Category Archives: Photography

digital photography: techniques: thoughts: photographs

Morning at the Mas de Garrigue

Waking up at the Mas de Garrigue, out my window I saw the soft light of morning on the wisteria vine on the tower. Every detail here is close to perfection, what a wonderful place to be privileged to spend some time!

Morning at the Mas de Garrigue © Harold Davis

Also posted in France

Carmelite Chapel Ceiling

I photographed the ceiling of the Carmelite Chapel in Toulouse, France with my 8-15mm fisheye set to rectangular fisheye mode (meaning the 15mm setting, at 8mm this lens captures a circular fisheye image). The camera and lens, mounted on my tripod, were pointed straight up.

Carmelite Chapel Ceiling © Harold Davis

Also posted in France

Blue Bottles

At the Brasserie where I had a late lunch of poached salmon and ratatouille after flying in from Madrid to Toulouse, I saw these blue bottles lined up on the bar with nice cross-lighting. On my way out I snapped a photo with my iPhone, and later processed the image in Plastic Bullet, Waterlogue, Snapseed, and ImageBlender.

Blue Bottles © Harold Davis

Stamp Lady

I got into Madrid this morning about 10AM, and with my door-to-door transit time approaching 24 hours, and the +9 hours time zone shift, I am definitely feeling asleep on my feet despite a few hours of sleep on the flight from Newark to Madrid. Still, I managed to get out and explore parts of this vibrant and exciting city earlier today with my camera. Now the task is to stay awake until dinner!

The upper image shows a statue in the Plaza Mayor, with the exterior covered with laminated postage stamps. The location is appropriate, because the Plaze Mayor is used to this day as a periodic open-air market for philately enthusiasts.

The lower image was taken with my iPhone, and processed in the Waterlogue and ImageBlender apps. The door shown is around the corner from my hotel on the Gran Via.

Stamp Woman © Harold Davis

Door in Madrid © Harold Davis

Apple Blossoms

From the median strip of nearby Arlington Avenue we clipped some branches from a beautiful, blooming apple tree. Arlington Ave is too busy for my taste, and one has to be careful of cars zooming by when one does this clipping business, but some of my best photographic subjects have come from this location—such as this cherry branch, and this blood-drawing thistle.

If you look closely, you’ll see a patch of lichen on the lower left of my light box arrangement. I particularly like this touch, because I feel it adds apparent verisimilitude to the composition.

Apple Blossoms Daze © Harold Davis

Apple Blossoms on White © Harold Davis

Apple Blossoms on Paper © Harold Davis

Apple Blossoms Inversion © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers


Oxalis is a modest plant, considered more weed than flower. The Oxalis shown here is Oxalis stricta, also known as yellow woodsorrel or sourgrass. In season, this Oxalis grows in profusion around here in vacant lots, underneath trees, and on hillsides. It’s quite edible, and great for chewing on with contemplation. When I am in “human cow” mode and chewing on my cud of Oxalis, it is pleasing that sourgrass does not really live up to its name. It is not sour, at least not so much.

Oxalis A © Harold Davis

Oxalis B © Harold Davis

Oxalis C © Harold Davis

Related recent images: Street Grasses, Decorative Grasses, and Blades of Grass.

Also posted in Flowers

Yum and thanks!

These wonderful chocolates arrived today! Truly, I did nothing other than dispensing a little photography advice to deserve them. So thanks Jarek! Photographed with my iPhone and processed in Snapseed.

Click here for iPhoneographs on my blog, and on my Flickr stream.

Also posted in iPhone

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Fly Day © Harold Davis

Fly Day © Harold Davis

In about a week I’ll be leaving on a jet plane, and resuming the life of a peripatetic photographer after several months as a “homebody”. I am looking forward very much to my trip and new adventures, but also I will miss my family, home, and the great time I have photographing flowers (and weeds) in and around our garden. It’s all good!

On this voyage, I’ll first be headed to Madrid, then to the southwest of France, where I lead a group of friends who are photographers in the Lot River Valley. Next, I’ll be spending some time on my own hiking the world-famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail. Finally, I’ll join PhotoPills as an instructor for their annual camp in Menorca.

If you are interested in joining me on a photographic adventure, there is still space available in November’s Days and Knights of Malta

The early-bird discount for the 2019 Spring in Paris (with Monet’s garden at Giverny) ends June 1, 2018.

There is also some space availability in the following 2018 photography workshops I am leading:

You can find my upcoming Workshops & Events on this page. For reasons I explain in this blog story I am no longer on Facebook, but I’ll try to keep blogging—of course, my rate of posting will likely slow down when I am “on the road”!—and to post images on my Flickr and Instagram streams as I go.

May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks!

Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

Street Grasses

These images show common street grass stalks, probably in the Digitaria family, and most likely a variety of “crabgrass” (any botanists care to weigh in on this?).

I harvested the street grasses from cracks in the pavement, and from a clump beside the sidewalk.

These plants of course are not normally cultivated, and in fact are hunted and eradicated as weeds. Which goes to show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and also that one person’s weed is another person’s photographic subject!

Street Grasses Inverted on Black © Harold Davis

Street Grasses on a Paper Background © Harold Davis

Related images: Decorative Grasses and Blades of Grass.

Edward Weston’s Kitchen

In September 2013 I spent a night in the guest cottage of famed photographer Edward Weston’s house at Wildcat Hill along the Big Sur coast, following a workshop I gave in Carmel, California. The gracious hosts, Kim and Gina Weston, rent the cottage as an occasional retreat, and it was like spending the evening in a museum. In the morning, I roamed the grounds with my camera.

Edward Weston’s Kitchen © Harold Davis

As a photographic hero of mine, I perhaps should have tried to emulate Weston’s wonderful monochromatic imagery in his own house. Instead, this rather colorful image of the Weston kitchen is what I came up with!

You can read more about my stay at the Weston house in the original blog story that I wrote contemporaneously with my visit.

I Wasp Eye

Early this morning I came downstairs in my pajamas and found myself face-to-face with this wasp, somnolent before the heat of the day. I pulled some close-up gear together, and got down face-to-face and jowl-to-proboscis to eyeball her ladyship. Glad am I that our relative sizes are not reversed, as She is a formidable looking creature indeed!

I Wasp Eye © Harold Davis

In 2005, towards the beginning of my career in digital photography (for more about my roundabout route back into digital photography, check out Behind the Lens with Harold Davis on the Topaz Labs Blog), I climbed an unsteady stack of diaper cartons to photograph another sleepy wasp on our living room ceiling. (You can see the rinky-dink-and-possibly-dangerous setup in the linked story.)

The 2005 Wasp has been a surprise hit on the image licensing circuit. Special thanks to Pixsy for helping to protect this image from unauthorized use. Of course, my hope is that my more modern wasp will also be popular (for authorized use only)!

Color Field of Flowers

Thanks for participating in my previous request for comments on Decorative Grasses and Blades of Grass. Today’s Which variation do you prefer? And, why? involves six images. What these variations have in common is the subject matter: the same floral arrangement was photographed in each.

Four of the images involve different processing of the full composition, with a version on white, an inversion on black, a version with a virtual “frame,” and a woodcut-like black & white version. I have presented these images as verticals.

The other two images, shown as horizontals, involve closer-in captures, with a different (stronger) magnification.

Which do you like best, and why? I particularly appreciate comments entered directly on the blog story (the comment box is below, or follow this link!). Thanks.

Color Field of Flowers on White © Harold Davis

Color Field of Flowers on White with a Deckled Edge © Harold Davis

Inverted Color Field of Flowers © Harold Davis

Black and White Field of Flowers © Harold Davis

Flower Friends © Harold Davis

Papaver Nudicaule © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Decorative Grasses

Thanks for all the input on my Blades of Grass series. I appreciate the (varied) input. Here’s another sequence of Decorative Grasses. Which is your favorite variation, and why? I particularly appreciate comments entered directly on the blog story (the comment box is below, or follow this link!). Thanks.

Decorative Grasses Variation D © Harold Davis

Decorative Grasses Variation C © Harold Davis

Decorative Grasses Variation B © Harold Davis

Decorative Grasses Variation A © Harold Davis

Blades of Grass

Which version do you like better, and why?

Blades of Grass Variation A © Harold Davis

Blades of Grass Variation B © Harold Davis

Blades of Grass Variation C © Harold Davis


Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Coming downstairs on a school-day morning, I found a boiled egg that Nicky spurned alone in a small white bowl. The bowl was lit by beautiful ambient (but strong) sunlight from the kitchen window.

Somewhat groggily (it was before my first dose of caffeine) I contemplated my technical options from iPhone to full-court drill with camera, tripod, and Zeiss Otus. I went for the middle ground: the DSLR (Nikon D850) with a macro lens (Zeiss 50mm f/2), handheld, bumping the ISO to compensate for the lack of a tripod (I wanted to get to the cup of coffee sometime in this life!).

My interest was to use the available light to make the ovoid shape of the egg stand out above the shadows, and it is always fun to create an abstraction (or a semi-abstraction) from the everyday things around one.

Egg © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome