post-film digital photographer & writer
The United States Postal Service depicted two of his beautiful photos for a stamp-edition in 2022: Sunflower Bouquet and Tulips Forever! These „ethereal floral arrangements have“, according to Popular Photo Magazine, „a purity and translucence that borders on spiritual.” This high-quality-look originates in an invention the maker got the Photographic Society of America Progress Award 2022 "for the development of a high key digital workflow (HDR) and set of techniques involving specific kinds of back lighting that make it possible to create luminous translucent imagery." But that‘s not the only new technique Harold Davis developed: he created a complete new medium where digital painting, digital photography plus latest technology fuse and result in something that didn’t exist before!
post-film digital photographer & writer
“Davis is a pioneer in a new art form — part photographer, part digital illusionist. He sees software and computer monitors as the new paintbrush and canvas“, confirms Rangefinder. „Davis is recognized for his night photography with its experimental ultra-long exposure techniques, vibrant and saturated colors, and composition“, states the professional photography magazine. „He’s also a master of what he calls the impossible image: photo composites that appear realistic, but upon closer inspection are surreal or manifestly impossible in the real world. A third theme is his creative florals and biological images which are often combined with digital painting to create pleasing, unusual effects.”
The basis for what Harold Davis (* 1953 in Princeton, New Jersey) is famous for now was put into his cradle more or less. At the age of five his parents, a mathematician and a fiber artist, gave him a box camera and he got excited with photography immediately. Davis later studied figurative and abstract painting at different colleges. „After graduating, he opened a photography studio in New York City, where the young man was part of the art scene in the 1980s, socialising with Basquiat and Keith Haring. During this time Davis exhibited widely, supporting himself largely with commercial photography assignments, specializing in photographing jewelry and architecture. In the early 1990s he stopped photographing and painting. Davis began working as a software developer and writing books about technology“ (Wikipedia). After getting married he left New York and settled in Berkeley, California, finally. Came 2005 Harold Davis picked up a camera again and was delighted to find that he could combine his love of painting with his love of photography by starting with digital captures and using digital painting techniques to enhance his imagery. “I believe that advances in the technology and craft of digital photography have created an entirely new medium. My years of contemplation opened my eyes and my heart, and taught me to see more deeply. I use this alchemy of wonder to combine the traditions of painting and photography with new technology.” With this knowledge an imaginery arises of a mysterious, powerful, evocative and subtle nature. The radical high-tech and the conservative aesthetics of European Impressionism as well as Expressionism blend here with Chinese landscape painting and the art of Japanese woodblock printmaking. Davis makes his over-sized original prints via hand processing on unusual substrates such as pearlized metallic and washi rice papers. About „this combination of a natural look in addition to portraying the extraordinary detail possible with an extended tonal range (Wikipedia)“ he states: “I believe that nothing like my prints has ever been seen before. They simply could not have been created until recently, because the technology wasn’t there!“
This internationally-known digital artist and award-winning leading contemporary photographer shares his know-how not only in a series of highly praised bestselling books, but on photography workshops in France, Italy, Morocco, Spain and the US too plus popular online courses on craftsy.com. His works that are in high demand by collectors globally are shown in numerous exhibitions in Germany, Japan and the United States.
In an interview with Canadian based photographer Darwin Wiggett Mister Davis made some interesting remarks referring some subjects of dive-spark.net: „Inspiration is not a ‚tame lion‘. There’s no single magic bullet that will change someone into being a creative photographer. In fact, working too hard at being creative can be a good way to thwart one’s own creative drives. After all, photography is wonderfully fun — and it is important not to lose your sense of fun about it.
It’s good to sneak up on the creative process — I often find that my best work is not in the direction that I expected whenI started a project, and part of being creative is learning to be open to serendipity and unexpected directions. Experiment! Experiment!
It is a big mistake to take oneself too seriously. Not everything you do has to be worthy of museum placement. The minute I start believing that everything I do is great is the minute I’ll lose it as an artist — because that is an expectation that is impossible, makes one not want to experiment, and is grandiose. Some of my best and most innovative work comes from failed experiments. I’m not concerned with always doing great work every time, as much as learning how to get better.“
Harold Davis lives with his wife Phyllis, a professional book designer, and their four children in North Berkeley.