Category Archives: iPhone

Mirror Selfie

I took advantage of the mirrors in my dressing room in the hotel in Trieste to create a “recursive” image along the lines of the Droste effect (immediately below). This kind of image making has its own chapter in my book Composition & Photography.

Mirror Selfie © Harold Davis

Perhaps what brought the Droste effect to mind was an M.C.Escher exhibit I had just seen in Florence. In one fun, interactive feature, I was encouraged to snap an iPhone shot of myself (instead of Escher) in his famous lithograph of a reflective ball (below).

At the Escher Exhibit © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome, Photography

Another View of the Astorga Cathedral

Here’s another view of the Astorga Cathedral, this one using my iPhone, and processed using the Waterlogue app.

Astorga Cathedral via iPhone © Harold Davis

Also posted in Spain

ICM is for iPhones too!

ICM—in camera motion—is a technique used to add interpretive aesthetics to an image by moving the camera during exposure while the shutter is open. Generally, the effect created is impressionistic. The shutter speed duration must be long enough for the motion to register in the capture, typically 1/3 of a second or longer.

ICM effects can be accomplished with the camera on a tripod or—more often—handheld. The direction and speed of motion in relation to the subject matter is crucial. ICM is hit-or-miss: you can expect many essays for each good result.

The Tall Trees image below is an ICM image made on my iPhone with a shutter duration of about one second via the Slow Shutter Cam app. Motion was steadily from top to bottom, elongating this already impressive aisle of trees.

ICM is for iPhones too!

Tall Trees © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

The Windows on the Beast

We call our bus on the Iceland circumnavigation “the Beast”—because the wheels are unimaginably high, the 4-wheel drive is potent, it bounces with a hard suspension, and it is red. A trip that involves bus travel means sitting on a bus, which at first glance can seem boring, but if you look out the window can prove magical, at least in Iceland.

These images were made out the windows of the Beast with my iPhone using the Slow Shutter Cam app, with the shutter speed duration set to 2 seconds, along the roads to the Highlands.

Bus Window 1 © Harold Davis

Bus Window 2 © Harold Davis

Bus Window 3 © Harold Davis

Also posted in Iceland, Photography

Skeletons in the Hood

This year, there seems to be plenty of pre-Halloween activity in the neighborhood. Perhaps in the same pandemic spirit as the many close-by home improvement projects: the psychology seems to be, we’re home, we’re bored, we have time on our hands, let’s have at the new patio or deck.

Or, along with boredom at sheltering-in-place, with some conscious or unconscious irony: what better time of year to consider how easily death might invade our daily lives than Halloween?

The schadenfreude hardly needs to be pointed out: we and our neighbors are here at the periphery of this plague to enjoy Halloween displays in the neighborhood, while others are dead, or sick, homeless, or unemployed.

Spectral Light © Harold Davis

Spectral Light © Harold Davis

Masks © Harold Davis

Masks © Harold Davis

Also posted in Coronavirus times, Photography

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 Flowers

Seen Along the Way of Saint James

Here are a few random sightings captured with my iPhone camera on the Way of Saint James, specifically the Camino Portuguese, on my walk through southern Galicia towards Santiago.

Pilgrim Church © Harold Davis

Above, the interior dome and chandelier of the Pilgrim Church—Capela da Virxe Peregrina—in Pontevedra. It was fun climbing to the top of the dome, which I did after making this photo and getting my Pilgrim book stamped.

Below, the alternate Camino passes through a tunnel under train tracks beside a small river. If the Way seems narrow in the photo, indeed it was!

Tunnel on the Camino © Harold Davis

Finally, walking through the gritty outskirts of Arcade, a witch is seen rising before the moon on her broomstick. The circular moon is of course echoed in the heating unit that appears above the witch.

Witch © Harold Davis

Also posted in Spain

Temple of Mercury

Within Schwetzingen Garden, the Temple of Mercury is an intentional ruin from the late 1700s. Built to romantically fall down, the question today is how to conserve a structure intended from the start to be a ruin.

Photographed as the sun rose with my iPhone, and processed using the Plastic Bullet, Snapseed, ImageBlender, and Photo Lab apps on my iPhone.

Temple of Mercury © Harold Davis

Mercury to the Romans was Hermes to the Greeks. Messenger of the Gods (with winged sandals), God of medicine (hence the caduceus), travelers, thieves, and other assorted magical riff-raff. On good days I regard Hermes as a patron, and hope he helps keep me safe and happy as I wander.

Also posted in Germany, Photography

Wisteria Gate

The wisteria are in bloom around town. Their lush blues and purples, and lavish grape-juice odor, dominate the staid landscape of “the flats.” In the hills, the wisteria are not quite at their peak, with more blossoms to come, but still gorgeous with every ounce of their being.

I photographed the Wisteria Gate image, shown below, yesterday with my iPhone along Gilman Street near San Pablo Ave in West Berkeley, California. I processed the image on my iPhone using the Waterlogue and ImageBlender apps.

Wisteria Gate © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Some scenes call for a fisheye and fun!

I spent a wonderful sunny afternoon photographing with my friend Jim on the slopes of Mt Diablo. The sky was blue with high-flying clouds, the slopes were green and alive with flowers. On the trail, the California Oak trees towered above. Some scenes just call for a fisheye lens.

California Oak © Harold Davis

California Oak BW © Harold Davis

It’s often not realized that an iPhone transfer can be used bidirectionally if you want to use one of the creative iPhone apps on an image made with a “big boy” camera.

To make the “for fun” variations below, I copied the color fisheye image (shot with my Nikon D850 and the 8-15mm Nikkor fisheye at 8mm for the circular effect) onto my iPhone. The effects were generated using the Fancy Filters category of the Photo Lab app.

Tree Drops © Harold davis

Kaleidoscope © Harold Davis

Paris from the 18th Arrondissement

I used my iPhone to snap this somewhat unusual view of the Parisian landscape from the heights of the 18th Arrondissement, a window high on the slopes of Montmartre, with the Eiffel Tour the only easily recognizable landmark. In a recent webinar for Topaz, I used the resulting iPhone JPEG to show the power of multi-RAW processing after turning the JPEG into a RAW (DNG) file using Topaz’s JPEG to RAW AI. I processed a darker verion for the sky, and a lighter version to bring out the detail in the foreground cityscape, and combined the two versions using a layer mask and gradient in Photoshop.

Eiffel Tower in Paris Landscape © Harold Davis

Also posted in Paris

Through a Glass Lightly

The last few years have been traveling years for me. This means time in restaurants. Sometimes alone. Waiting for food. Or with a crowd out eating, but alone inside. Either way, what better time to play with photography and glassware? Here are some of my favorites…

After a long day walking the Camino, I stopped at a small hamlet for a meal and bed. Watching the trees from the perspective of a glass of wine I felt I was in touch with a holistic sense of the world, and that everything would be integrated and alright:

Trees and Wine © Harold Davis

In a French brasserie they take their glassware and bottles seriously. I got up from my culinary meditation over an excellent cassoulet and photographed these blue bottles at the bar:

Blue Bottles © Harold Davis

Blue or green, what’s in a color? Apparently, this depends on the shadows against a stucco wall:

Green Bottle © Harold Davis

Bottles come in ones and twos, and perhaps the Pepper Shaker enjoys a colloquy with the water bottle in this Maine waterfront restaurant:

Two in a Bar © Harold Davis

Across the spectrum red is possible as well as blues and greens at this informal place in Paris:

Carafe at Lunch © Harold Davis

Sometimes the cutlery likes to get into the game, and the spoon is reflected in a polished, reflective carafe in Germany:

Spoonerismo © Harold Davis

It’s a short leap from spoons refracted in a reflection to a place setting reflected in a napkin holder at a roadside rest in Portugal:

Napkin Holder © Harold Davis

Other times things can get rowdy as when I lined up these glasses at an end-of-workshop party in Heidelberg:

Wine Glasses at a Dinner Party © Harold Davis

I photographed this glass and carafe in a cafe on the main square of Monpazier, one of Acquitaine’s signature bastides (you can see the covered market structure through the open doors):

Monpazier Cafe © Harold Davis

Neither white nor red, but definitely a good watercolor subject:

Rosé © Harold Davis

At a romantic, candle-lit restaurant in Germany I made an abstraction of a candle refracted in a drinking glass. The glass was green and held some kind of fancy drink. The shape of the green glass occupies the right side of the image:

Glass and Candle © Harold Davis

In the historic Ferry Building, in downtown San Francisco:

Glasses © Harold Davis

Waiting for service in a restaurant near Valletta, Malta:

Maltese Cross © Harold Davis

Paint-it-darker patterns and magnification with a beaded placemat in a casual Dordogne restaurant in Brantome, France:

Glass on a Placemat © Harold Davis

In Bourges, France, I was primarily interested in the differing way the shadow from my glass fell on the table cloth as opposed to the way the shadow fell on the wood of the table itself. The bright, curved lines within the shadow are created by bright reflections off the water in the wine glass, but they aren’t quite aligned at the borders of the cloth and wood, due to the differing refractive qualities of the two surfaces:

Shadow of the Glass © Harold Davis

A different phenomenon of light and shadow is to be found in this glass of wine, with the sunlight coming through an awning in Varenna, Italy, where I was enjoying a late lunch beside the Lago di Como with my good friend Mauro:

Eye of Sauron in his Cups © Harold Davis

No matter where you are, and what you are doing, you can always find interesting visual subjects, things to photograph, and ways to make art. Olé!

Also posted in Photography

Two from the iPhone files

Dogwood Flowers in a Bowl and Poppies and Echinaceas were both photographed with my iPhone camera. These were arrangements that were “collateral damage” to having flowers around from my garden and also cut from a flowering dogwood tree (see Garden Flowers with Dogwood). After photographing high-key bracketed exposures with my D850 on a tripod, I couldn’t resist also making a few quick iPhone shots shown here. Sometimes work thrown off casually just for fun stands up on its own!

Dogwood Flowers in a Bowl © Harold Davis

Both images were tweaked in Snapseed on my iPhone, then processed using the Antique Oil Painting Filter in the Photo Lab Pro app.

Poppies and Echinaceas © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers, Photography

A Lens, Spirals, and a Selfie

On the boat ride around Menorca with PhotoPills camp, sitting up high on the upper deck, I saw a rig with a 19mm tilt-shift Nikkor. Cool lens. From the right angle, I could see internal colors and spirals, so I snapped an iPhone photo. Little did I know that I lurked in the reflections, so it was also a selfie!

Lens © Harold Davis

Camino Seen via Hotel Room Interiors

Phyllis says that for her my Camino is visually a succession of hotel room interiors. This is because of the nine-hour time-shift with California. When she is sleeping, I am walking, and when she is going about her day I am sleeping. Our hours are close to orthogonal.

Old Wood Door with Blue Paint © Harold Davis

We FaceTime when I wake (her bedtime), I walk and she sleeps, and we usually touch base again after I’ve checked in, my late afternoon becoming her early morning. She sees my Camino essentially as different window treatments in the backgrounds of my screen: red curtains morph into lace, and then into green shutters, or a stone wall.

Letter Box © Harold Davis

By the way, these are hotels that cater to pilgrims. They are okay, some better than others, and all more than a little bit odd. So far, they’ve had the necessities: a bed and a shower and a “pilgrim’s dinner”.

Tree and Wine © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography