Category Archives: Monochrome

Gullfoss Rift

An unusual feature of the famous and spectacular Gullfoss waterfall is that the water flow makes an almost immediate 90 degree turn to the left at the bottom of the falls, down into the rift shown in the distance in this image.

It’s an almost surreal experience standing with one’s camera above the head of the turn of the flowing waters, trying to make an exposure through the intense, wind-blown spray, and enjoying the grandeur of the setting. 

Gullfoss Rift © Harold Davis

Also posted in Iceland, Landscape, Photography

Coming into Iceland

Coming into Iceland after a long-haul overnight flight, the land near the airport looked flat and green as a steady mist fell. Talking the shuttle bus in from the airport, I wandered around Reykjavik with my camera—this slight motion blur of the distinctive Hallgrims-Kirkja tower perhaps echoing my disoriented state of mind!

Hallgrims-Kirkja © Harold Davis

Also posted in Iceland

The Blossfeldt Effect webinar video recording

We’ve posted The Blossfeldt Effect video webinar recording. Here’s the description:

In this unique and creative webinar, Harold starts with a look at the characteristics of a Blossfeldian composition. What kinds of subjects did Blossfeldt choose to photograph, and why? What makes a particular botanical specimen visually exciting?

Next, Harold explores two possible places to start with Blossfeldian botanical compositions: the black background and the light box.

To cap it off, Harold demonstrates how he processes his Blossfeldt-like images using some surprisingly simple yet tricky steps.

I think you’ll enjoy this one, it is one of our best!

Click here for The Blossfeldt Effect video, here for a catalog listing of our video webinar recordings, here for my YouTube channel, and here for upcoming Workshops & Events.

California Live Oak © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography, Workshops

The Blossfeldt Effect Webinar coming up on Saturday June 12

Karl Blossfeldt (1866-1932) began his career at a decorative ironwork manufacturer. He was assigned the task of creating reference botanical photographs to use for wrought iron designs. Eventually, his iconic botanical images became celebrated in their own right, and today he is known as one of history’s foremost botanical photographers.

I’ve long been fascinated by Blossfeldt’s botanical imagery and have developed a set of techniques for emulating the beautiful photographs of this master.

Some of my work in homage to Blossfeldt has even been mistaken for the real thing on a certain art consolidation website that shall not be named!

You can check out a portfolio of my (genuine, authorized Harold Davis) prints after Blossfeldt on Saatchi Art

Click here to read more, and here to register for this webinar!

Queen Anne's Lace © Harold Davis

Queen Anne’s Lace © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography, Workshops

Travels in the Inter-Mountain West

These are newly-processed images from travels in the inter-mountain American West in early 2020 just before the pandemic struck and we began sheltering in place.

As vaccinations proceed apace, I am looking forward to traveling with my camera again soon!

Old Tree © Harold Davis

Colorado River © Harold Davis

Death Valley Landscape © Harold Davis

Also posted in Landscape, Photography

Wayback Machine

Today we will journey to a labyrinth and church on the island of Gozo in the Malta archipelago, followed by the Île de la Cité along the banks of the Seine in Paris early in the morning of an autumn day. Both were photographed pre-pandemic in November, 2018, and first processed just now.

Maze and Church, Gozo © Harold Davis

Île de la Cité © Harold Davis

Also posted in Malta, Paris, Photography

From the Files

California Live Oak © Harold Davis

Here are two images from my files. California Live Oak (above) is from 2019, photographed in Walnut Creek, California. 

Arcade, Trapani (below) is from November, 2018, photographed in Trapani, a seaport on the western coast of Sicily, Italy.

Arcade, Trapani © Harold Davis

Also posted in Italy, Photography

My Back Pages

I spent some time over the last few days going through my archives for 2019, and processing images that I had somehow overlooked. 2019 was, of course, the last pre-pandemic year, and it was interesting on several levels to review my photographic life as it was then.

In this story, a selection of these newly processed 2019 images, starting with a view of the Paris skyline (from a workshop I was leading), through a well-known (and much photographed) ship wreck in Inverness, California, to an impressionistic in-camera-motion (“ICM”) image of a grove of trees in Florida (again, while leading a workshop), and finally a Lensbaby studio image of the legs of a model.

Tour Eiffel and La Defense © Harold Davis

Wreck of the Point Reyes © Harold Davis

Grove © Harold Davis

Legs © Harold Davis

Also posted in Paris, Photography, Point Reyes

Monochromatic Visions Portfolio

We’re pleased to be able to offer my Monochromatic Visions Portfolio at a still fairly affordable price ($1200). There are only two portfolios left at this price.

Monochromatic Visions portfolio by Harold Davis

Monochromatic Visions portfolio © Harold Davis

The twelve images in the portfolio are shown above, and the actual prints curing from a portfolio we sold to a very nice collector over the summer are shown below.

Monochromatic Visions Portfolio prints © Harold Davis

Monochromatic Visions Portfolio prints © Harold Davis

Please contact us with questions, or if you are interested in acquiring one of these portfolios!

Also posted in Print of the Month

Announcing new Homage to Blossfeldt limited edition prints

We’re pleased to announce a new series of eight limited edition Harold Davis prints in homage to the great botanical photographic artist Karl Blossfeldt, now available for sale on Saatchi Art. Click here for the collection of Homage to Blossfeldt prints, and here for Harold’s Saatchi Art page.

Queen Anne's Lace © Harold Davis

Queen Anne’s Lace © Harold Davis

There are eight images in the series, with five number prints for each image in the edition. Here are some specifics for Queen Anne’s Lace:

“Queen Anne’s Lace” is a fine art archival photograph created in the Harold Davis Studio. This artisanal limited edition print is hand signed and numbered. The mode and style of this print was inspired by the great botanical artist Karl Blossfeldt.

Queen Anne’s Lace comprises five seed-flower heads of the species Daucus carota which is related to the wild carrot. The artist placed the flower heads on a back-illuminated light box and photographed the ensemble using a special multi-capture technique. He then inverted the image so that the flower heads appear on black, and applied a Blossfeldt effect to create an image that is at once exciting, serene, and moving.

This richly detailed photograph is printed on archival 100% cotton Moab Entrada Rag Bright 300gsm using archival UltraChrome wide-color gamut inks.

The print is shipped flat in its own custom presentation folder, protected with a vellum overlay. A Harold Davis Studio certificate of authenticity is included with the print.

Please note that the paper size for this limited edition fine-art print is 32″ W x 24″ H. I have printed this work in my studio to be attractive on the paper with a nice border. The actual image size is 23″ W x 16″ H.

Tulip Petal Detail after Blossfeldt © Harold Davis

Related stories: Tulip Petal Detail after Blossfeldt; Special Pandemic Prints.

Also posted in Print of the Month

X-Ray Bouquet

The upper photo is an X-Ray of a bouquet of dahlias, nemesia, and kangaroo paw flowers. It was made in May, 2019 using medical x-ray equipment, and processed yesterday while waiting out the foul air in the Bay area in Photoshop from the DICOM file. More x-rays can be found here, and I’ve also posted a photo of a recent print of one of my favorite x-rays, of a sunflower, below.

X-Ray Bouquet of Dahlias, Nemesias, and Kangaroo Paw © Harold Davis

X-Ray Bouquet of Dahlias, Nemesias, and Kangaroo Paw Flowers © Harold Davis

Print of ‘Sunflower X-Ray’ © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers, Photography, X-Ray

Dancing Trees

The other day I went for a long walk in nearby Tilden Park, which lies about a mile from my home, on the farther side of the initial crest of the Coastal Range hills. On the trail, I stopped to put down my backpack and take out my camera. The photo shown below, Eucalyptus Forest, was the result.

Eucalyptus Forest © Harold Davis

Eucalyptus Forest © Harold Davis

As I looked at Eucalyptus Forest in post-production, I realized that there was a structural similarly with other images of trees I have made. The examples that came to mind were Along the Old Schoolhouse Trail and Aspens near Sonora Pass.

Along the Old Schoolhouse Trail © Harold Davis

Along the Old Schoolhouse Trail © Harold Davis

Of course, the species of tree are different. The chaotic and messy eucalyptus make it hard to see linear order, even among the vertical lines of the trees. And the California coastal oaks along the Old Schoolhouse Trail are not the aspens that I photographed near the summit of Sonora Pass in the Sierra Nevada.

Aspens near Sonora Pass

Aspens near Sonora Pass © Harold Davis

But all three images share similarities in formal composition. As I teach my students, one can diagram compositions using simple shapes like lines and circles, and making note of patterned repetition. With a line drawing of these three compositions, the underlying similarity of image structure becomes clear. 

My artistic intent was also comparable across the three images: I wanted to capture the spirits of the trees, Dryads if you will. In my mind, the spirits of trees are always dancing.

Original blog stories: Along the Old Schoolhouse Trail; Aspens below Sonora Pass.

Also posted in Landscape, Photography

High Key to Low Key and Back Again

Today Phyllis and I gave the second webinar in our black and white series. This episode showed conversion to black and white, starting from a few images that I made in advance the other day: a high-key image (the egg), a low-key image (the nemesia), and something in-between (the tea toy robot). You can view recordings of our webinars on the Harold Davis Photography channel on YouTube.

The next session will look at some special black and white effects, such as the Ansel Adams effect, solarization, and so on.

Please consider joining us for another webinar, or the upcoming Creative Bootcamp four-part course!

Egg White © Harold Davis

Egg White © Harold Davis

Nemesia Wabi-Sabi © Harold Davis

Nemesia Wabi-Sabi © Harold Davis

Tea for You © Harold Davis

Tea for You © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Creative Black and White Webinar, Part 2: The Assignment

I’m teaching the second live webinar in the Creative Black and White series on Tuesday, May 26 at 10am PT. Here’s the registration link. I’ve decided to take a chance and try something different with this webinar. So I will make some images live on camera, using materials that are easy to find while sheltering in place. That way, you can see what I am doing, and ask questions if you’d like.

Next, I will show how I convert the captures I have just made to become monochromatic images. My suggestion (although it is only a suggestion of course, and you don’t have to do it to get information from the webinar) is that you prepare in advance by making your own photographs in line with the assignments. I find I always learn more by being active as opposed to passively listening.

Details follow below.

Please keep in mind that there a few spaces left in our Creative Bootcamp (limited to 12), with four classes, coming up in June. You can watch recordings of most of our webinars on the Harold Davis Photography YouTube channel.

Egg © Harold Davis

MEMO to participants in Creative Black & White | Part 2: Black and White Conversion, live webinar on Tuesday May 26 at 10am PT

The structure of this webinar session will be that Harold will use live cameras to demonstrate creating three images. The general assignment for the kinds of images, and the specific way that Harold intends to photographically meet this challenge are shown below. He will then process to monochrome each of the three images, using a variety of techniques as appropriate for each (very different) image.

The choice of assignment was made keeping in mind what is possible while sheltering place. Although there is no requirement to do so, Harold believes you will get the most out of the session if you complete these assignments on your own, in your own way, before the May 26 class.

Please post images made in response to this challenge to Instagram, with the tags @haroldldavis #harolddavis #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephoto #creativeblackandwhite #assignment2

Black & White #2 Assignments (should you choose to accept & etc.)

Create a High-Key Photo

            Harold will demonstrate photographing an Egg on a white background

Create a Low-Key Photo

            Harold will demonstrate photographing a flower on black velvet background

Capture a shadow

            Harold will use a light to make an interesting shadow using kitchen items, and then photograph the composition including the shadow

Chrysanthemum © Harold Davis

Chrysanthemum © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Under the Yaquina Bay Bridge

Under the Yaquina Bay Bridge has become, somewhat to my surprise, one of my iconic images in the sense that there have been quite a few prints sales, image licenses and so on. Thanks to all who have made this image a success! Here’s the original blog story from 2016. In answer to the question posed in that story, the marketplace has voted pretty overwhelmingly for the black & white version.

Under the Yaquina Bay Bridge (B&W) © Harold Davis

Under the Yaquina Bay Bridge © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography