Lady in a Local Market

Driving the long route back towards Hanoi from Meo Vac there was a vibrant market going on in a dusty hinterland Vietnamese mountain town. Eric and I asked our guide and driver to stop our car, and wandered the market with our cameras. Evidently, this was not a place on the beaten track. We were as much curiosities as curious, photographic subjects as photographers. Several market goers wanted to take selfies with me, and Eric gathered a small crowd as his tattoos were much observed and admired.

Lady in a Local Market © Harold Davis

Lady in a Local Market © Harold Davis

As is well known, the camera is an instrument of flirtation, and I flirted shamelessly with a bank of women “of a certain age” standing along one wall dressed in their tribal colors. This mischievous lady enjoyed what I was doing a great deal, finally getting a little bashful with me, then asking to see the photos of her—and enjoying them very vociferously with gestures, since we spoke no language other than photography in common.

Posted in Vietnam

Romantic Roses on the iPhone at the Supermarket

I photographed this nifty display of roses at a local supermarket using my iPhone 6s, then processed them in my phone using different painterly effects while waiting on the checkout line. The upper version is processed in Photo Lab Pro, the middle is done in Prisma, and the bottom is a Waterlogue.

If you are interested in iPhone photography, check out my From iPhone to Art weekend workshop (the next session is scheduled for January 28-29, 2017).

© Harold Davis

Romantic Roses © Harold Davis

Roses via Prisma © Harold Davis

Roses via Prisma © Harold Davis

Roses via Waterlogue © Harold Davis

Roses via Waterlogue © Harold Davis

Posted in iPhone, Photography

Inside the Old Market Square Tower

Inside Prague’s Old Town Square Tower they’ve constructed an elegant spiral ramp, with an elevator in the middle. Other than Prague’s TV Tower (I heard one guide call the TV Tower “the second ugliest building in the world,” and it certainly is very ugly and dominates the Prague skyline, for some reason it has grotesque statuary of babies climbing up the circular pillars holding up this hyper-modern structure, don’t ask me why because I haven’t a clue, and I also don’t really know what building is the “first ugliest,” there must be many candidates, but I digress), other than Prague’s TV Tower it is the only high-up viewing spot I’ve found in Prague you don’t have to climb. It certainly is nice riding the elevator in the core to the top, then strolling down the spiral ramp enjoying the somewhat unusual view, shown looking down from the top of the spiral, and from the bottom watching the elevator rise.

Inside the Old Market Tower - Looking Down © Harold Davis

Inside the Old Market Tower – Looking Down © Harold Davis

Inside the Old Market Tower - Looking Up © Harold Davis

Inside the Old Market Tower – Looking Up © Harold Davis

Posted in Czech, Photography

Market in Marrakesh

This is an image made after dusk with a long (300mm) lens from above the Jemaa-al-Fna in Marrakesh, Morocco. I used five exposures at shutter speeds from 3/5 of a second to 5 seconds with the camera on my tripod, and combined the exposures using Nik’s HDR Efex Pro plugin in Photoshop and also with hand-layering.

Market in Marrakesh © Harold Davis

Market in Marrakesh © Harold Davis

Related images: You can get a better idea of my position in making this image from Jemaa-al-Fna and Wider View of the Jemaa-al-Fna.

Posted in Photography

Remarkable

It’s remarkable what you can do in post-processing. Compare my original conversion from the RAW of my Yosemite Dreams (far below) with a more recent version (immediately below) I created in Photoshop for a special project. (There’s actually no comparison to either version with the far duller look of the original RAW file that appeared when I first looked at it with default settings in Adobe Bridge.)

Yosemite Dreams 2

These file versions go a long way to confirm my contention that digital photography is an entirely new medium, one part photography and one part digital manipulation. Photographers who ignore the “digital painting” aspect of this new medium do so at their own peril, as do digital technicians who ignore the need to take great photos in the first place. Those who critique the new medium based on the aesthetic of the inviolate unmanipulated negative are truly lost in this brave new world.

Yosemite Falls from Swinging Bridge

For a long time I resisted the metaphor from silver halide photography that “the RAW file is the negative” and the final version is the print. A reason for my resistance is that the metaphor doesn’t completely work: a post-processed photo is not a print, it is a file that (theoretically) many literal, physical prints can be made from.

But there’s a significant kernel of truth in the metaphor: using the power of the “digital painting” it’s possible to make many different end-result images starting from a single RAW capture.

Posted in Photography, Photoshop Techniques

X Marks the Spot

I’m excited about these pictures from under the Golden Gate Bridge because the angle is unusual–and the patterns are interesting!

Under the Bridge 1

Under the Bridge 2

Posted in Bemusements, Patterns, Photography, San Francisco Area

A Modern Pilgrimage: Kumano kodo portfolio video

A Modern Pilgrimage: Along the Kumano Kodo by Harold Davis is an artist book and portfolio of images that astutely blends old-craft hand traditions and materials with and cutting-edge new technologies to create an exquisite limited edition art book and art object that is completely unique.

Can’t view this video? Check it out on YouTube. Click here for more information about our artist books and portfolios.

Click here for the Monochromatic Visions video, and here for the Botanique video.

In his introduction to the project, Harold Davis writes: “It has always been one of my dreams to explore the rural and spiritual side of Japan. In 2013 I was lucky to get to walk the the Kumano Kodo spiritual trail,” the heart of Shugendo Buddhism. He continues: “Of course, in Japan it is impossible to explore the rural without also encountering modern, crowded Japan. Spirituality and modern Japanese life co-mingle in some very odd ways”—hence the “Modern Pilgrimage” portion of the title of his portfolio. But as Harold Davis remarks, “my main goal as an artist in this body of work as been to reflect my true sense of spiritual awe at the manifest gifts one can find as a pilgrim in this, our sacred earth.”

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 a 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. 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.

For more information about the Kumano Kodo portfolio, including availability and current pricing, please visit digitalfieldguide.com/editions/kumano-kodo.

Posted in Photography

Creating Artists Books and Portfolios Webinar

Please bring your questions to Creating Artists Books and Portfolios, a webinar scheduled for Saturday March 13, 2021 at 11am PT. Or send your questions to us in advance. This is a complex topic with many aspects, and we look forward to a wide ranging discussion including issues of editing, presentation, marketing, and more. 

Click here for registration, and here for more information.

In this webinar, we’ll present my Botanique limited edition artist book, my Monochromatic Visions and Kumano kodo portfolios, and other work. 

We’ll also demonstrate the Moab Flint portfolio system for displaying one’s prints. (In full disclosure, I am a Moab Master and sponsored by Moab Paper, which takes nothing away from their way-beyond-great products).

Themes covered in this webinar will include how to edit one’s work with an artist book or portfolio in mind, printing and constructing unique artists books, paper and binding, edition sizing, how to use portfolios to present your work and put your best foot forward, and how to market portfolios and artists books.

I fully believe that one doesn’t really see one’s work until you have printed it. In that light, making artists books and portfolios is an extremely important topic that is often overlooked. I hope you will join us.

Monochromatic Visions Portfolio prints © Harold Davis

Monochromatic Visions Portfolio prints © Harold Davis

Click here for registration, and here for more information. Click here for currently scheduled Workshops & Events.

Posted in Photography, Workshops

Happy Valentine’s Day

In this pandemic year, amorous propensities may not be running high, and the ability to deliver romantic tchotkes is diminished. But I think Valentine’s Day is sweet. The world could always use more love.

I’d like to dedicate this heart-on-a-light-box to my sweetheart, Phyllis. 

Translucent Heart © Harold Davis

Translucent Heart © Harold Davis

Valentine’s Day is something of an ersatz holiday, with made-to-order Hallmark cards, chocolate, and roses. The historical origins are murky, to say the least: there were several martyrs named “Valentine” slaughtered by Roman authorities that the Catholic church elevated to sainthood. Also Roman: the festival of Lupercalia, roughly February 13 – February 15. This extended party involved animal sacrifice, drinking, sex, and flagellation. Pretty far from today’s canonical ‘Hallmark’ holiday!

In the 5th Century A.D., Pope Gelasius I probably laid the foundations for the modern holiday by combining commemoration for the martyrs (St. Valentine’s Day) with the old pagan holiday of Lupercalia.

To Hades with historical origins! Let’s love each other, and enjoy Valentine’s Day!

Posted in Photography

Through a Glass Lightly

Please consider joining us for Photographing Bottled Light on Thursday, October 29 at 10am PT via Zoom

How creative can get you get with colored liquid, sunshine, some glass bottles, and a camera? Pretty gosh-dang creative!

In this webinar, I’ll show you how to use simple materials to come up with entire new worlds, recreations of Mark Rothko paintings, abstractions, highways at night, and much more!

Even if you don’t have any food color sets around, you probably have colored liquid (soda pop, brandy, maple syrup, cherry juice, red wine, and blue Gatorade all work well). Be creative! What can you do close to home with these everyday materials? You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get fantastic results.

Stand by for a webinar that combines Betty Crocker with modern photography!

Click here to sign up, and here for the information page.

Natural Bridge © Harold Davis

Natural Bridge © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Sharpness is a Bourgeois Concept

“Sharpness is a Bourgeois Concept,” declared Henri Cartier-Bresson. What did iconic photographer Cartier-Bresson mean, and why is this a humorous remark?

To find our why, consider attending this Saturday’s Photography and Writing: Using Your Words To Become a Better Photographer

This three-part webinar will start with a look at the role writing has played in the work of some great photographers from Ansel Adams (of course) to Minor White, and beyond. The second part of the presentation will continue with how I have used the synergy of writing and photography with particular emphasis on my award-winning blog, and conclude with some suggestions about how to integrate the discipline of writing into your photography practice. The idea is to enhance facility and creativity in both disciplines!

Click here for more information, here to register for Photography and Writing, and here for a schedule of our upcoming webinars.

Stairs at La Défense © Harold Davis

Stairs at La Défense © Harold Davis

I’d also like to call your special attention to the Master Photographer Panel with Jennifer King and Alan Shapiro, scheduled for Saturday October 10, 2020. All proceeds from this webinar will benefit the NAACP Endowment Fund.

Please check out our upcoming webinar schedule. There’s a great deal of variety, with tutorials and fun across a wide domain of topics. Our webinars are a mixture of free, paid, and paid-as-a-benefit with all proceeds going to a good cause.

As always, stay healthy, keep photographing, and be creative!

Posted in Photography

Printing, Proofing, and all about Paper [Benefits Equal Justice Initiative]

What: Printing, Proofing, and all about Paper [Benefits Equal Justice Initiative] with a Panel of Moab Masters

When: Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 10am PT (1PM ET). Duration about two hours, including Q&A

Where: On your computer or mobile device from anywhere via Zoom. Zoom authenticated registration and a tuition payment of $19.95 are required for enrollment. Click here to register for this webinar.

All proceeds from the tuition payments will benefit Equal Justice Initiative.

Details: In this webinar, noted photographers and Moab Masters Scott Barrow, Harold Davis, and Jim Graham will present their work, and show how printmaking has informed and played a vital role in their professional practices. The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion of printing moderated by Phyllis Davis, with Harold, Jim, Scott, and Marc Schotland, VP of Marketing at Legion Paper. There will be ample time for Q&A.

Image © Scott Barrow

About Scott Barrow: Scott writes, “The dance of light on the world around me is what powers my creativity.  I love taking photographs and I can make a beautiful image anywhere.  The challenge for me as an artist is to go beyond beauty and find my connection to a scene, to become part of it in the moment that I release the shutter.  That coming together is what I strive for. It is only then that I can truly share what I saw and felt with you the viewer.” His website is www.scottbarrow.com.

Peonies mon Amour © Harold Davis, shown on Moenkopi Unryu washi with hand inkan stamp

About Harold Davis: Harold Davis is a bestselling author of many books, including Creative Garden Photography from Rocky Nook, which can be pre-ordered. 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.

At the Willowdale Races in Kennett Square, Pa.  (Photography © Jim Graham 2012)

About Jim Graham: My bio says I’ve been a professional photographer since the age of 16. It’s all I’ve really ever done. I have a degree in history from Washington College in Maryland in History. After graduation I wasn’t sure what to do with my life. Luckily, I found my way to Maine and to the Maine Photographic Workshops. After 6 months in Maine I returned home to Chadds Ford and became a stringer for the News Journal Papers in Wilmington, Delaware. Freelancing turned into a staff position and I loved every second of my nine years as a staffer there. I was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize while I was at the News Journal and was also named Southern Photographer of the Year at the Southern Short Course.

I’ve worked with AP, UPI, Bloomberg News, Time, Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, and Town and Country.

Today I still do editorial work when I can as well staking assignments from magazines. I’m represented by Redux Pictures in New York. I work also with corporate entities on their marketing materials, photograph weddings, and manage to get in a trip each year to concentrate on my own work. Additionally I teach when the opportunity presents itself.  I’ve been adjunct faculty at The University of Delaware, Widener University, Moore College of Art and Design, Cecil College, as well as teaching at the Maine Media Workshops.

Jim’s fine art photography is shown in many galleries throughout the United States, including Hardcastle Gallery, Graficas Gallery, Seven Seas Gallery, the Redux Gallery in New York and the Delaware Museum of Art.

About Marc Schotland: Marc Schotland is the VP of Marketing at Legion Paper, the manufacturer and distributor of Moab Paper.  Marc has worked in the fine art paper industry for 15 years, having previously worked in Italy for Manfrotto as the Global Brand Manager for still & video tripods.

About Moab Masters: Moab Master photographers are a select group of artists connected by their unique visions and their love of reproducing their images on Moab fine art paper.  The group includes some well-established photographers, as well as photographers on the rise.  Moab is proud to be associated with these artists and thank them for trusting Moab with their images.

Number of Seats, Tuition, and Benefit: The tuition for this webinar is $19.95, and requires prior registration. All proceeds benefit Equal Justice Initiative. The ticket price is not tax deductible.  Seating (on a first come, first served basis) is limited. Click here to register for this webinar.

Posted in Photography

Announcing New Webinars: Harold Davis Presents

Phyllis and I are delighted to announce five new live webinars. Registration is now open, and details follow below.

We’re also in the planning stages with a few exciting special-event webinars, with superstar guest panelists, where all proceeds will benefit important causes of our times. Stay tuned for the announcements as this comes together.

Thanks to everyone who has made our webinars possible with your enthusiasm and joy in photography as we remain sheltered in place!

  • Light Box Photography in Three Dimensions | Saturday July 11, 2020 at 11am PT click here for registration. Click here for more information. “Want to take your light box photography to the next level? It’s great to photograph flowers for transparency on the light box, but what about flowers in vases and other three dimensional objects?”
  • Multi-RAW Processing | Thursday July 30, 2020 at 10am PT click here for registration. Click here for more information. “In this Webinar, Harold shows the possibilities of multi-RAW processing, when it makes sense to use, and discusses potential pitfalls. As a very real competitor to HDR processing, multi-RAW should be in every photographer’s toolkit.”
  • Hand-HDR Photography | Thursday September 3, 2020 at 10am PT click here for registration. Click here for more information. “In this webinar Harold discussed when to use hand-HDR in place of automated HDR, and when to use the two technologies in conjunction. He shows examples of photographing for hand-HDR in general situations, and also in high-key and low-key situations that are particularly suited for hand-HDR.”
  • Photography on Black | Saturday September 12, 2020 at 11am PT click here for registration. Click here for more information. “In fact, the most iconic monochromatic photographs frequently involve a black background. In this webinar, Harold shows how to photograph with a bracketed low-key sequence to achieve perfect black backgrounds, and how to post-process images to enhance the black-background effect.”
  • Photographing Bottled Light | Thursday October 29, 2020 at 10am PT click here for registration. Click here for more information. “How creative can get you get with colored liquid, sunshine, some glass bottles, and a camera? In this webinar, Harold will show you how he used these simple materials to come up with entire new worlds, recreations of Mark Rothko paintings, abstractions, highways at night, and much more!”
Clematis with Friends © Harold Davis

Clematis with Friends © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

All Things Photographic: An Online Q&A [Free Webinar]

What: All Things Photographic: An Online Question and Answer session with Harold & Phyllis Davis, with guest panelist Mark Brokering

When: Saturday May 30, 2020 at 11am PT. Duration between one and two hours

Where: On your computer or mobile device from anywhere via Zoom. This is a free webinar, but Zoom authenticated registration is required for security reasons. You must register in advance. The registration link is https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TK8gup-oTeqpvrNQ-Pz0aA.

Details: Please join us for a freewheeling question and answer session with Harold & Phyllis Davis covering all things photographic and post-production. Questions can be submitted in advance or in real time during the session via online chat. Mark Brokering will add his wit and wisdom as a panelist on the session.

Ask your questions! This discussion will cover all things photographic and post-production. We may even touch upon issues of philosophy, creative vision, and photographic narrative. Big or small, ask them all!

++ Questions can be submitted by real-time chat during the webinar.

++ Also, you can send questions in advance to phyllis [at] bearhome.com. **Please** put “All Things Photographic Question” in the subject of your email. Thanks!

We’ll do our best to answer your questions about all things artistic, photographic, and Photoshop!

This is a free webinar: This webinar is free, but 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_TK8gup-oTeqpvrNQ-Pz0aA.

A lightly-edited recording of this Webinar will be posted following a time delay on our YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnn_fjc44y07sa6ks-W8lCg

Night at Point Reyes Lighthouse © Harold Davis

Night at Point Reyes Lighthouse © Harold Davis

About Harold Davis: Harold Davis is a bestselling author of many books, including Creative Garden Photography from Rocky Nook, which can now be pre-ordered. 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.

Posted in Photography

Creative Expression with your iPhone [Webinar]

What: Creative Expression with Your iPhone

When: Tuesday June 23, 2020 at at 10am 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 $19.95 are required for enrollment. Seating is limited. The registration link is https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vDgcA9eWQHiFBXhkFRvNrg.

Details: The best camera to use is the one you have with you, and most often we have our iPhone cameras with us. Harold loves to use his iPhone camera, both as creative sketchbook and as a powerful creative tool in its own right.

In this exciting webinar, Harold shares his successful iconography, and explains which iPhone images have been most successful as prints, and in the licensing marketplace. He details his line of thought with the iPhone, and shares the apps he uses to create his much-admired iPhone imagery. Workflow, techniques, and ideas will be shared. What better time to master the power in the camera and computer you always have with you?

There will be ample time for Q&A.

Tuition: The tuition for this webinar is $19.95, but 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_vDgcA9eWQHiFBXhkFRvNrg.

A lightly-edited recording of this Webinar will be posted following a time delay on our YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnn_fjc44y07sa6ks-W8lCg

Window and Shadow © Harold Davis

About Harold Davis: Harold Davis is a bestselling author of many books, including Creative Garden Photography from Rocky Nook, which can now be pre-ordered. 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.

Poppies © Harold Davis

Poppies © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography