Category Archives: Photography

digital photography: techniques: thoughts: photographs

Blue Danube

The Danube River meanders from central Europe down through Budapest, finally to end in a Black Sea delta in southeastern Romania. The photo below shows the Danube at blue-hour-into-night looking towards the Chain Bridge and Hungarian Houses of Parliament as the river curves through central Budapest, Hungary.

Blue Danube © Harold Davis

The next photo shows the Elizabeth Bridge, also across the Danube in central Budapest, as dusk has deepened. The solid lines are boats on the Danube. I was helped to find locations by ace night photographer and guide to Budapest Miklos Mayer, who also helped me get into location on the following evening for the fireworks display for Hungarian National Day. If you visit Budapest with your camera, and want to make some special images, Miklos is highly recommended.

Elizabeth Bridge, Budapest © Harold Davis

Finally, the photo below is a three-exposure monochromatic HDR blend of the central part of the parliament building from right across the Danube River.

Houses of Parliament © Harold Davis

Also posted in Digital Night

Welcome Home Flowers

It’s great to come home to tulips and lobelias from the garden to photograph. Thank you Phyllis! Not to mention such a lovely, warm, and wonderful family.

I photographed the tulips and lobelias on a white light box, then added the virtual antique frame and panel effect in post-production.

Tulips and Lobelias © Harold Davis

Here are some other flower compositions I’ve done this year. In the press of travel excitements and engagements—Vietnam, France, Malta, Romania, and more so far—it has been hard to find the time to post them up until now. Please let me know which is your favorite and what you think of the treatments! Prints of these images are available by request, please let me know if you are interested.

Shrub Mallow © Harold Davis

Bouquet of Neighborhood Flowers © Harold Davis

Garland © Harold Davis

One quarter (un-rotated) of the Garland image is shown in Tulips and a Clematis Vine. Here’s the top image I made today on white without the virtual frame:

Tulips and Lobelias on White © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Budapest Jewish Quarter

This huge designer advertisement is applied to the wall of an apartment building that stands to the side of one of the entrances to the old Budapest, Hungary Jewish quarter. While there is a synagogue in the quarter, there are almost no Jewish residents to be found—and probably nobody much else who is local lives here, either.

This is where folks come on cheap flights from western Europe to drink and do the bachelor-party thing. The authorities pretty much leave it alone at night when the parties get raucous, and local residents have fled, or rent out their apartments on AirBnb. 

Budapest Apartments © Harold Davis

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 iPhone, Romania

Sunrise in Rural Romania

Got up early this morning. Actually, got up and out before it was morning and things were still inky black with darkness. The point was to photograph sunrise in rural Romania. So here’s a photo of sunrise in rural Romania. In case you are wondering, the fence in the image is used to dry hay that is piled against it.

Sunrise in Rural Romania © Harold Davis

Also posted in Romania

Demonstration Flower Projects

Here are two of the images I used to demonstrate capture and post-production at my recent Photographing Flowers for Transparency course at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine.

Fan of Irises and Daffodils © Harold Davis

When I give the Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop, I start by explaining the theory and practice of this kind of light box photography. I usually note that floral arrangement is a key issue. When we get down to the actual work, I ask each participant to pick a flower in turn, which I then arrange in a composition for us all practice photographing and processing—which is the genesis of the composition below!

Class Demo Maine Media © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Disturbance in the Force

Disturbance in the Force © Harold Davis

Click here for more Multiple Exposures!


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, iPhone

Steven’s First Car

My workshop ended with a lobster dinner and a grand group show yesterday evening. I met some of my students for breakfast, and then headed off for some solo adventures before heading back to California tomorrow morning.

Steven’s First Car © Harold Davis

In the afternoon I drove south to Port Clyde to meet a friend from college. I haven’t seen him in many years, and we reconnected on Facebook. Steven and I told each other the stories of our lives so far: the good and bad, the beautiful and the ugly.

This is an iPhone shot of Steve’s first car. Steve still has it. It dates from the 1920s, and it starts right up. He told me he bought it from the proceeds of his first summer job, from working all summer, for about $100.

I Heart Dahlias

Today my class went to photograph a Dahlia Farm. I love these flowers because each one is unique, and because they are so colorful (even when I do convert to monochrome, see the image below!).

Pink Dahlia © Harold Davis

Variegated Dahlia © Harold Davis

White Dahlia © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Private Garden, Camden

This was a fun day with my class. They are eager to learn my techniques for flower photography on a light box, and also about creative uses of LAB color. Towards the end of the day, we had the privilege of  photographing in a wonderful private garden in Camden, what a great field trip! Thanks Maine Media for arranging this, very special.

Private Garden, Camden © Harold Davis

Maple Tree, Private Garden © Harold Davis

Flowers from My Garden; Off to Maine

I’m off to Maine tomorrow morning to teach flower photography in the coming week. With departure looming before me once again, of course I feel the need to take advantage of the glorious California summer, and to photograph some of the flowers from our garden. The two below started as seedlings from Annie’s—you can find some really unusual flowering plants at Annie’s so it is a great local resource for gardeners.

Eschscholzia californica ‘Purple Gleam’ on Black © Harold Davis

Eschscholzia californica ‘Purple Gleam’ © Harold Davis

Centaurea gymnocarpa ‘Velvet Centaurea’ © Harold Davis

Centaurea gymnocarpa ‘Velvet Centaurea’ on Black © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers, Workshops

When, Where, and How to Photograph the Eclipse

The August 21st 2017 total solar eclipse is gonna be a crazy event in the United States. 12 million people live in the path of totality, and many more are planning to journey to find the totality.
The creators of the photo planning app PhotoPills have written a detailed tutorial on both planning and photographing the eclipse. You can check it out here:
Also posted in Digital Night

Like calls to like, but also like likes unalike

Summer Experiment 3 © Harold Davis

Related images: Summer Experiment; Coat of Many Colors; Strength in Numbers; Suite of Seeds.

I survived to tell the tale

I survived to tell the tale! I’m not sure that it is quite medal-worthy, or whether conquest is really involved, but hey if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Click here for some of my Son Doong Cave photos.