Category Archives: Monochrome

Grizzly Falls

Just off the road along the South Fork of the Kings River in Kings Canyon National Park, Grizzly Falls presented great contrasts of light and dark. I used a neutral density filter to make a long exposure (fifteen seconds) and to soften the flowing water. As I setup my camera and tripod, I glanced at the top of the falls. Someone, no doubt a good climber, had placed the Republic of California grizzly bear flag on a wood stick at the top of the falls, where it was fluttering in the breeze—and, as such, showed the only grizzly bear likely to be seen around Grizzly Falls, since the species is, of course, extinct in California.

Grizzly Falls © Harold Davis

Also posted in Landscape, Photography

Lonely Road

I had hoped to leave the haze and smoke of the Bay area behind, but coming across Yosemite and then down the eastern slope of the High Sierra we descended into a miasma. As the light and visibility faded, I stopped beside a lonely road to photograph the line of telephone poles fading into the scarcely visible mountains in the distance.

Lonely Road

Also posted in Landscape

Black Dahlia

Two Dahlias in black and white, photographed on the light box (above) and as an extreme macro (below).

Black Dahlia © Harold Davis


Dahlia Doodles © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers, Photography

Rose Rose in Rose and in Black and White

Patterns in these roses intrigued me, and I decide to photograph up close. My “Georgia O’Keeffe” red rose was something of a stylistic inspiration.

Rose Rose © Harold Davis

I started with a macro lens and an extension tube. This worked pretty well, but I soon decided I wanted a little more flexibility, of the sort you can can get with a focusing bellows. Who knew that my old Nikon PB-6 bellows on a rail still worked just fine? There’s nothing really changed about this photographic appliance with the advent of digital, and I have kept mine all these years.

White Rose with a Pink Blush © Harold Davis

I found the PB-6 bellows in a box named “Macro Things”—a surprisingly accurate categorization. After cleaning a little dust from the flanges, I attached  the bellows to a tripod, a macro lens to the front, and my D810 to the rear.

By the Light of the Rose © Harold Davis

This session with my roses was so much fun! I couldn’t resist converting some of the images to black and white!

Rose Rose in Black and White © Harold Davis


By the Light of the Rose in Black & White © Harold Davis

Which rose do you like best?

Also posted in Flowers, Photography

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 iPhone, Photography, San Francisco Area

Perfect Dandelion

It’s great to be home again after my interesting photographic tour of Romania, with domestic quests on hand like finding the perfect dandelion core!

Nucleus 1 (on Black) © Harold Davis

Nucleus II (on White) © Harold Davis

Village Blacksmith

In this photo, the village blacksmith is showing the superiority of his handmade bespoke horseshoe (the one on his left) compared to a store-bought horseshoe (shown on his right). I was privileged to follow him into the courtyard, where he used the new horseshoes he’d made to shod a horse. The subsequent photos in my sequence document how he does it.

Village Blacksmith © Harold Davis

Also posted in Romania

Making a Pot

Today I photographed a potter in rural Romania. He was making pots using local clay. As I watched, the pots formed nicely on his wheel, then he finished them with his hands.

Making a Pot © Harold Davis

Also posted in Romania

Space available in the Sept 16-17 San Francisco Black & White workshop

We have space available in our Black & White in San Francisco Weekend workshop coming up next month September 16-17, 2017. San Francisco is a great place for photography, and a great locale to “think” in black and white!

Farther Shore © Harold Davis

Workshop Description: This workshop includes field photography in several Bay area locations, monochromatic shooting techniques in the field, black & white conversion in Photoshop, Nik Silver Efex, and other plug-ins, and monochromatic processing. Emphasis will be on thinking creatively in black and white in the field, and fully understanding the myriad possibilities in post-production.

Sunset on the Bay © Harold Davis

More info and registration:

Pop-Up Workshop: Note that if this workshop stays small (less than eight participants) I will conduct it as a pop-up workshop on-the-fly (rather than classroom based) which will give opportunities for more field locations, and more one-on-one interaction.

Noir City Dreams © Harold Davis


San Francisco Moonrise © Harold Davis

Also posted in San Francisco Area, Workshops

Mooring Lines, Rockport Harbor

After a fun day teaching and photographing flowers here in Maine, after dinner I headed down to Rockport harbor in the golden hour. The contrast of the white mooring lines and the dark pier pilings caught my eye, and I settled down to make a number of exposures for blending and conversion to monochrome.

Mooring Lines, Rockport Harbor © Harold Davis

Nicholas Inside and Out

Nicholas Inside and Out © Harold Davis

Also posted in Kids

Secret Garden

I composed this image to emphasize the arch within an arch effect. In post-production, I carried through on the same visual idea by adding an outer frame with slightly rounded corners.

Secret Garden © Harold Davis

Also posted in France

Church and Lighthouse on Gozo

This is a view of a church and lighthouse on Gozo, an island that is part of the Maltese archipelago of three islands. We photographed the view in the morning light before everything was too harsh. Gozo is a beautiful and laid back place where I think one could spend a fair amount of dreamy time wandering the cliffs above the Mediterranean. For some reason, there are a large number of out-of-scale and out-of-the-way big, fairly modern churches—like the one shown—in many places on Gozo.

Church and Lighthouse, Gozo © Harold Davis

I’m caught up in the rush of being home in California, photographing flowers, organizing future workshop and travel plans, and being with family. But I’m trying to go through my images from the past several months travel in Vietnam, France, Spain, and—yes!—Malta, and gradually process some of these images.

Special thanks to Paul, we could not have wished for a better photographic guide to Gozo. Gozo, the mythological Ogygia, home to Calypso in the Odyssey, is a place I really, really hope to visit again.

Also posted in Landscape, Malta

Lace from Gozo

This is a piece of handmade lace from the island of Gozo, one of the islands in the Maltese archipelago. I bought the lace notionally as a present for Phyllis, and photographed it on a light box. To put the lace on a black background, I inverted it in the LAB color space in Photoshop, then converted the image to black and white.

Lace from Gozo © Harold Davis

Also posted in Malta

Cliffs of Gozo

Gozo, the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago, is often said to be Ogygia, where the nymph Calypso detained Odysseus, using her wiles to make Odysseus her mate, and to keep him from returning to his wife Penelope and his mortal life.

Whether Gozo is indeed Ogygia I cannot say, although certainly the Maltese tourist bureau would like to have it so. In any case, this is a tremendously beautiful island, much quieter than the larger island of Malta, ringed by cliffs, with today a vast and dreamlike offshore wind pulling the waves into the island.

Cliffs of Gozo © Harold Davis

Cliffs of Gozo © Harold Davis

Also posted in Malta