bottom). When sufficient time has elapsed so mostly no one remembers the original meaning, then even a corporate logo becomes an abstraction too.

Hull © Harold Davis

Citroen © Harold Davis

Also posted in Abstractions, Photography

Tattoos with iPhone Camera

I’m a sucker for heroic tattoos, although I’ve never had any myself. Herewith, a couple of tattooed arms observed with my iPhone camera. The first one shows Vishnu, photographed at a classmate of Katie’s birthday party in Live Oaks Park here in Berkeley (thanks Aaron!).  

Vishnu © Harold Davis

The tattoo in the image below belongs to an anonymous but friendly stranger on the Malta-Gozo ferry this spring (I’m not quite sure what mythology is depicted).

Tattoo on the Gozo Ferry © Harold Davis

Somewhat related: note that the early-bird discount on my January 2018 iPhoneography workshop expires soon (August 1, 2017). Something else that is different but also somewhat related: Cherry Blossoms on Skin, one of my images used as a tattoo!


Photographed with my iPhone camera, and processed in DistressedFX, Mextures, ImageBlender, and Snapseed.

Succulents © Harold Davis

Goodbye Malta!

I am home today after a long day in transit yesterday from Valletta, Malta early in the morning to Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris, France, followed by a fairly long layover then a nonstop from Paris to San Francisco, where Phyllis and Katie met me. Travel and Malta are beginning to seem like a dream! On my Air France flight home I binge watched an entire season of Game of Thrones, after learning that much of the location photography for the series was done on Malta.

This is an iPhone image I made from the terrace of my hotel on my last evening in Valletta, the capital of Malta. I shot two versions, one exposed to be bright and the other dark, and combined the versions manually on my iPhone using the TrueHDR app.

Valletta © Harold Davis

Related story: Impregnable

Also posted in Malta

This evening on Xlendi Bay

Here are two iPhone images I made this evening with walking along the esplanade at the end of narrow and picturesque Xlendi Bay on the wonderful Maltese island of Gozo.

Xlendi Bay © Harold Davis

Xlendi Bay © Harold Davis


Street Lamp © Harold Davis

Street Lamp © Harold Davis

Also posted in Malta


This iPhone capture shows the two somewhat clashing wallpapers that decorate the interior of The Red Fort, a fast food Indian restaurant in Soller, Mallorca, Spain. I intentionally composed the image to make it look flat to exaggerate the garish wallpaper contrast, but if you observe carefully, you can see that a passage divides the blue and red wallpapers (of downward stairs, but only the pale orange painted ceiling shows in the photo).

Wallpaper © Harold Davis

Wallpaper © Harold Davis

French Signage

French signage found in small towns in “deep France” around the Dordogne: Enchanted Mushroom (for a speciality restaurant); Dog on a toilet (for a doggie run); and two pigs for a charcuterie shop.

Enchanted Mushroom

Enchanted Mushroom © Harold Davis

Doggie Do © Harold Davis

Doggie Do © Harold Davis

Pig 1 © Harold Davis

Pig 1 © Harold Davis

Pig 2 © Harold Davis

Pig 2 © Harold Davis

Also posted in Bemusements, France

iPhoneography as Art

iPhoneography can be art, and a great source of prints. Doodling with the iPhone apps in post-production is also a great way to stave off boredom. Here are two new images!

Perigueux Cathedral © Harold Davis

Perigueux Cathedral © Harold Davis

Above: Perigueux Cathedral on a cloudy day (the architect who “remodeled” this cathedral at the end of the 19th century also designed Sacre Coeur in Paris, one can see the resemblance), camera app, processed in Waterlogue and blended with itself, then processed in Glaze, and blended with the Waterlogue version.

Below: A view to the abbey from the Brantome bell tower (probably the oldest bell tower in France); two camera app exposures, blended manually in True HDR, process in Glaze and blended with the HDR version, with a glow and a frame added in Snapseed.

Brantome © Harold Davis

Brantome © Harold Davis

Also posted in France

iPhone Workflow in Brantome

Brantome Abbey © Harold Davis

Brantome Abbey © Harold Davis

To make these images of Brantome Abbey (above) and the so-called “dog-leg” bridge in Brantome (“dog-leg” because there is a 90 degree bend in its crossing of the Dronne River, below)), I started by using the Camera app to make two exposures of each subject, one darker and one lighter. 

Next, I combined the two exposures by using True HDR to blend and align the differently exposed image sets. 

Taking the blended image, I ran it through Waterlogue to create a watercolor effect. I dialed back the watercolor effect by using ImageBlender to combine the Waterlogue version with the pre-Waterlogue original.

Dog-Leg Bridge, Brantome © Harold Davis

Dog-Leg Bridge, Brantome © Harold Davis

Also posted in France, Photography

Building Reflections

On my recent trip, I stayed in New York in the belly of the beast, in a nice Eurostyle hotel at the corner of Tenth Ave and 42nd Street. Literally scores of fifty and sixty story high-rises are going up all over that neighborhood, and the New York I grew up in is close to unrecognizable. Can there really be enough New Yorkers with enough money to populate these opulent rental buildings that are coming on line, many with mirrored windows (as in this iPhone shot) or other interesting architectural features? I wonders, I does.

Building Reflections © Harold Davis

Building Reflections © Harold Davis

About the image: Captured using the Camera app on my iPhone 6s, and fairly minimally processed using the Snapseed, Mextures, and DistressedFX apps.

Also posted in New York, Photography

iPhone images from the iPhonegraphy Workshop

The enthusiastic group of iPhoneographers at the workshop this weekend helped make it a great deal of fun. Here are a few of the images I created during workshop field sessions, and processed using my iPhone during the workshop as part of in-class app demonstrations.

Tracks © Harold Davis

Tracks © Harold Davis

The image (above) of the railroad tracks that cut between Berkeley and the I80 corridor (and the San Francisco Bay) was processed in the MobileMonet app.

The image (below) of the snake at Berkeley’s Vivarium was processed in Waterlogue. I then blended the original (the upper part) with the Waterlogue version (the lower part) using a layer mask and the gradient tool in Leonardo. The image was finished using Snapseed, by adding a black border with rounded corners.

Snake © Harold Davis

Snake © Harold Davis

I don’t really remember how I did the raccoon image below. The original photo was of a painting on the side of a truck. I am pretty sure Plastic Bullet, Lo-Mob, and Prisma were involved. As one of the workshop participants pointed out, someone really should write an app that helps people keep track of their iPhone post-production workflow, the apps used and the settings within each app. Writing these recipes down the old-fashioned way with pen and paper seems so, well, old-fashioned!

Raccoon Face © Harold Davis

Raccoon Face © Harold Davis

Also posted in Workshops