Category Archives: Workshops

How Long Must Eye Wait?

Wedged in a crack behind the aptly-named Ladyboot Arch in the Alabama Hills of the eastern Sierra near the Nevada border of California, I already knew this wasn’t going to be the perfect image. For one thing, the lens I was using, my dearly beloved Nikkor 16mm f/2.8 horizontal fisheye had blown over in an accident a few days earlier, with a nasty crack on the front optical element.

How Long Must Eye Wait? © Harold Davis

The focus of the lens was also jammed, stuck (fortunately) on infinity. That is, nobody wants focus to be jammed, but if an extreme wide-angle has to have a single focus, infinity would be the choice.

Ultimately, I had no idea whether shooting through this damaged lens would produce reasonable results.

I was also faced with a problem of topography: the crevice I was in would not let me set the tripod up normally, and I had to spread the legs and wedge them against the rock walls.

Finally, all was ready to start the timer on the intervalometer. But for reasons unknown, it simply wouldn’t work with the camera. 

Falling back on “Plan B” with grace under pressure is a normal part of any photographer’s toolkit. My Nikon camera has on-board intervalometer functionality, admittedly with an inscrutable user interface. The limitation is that the shutter speed maxes out at 30 seconds. 

Normally, my practice with this kind of photography is to set the camera to Bulb, and shoot a sequence of wide open (or nearly wide-open) captures at four minutes (using ISO 400). 

Dropping the shutter speed down to 30 seconds meant I was exposing for 1/8 the duration of time I normally would (because 30 seconds is 1/8 of 4 minutes). To compensate, I needed to boost the ISO by a factor of eight, from 400 to 3,200.

The final exposure data was 141 exposures, each exposure made at 30 seconds, f/2.8, and ISO 3,200. Post-production was in Photoshop, using the Statistics script with stack mode set to Maximum.

Here’s an image from the front of Ladyboot Arch, and another image from the rear of the arch (made with my other camera, a working intervalometer, and the Zeiss 15mm wide-angle lens!).

Night photography workshops are indeed a great deal of fun, and I am looking forward to a repeat engagement in Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills, with my friend and distinguished night photographer Steven Christensen of Star Circle Academy as co-teacher in 2018. The dates are Friday, September 7 through Monday, September 10, 2018. Click here for more information!

Also posted in Digital Night, Landscape, Photography

PhotoPills Camp 2018

Please consider joining me and other Photography Masters at the PhotoPills Camp in May, 2018 on the beautiful island of Menorca. For more information, click here and register to get priority. If the link opens in Spanish (and you prefer English) click the Eng button on the upper right.

From the event description: 

And you’ll be experiencing the island the way we do, the way the islanders do. You’ll feel like a local, not like a tourist.

Simply mix Menorca’s gems with some of the best easy going photography masters, a jam-packed into the field and straight to the point class schedule (on creativity, planning, shooting, post-processing, social networks & business), multiple photo escapes to our secret locations, the delicious Menorcan cuisine, amazing beaches, hikes, horse riding and boat trips, night picnics, coffee talks, party moments and catching up with old and new friends, and finally add the distinctive PhotoPills fun flavour… and you get the perfect cocktail.

Your days will be full of learning, adventure, aha moments and meaningful connections

Also posted in Photography

Early-Bird Discount: Exploring Cathar Country and the Pyrenees-Orientales

Please consider joining me on a grand photographic adventure to southwest France in spring 2018: Exploring Cathar Country and the Pyrenees-Orientales (April 28-May 7, 2018). A substantial early-bird discount ($500 per person) applies for reservations accepted by Nov 15, 2017. Click here for more information about Cathars and Cathar country, here for a detailed day-by-day itinerary (PDF), and here for the Reservation Form.

Opening in Night Photography Workshop Oct 20-23

Due to a cancellation, we have an opening in our upcoming night photography workshop in the Eastern Sierras Oct 20-23, 2017. Click here for more info and registration. It’s not to late to join a group of compatible night photographers in Lone Pine next weekend to enjoy the stars and night skies! A $50 discount is available.

Stars My Destination © Harold Davis

Announcing a new session of Photographing Flowers for Transparency—June 23-24, 2018

We’re pleased to announce by popular demand a new session of Harold’s acclaimed Photographing Flowers for Transparency weekend workshop, to be held in Berkeley, CA Saturday and Sunday June 23 and 24, 2018. Enrollment is limited. Registration opens Jan 1, 2018 on a first-come-first-served basis.

Click here for more information about this workshop, here for the Photographing Flowers for Transparency FAQ, and here for Harold’s upcoming event, workshop, and destination photo tour schedule. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

The Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshop is a great deal of fun, and covers Harold’s light box techniques as well as related topics (see the partial list below). If you are interested in Harold’s unique approaches, this is the best way to learn. Each participant will produce their own fully processed images following Harold’s lectures and demonstrations, and with Harold’s personal hands-on supervision.

Flowering Dogwood & Friends © Harold Davis

Topics covered in the Photographing Flowers for Transparency Workshop include:

  • Floral arrangement and composition
  • Botanical art in the digital era
  • Shooting on a light box
  • Understanding high-key post-production
  • Working with Photoshop layers
  • High-key HDR
  • LAB color effects
  • Backgrounds and textures
  • Preparing to make floral pigment prints
  • Tips & techniques from Harold Davis
  • Implementing one’s own vision

Flowers at School © Harold Davis

Here are what some participants in Harold’s recent Photographing Flowers for Transparency workshops have said:

  • “Harold is unmatchable! An honor to be able to be able to have him as a mentor…. for photography and for life.”
  • “AWESOME!!! Harold has a great teaching style, and it was great to learn some new shooting and post-processing techniques.”
  • “Excellent!!! Recommend to anyone who wants to take their flower art to the next level.”
  • “Amazing teacher! Patient, knowledgeable, thoughtful and sharing, easy to learn from. Looking forward to many more workshops with Harold! What a total gem… “

Floral Composition © Harold Davis

From Harold’s introductory note to workshop participants:

My belief is that folks learn most when they are hands-on, and having fun. So we will be doing a great deal of flower arrangement and flower photography—and I think along with new ways of seeing, you will learn some techniques, and ways of using your camera, that may not have occurred to you before.

These new approaches are great with flower photography, but also go way beyond floral subject matter, and are really applicable to many kinds of photography.

Besides floral photography, floral arrangement, working on a light box, and various kinds of special lighting effects, we will be exploring high-key HDR, post-production in Photoshop, backgrounds and textures, and LAB color, and much more. As you can see, it will be a very special, busy, and creative weekend!

Click here for more information about this workshop, here for the Photographing Flowers for Transparency FAQ, and here for Harold’s upcoming event, workshop, and destination photo tour schedule. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

Kiss from a Rose © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers

Exploring Cathar Country: Detailed Itinerary Now Available

Exploring Cathar Country (April 28-May 7, 2018): A Photographic Journey with Harold Davis

The detailed itinerary for this photographic pilgrimage into the historic and spiritual world of the Cathars and southwest France is now available. Click here to download the PDF.

Click here for overview information and here for the Reservation Form (early-bird discount applies through November 15, 2017)

In the twelfth century in the part of the world that is today southwestern France, a new set of religious beliefs coalesced and came to be known as the Cathar heresy. The Cathars believed in a supreme being and god of light, utterly unconcerned with matters of this world, and in a direct individual interaction with this god with no need for inter-mediation by the hierarchy of an established religion.

As one would expect, this view was anathema to the Catholic Church. In the early 1200s the church unleashed the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathar heresy under the aegis of the notorious Simon de Montfort. Power, religion, spirituality, and politics mixed, and by the end of the crusade the formerly independent country of Languedoc was firmly under the temporal sway of the King of France and the religious sway of the Catholic Church.

Pont Vieux, Albi © Harold Davis

Against the backdrop of this romantic and dramatic history, we will explore the ancient centers of Catharism. In Albi, the birthplace of the artist Toulouse-Lautrec, we will walk across the bridge that spans the River Tarn and has been in continuous use for a thousand years, and marvel at the Basilica of Saint Cecile, built as a symbol of religious intolerance. In Carcassone, we will spend time exploring the incredibly romantic reconstruction of a medieval citadel by Viollet-le-Duc.

Carcassone © Harold Davis

Moving into the mountains, from a comfortable base we will explore the crags and remote fastnesses of the Pyrénées-Orientales. No one will ever forget a visit to the melancholy Montsegur, where following a devastating siege, hundreds of Cathars hurled themselves into the abyss or were burnt at the stake rather than renounce their faith, or to the Château de Quéribus, where the last of the Cathars eked out their wilderness survival against a world that seemed to have gone mad.

Château de Quéribus © Harold Davis

Wild, craggy peaks and deep canyon valleys dominate the Pyrénées-Orientales in scenery somewhat reminiscent of parts of the American West. The Pyrénées-Orientales and old Languedoc is a region where the wildness of the landscape and the flavor of Spanish cuisine mingles with traditional French culture to create a unique and very special world apart. 

While the primary emphasis of this journey will be photography, we’ll also take the time to learn more about Catharite beliefs, enjoy the unique culture, wild scenery, and cuisine of Cathar Country and the Pyrénées-Orientales.

Château de Saissac © Harold Davis

The detailed itinerary for this photographic pilgrimage into the historic and spiritual world of the Cathars and southwest France is now available. Click here to download the PDF.

Click here for overview information and here for the Reservation Form (early-bird discount applies through November 15, 2017).

Also posted in Photography

Celebrating 2,000 Members in the Photography with Harold Davis Meetup

We are celebrating passing the 2,000 member milestone in the Photography with Harold Davis Meetup with a free book giveaway: “We are celebrating you—and all the wonderful, creative photographic education, travel, and fun we have had across the years on our way to 2,000 members…”

Click here to learn more, or to post your black and white photo to the event!

Pont Vieux, Albi © Harold Davis

Space available in the Sept 16-17 San Francisco Black & White workshop

We have space available in our Black & White in San Francisco Weekend workshop coming up next month September 16-17, 2017. San Francisco is a great place for photography, and a great locale to “think” in black and white!

Farther Shore © Harold Davis

Workshop Description: This workshop includes field photography in several Bay area locations, monochromatic shooting techniques in the field, black & white conversion in Photoshop, Nik Silver Efex, and other plug-ins, and monochromatic processing. Emphasis will be on thinking creatively in black and white in the field, and fully understanding the myriad possibilities in post-production.

Sunset on the Bay © Harold Davis

More info and registration: https://www.meetup.com/Harold-Davis/events/237226290/

Pop-Up Workshop: Note that if this workshop stays small (less than eight participants) I will conduct it as a pop-up workshop on-the-fly (rather than classroom based) which will give opportunities for more field locations, and more one-on-one interaction.

Noir City Dreams © Harold Davis

 

San Francisco Moonrise © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome, San Francisco Area

Pont Vieux, Albi

Set on massive brick pylons, the Pont Vieux in Albi, France spans the River Tarn. This bridge has been in continuous use for a millennium. I’ll be taking a select group of photographers to Albi and other destinations in the southwest of France and the Pyrénées-Orientales in May, 2018. Please consider joining us. Click here for more information.

Pont Vieux, Albi © Harold Davis

Also posted in France

Exploring Cathar Country and the Pyrenees-Orientales (April 28 – May 7, 2018)

A Photographic Journey with Harold Davis

What and Where: In the twelfth century in the part of the world that is today southwestern France, a new set of religious beliefs coalesced and came to be known as the Cathar heresy. The Cathars believed in a supreme being and god of light, utterly unconcerned with matters of this world, and in a direct individual interaction with this god with no need for inter-mediation by the hierarchy of an established religion.

Wild, craggy peaks and deep canyon valleys dominate the Pyrénées-Orientales in scenery somewhat reminiscent of parts of the American West. The Pyrénées-Orientales and old Languedoc is a region where the wildness of the landscape and the flavor of Spanish cuisine mingles with traditional French culture to create a unique and very special world apart. 

While the primary emphasis of this journey will be photography, we’ll also take the time to learn more about Catharite beliefs, enjoy the unique culture, wild scenery, and cuisine of Cathar Country and the Pyrénées-Orientales.

The dates for this small-group tour  are April 28 to May 7, 2018. Click here for more information, and here for the Reservation Form. We’ve heard quite a bit of excitement about exploring Cathar Country and the Pyrénées-Orientales with Harold, so this group will fill quickly. Note that an early-bird discount applies until September 15, 2017.

Please consider joining me for the photographic adventure of a lifetime!

Flowers from My Garden; Off to Maine

I’m off to Maine tomorrow morning to teach flower photography in the coming week. With departure looming before me once again, of course I feel the need to take advantage of the glorious California summer, and to photograph some of the flowers from our garden. The two below started as seedlings from Annie’s—you can find some really unusual flowering plants at Annie’s so it is a great local resource for gardeners.

Eschscholzia californica ‘Purple Gleam’ on Black © Harold Davis

Eschscholzia californica ‘Purple Gleam’ © Harold Davis

Centaurea gymnocarpa ‘Velvet Centaurea’ © Harold Davis

Centaurea gymnocarpa ‘Velvet Centaurea’ on Black © Harold Davis

Also posted in Flowers, Photography

Days and Knights of Malta Photo Tour (Nov, 2018)

2018 Destination Photography Workshop with Harold Davis

We are proud to invite you to join us for a unique, new destination photography workshop to the island country of Malta. Malta, a member of the European Union, is located in the Mediterranean about sixty miles off Sicily. 

Because of its unique attributes, history, location, and size, Malta presents great photographic opportunities in a very manageable environment. We’ll walk the fabled cobble-stoned streets, stairs, and ramparts of Valletta with our cameras, explore locations known only to locals, and enjoy legendary Maltese hospitality. In the evening, when we’re not photographing sunset or the night sky, we’ll critique our photos and work on extending our range of photographic techniques.

The dates for this small-group tour  are November 3 to November 12, 2018. Click here for more information, and here for the Reservation FormWe’ve had a great deal of interest in Malta as a photographic destination, and expect this opportunity with very limited spaces to fill quickly. Note that an early-bird discount applies until November 1, 2017.

Please consider joining me for the photographic adventure of a lifetime!

Free PhotoPills Planning Session and Night Photography (Port of Oakland)

Rafael Pons, co-founder of PhotoPills, and I will co-lead a photography planning and night photography session in the Port of Oakland, California on Saturday September 30, 2017. Click here for more information and to sign up. The event is free, so what are you waiting for?

New Span of the Bay Bridge © Harold Davis

Flower Photography Workshop in Maine Coming Up Soon

Please consider joining me July 31 – August 5, 2017 at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine for a week of intensive flower photography—both on the light box and in the field. There’s nothing like a week of intensive photography at Maine Media on mid-coast Maine eating lobster with a group of fellow photographers, and eating, breathing, and living photography.

Some comments from participants in my recent flower photography workshop follow below, as well as a note on my workshop philosophy and the content of this specific workshop.

There are still a few spaces left in the Harold Davis Maine Media Workshop week of flower photography, but to avoid disappointment please consider registering right away (click here for more info and for registration). I don’t get to the east coast of the United States that often, and do not expect to be giving this workshop again anytime soon.

Flowers at School © Harold Davis

Here are what some participants in my recent flower photography workshops have said:

  • “Harold is unmatchable! An honor to be able to be able to have him as a mentor…. for photography and for life.”
  • “AWESOME!!! Harold has a great teaching style, and it was great to learn some new shooting and post-processing techniques.”
  • “Excellent!!! Recommend to anyone who wants to take their flower art to the next level.”
  • “Amazing teacher! Patient, knowledgeable, thoughtful and sharing, easy to learn from. Looking forward to many more workshops with Harold! What a total gem… “

Mallow © Harold Davis

From my welcome note to workshop participants:

My belief is that folks learn most when they are hands-on, and having fun. So we will be doing a great deal of flower arrangement and flower photography—and I think along with new ways of seeing, you will learn some techniques, and ways of using your camera, that may not have occurred to you before. These new approaches are great with flower photography, but also go way beyond subject matter, and are really applicable to almost any kind of photography.

Besides floral photography, floral arrangement, working on a light box, and various kinds of special lighting effects, we will be exploring macro photography, field flower photography, high-key HDR, post-production in Photoshop, backgrounds and textures, and LAB color, and more. As you can see, it will be a very special, busy, and creative week!

There are still a few spaces left in the Harold Davis Maine Media Workshop week of flower photography, but to avoid disappointment please consider registering right away (click here for more info and for registration).

Clematis and Poppies © Harold Davis

There are still a few spaces left in the Harold Davis Maine Media Workshop week of flower photography, but to avoid disappointment please consider registering right away (click here for more info and for registration).

Also posted in Flowers

2018 Photography Workshop to the Southwest of France with Harold Davis

Please consider coming with me and bringing your camera on an adventure to the “deep France” of the Lot River valley. The dates for our Destination Photography Workshop to the Romantic Southwest of France are April 19 (leave US April 18) – April 27, 2018. We will be hosted once again at the wonderful Mas de Garrigue near Calvignac. For more information, click here for the Prospectus, here for the detailed itinerary, and here for the Reservation Form.

This is a very small group, with a minimum size of six, and a maximum size of ten. There’s already been some enrollment. Early-bird discount ($500 off) expires August 15, 2017.

Please let us know if you have any questions, and hope to see you there!