Category Archives: Monochrome

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

Tables and Chairs

I photographed these tables and chairs at a cafe with no customers yet from above in strong early morning light from the terraces of the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, Malta.

© Harold Davis

Table and Chairs, Valletta © Harold Davis

Also posted in Malta

St Ursula Street, Valletta

This is one of the interior streets in the compact, picturesque, and fortified city of Valletta, Malta. I don’t think there is anyplace else in the world like Valletta—and I’ll be writing more about Valletta and Malta when I get the chance—but despite the world-class uniqueness, this view up a long and narrow street somehow reminds me of a more pedestrian version of San Francisco (when it is in a noirish frame of mind!).

St Ursula Street, Valletta © Harold Davis

St Ursula Street, Valletta © Harold Davis

Also posted in Malta

Old Olive Tree

I photographed this ancient olive tree on the grounds of Robert Graves’s home. The house and grounds have been turned into a small museum. The location is in the world-heritage town of Deia, perched on a rocky mountain on the south coast of Mallorca, the largest of Spain’s Balearic islands. The scenery is of the Mediterranean, spectacular mountains, and small stone and white-washed villages clinging to the cliffs.

Old Olive Tree © Harold Davis

Old Olive Tree © Harold Davis

If you don’t know him, Robert Graves is worth your time. Robert Graves was a poet, classicist, historical novelist, critic, and essayist; also, a thoroughly unconventional fellow in terms of his various living arrangements. He’s perhaps best known for his historical novel of the ancient Roman empire, I Claudius, but he also (among many other books) wrote the first biography of Lawrence of Arabia (and the only biography authorized by T.E.Lawrence) and a compelling memoir of life in the trenches of the first world war, Goodbye to All That (the title also refers to the definitive passing of the old order and class structure brought about by the war).

Entrance to the Warlord’s Palace

In the early years of the twentieth century a Hmong warlord ruled in the remote and high mountains in the triangle between Vietnam, Laos, and China. Opium poppies were the source of his income and power.

Entrance to the Warlord's Palace © Harold Davis

Entrance to the Warlord’s Palace © Harold Davis

There’s some confusion as to who built the palace for the “King of the Hmongs”. The guidebook says it was built by the French. Our local guide credited the people the warlord ruled, as a kind of tribute. In any case, the warlord was clearly sought after by the great powers, and also handled all issues of life and death for those who lived under his sway.

Incidentally, like many a building of the rich and powerful, the entrance to the warlord’s palace is far grander than any of the chambers on the inside.

Also posted in Vietnam