Category Archives: Photography

digital photography: techniques: thoughts: photographs

Trio of Prints Sold: Sometimes Simplicity Is Best

Bench © Harold Davis

Bench © Harold Davis

I’m very happy to have sold a trio of lightly sepia-toned monochromatic prints on Moab Juniper Baryta to a collector.

In garden photography, sometimes simplicity is the point. I made the images shown in these prints in August while teaching a week-long garden photograph course at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine. The first image shows a wooden bench just outside the front gate to the well-known and spectacular Abbey Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor, Maine. You can see the bench in this wide-angle view of the garden gate!

The stone arrangement and patterned shakes in the two images below were taken at Shleppinghurst, a unique garden built into the landscape of an abandoned Maine quarry over 40 years by Ken Cleaves.

Stones and Lichen © Hartold Davis

Stones and Lichen © Harold Davis

Shakes © Harold Davis

Shakes © Harold Davis

Tracking the Curls

I don’t know how to keep track of the curls any more. Maybe the best way is to run a train track through the curls in the two-dimensional substrate. Any train on these tracks can pass through a green defile on to fly across a sunset sky with distant mountains, and, curving onward, steam back again through a distant green land. Ah, the malleability of pixels!

Trouble with Tracks © Harold Davis

Trouble with Tracks © Harold Davis

Print Sold

Print of Through the Rabbit Hole © Harold Davis

I am grateful to a longtime collector and friend who recently purchased this print on Moab Juniper Baryta of my Through the Rabbit Hole.

Most of my images are available as prints. Please inquire.

End of Days

End of Days © Harold Davis

End of Days © Harold Davis

Soon the hot wind from on high is among us, and we feel the devil’s riding crop. What unknown blasts fuel the motion of an already unstable and pockmarked sphere? Give me a marble and you never know what I’ll do!

Hidden Worlds (within marbles); more impossible imagery; the Eye of Sauron in his cups; marbles below.

Forging Worlds © Harold Davis

World on Fire © Harold Davis

Most images available as prints. Please inquire.

Snows of Yesteryear

Yosemite Snowstorm © Harold Davis

Yosemite Snowstorm © Harold Davis

Thinking about the upcoming photography conference in Yosemite led me to browse through some of my archives of work of Yosemite in winter’s past. Digital means never having to say one is sorry, and that it is always possible to reprocess. Contemporary advances in software interpolation means that even fairly low resolution images can be enlarged and printed at decent sizes. So maybe it is worth going through one’s files to see what was captured at the dawn of the digital photography era!

The color version of the image above was originally blogged in 2006 in But Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear.

I think the three images below, of a snowstorm in Yosemite, ice on the Merced River, and a somewhat hair-raising view off the spine of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park were never blogged—they do not appear in any of my books—and date to roughly the same time frame. The image of the Blizzard takes a little looking at in the larger size (and maybe squinting) before the shapes of the snow-laden trees become fully apparent.

Blizzard © Harold Davis

Blizzard © Harold Davis

Skim Ice on the Merced © Harold Davis

Skim Ice on the Merced © Harold Davis

View from Angel's Landing © Harold Davis

View from Angel’s Landing © Harold Davis

Also posted in Landscape, Monochrome, Yosemite

X-Ray Floral Medley Fusion Print Sold

I’m pleased to sell a print of X-Ray Floral Medley Fusion (an iPhone snap of the print is shown below) to a longtime collector. Printed on Moab Juniper Baryta, one of my favorite “go-to” papers.

X-Ray Floral Medley Print © Harold Davis

X-Ray Floral Medley Fusion Print © Harold Davis

 

Platala

Platala © Harold Davis

Platala © Harold Davis

My goal with an image like Platala is to create a field that is so visually lush that it is distracting. This kind of image should be beautiful, with so many decorative elements, that no one is much concerned about where it comes from. Platala is not the creation of linear thinking, nor intended to appeal in a linear fashion. The making of Platala took flexibility of thought and process, as well as a central curvilinear shape, good music and drugs (I may be kidding about the drugs). It will repay consideration from the viewpoint of receptivity rather than as a straight linear progression from subject to post-production and publication.

Most images available as prints. Please inquire. © Harold Davis. All rights reserved.

Progression

Progression 1 © Harold Davis

Progression 1, shown above, is an image designed to be visually to be read from left to right. Creating this kind of fantastic decorative imagery takes more than a little obsessiveness. Since the treatment involves faux curls, I like to think an interesting use of the image would be to print it as an actual wrapping—with virtual curves on the surface of an actual curve.

Click on the image or here to view it larger.

Printed, Signed, and Curing

This batch of prints are signed. We’ll let them cure a couple of days, then they will be ready for their new homes! Printed on Juniper Baryta, with special thanks to Moab Paper, and to my collectors.

"Bixby Bridge at Night" curing © Harold Davis

“Bixby Bridge at Night” curing © Harold Davis

Prints curing © Harold Davis

Prints curing © Harold Davis

Fish Eye (Literally)

Recipe: Take a dark, turgid decorative pond wherein dwell some not very Coy Koi. Throw in a probe wide-angle macro lens. Make sure the macro probe is water proof at the business end, with an LED ring light. Add a pinch of bread crumbs into the blackness of the water. Raise high the ISO of the camera. Wait for the fish to approach and try to eat the illuminated macro probe. Use the LCD to “see” what the lens sees, and try to track the eye of the fish as it glides just beneath the surface of the black waters, a sliver of a distance from the probe macro lens.

Yield: An impressionistic view of a literal fish eye, with the blackness of the pond universe extending to the infinite and the particulate matter in the water streaming by.

Fish Eye (Literally) © Harold Davis

Fish Eye (Literally) © Harold Davis

Eye Candy

Nautilus and Inversion © Harold Davis

Nautilus and Inversion © Harold Davis

Here are three images from the “Eye Candy” files. Nautilus and Inversion (above, click on the image or here to view it larger) is a single photo of two halves of a nautilus shell on a white (light box) background. A duplicate of the image was converted to LAB color, with the L-channel then inverted. The version on the while background was then composited with the version on the black background. Two curls were added, suggesting that the white version has a black verso, and the black version a white verso.

Homage to the Grateful Dead, shown below, combines various elements, including a light box floral composition and a scan of black lace. As I created this in Photoshop I was inspired by the classical Dead recordings I was listening to with my headphones.

Homage to the Grateful Dead © Harold Davis

Homage to the Grateful Dead © Harold Davis

Petal World (below) is a multiple level light box composition, using inversions and fractilized copies of the original image to create a sense of depth via virtual “paper” curls.

Petal World © Harold Davis

Petal World © Harold Davis

Related stories: Gaillardia-gami; Play it again mit feeling; Dawn Chorus Unbound; Beginner’s Mind; Tacked to a Virtual Wall.

Vitruvian Woman

In honor of the quincentennial of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, there will be numerous exhibitions of the master’s work. His Vitruvian Man drawing in particular was subject to a lawsuit  to prevent it from hanging in the great show in the Louvre opening this month was recently rejected.  The grounds for the lawsuit were the fragility of the work, along with some snarkiness about France trying to “culturally appropriate” Leonardo from Italy. Does this kind of petty fighting ever end, or is it part of what it means to be human?

Vitruvian Man is famously a diagram of the proportions of the human body. I’ve wondered for a long time whether women have proportions too; hence my not-so-humble multiple exposure attempt at a “Vitruvian Woman”.

Vitruvian Woman © Harold Davis

Vitruvian Woman © Harold Davis

This image was originally blogged on March 18, 2018.

Garden Shrine

Garden Shrine © Harold Davis

Garden Shrine © Harold Davis

This a photograph of a niche shrine in a garden outbuilding—a rather elaborate shed—at the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, also known as Green Dragon Temple (Soryu-ji). This Zen Center is a Buddhist practice center in the Japanese Soto Zen tradition offering training in Zen meditation and ordinary work, nestled in a valley next to the Marin Headlands.

Dandelions and the Rolling Stones

Dandelion don't tell no lies © Harold Davis

Dandelion don’t tell no lies © Harold Davis

These two images are extreme close-ups of Dandelions magnified to about twice life size using the Laowa FF 100mm F2.8 CA-Dreamer Macro 2X lens. Did the Rolling Stones get it right about Dandelions way back when?

Dandelion will make you wise © Harold Davis

Dandelion will make you wise © Harold Davis

Click here for an album of dandelions!

Also posted in Flowers

Lost Coast of California

Black Sands Beach, Lost Coast © Harold Davis

Black Sands Beach © Harold Davis

Some two hundred miles north of San Francisco, California lies a wilderness area known as the Lost Coast. In these ever-more-crowded times, the sobriquet “Lost Coast” is often used with some affection to encompass an almost entirely empty wilderness; but back in day when efforts to populate this stubborn, obdurate, and unyielding shore came to nothing, the use of the descriptive phrase surely was indicative of a measure of defeat and unhappiness.

This is the most wild, undeveloped, and remote portion of the California coast, and it is surprising that it lies so close to San Francisco.

Starting in Orange County, Highway 1 (California SR 1) doggedly follows the coast of California north, passing through Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, the Central Coast, and Big Sur. In Big Sur, a land almost as topographically rugged as the Lost Coast, Highway 1 came near to meeting its match, but finally barreled through in a series of bridges built between 1919 and 1937. (You can click here for some of my images of Bixby Bridge along the Big Sur coast.)

Further north, above San Francisco, Highway 1 follows the Mendocino shore until the town of Rockport, where it turns inland to avoid the steep mountains of the King Range and the Lost Coast.

Lost Coast of California © Harold Davis

Lost Coast of California © Harold Davis

Extending for about sixty miles, the Lost Coast region sits astride Mendocino and Humboldt counties, and administratively is mostly part of the King Range National Conservation Area (administered by the Federal BLM) and Sinkyone Wilderness Park (under the State of California). There’s one decent paved east-west road that more-or-less bisects the Lost Coast, ending in the settlement of Shelter Cove on a small plateau above the ocean (population 693 as of the 2010 census).

It is to be noted that the other roads in this area are often of the muddy, four-wheel-drive variety, and that “shelter” and “cove” are relative terms. There’s no such thing as a sheltered cove along this wild-and-woolly coast, no breakwaters, no piers, and no docking or anchoring in the water.

Needle Rock © Harold Davis

Needle Rock © Harold Davis

The Lost Coast Trail (LCT) runs the length of Lost Coast, although the most common backpacking trip is north from Black Sands Beach in Shelter Cove to Mattole Point. With constant ups and downs, this is not a hiking trail for the faint of heart; an eye to the tide tables is essential, as portions of the trail are impassable at high tide.

The ocean here is a hungry sea. You don’t turn your back on it. Rip tides, sneaker waves, and undertow come standard. Walking along Black Sands Beach, the waves rumble on small-sized gravel, hissing like a thousand snakes on their way back to the ocean as though they’d like to take you with them, and it would be nothing, and you’d be gone in a snap.

Seaward © Harold Davis

Seaward © Harold Davis

Backwoods communities of off-the-grid hippies have persisted in this rugged and inaccessible area. In the 1970s a lumbering operation that later failed to make inroads against the natural topography burnt an earlier generation’s homesteads to the ground to keep squatters out. This hasn’t stopped those who like living on their own at the world’s edge from keeping to a rugged lifestyle, and in recent years the area is apparently awash in marijuana money. How this will shake-out as grow-it-yourself small farm marijuana is increasingly ceded to pot agri-businesses is anyone’s guess. But this is a region used to booming and busting.

Windblown Weed, King Range © Harold Davis

Windblown Weed, King Range © Harold Davis

The Lost Coast is one of those quintessentially remote American areas with a flavor all its own, formed by the rugged topography of the King Range where it meets the ocean as much as by those who have tried to occupy the land. I’d certainly recommend a visit, and getting to know the area—but this is not an area that gives up its secrets lightly or easily. It’s not that the Lost Coast is playing hard it get: it is hard to get there, both geographically and metaphorically. It is elusive in every way.

Wrapped Pole, Mattole Beach © Harold Davis

Wrapped Pole, Mattole Beach © Harold Davis