Category Archives: Photography

digital photography: techniques: thoughts: photographs

Falling in Love

It’s hard not to fall in love with a poppy like this Papaver rhoeas ‘Falling in Love’ (a kind of “corn poppy” using the common term). Click here for more recent photos of poppies from our garden!

Falling in Love © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Carpe Papaver

With the poppies (Papavers) blooming like crazy in our garden, I am sure the right thing to do is to “carpe Papaver.” In fact, photographically speaking—and perhaps in life as well—it is most often a good idea to take the opportunities one is offered and embrace them with both arms. 

Hence these three poppy bouquets, and a new close-up of the core of the poppy (at the end of this story). I say these close images of the center of the poppy are like marine creatures in appearance!

Bouquet of Poppies from the Garden © Harold Davis

Papavers in a vase © Harold Davis

Glorious © Harold Davis

 

Papaver hybridium ‘Danebrog’ © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Pandemic Print Pricing Ending Shortly

Our special pandemic print pricing ends May 1, 2021. Please place orders for “Pandemic Prints” (at the special price) by Saturday, May 1, 2021! After Saturday, we will fulfill the outstanding pandemic print orders at the special price, but my print pricing will return to normal for new orders.

Thank you for your support during these turbulent times.

Papaver on Fire © Harold Davis

Also posted in Print of the Month

Inside Digitalis

Digitalis purpurea is commonly called the Foxglove, I suppose because a fox could slip the flowers on its fingers, at least in fairy land. In fact, the flower is long associated with the beauty and peril of faerie, and sometimes also called the fairy-bell flower.

Digitalis is known for its medicinal properties. Dried seeds and flowers are a powerful heart stimulant, although note that the plant is also toxic—so don’t try ingesting this at home, kiddos. Vincent van Gogh may have: this beautiful flower appears in a number of van Gogh’s paintings, and van Gogh was certainly no stranger to the psycho-pharmacopoeia.

Inside Digitalis © Harold Davis

The inflorescence of the plant is covered with the eponymous bell-shaped blossoms. Inside, each blossom is really more cone than bell. My photo shows the inside of one of these blossoms, with backlighting from a light box. 

You can clearly see the green flower ovary, rising from the floor of the flower, and the arched gate of stamen leading to the ovary. While the Digitalis spots are wonderfully colorful, we don’t quite get the disco light show that a pollinator would: the round dots are luminescent, emitting colors beyond the human range of perception. It would be a dull pollinator indeed that missed the message of where to go once inside this colorful passage.

Also posted in Flowers

Flowers or Sea Creatures on Earth Day

Today is Earth Day 2021, and I present some close-up photographs of flowers. These are images of the core of a poppy (Papaver hybridium), but looked at as abstract forms they could also be, perhaps, sea creatures.

Have you ever looked really close at a flower or plant? Go ahead! There are worlds within.

When beauty makes me cry © Harold Davis

Cupcake Core © Harold Davis

One if by land © Harold Davis

The sequence above is shown from farthest out, to closest in—with the flower core looking most like a marine creature or insect at the highest magnification.

Corn Poppy is a related image, shown here.

Also posted in Flowers

Corn Poppy

Sometimes when I photograph a broad composition on my light box I take a break when my primary composition is done. I leave my camera on the tripod. Then after a copy of tea or a wander in the garden I come back and look at portions of the whole, and even examine individual flowers as they appear back lit on the light box. Maybe it is time to get closer! This image of a Corn Poppy, Papaver rhoeas, is one result that I think is pretty special.

Corn Poppy © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Earth Day Free Webinar; Iceland Photo Adventure; Garden-to-Lightbox Webinar

  • Please join me this week on Thursday April 22 (Earth Day) at 11am PT for a free webinar on Photographing Flowers for Transparency sponsored by Rocky Nook. Click here for more info, and here for registration.
  • Iceland recently opened to those who are vaccinated for Covid-19, and we have a few spaces left for our exciting photo adventure in Iceland, July 14-25, 2021. Visit digitalfieldguide.com/iceland for more info. Contact us right away if you’d like to join me in Iceland, or if you have questions.
  • One Flower, One Garden, One World | From Blossom to Art is a live webinar scheduled for Saturday May 15, 2021 at 11am PT. Click digitalfieldguide.com/flower for info, or click here for registration.

Fun Flower Phantasy © Harold Davis

Click here for webinar video recordings, and here for Workshops & Events.

A Modern Pilgrimage: Kumano kodo portfolio video

A Modern Pilgrimage: Along the Kumano Kodo by Harold Davis is an artist book and portfolio of images that astutely blends old-craft hand traditions and materials with and cutting-edge new technologies to create an exquisite limited edition art book and art object that is completely unique.

Can’t view this video? Check it out on YouTube. Click here for more information about our artist books and portfolios.

Click here for the Monochromatic Visions video, and here for the Botanique video.

In his introduction to the project, Harold Davis writes: “It has always been one of my dreams to explore the rural and spiritual side of Japan. In 2013 I was lucky to get to walk the the Kumano Kodo spiritual trail,” the heart of Shugendo Buddhism. He continues: “Of course, in Japan it is impossible to explore the rural without also encountering modern, crowded Japan. Spirituality and modern Japanese life co-mingle in some very odd ways”—hence the “Modern Pilgrimage” portion of the title of his portfolio. But as Harold Davis remarks, “my main goal as an artist in this body of work as been to reflect my true sense of spiritual awe at the manifest gifts one can find as a pilgrim in this, our sacred earth.”

A Modern Pilgrimage: Along the Kumano Kodo portfolio, consists of thirteen images on a single 16.5 foot long sheet of Kozo washi, hand printed, scored, and folded into unique artist’s book. The outer-wrapper containing the Kumano Kodo portfolio is a created from special, mold-made paper that is hand scored and folded. Printed on the portfolio wrapper is a panoramic photograph titled Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po. Included with the Kumano Kodo portfolio is a descriptive numbered, initialed and illustrated pamphlet. This hand-bound archival pamphlet with a hand applied inkan was written by Harold Davis. It explores his photographic journey on the spiritual pilgrimage trail and its relationship to modern Japan. The pamphlet also includes detailed descriptions of each photograph.

For more information about the Kumano Kodo portfolio, including availability and current pricing, please visit digitalfieldguide.com/editions/kumano-kodo.

Iceland Photo Adventure Detailed Itinerary and FAQ

Capture the spectacular sights of Iceland beneath the Midnight Sun on this 12-day summer photography workshop. We will visit the iconic sites of the South Coast, the Eastfjords and the North, including Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Lake Mývatn, the far-flung Highlands and the newest picturesque fissure volcanoes in the Geldingadalur region. The trip includes a unique opportunity for aerial photography of the active volcano (optional).

Along the way we will encounter beautiful wildlife including puffins and sweet Icelandic horses. As we are guided to the hidden landscapes of Iceland with our cameras, we will discover spectacular places that are seldom visited.

Click here for the detailed itinerary, here for the FAQ, and here for the Reservation form. Please contact us with any questions.

Photo credit: Iurie Belegurschi / Iceland Photo Tours

  • Trip dates: July 14-25, 2021 (Twelve days and eleven nights)
  • Size: Very small photography group: Minimum 6, Maximum 8
  • Vaccination: Proof of Covid-19 vaccination required.
  • Itinerary: We will combine a visit to the remote summer Highlands with touring the Ring Route waterfalls and other attractions. Day-by-day details are in the full trip description.
  • Volcano: This cannot be guaranteed, but we are planning an optional aerial helicopter photo session of Mount Fagradalsfjall (which started erupting in March!)
  • Inclusions: Professional photo local guide, photography mentoring opportunity with Harold, transportation in a comfortable vehicle, accommodation in hotels and guesthouses (rooms with private bathrooms), and all meals. Detailed inclusions and exclusions are in the full trip description.
  • Cost: $8,995 per person. Single supplement is $1,100. Optional helicopter photography of the volcano is $1,250 additional per person. $1,000 deposit required for reservation, with balance due May 15, 2021.

Click here for the Reservation form! Click here for the itinerary, and here for the Iceland trip FAQ.

Serenity

Happy to recently process this Study in Blue, photographed a while ago at Crater Lake, Oregon. This early morning image gives me a feeling of peace and serenity.

Serenity © Harold Davis

Also posted in Landscape

Two More NFTs

Today I minted two new NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Unlike my previous two, which were unique moving GIFs (not part of an edition), these are monochromatic “fine-art” images minted from JPEGs: Eiffel Tower and Paris, France and Wreck of the Point Reyes, California

Each is in an edition of three NFTs. There’s no lower limit, meaning you can bid anything you want, however small the amount (provided your bid is in Ethereum!). And there’s no “Buy It Now!” price set at which the NFT will automatically sell. By the way, I am probably open to getting this ball rolling by accepting almost any bid. For now, that is—later I am expecting these NFTs to do wonders for my digital currency account! LOL.

Check out Eiffel Tower and Paris, France on Rarible, and on OpenSea.

Eiffel Tower and Paris, France © Harold Davis

Check out Wreck of the Point Reyes, California on Rarible, and on OpenSea.

Wreck of the Point Reyes, California © Harold Davis

Botanique—Watch the Video!

Botanique is my handmade limited edition artist book of botanical prints. You can find out more about Botanique, including current edition and pricing information, by clicking here.

Can’t view this video? Check it out on YouTube. Click here for more information about our artist books and portfolios.

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, Monochrome

Bridges Call to Me

I like photographing bridges. Put a different way, bridges call to me. I like walking across bridges, and examining their under-structures.

And not just bridges with grand vistas, because a great deal of my visual concern is in fact structural. By definition, most bridges are functional—they transport from one place to another, usually across something. When the structure of the bridge is beautiful as well as useful, it is an excellent example of form following function.

Here is a quintet of bridges from around the world.

Lower Deck © Harold Davis

The Ponte Rodo-Ferroviária de Valença crosses the  River Minho from Tui in Galicia, Spain to Valenca in Portugal. The lower deck of the bridge is shown in this image. Click here for more about this bridge.

Long Bien Bridge © Harold Davis

Built on a cantilevered structure designed in the studio of Gustav Eiffel, Long Bien Bridge crosses the Red River from Hanoi, Vietnam on the main train line to the port of Haiphong. Strategically important, Long Bien Bridge was bombed numerous times during the American-Vietnamese war, but (as you can see) survived all attempts to cut this vital supply link. Long Bien Bridge is a bit rusted, but that would be normal in Vietnam’s humid climate.

Old Train Bridge © Harold Davis

This old train bridge, crossing the Kennebec River in Bath, Maine seemed mostly abandoned—or at least so I hoped as I set up my tripod for the sequence of exposures needed to make this image!

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

Under the Yaquina Bay Bridge © Harold Davis

The Yaquina Bay Bridge is an Art Deco structure south of Newport, Oregon. The bridge opened in 1936, and is notable for its graceful series of descending arches, as well as the Gothic architectural flourishes.

Rainbow Bridge © Harold Davis

The Rainbow Bridge spans the lower harbor in Tokyo, Japan, and connects two of the sprawling districts of the Tokyo metroplis, Shibaura and the Odaiba waterfront development in the Minato district. 

After walking across the Rainbow Bridge in 2015, I wrote that in this image my idea was to use “selective focus to contrast the curves in the Rainbow Bridge with the linear spaces of the buildings beyond.”

Well, these are but a small taste of the bridges I have walked under and across, otherwise explored, and certainly photographed. I hope you enjoyed this story, and maybe someday will join me in bridge-walking and bridge photographing!

Blackberry showing seeds

Washing berries for breakfast, I was struck by the way some of the seeds in the blackberry appeared. Unlike most of the blackberry, or indeed most blackberries one eats, the clump of seeds in the upper left of this photo have not pollinated, and are clearly shown for the “naked” seeds they are.

Blackberry showing seeds © Harold Davis

I have been asked a couple of times about my posting a photo that is so different from the styles that I am “known for.” 

The simple answer is that I thought the seeds in this berry looked interesting.

A more complicated answer is that I have been known for photographing close-ups (I go through phases), I get bored easily and don’t like being “pigeon holed,” and photography is a medium with a wide range of looks, styles, and applications, from fashion to journalism to botanical art and beyond. Why be self-limiting (when the world will do this for one quickly enough)?