Category Archives: Photography

digital photography: techniques: thoughts: photographs

Darkness and Light

Tulip Mandala on Black © Harold Davis

Tulip Mandala on Black © Harold Davis

 

Tulip Mandala on White © Harold Davis

Tulip Mandala on White © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Special Pricing for Two Harold Davis Limited Edition Portfolios

We are offering one copy each of two of my limited edition portfolios at a very special discount. Only one Kumano Kodo and one Monochromatic Visions are available for $795 each. 

This unique special offer is partly intended to benefit my upcoming photography-related travel. So not only do you get magnificent and acclaimed art, you also help a living artist live his dreams and follow his passion. And, thanks in advance!

First come, first served—and there is only one of each portfolio at this price. We will reserve each portfolio at this extraordinary price for whomever contacts us first. (Please add $50 per portfolio for shipping and handling within the continental United States; California residents add 9.25% sales tax.)

Panorama of the Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

Panorama of the Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

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 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

Kumano kodo portfolio © Harold Davos

Kumano kodo portfolio © Harold Davis

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.

Click here for more information about the unique Kumano Kodo limited edition portfolio.

kodo_collage

Monochromatic Visions is a highly collectible, limited edition portfolio of twelve prints by master photographer Harold Davis. The carefully curated prints in this collection have been printed by hand in the Harold Davis studio on Moab Slickrock Pearl. Each print is hand signed in acid-free ink and hand-inscribed with the image’s title.

Lonely Islet by Harold Davis

Lonely Islet © Harold Davis

The Monochromatic Visions prints are presented in a handsome portfolio box with informational inserts including a vellum overlay and image descriptions. The portfolio box presentation includes a book plate, with editioning information and the hand signature of the artist.

Click here for more information about the very special Monochromatic Visions limited edition portfolio.

Nautilus in Black and White

Nautilus in Black and White © Harold Davis

Coming Up Soon: From iPhone to Art Workshop (Jan 28-29, 2017)

Our weekend workshop From iPhone to Art: The Art of iPhoneography is coming up soon. You’ll find more information about this very special workshop below, as well some of my iPhone art, photographed and processed on the iPhone. Please consider joining us for an extraordinary weekend of creative photographic play!

 Registration: Click here for registration.

Courtyard in Naples

From iPhone to ART: The Art of iPhoneography

A Two-Day Weekend Workshop with Harold Davis, Saturday January 28 – Sunday January 29, 2017

Tuition: $695.

Eye of Sauron in His Cups © Harold Davis

Eye of Sauron in His Cups © Harold Davis

Registration: Click here for registration. Once on the Meetup website, RSVP YES, and pay the tuition via Paypal (using a credit card). Alternatively, send us an email that you’d like to register, and either mail us a check for the tuition amount, or we can email you a Paypal invoice for the tuition that can be paid via credit card, or we can charge your card directly. Note that Meetup attendance count may not reflect actual workshop enrollment. 

Venice 2

The iPhone is the most used camera in the world. As they say, the best camera to use is the one you have with you, and this is often your iPhone camera. Harold says, “While I haven’t given up my ‘big-boy cameras’ by any stretch, my iPhone camera and its apps have opened a whole new world of experimentation and creativity. Bravo being a photographic kid again!”

Note: The images in this workshop listing were all photographed and processed on Harold’s iPhone! Learn how to unleash the creative potential of your iPhone camera and apps.

© Harold Davis

But the fundamental rules of photography still apply, and you can become a powerful photographer with your iPhone by learning the fundamentals of exposure and composition.

Still Life in Silver Bowl © Harold Davis

Of course, your iPhone is more than just a camera. The computing power within a contemporary iPhone is greater than the computing power that sent NASA to the moon—and many photography apps take advantage of this “darkroom” in your pocket.

In From iPhone to Art, we will learn how to leverage our talents to make the best iPhone imagery we can. Demos, lectures, and hands-on exercises will explore the principles of photography as they relate to the iPhone camera.

Tender Dance (via iPhone) © Harold Davis

Tender Dance © Harold Davis

Since the iPhone is the camera we always have with us, and since so much of our photography is done with the iPhone, why not be the best iPhoneographers we can be?

Master photographer and Photoshop guru par-excellence will show you some of the apps he uses to finish his iPhone images. Advanced topics will include texturizing and layering iPhone images.

Fetish © Harold Davis

The workshop will include several guided field sessions, in class processing help, and image critiques. Those who have attended Harold’s previous iPhone workshop are encouraged to attend; newcomers are also welcome. Class materials provided includes a list of suggested apps.

Registration: Click here for registration

Maple Leaves © Harold Davis

What Participants Have Said about Harold’s Previous iPhone Workshop

  • “Great information! I learned lots of new tricks and different ways of seeing things. Thank you so much.”—FW
  • “I enjoyed the class and am having fun practicing with the new apps. Thanks!”—LT
  • “Hey guys, thanks for a great workshop!”—MP
  • “I’ve had fun with my iPhone before, but I thought it was kind of a toy. I never knew one could make serious prints from iPhone images, and I had a great deal of fun with the creative apps. Great group of people, too!”—SA
  • “One day was great, but I’m on information overload. Can you please do a two-day workshop? I’ll sign up right away. This was so cool.”—FA

Spiral © Harold Davis

About Harold Davis

Harold Davis is an internationally-known digital artist and award-winning professional photographer. He is the author of many bestselling photography books including The Way of the Digital Photographer (Peachpit Press, awarded as a Top 10 Best 2013 Photography Book of the Year by Photo.net). Harold Davis’s most recent book is Achieving Your Potential As a Photographer: A Photographer’s Creative Companion and Workbook (Focal Press). His Photographing Flowers (Focal Press) is a noted photography “classic,” and is rated the Best Guide to Flower Photography byDigital Photographer Magazine.

Giverny © Harold Davis

Giverny © Harold Davis

In addition to his activity as a bestselling book author, Harold Davis is an Adobe Influencer, a Moab Master printmaker and a Zeiss Lens Ambassador. Harold Davis’s work is in collections around the world. It is licensed by art publishers, in annual reports, and has appeared in numerous magazines and many publications.

Pagoda in Nara © Harold Davis

Harold’s black and white prints have been described as “hauntingly beautiful” by Fine Art Printer Magazine, and his floral prints have been called “ethereal,” with “a purity and translucence that borders on spiritual” by Popular Photography.

Recently Harold Davis’s work has been exhibited in venues including Photokina in Cologne, Germany, PhotoPlus Expo in New York, the Gallery Photo in Oakland, California, the Arts & Friends Gallery in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Awagami Gallery in Japan.

Harold Davis has led destination photography workshops to many locations including Paris, France; Spain and Morocco; and the ancient Bristlecone Pines of the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.

Les Deux Magots © Harold Davis

Harold’s popular online course on Craftsy.com, Photographing Flowers, has thousands of students. His ongoing photography workshops in partnership with institutions such as Point Reyes Field Seminars, the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, California, Maine Media Workshops, and the Heidelberg Summer School of Photography are continually in demand and popular.

According to Rangefinder Magazine, Harold Davis is “a man of astonishing eclectic skills and accomplishments.” You can learn more about Harold and his work at his website, www.digitalfieldguide.com and on his blog, http://www.digitalfieldguide.com/blog/.

Path beside the Rhine © Harold Davis

Caddy © Harold Davis

Registration: Click here for registration

Also posted in iPhone, Workshops

Playing with Flowers

Roses and Daffodils on Black © Harold Davis

Roses and Daffodils on Black © Harold Davis

 

Roses and Daffodils on White © Harold Davis

Roses and Daffodils on White © Harold Davis

Related image: Daffodil on a Bed of Roses.

Also posted in Flowers

Oculus in Crystal and Optical Sidekick

I was fooling around the other day with photographing glassware and loose (unmounted) lenses on my light box. The images are inverted in LAB. With one of the glasses, I couldn’t resist bending it into a spiral convolution!

Oculus Crystal © Harold Davis

Oculus Crystal © Harold Davis

 

Optical Experiment 1 © Harold Davis

Optical Experiment 1 © Harold Davis

Related stories (glass on a light box): The eye believes what it think it sees; HDR is Technique, not Style. For laughs: The Oculus in Antelope Canyon.

White Tulip—Three Ways!

White Tulips (Wabi-Sabi) © Harold Davis

White Tulips (Wabi-Sabi) © Harold Davis

 

White Tulip (Close-Up) © Harold Davis

White Tulip (Close-Up) © Harold Davis

 

White Tulip (Simulated IR) © Harold Davis

White Tulip (Simulated IR) © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Last Light

As the last light of day touches the sea-kissed cliffs, it is important to keep in mind that although night may follow day, day also follows night. Be of good cheer, and Happy New Year! There is always light beyond.

Last Light © Harold Davis

Last Light © Harold Davis

There is always light beyond © Harold Davis

There is always light beyond © Harold Davis

Sunset beyond the Bridge © Harold Davis

Sunset beyond the Bridge © Harold Davis

Also posted in Landscape, Monochrome

Big Sur Coast from Bixby Bridge Overlook

As sunset turns to dusk, and dusk to night, colors linger on the towering westward-facing Pacific cliffs of the Big Sur peninsula. Long after the landscape is a murky, dark gray to human eyes, the camera explores, captures, and records these gorgeous colors.

Big Sur Coast from Bixby Bridge Overlook © Harold Davis

Big Sur Coast from Bixby Bridge Overlook © Harold Davis

Photographed looking south from the overlook at the north end of Bixby Bridge about an hour after sunset with my camera on the tripod. Three combined exposures at 78mm focal length: 90 seconds and f/8 at ISO 64; 90 seconds and f/8 at ISO 200; 30 seconds and f/8 at ISO 64. Exposures processed in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) and Photoshop, using Nik and Topaz filters, and my own LAB color techniques.

Related stories: Bixby Bridge; Bixby Bridge Blues; Bixby Bridge by Starlight.

Also posted in Landscape

Night Vision Exhibition at the Weston Gallery

Yesterday I made a photographic trip to the Big Sur coast. It was a spectacular day for photography, and some images will no doubt follow in the due fullness of time! I was pleased to be able to stop in Carmel-by-the-Sea to view the Night Vision: Photographing in the Dark exhibition at the Weston Gallery.

Me at the Weston Gallery

Me at the Weston Gallery

Yes, that’s me in the iPhone snapshot between a print of one of my favorite Ernst Haas images, Route 66, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1969, and my own Starry Night.

Since you can’t really see my Starry Night image from the iPhone shot I’ve reproduced it below. It’s a real honor (thanks Weston Gallery!) to be included along with Haas and many of my photographic idols such as Bernice Abbott, Wynn Bullock, Robert Frank, Michael Kenna, André Kertész, and Jerry Uelsmann. A spectacular print of the famous night seascape with a lightening strike by Bob Kolbrener is also included in the exhibit.

One interesting point is that most of the photographs in Night Vision are in the old school tradition: silver-halide prints made on photo sensitive paper using an enlarger, mostly photographed with medium or large format film. I think the Haas image and mine are the only color prints in the exhibit, and I think mine is the only digital (rather than film) photo.

Night Vision will be on display until January 8, 2017.  If you are in the Carmel area, or get the chance to visit, I strongly urge you to stop by the Weston Gallery and check out this beautiful exhibition. While Night Vision should be particularly be of compelling interest if you want to become a better night photographer, anyone who is simply interested in fine photography shouldn’t miss the chance to check it out.

Starry Night © Harold Davis

Starry Night © Harold Davis

Greetings of the Season

2016-holiday

My Best of 2016

2016 is a year of the fire monkey. This is by way of saying that one should rightfully have expected the unexpected. The monkey is a trickster, and not always kind—like Coyote and Loki a divine spirit, but a divinity whose intervention can have unforeseen and sometimes undesired consequences.

Personally, my work has taken me abroad at home, and at home abroad—with some unexpected adventures and side trips along the way.

Regarding travel, I like to say, “Want to make more interesting images? Then put yourself in front of more interesting things.” But the external world only goes so far, so the next step is to say, “Want to make more interesting images? Then become a more interesting person.”

In an early chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring, it becomes clear to the ring-bearer Frodo (and the reader) that unspeakable evil has risen again from the shadows of the past. The following dialog between Frodo and the wizard Gandalf ensues:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

In that spirit, I wish you health, joy in life, and the comfort of creativity in the coming year!

With that, and without too much further ado, please check out my self-selected best images of 2016 (in more or less chronological order, click on each image to see it larger).

If you have the time and inclination, perhaps in a quest for inspiration, you can also peruse my Best of 2015, Best of 2014, and Best of 2013.

Orchids in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Orchids in a Blue Bowl © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

Best Friends © Harold Davis

Best Friends © Harold Davis

 

Upper White River Falls © Harold Davis

Upper White River Falls © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Under the Yaquina Bay Bridge © Harold Davis

Under the Yaquina Bay Bridge © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Painting with Flowers © Harold Davis

Painting with Flowers © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Cordes sur Ciel at Dawn © Harold Davis

Cordes sur Ciel at Dawn © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

The Wild and the Tame © Harold Davis

The Wild and the Tame © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Shout to the Soul © Harold Davis

Shout to the Soul © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Nude Descending a Ladder after Duchamp © Harold Davis

Nude Descending a Ladder © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Conjuror © Harold Davis

Conjuror © Harold Davis

 

Coming to Life © Harold Davis

Coming to Life © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Wheel of Flowers (on White) © Harold Davis

Wheel of Flowers (on White) © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Sunflower Ambrotype © Harold Davis

Sunflower Ambrotype © Harold Davis

 

Pont Neuf, Toulouse © Harold Davis

Pont Neuf, Toulouse © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Planet of the Succulents © Harold Davis

Planet of the Succulents © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Fedora © Harold Davis

Fedora © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Manifestation © Harold Davis

Manifestation © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

Et chorus sinit ire cum flores © Harold Davis

Et chorus sinit ire cum flores © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

Garden Party © Harold Davis

Garden Party © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Eye of Sauron in His Cups © Harold Davis

Eye of Sauron in His Cups © Harold Davis

 

Dawn on Lake Como © Harold Davis

Dawn on Lake Como © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Duomo di Pavia © Harold Davis

Duomo di Pavia © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Tuscan Landscape © Harold Davis

Tuscan Landscape © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Towers of San Gimignano © Harold Davis

Towers of San Gimignano © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Golden Gate Splash © Harold Davis

Golden Gate Splash © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Long Exposure Wave Study 2, South Beach © Harold Davis

Long Exposure Wave Study 2, South Beach © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

 

Flower Tondo 1 Variation Inversion © Harold Davis

Flower Tondo 1 Variation Inversion © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

Last Light © Harold Davis

Last Light © Harold Davis

Read my original blog story about this image.

Floral Tondo

Tondo is a Renaissance term for a circular painting. To create my floral tondo, I started with a circular pattern on my light box. I arranged an array of petals—mostly alstromeria but also some rose petals and Agapanthus blossoms—around the central core of a rose. I then photographed the composition for transparency (see my FAQ for more info on this technique).

Floral Tondo 1 © Harold Davis

Floral Tondo 1 © Harold Davis

In post-production, after processing my high-key layer stack, I added a black background to emphasize the tondo effect, and used the Warp transform in Photoshop to make the flowers seem to slightly wrap around the white space created by the circular background.

Also posted in Flowers

Five Minute Wave Exposures

In the practice of modern photography, an exposure as long as five minutes duration during daytime hours seems like eternity. This is particularly true in the context of the raging Pacific Ocean along the outer beaches of Point Reyes, which is always churning and in frantic motion.

To achieve this effect near sunset on South Beach, with my camera on a tripod, I added a +4 neutral density filter, a polarizer, and lowered the ISO while stopping the lens down (I’ve noted the full exposure data below; these exposures shifted as the scene got darker).

From a visual viewpoint, the long exposure time reduces the seascape of beach, waves, and sky to elemental horizontal lines—perhaps almost a landscape in the sense that a Rothko color field painting is a landscape. Looking at this in another way, the long exposure time performs a kind of mathematical role, and reduces the random chaos of the storm-tossed inter-tidal zone to the basic overall patterns, teasing out consistency where nature produces apparent chaos.

Long Exposure Wave Study 2, South Beach © Harold Davis

Long Exposure Wave Study 2, South Beach © Harold Davis

Exposure data: Both images Nikon D810, +4 ND filter, circular polarizer; Upper image: 44mm, 299 seconds at f/29 and ISO 31; Bottom image: 65mm, 299 seconds at f/16 and ISO 64.

Long Exposure Wave Study, South Beach © Harold Davis

Long Exposure Wave Study, South Beach © Harold Davis

Related story: Face of the Deep.

Calligraphy of Flowers

I am a great fan of artistic calligraphy, particularly as seen in Japan and in historic Islamic cultures. So when I arranged these flowers on my light box I tried to very loosely emulate the appearance of the graceful form of the Bismillah. Nature is the language of the divine, and surely whatever one’s culture one can say it using flowers.

Calligraphy of Flowers on White © Harold Davis

Calligraphy of Flowers on White © Harold Davis

 

Calligraphy of Flowers on Black © Harold Davis

Calligraphy of Flowers on Black © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Pastels

This is the box of pastels that Katie Rose loves to use to make her art. You can see she uses the pastels hard, but treats them with great care, rearranging the ones that are in pieces tenderly in the box. Like beloved toys, art supplies live to be used hard!

© Harold Davis

Pastels © Harold Davis