Harold Davis Flower Project

In January, Photo.net featured an interview with Harold Davis. Harold discussed his methods of finding inspiration and creativity when photographing a specific assignment or a non-specific assignment. At the end of the interview, he offered a creative project for Photo.net members to delve into.

Assignment: Photograph a flower in a unique way—in a way that nobody’s seen before. Take a month to dive in to photographing a flower in an unusual creative way. One of the key requirements for this assignment is “originality”; that is, this is a flower as it has not been seen before. Harold requested to see images that are technically imperfect but very experimental. “One can always perfect technique. Flowers are a good subject for experimentation because they are not as demanding as human models and because they are often presented as perfect (and so are less often experimented or played with).”

Only images that were shot specifically for this project and posted to the member’s photo.net gallery, as well as entered in the comments section below the interview, were considered for the top 3 winning photo selection. The photographers selected for the top 3 will receive a copy of Harold Davis’ book Light & Exposure, and the Grand Winner will also receive a $50 gift certificate to Adorama.

Thanks to all who participated!

Grand Winner:

8605535

1st Runner Up:

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2nd Runner Up:

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I was very pleased and delighted by the quality of submissions to this assignment. There were so many good choices that selection was difficult. I’ve selected S.J. Luke’s “Coming Up for Air” for its imaginative originality (no, I’ve never seen a flower like that before!), Christa Binder’s “Untitled” for its clarity of color and form, and the overall winner, Martha Weintraub’s “Flower Dancer” for its grace, poetry, originality, and power of execution.

Some more notes: this was an assignment, so while many of the photos submitted from files are brilliant and remarkable images, they don’t meet the terms of the assignment, and were not considered in the final selection. It’s important as photographers to be able to follow the dictates of an assignment even when conditions seem adverse (e.g., flower photography in winter). Art directors I’ve worked with have told me that the ability to follow directions is very important to them.

Some honorable mentions: In the assignment photos, I particularly liked (in no particular order): Tracy Hanby’s “Tulips”, Mark Onat’s “Cactus Flower”, and Linda Veit’s “Wild Daisy”.

If there were a humor category, two images would surely have won. They are Jacobin Pigeon’s very funny ‘brella blossom" and Nandita Subbarao’s “Ant on Flower—fossil effect” (the latter is a great use of Photoshop filters).

Among the stock images submitted to the assignment, I think Thomas Marino’s “Lotus Seeds”, Bill d’s “Dazzling Dandelion”, and Marek Pleszczynski’s “Frosted” are particularly wonderful.

Thanks to everyone who submitted photos to this assignment. There’s a great deal of originality, beauty, and playfulness in the photos, and much to be learned by looking through the submissions.

Best wishes,

Harold


Notable Entries:

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Contributed Images, which are featured here for their unique qualities, but were not eligible for the project selection.

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| 8631142

Winning photos selected by Harold Davis and Photo.net Editors. Project proposed by Harold Davis.

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Harold Davis is a photographer and author. His photographs have been widely published, exhibited, and collected. Many of his fine art photography posters are well known. Harold’s images have won a Silver Award in the International Aperture Awards 2008 competition, and inclusion in the 2009 North American Nature Photography Association Expressions Showcase. The author of more than twenty books, Harold has written (and illustrated with his photographs) Digital Photography: Digital Field Guide (Wiley), The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite and the High Sierra (Countryman/W.W.Norton), 100 Views of the Golden Gate (Wilderness Press), and Practical Artistry: Light & Exposure for Digital Photographers (O’Reilly Digital Media). Harold gives frequent digital photography workshops, many under the auspices of the Point Reyes National Seashore Association.

All photos are copyright the photographer, and may not be used without written permission.

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    • Thank you very much for including my image in your project. It was an inspiring and enjoyable challenge.
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    • Hannah and Harold, Thank you for choosing my photograph as first runner up, and for the inspiring article and project. I look forward to reading your new book. I also enjoyed viewing all of the other entries, they were all very good.
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    • Conragulations to the Winners !! Some really Beautiful Flowers indeed !!! But out of curiosty one of my Flower project photos was entered but is stated that it was not elegible? What did I do wrong? Was it posted in an incorrect manner? Terry S. Butler
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    • I was very, very pleased that my flower dancer was chosen as the grand winner. Thanks for suggesting the assignment. I wonder, Harold, if I could request one of your other books since I already own Light and Exposure? And thanks for your blog, Harold. I visit frequently and draw inspiration from it.
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    • @Martha: I'd be glad to substutute a book for my "Light & Exposure". (And, congratulations on winning the flower assignment contest!). Please let know which you'd like: "100 Views of the Golden Gate" or "The Photographer's Guide to Yosemite and the High Sierra". Other options: I have four books due out by the end of the year, and if you'd like to wait you could have one of them. They are: "The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Post-Processing", "Creative Composition", "Creative Night Photography", and "Creative Close-ups". Please let me know your pleasure. And everyone, keep up the great work!
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    • Hi Terry, Only images that were shot specifically for this project and posted to the member’s photo.net gallery, as well as entered in the comments section below the interview, were considered for the top 3 winning photo selection. While many of the photos submitted from files are brilliant and remarkable images, including yours--because it was shot in July of 2008 and not specifically for this project--they don’t meet the terms of the assignment, and were not considered in the final selection. Beautiful photo nonetheless. Hannah
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