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DaveHPosterart Poster III – Minimalistic Frangipani

This poster is available though Fine Art America or by emailing me if you would like to get the image file rather than a print.

©️Dave Harcourt 2020, all rights reserved

This photograph was taken early one morning in Brumeria, a suburb of Pretoria, on an early morning walk. The minimalistic look was achieved with cropping and transformation rather than through set up and lighting in the original.

Notes on Some Photographers – Sam Nzima

Sam Nzima is probably one of the most influential South African photographers of all time.

Soweto Uprising by Sam Nzima
Image: Sam Nzima from

I suppose more precisely this photograph is the most influential ever taken in South Africa. Time actually class at one of the 100 most influential photographs in the world.

I can find no other photographs by Sam online, so will just add this portrait.

Image: Sam Nzima from Times LIve

This post isn’t based on in-depth research, but I did come across this interesting short video if you want a bit of background in his words.

What appears, by the icon, to be his Instagram page is private but only shows 5 post.

HDR the For and the Against

I recently got Affinity Photo for iPad and am on a heavy learning curve from the relative simplicity of Snapseed and Pixelmator photo for the iPad to the complexity and bewildering options of Affinity. In this process I found Affinity also has an HDR capacity which I tried out on some photos I have taken the time on the off chance that I might do some HDR a work.

Most HDR detractors dislike the garish, moody and dark images they believe are the essence of HDR and want an image that is true to “what we see” so don’t accept special processing.

©️Dave Harcourt 2020, all rights reserved
©️Dave Harcourt 2020, all rights reserved

Both of these perceptions are not really valid.

The first because the garish and dark images are a result of how the processor controls the tone mapping which is the basis of combining the multiple images. The first shot of the castle shows that very natural images can be produced using HDR. It produces a significantly clearer and more attractive image than the single exposure used to produce the second image.

As to a camera image being true to what we see, the eye has a much wider contrast range than a camera. So in those difficult situation like deep shadows, back lit subjects and interior /exterior scenes the human eye sees much more than the camera can. Only by combining over exposed and under exposed images can commercial cameras produce an image with both the darkest and lightest part of the image visible.

Coffee Time

Six coffee mugs and two colours make a really attractive and attention grabbing print which would be a great poster in a coffee shop.

Coffee Time 1 by Diana Rajala on Pixels

The “drone view”, disorganized orientations, curved surfaces and the small amount of coffee in the mugs contribute to the appeal of the image.

Very different to my image of 3 or 4 months ago , which is less minimalistic and more organic down to the wood grain background and even the croissant crumbs.

©️Dave Harcourt 2020, all rights reserved

Cane and Steel

What strikes me here is the contrast

The old rough and dull wall in a state of disrepair with cracks, blisters and water damage. The new and neat chair with interesting curves which hide how the legs work.

The emphasis is brought to the chair by the crisp focus and the great texture of the cane work contrasting the smooth blah steel.

The low angle of view also adds to the images attraction as does the un balanced crop.

Carbon Negative Vodka

This post touches on a number of topics (food industry, environment, photography, focus) that have been covered at as it’s changed over time.

Credit: Air Co / Joe Doucet

Air Co sells a high cost, artisanal (it is after all hand packaged and labeled) vodka that is based on a brand new, environmental technology. Using renewable energy to power a process that produces ethanol from air and water eliminates the environmental impact of agriculture and fermentation in the conventional vodka value chain.

There is a lot to understand and evaluate here, but this post is going to be about photography rather than the vodka.

As a fan of Apple computers I would classify this as a applist photograph (like impressionist painting), characterized by its combination of simplicity, clean lines and light colour. All the shades of grey and transparency contrast with the small, simple striking green of the single olive.

The overall composition here shows that the “thirds rule” is not a rule but rather a guide to the proportions that often give an attractive image. The proportions in this image are linked to the shape of the bottle with nothing being on the thirds.

Another interesting aspect is the orientation of the bottle facing directly forward. This leads to a bottle with what look like graduations on the left and the right of the company name. With the glass stopper this is reminiscent of laboratory equipment and might reinforce the industrial nature and quality of the product.

Mainly, I like the photo it invites examination and I guess it has an impact in marketing.

Using freely available infographics to ease the entry into photographic art

Assuming many people are impatient, this article will discuss how knowledge of the technical side of photography can be built using infographics. In the few minutes it takes to get the main point from an infographic, someone using a camera manual is still trying to understand the contents or index of manual. Getting down to taking the first shot takes minutes rather than hours. Infographics are a fun but efficient way of mastering your art.

This chart uses an infographic to give some facts and fixtures about infographics.

Infographic by visually – click the image to see the complete infographic

Infographics are quick and to the point – the illustrator is using a communication mechanism that forces them to make the point as concisely and clearly as possible. Where the information is hidden in a chapter of a book the author has to repeat the point to make sure it’s not lost. Lots of redundant information has to be understood to identify the facts needed to get started.

Diagrams and photographs can show how things actually are much better than words. The skill of the illustrator comes from the fact that he is forced to very carefully consider whatever they put on paper or online because they are driven to be as concise as possible to save space. The infographic is also easier to share with others and to store in the camera bag or notebook, for use as a reference

DaveHPosterart Poster II – Sky, Sea, Sand and Sun

I took this photograph a few months ago on the west cost of France.

Saint Jean de Monts
©️Dave Harcourt 2020, all rights reserved

The beach through a telephoto gave a deserted look while a bit of processing made it somewhat more vivid that it probably actually was. The vertical is divided in thirds, which with the desolate ness gives an interesting link to the image.

The breaking wave in the middle of the picture breaks the uniformity. This might not be advantageous, for instance Andreas Gursky spent hours in the dark room removing all features from his Rhein II which fetched $4,338,500 at a Christie’s auction some ten years ago. This made it the most expensive photograph ever sold at an auction, a place it held for several years.

©️Andreas Gursky, all rights reserved

My print is on sale at pixels for an incomparable price. Should anyone be interested in a more pleasing price they can contact me and we can work out an exclusivity deal and maybe adjust the photograph to your liking.

What about this version?

©️Dave Harcourt 2020, all rights reserved


This series of photographs that I have copied from the INTERNET will look at a range of things that makes the photos interesting to me and along the way will hopefully give you some ideas and illustrate some photographic points.

Suivis par des ombres © Haiquan Xiang – Drone Awards 2020

Do a GOOGLE search for “4 zebras” and you’ll get hundreds of photos, mainly from ground level in grass of varying length. The black and often dirty white shapes mainly against a brown savanna are very uniform and mostly uninteresting. To add to this photographers tend to want to fill the screen with their subjects and its normally difficult to get close ups.

So get yourself a drone, move into a semi desert area at sunset and you get a different photo. Then increase the exposure, contrast and decrease the saturation and the five zebra facing in different direction and their shadows make a really interesting composition. Of course we don’t see the details of sex, shape and texture but then its not a picture of zebra!

It would be possible to further develop the image by playing with rotation and cropping and possibly making the ground smoother and lighter. But this is a really compelling photograph.