Category Archives: Photography

digital photography: techniques: thoughts: photographs

World on Fire

I created this image during the 2019 fire season, using a marble, direct sunlight, and a small loose glass lens for the refractions (the simulated fire). I suppose the image title says it all, but this is of course only a small marble, and not our world. Let’s get it together to save our wonderful earth before it is too late!

World on Fire © Harold Davis

Webinar Noir on Saturday

Please consider joining us this Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 11am PT for our very special and distinctly somewhat offbeat webinar noir.

Noir is black, or dark. So “noir” can refer to a style that employs blackness of attitude and affect, black and white imagery, and/or a specific look—classically that of 1940s Hollywood, with Dames, Private Eyes, Fedoras, and more. Noir imagery, as in our webinar, is usually, mostly, but not always, monochromatic.

In this webinar, Harold will take a deep dive into noir as a style, and how noir can be used to create contemporary photos. Along the way, you can expect readings from Dashiell Hammett and Thomas Pynchon, and even a guest appearance from a Maltese falcon.

In the second half of the webinar, Harold will use examples from his own work to demonstrate implementing noir in specific Photoshop case studies.

Click here for registration and here for more info. Please also keep in mind Printing, Proofing, and all about Paper (a benefit for the Equal Justice Initiative) on Thursday, September 24. 

Click here for our upcoming webinar list.

Alone © Harold Davis

What: Noir | Stylish Black & White

When: Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 11am PT. Duration between one and two hours, including Q&A

Where: On your computer or mobile device from anywhere via Zoom. Zoom authenticated registration and a tuition payment of $29.95 are required for enrollment. Seating is limited. The registration link is https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SraMSnHCTnS2dTol-JlzIA

Details: Noir evokes black and white films of the 1940s with “dames”, private eyes in fedoras, low-key lighting, and harsh shadows. More generally, a sense of “noir” has come to mean a range of stylish black and white techniques.

This webinar noire will look at a range of monochromatic techniques, from the subtle to the wonderfully crude and edgy. Low-key imagery, working with harsh shadows, the Blossfeldt effect, and LAB inversions will be covered. The webinar will conclude with suggestions for incorporating more noire in your own work.

There will be ample time for Q&A.

Tuition: The tuition for this webinar is $29.95, and requires prior registration. Seating (on a first come, first served basis) is limited. You must register via Zoom to be enrolled in this webinar! The registration link is https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SraMSnHCTnS2dTol-JlzIA

Approaching the Brandenburg Gate © Harold Davis

About Harold Davis: Harold Davis is a bestselling author of many books, including Creative Garden Photography and Creative Black & White Second Edition, both from Rocky Nook. He is the developer of a unique technique for photographing flowers for transparency, a Moab Master, and a Zeiss Ambassador. He is an internationally known photographer and a sought-after workshop leader. His website is www.digitalfieldguide.com.

Also posted in Workshops

Copyright for Photographers | Free Public Service Webinar for the Photographic Community

What: Copyright for Photographers | Free Public Service Webinar for the Photographic Community

When: Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 11:00am PT (2pm ET). Duration between one and two hours, including Q&A

Where: On your computer or mobile device from anywhere via Zoom. This is a free webinar, but pre-registration is required. Seating is limited. The registration link is https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AUjet6SNRzyhIDWBBv-NTA

Details: Most serious photographers realize that copyright is important, but the extent of how important is not always clear, and the details of how to obtain a registered copyright can seem shrouded in mystery. In this “public service” webinar, prominent intellectual property attorney David Deal details how to protect your work, and how to proceed when your work is infringed. David’s suggestions and recommendations will be illuminated with true accounts from the frontiers of copyright law as it practiced in real life. The discussion will be moderated by photographer (and David Deal client) Harold Davis.

There will be ample time for Q&A.

Who should attend: If you are interested in copyrighting your work, this webinar is a must.

Number of Seats and Tuition: This is a free webinar, but pre-registration is required. Seating (on a first come, first served basis) is limited. You must register via Zoom to be enrolled in this webinar! The registration link is https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AUjet6SNRzyhIDWBBv-NTA

About David Deal: David Deal is the founder of and principal attorney at The Law Office of David C. Deal, P.L.C. David is a nationally recognized intellectual property attorney, specializing in copyright infringement matters on behalf of photographers and businesses throughout the United States and Europe. David has successfully litigated cases of all sizes and complexities in a majority of Federal jurisdictions.

His website is www.daviddeal.com.

About Harold Davis: Harold Davis is a bestselling author of many books, including most recently Creative Garden Photography from Rocky Nook. He is the developer of a unique technique for photographing flowers for transparency, a Moab Master, and a Zeiss Ambassador. He is an internationally known photographer and a sought-after workshop leader. His website is www.digitalfieldguide.com.

Apple Slice Playdate © Harold Davis

Number of Seats and Tuition: This is a free webinar, but pre-registration is required. Seating (on a first come, first served basis) is limited. You must register via Zoom to be enrolled in this webinar! The registration link is https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AUjet6SNRzyhIDWBBv-NTA

Also posted in Workshops

Lest we forget—9/11

These photographs of the World Trade Towers were made when I lived and worked as a photographer in New York in the 1980s. The upper two were made for an aerial photography assignment.

World Trade Towers aerial (vertical) © Harold Davis

World Trade Towers aerial (horizontal) © Harold Davis

New York Skyline with World Trade Towers © Harold Davis

World Trade Towers from Brooklyn © Harold Davis

World Trade Towers plaza © Harold Davis

For more about these photos, click here. For the story of my New York, New York image shown below, click here.

New York, New York © Harold Davis

Also posted in New York

Apple Slices, a Spiral, and a Webinar Recording

OK, so things here are weird today. If the pandemic and putrid politics of hate weren’t bad enough—today we are living in twilight, enveloped by darkness. You’d think it was night outside. The fires that have blanketed the west coast states are forming a neutral density filter high in the sky, combining with the normal Bay area fog, and casting a lurid, dark orange tinted twilight.

On that note, or maybe not, here are some apple slices on the light box (this is a notionally pink apple, but it looks more like red to me once it has been sliced and placed on the light box).

There's always one in every barrel! © Harold Davis

There’s always one in every barrel! © Harold Davis

Next up, a combination of small rocks in a spiral on the light box with root vegetables and fruit.

piral of Pebbles, Fruit, and Root Vegetables © Harold Davis

Spiral of Pebbles, Fruit, and Root Vegetables © Harold Davis

Check out Hydrangea Blossoms and Rock Spiral for a related image.

Finally, do check out the cool recording of The Solace of Nature webinar on YouTube, co-starring photographer William Neill, and in recognition of the publication by Rocky Nook of Bill’s Light on the Landscape and my new book, Creative Garden Photography.

Peppers and a Pear

My idea with these yellow (actually, close to orange) peppers was to create a lattice composition on the light box. The lattice should be arranged so that it had a three-dimensional look. This is inherently non-trivial with a light box composition, because to take advantage of the back lighting one needs to keep the subject close to flat and two-dimensional. So I worked towards this effect by “hooking” the stems of the cut-out pepper slices through one another.

Orange Peppers © Harold Davis

Orange Peppers © Harold Davis

This single pear called out to me as an image worth creating on its own, with the symmetry along the vertical axis of the two seeds the primary driver of the composition.

Pear Slice with Two Seeds © Harold Davis

Pear Slice with Two Seeds © Harold Davis

Related images: Lady Pink Apples Slices with Lemons; Flower Made from Radish Slices; Chiogga Beet Slices Arranged as a Blossom; The Beet Goes On; Kiwi Fruit Slices; Red Onion Slices; Pear Slices.

Also posted in Fruits and Veggis on Light Box, Patterns

Flowers Made from Beet and Radish Slices

These two images show virtual flowers constructed on my light box from thin slices of root vegetables. The Chiogga Beet slices have been cut vertically, as opposed to the horizontal slices in image shown in an earlier story.

Flower Made from Radish Slices © Harold Davis

Flower Made from Radish Slices © Harold Davis

Chiogga Beet Slices Arranged as a Blossom © Harold Davis

Chiogga Beet Slices Arranged as a Blossom © Harold Davis

Also posted in Fruits and Veggis on Light Box

The Beet Goes On

In parts of the Caribbean, edible root vegetables are often called “ground provisions.” Yesterday was a ground-provisions day.

I primarily photographed beets and radishes. This is a continuation of my light box sliced vegetable and fruit work, some of which is shown in Sliced Fruit on My Light Box, Making Mandalas from Fruits and Vegetables, and Melange of Slices.

I’ve titled the image shown below of sliced Chioggia Beets (Beta vulgaris) “The Beet Goes On”, after the Sonny and Cher song, with a homophonic relationship between the second word in the name of the song and the ground provision I photographed  (e.g., “Beat” and “Beet”).

The Beet Goes On © Harold Davis

The Beet Goes On © Harold Davis

Check out the new interview with me about garden photography on the PhotoActive Podcast: Episode 75: Creative Garden Photography with Harold Davis!

Also posted in Abstractions, Fruits and Veggis on Light Box, Patterns

Melange of Slices

Just like the aggregation of pear slices, it is possible to create interesting melanges of all kinds of sliced fruits and vegetables. The sliced kiwi fruits (below) remind me of paper lanterns. Perhaps the seeds running vertically are the writing on the lanterns, in some kind of Kanji characters. The red onions (bottom) are certainly more pleasant to look at in their painterly and patterned abstraction than they were to slice!

Kiwi Fruit Slices © Harold Davis

Kiwi Fruit Slices © Harold Davis

Red Onion Slices © Harold Davis

Red Onion Slices © Harold Davis

Also posted in Abstractions, Fruits and Veggis on Light Box, Patterns

Making Mandalas from Fruits and Vegetables

Traditionally, a mandala is a geometric shape that symbolically represents the cosmos or the universe, or perhaps a search for unity and completeness within oneself. I always enjoy creating mandalas, and there is something particularly wholesome about making mandalas on my light box with fruits and vegetables. Taken themselves, consuming fruit and vegetables can be seen as a kind of sacrament—and these mandalas can end up on the table as part of a yummy salad or fruit dessert once the photography is done.

Fruit Mandala © Harold Davis

Fruit Mandala © Harold Davis

Atomic Cucumbers © Harold Davis

Atomic Cucumbers © Harold Davis

Salad Mandala © Harold Davis

Salad Mandala © Harold Davis

Sliced Fruit on my Light Box

Where do ideas come from? In the case of these translucent fruit slices, an art consultant showed me an image of translucent fruit. I immediately thought of photographing fruit slices on my light box.

I’d never want to specifically imitate someone else’s art, but it seems fair enough to use a general idea as a leaping off point. I’ve seen plenty of images styled after my own flowers photographed for transparency in this fashion. I guess a moral is to keep looking at art of all styles and stripes. You never know when this will lead to an actionable idea.

Pear Slices © Harold Davis

Another benefit of photographing fruit in addition to photographing flowers: not only do the subjects not require a release, but also you can eat them once the photography is done.

Lemon Slices © Harold Davis

Lemon Slices © Harold Davis

Also posted in Fruits and Veggis on Light Box

X-Ray Bouquet

The upper photo is an X-Ray of a bouquet of dahlias, nemesia, and kangaroo paw flowers. It was made in May, 2019 using medical x-ray equipment, and processed yesterday while waiting out the foul air in the Bay area in Photoshop from the DICOM file. More x-rays can be found here, and I’ve also posted a photo of a recent print of one of my favorite x-rays, of a sunflower, below.

X-Ray Bouquet of Dahlias, Nemesias, and Kangaroo Paw © Harold Davis

X-Ray Bouquet of Dahlias, Nemesias, and Kangaroo Paw Flowers © Harold Davis

Print of ‘Sunflower X-Ray’ © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers, Monochrome, X-Ray

Shell Collection

Sometimes it is really fun to line up a whole collection of objects in a grid on my light box, not worrying too much about fancy compositional issues. Take, for example, my collection of shells!

Shell Collection © Harold Davis

Shell Collection © Harold Davis

Dahlia Solos

My Dahlia bed is starting to bloom, providing some very sweet subjects for solo flower portraits!

Brookside-Snowball Dahlia © Harold Davis

Brookside-Snowball Dahlia © Harold Davis

Dahlia 'Southern Belle' © Harold Davis

Dahlia ‘Southern Belle’ © Harold Davis

Dahlia 'Flip-Flop' © Harold Davis

Dahlia ‘Flip-Flop’ © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Visiting a Garden of Cars

International Car Forest of the Last Church © Harold Davis

A while back, in the pre-pandemic era, I visited the International Car Forest of the Last Church. This so-called “Car Forest” is more like a car garden than a forest. Mostly wrecked, almost all painted, and largely “planted” front-end down in the desert earth, this installation is located near Goldfield, Nevada.

The county seat of Esmeralda County, Goldfield is a near-ghost-town and home to a few hundred people. Besides the International Car Forest of the Last Church, Goldfield also boasts the meanest bartender in Nevada. This observation is not based on my personal experience (never having encountered any bartenders in Nevada, mean or otherwise), but rather on the words of a sign near the Goldfield town center, shown in a photo below.

I regret to say that I missed checking out the meanest bartender in Nevada. If chance, fate, and a vaccine ever get me to the Goldfield area again I will not miss the opportunity a second time.

For some of my photography of more conventional gardens, please check out my new book Creative Garden Photography.

Nevada’s Meanest Bartender © Harold Davis

Roadside near Goldfield, Nevada © Harold Davis

Wheelee © Harold Davis

Installation in a Goldfield Parking Lot © Harold Davis

Bart Simpson Doll © Harold Davis

 

Pile-On © Harold Davis

 

School Bus © Harold Davis

Also posted in Bemusements