Gaillardia Caucus

Gaillardia Caucus

Gaillardia Caucus, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Yesterday was the first rain of the season, a light mist that made the garden wet and saturated colors under a bright, but cloudy, sky. When I went out to photograph I was struck how my clump of Gaillardia in the side yard had proliferated. It’s hard not to love Gaillardia, and worth bearing mind that it is a native. Here’s a solo Gaillardia x grandiflora.

[Nikon D300, 200mm f/4 macro, 5 seconds at f/36 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Foggy Sea

Foggy Sea

Foggy Sea, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

What happens when you point a camera out to sea in the fog in an almost pitch-black night?

Taken at Limantour Beach during my recent Point Reyes night photography workshop.

[Nikon D300, 18-200VR zoom lens at 18mm (27mm in 35mm terms), 241 seconds at f/3.5 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Digital Night, Photography, Point Reyes



Chins, photo by Harold Davis.

At the pediatrician yesterday, Katie Rose weighed in at nine pounds and seven ounces. This is up a pound since her last visit two weeks ago. Katie Rose is gaining roughly an ounce a day. She is definitely a chunk, amazing considering that she started out so tiny.

Posted in Bemusements, Katie Rose, Kids

San Francisco from the Sea

San Francisco from the Sea

San Francisco from the Sea, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

This is a night view across the outer opening of the Golden Gate towards the lights of the Pacific face of San Francisco: the Outer Sunset District and maybe a bit of Daly City and Pacifica. The photo was taken in the Marin Headlands on the heights above Tennessee Beach.

Looking at the bright flare of light from the city on the left versus the dark night filled with stars on the right I’m struck by how much light pollution we create, even in fairly remote places (to see what I mean, check out this image of Yosemite at night from Half Dome). In this connection, I’m encouraged by a recent movement intended to help the stars take back the night.

[Nikon D300, 10.5mm digital fisheye, 321 seconds (about six minutes) at f/4 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Digital Night, Photography, San Francisco Area

Tennessee Beach at Night

Tennessee Beach at Night

Tennessee Beach at Night, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Briefly noted: this is a “conventional” twelve minute night exposure from the top of the cliffs to the south of Tennessee Beach. As opposed to the stacked image composite I posted previously, this is a single, fairly long capture.

[Nikon D300, 12-24mm Zoom lens at 12mm (18mm in 35mm terms), 722 seconds (about 12 minutes) at f/5.6 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Digital Night, Photography


I got an email from Eduardo Agilera, the creator of the labyrinth on Lands End, telling me that he was going to use candles to light the paths of his labyrinth just after sunset on the spring equinox.

So on March 20 I dutifully toddled over to Lands End. Actually, I drove over the Richmond Bridge, south on 101, and then over the Golden Gate Bridge, leaving Phyllis to pick up the kids.

Parking below the Palace of the Legion of Honor, it was clear but very windy and bitter cold. I bundled into my cold weather gear: wool undies top and bottom, down coat, pink balaclava, gloves, and hiking boots. I fancy I look a little like an Easter Egg, but the outfit does keep me warm.

As I neared the top of the steps down to Lands End, I could hear the roar of the surf in the wind.

Eduardo was waiting at the top of the stairs with a bag full of candles. “It’s too windy to even try to light them,” he said.

I wondered what to do next. My theory of life is that if you are given lemons, you make lemonade. For me, photography is a quest, in the knight errant sense. If you take on a photographic quest, you are going on an adventure. By definition, you never know what an adventure will bring. Quite likely it is not the photographic goal you started out with. The best photographs happen along the way, and are the product of prepared serendipity. In other words, it is the journey and not the destination that counts.

It was a little hard to figure out how to make lemonade in the cold wind and with the noise of the breakers crashing against Lands End.

I asked Eduardo if he would come back down to the Lands End platform and his labyrinth, so I could take a picture of him with his creation. I think he was a little reluctant, which I could understand as the full force of the gale struck me out on the point. Even in my rather portly person, with massive hiking boots, I felt in danger of being swept over the cliff to the churning waters of the Golden Gate at any moment. Eduardo squinted into the wind, his photo done, and returned up to the top of the stairs to warn off any others come to celebrate the equinox with his maze and candles.

What now?

I looked down at the little rocky beach to the north and west of Lands End. It seemed like it might be a little sheltered, and the action of the waves might be of interest.

As I explored the beach, I kept my camera gear and tripod on my back (for a quick getaway), and a careful eye towards the ocean. The sheer force behind these wind-driven breakers was enough to make anyone nervous.

From one angle, looking around the corner of the rocks below Lands End, I was surprised to see part of the Golden Gate Bridge. As a big wave crashed on the shore, I snapped this photo of the wave crashing around, under, and apparently above the bridge, with Lands End on the right of the image. I used a long lens to isolate the waves and bridge (at 200mm, which given Nikon’s 1.5 factor is 300mm in 35mm terms).

Since I am working on a publication project involving 100 Views of the Golden Gate, after the Japanese artist Hokusai, I am pleased to have captured an image that echoes Mt Fuji seen through a giant wave:

Posted in Bemusements, Photography, San Francisco Area

White Mallow

I was caught up in photographing the spiral deep inside a pink mallow. Then I looked up and noticed this white mallow nearby. I took the extension tube and close-up filter off my 200mm macro lens, and exposed a couple of further-back versions of the white flower.

I like the luminous quality of the sun coming through the flower.

You can see the pink mallow peeking around at the upper left.

Posted in Flickr, Photography

Meta Flickr

Meta Flickr, originally uploaded by Harold Davis.

I never met a flickr I didn’t like…one’s reach should be bigger than one’s grasp, or else what is a meta for?

[Screen capture of a Flickr collage]

Posted in Bemusements, Flickr, Photography