Rexy, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

This photo shows the bones of a T. rex found in Montana. This Tyrannosaurus skeleton now lives in the Life Sciences building on the U.C. Berkeley campus. I thought that framing the monster from below with the spiral stair above would make an interesting composition.

Some related stories: Marin Dome; Stair Aye; Stairs.

[Nikon D300, 10.5mm digital fisheye, 1.3 seconds at f/22 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Bemusements, Photography

Hospital Corners

Hospital Corners

Hospital Corners, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Phyllis and I were on our way back from a lunch break while visiting Katie Rose in the NICU. I noticed this security mirror in the corner of the hospital corridor, and couldn’t resist a grab shot.

Of course, we’re grateful for the progress Katie has made, and the good care being taken of her, but the hospital experience is always wearing on loved ones. Sometimes it feels like walking through endless, badly lit shabby halls with turn after turn. The experience is what this photo is about for me.

Related image: Crossing the Richmond Bridge.

[Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR zoom lens at 65mm (97.5mm in 35mm terms) with image stabilization engaged, 1/125 of a second at f/5.6 and ISO 2,500, hand held.]

Posted in Bemusements, Photography

Sometimes Simple Works

Pink Papaver

Pink Papaver, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

On a bright, but overcast, spring morning I saw this pink Papaver rhoeas in the morning dew. I photographed it head-on at f/16 for depth of field on the center, but a little less sharpness in the petals. Then I processed the photo to enhance the diaphanous feeling of the petals.

Sometimes simple works.

[Nikon D300, 200mm f/4 macro lens (300mm in 35mm terms), 1/6 of a second at f/16 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Hellebore on Black

Mike said he wanted to learn a little more about how I post-processed photos. So he drove down the freeway in the squishy weather and we spent a fun and happy hour or so transforming this photo of a hellebore, originally shot straight down on a light box with my 85mm perspective correcting macro lens.

[Nikon D300, 85mm PC macro (roughly, 127.5mm in 35mm terms), 2.5 seconds at f/57 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Flowers, Photograms, Photography

Suspended Animation

This is a water drop image from about six months ago that I never blogged, so here it is! The sun had just come out after a brief shower, and these drops were suspended on a spider web.

[200mm f/4 macro lens (300mm in 35mm equivalent terms), 1/8 of a second at f/40 and ISO 100.]

Posted in Photography, Water Drops

White Rose

I photographed this rose on our roof at sunset, with a piece of black velvet for a backdrop. It felt pretty weird to put up a make-shift studio on the roof, and dance around it with my tripod and 200mm macro lens. I did need to be mindful about not stepping back too far. But anything (well, almost anything, I wasn’t ready to fall off) for that wonderful and natural sunset light!

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Star Trails from Tunnel View

Driving into Yosemite on a clear November evening, I stopped at Tunnel View for this 25 minute exposure from the classic Ansel Adams view spot.

With night photos, the color depends on your white balance setting (star light is not sun light). Night photography utterly baffles auto white balance settings, so the best bet is to correct the white balance in post-processing.

Posted in Digital Night, Landscape, Photography

Lake Tenaya at Night

On a memorable evening close to the 2007 summer solstice, I climbed down from the top of Lembert Dome as the sun set. On my way to the Olmsted Point area to photograph star trails over Half Dome, I stopped to photograph the shores of Lake Tenaya by starlight. This was a 3 1/2 minute exposure with the ISO boosted to 640.

The photo below shows the view of Lake Tenaya from more-or-less the same spot in daylight hours.

Besides ambient starlight, you can see a couple of exogenous light sources in this photo: car headlights in the distance on Route 120, and the light trail of a satellite traversing up the right-hand side of the sky.

[24mm in 35mm terms, 210 seconds at f/4 and ISO 640, tripod mounted.]

Lake Tenaya

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Posted in Digital Night, Landscape, Photography, Yosemite

My Three Suns

The sun in this photo framing the tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, and, for that matter, all suns in the photo other than the real sun, are caused by an optical phenomenon called double refraction. (Double refraction is also called birefringence).

In double refraction, each ray of light separates into two rays (the “ordinary” ray and the “extraordinary” ray) when the light heads through the lens. The extra suns are in my photo caused by the extraordinary rays. The birefringence effect is dependent on how the light is polarized.

Normally, you’d want to avoid something like double refraction in your photos (although, avoid as much as can, you’ll likely see some if you shoot directly into the sun with a long lens as I did in this photo).

But last night I was feeling bored, and I knew I had more than enough photos in my files for my Golden Gate project, so I amplified the effect by adding a polarizing filter in front of my lens, and rotating the outer ring of the filter to change the direction of polarization until the subsidiary “sun” was in position.

[375mm in 35mm terms, circular polarizer, 1/750 of a second at f/9 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Bemusements, Landscape, Photography, San Francisco Area

Dahlia Daze

I took this photo with my Lensbaby 3G. It’s a 3/10 of a second, tripod mounted exposure using the f/8 aperture disk at ISO 100. The ability to lock this selective focus lens in position (not possible on the earlier Lensbaby models) made it possible for me to take this shot.

Posted in Flowers, Lensbaby, Photography

Day’s End

Phyllis and I ended the afternoon that began with a hike down to Cataract Falls and water drops with a visit to the wharf near Fort Point. In time for sunset behind the Golden Gate. We clambered down large, slick boulders onto this pocket beach, and camera on tripod I used a thirty second exposure to turn the waves silken soft.

[52.5mm in 35mm terms, 30 seconds at f/29 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Landscape, Photography, San Francisco Area

Happy Frog

This happy frog is a mosaic detail from the wonderful “magic stairway” at 16th Ave and Moraga in San Francisco.

[105mm f/2.8 macro lens, 157.5mm in 35mm terms, 1/15 of a second at f/36 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Bemusements, Photography, San Francisco Area

Fancy Feathers

Past the Golden Gate Bridge, Black Sands Beach lies along the straits between Point Diablo and Point Bonita. The beach faces the open Pacific towards the southwest. On a sullen, cloudy, windswept day I hiked down to the beach. My camera and tripod were on my back. It was bright, but drizzling slightly.

The dark beach was empty of people, and it was hard to believe that a great metropolitan area was hard by. A great flock of seagulls huddled togather at the western end of the beach.

Hard by where the trail ended on the beach there were great piles of bird feathers, caught and held by the wind. These were no fancy feathers. I placed my tripod legs in the mud, and began to photograph with my macro lens stopped all the way down.

Many Feathers

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Initially, I was most attracted to the contrast in textures between the feathers and the green grass (above). As I spent more time looking at the feathers, I became interested in the filagree and transparency of the feathers up close (below).

As I took these photos, the waves crashed on the dark beach and the spray mingled with the moisture in the wind. I hovered, protecting my camera as best I could, and wiping it dry from time-to-time with my shirt.


View this image larger. Read the back story featuring this image.

[105mm f/2.8 macro, 157.5mm equivalent focal length if 35mm, 1/6 of a second (top exposure), 1/5 of a second (bottom), both at f/36 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Related story: Feathers.

Posted in Patterns, Photography

Suspended Animation

In the garden in the early morning I found rain drops suspended on a spider’s web. Nearby, pink Gerbera Daisies grew. These flowers were reflected and contained in the water drops. The technical challenge was to obtain high depth-of-field with subjects in constant motion from the wind, subjects so tiny that any motion was magnified.

Suspended Animation

I locked the camera’s mirror up to eliminate one possible source of vibration. As I waited for the moment of perfect calm to squeeze the remote release, I thought about the worlds inside each water drop, suspended animation waiting for a photographer to come along.

[200mm f/4 macro, 300mm 35mm equivalent focal length, 36mm extension tube, +4 diopters close-up filter, 1/8 of a second at f/40 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Photography, Water Drops

Red Gerbera Daisy

I never get tired of looking at flowers so I couldn’t resist photographing this minature red gerbera daisy. It’s potted, near the front of our house, and the other day lit by dappled sunshine .

[200mm f/4 macro, 300mm equivalent focal length in 35mm terms, 24mm extension tube, 4.5 seconds at f/40 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Related stories: Heart Like a Gerbera, Simple Pleasures.

Posted in Flowers, Photography