It starts with some twigs… by Harold Davis

Harold Davis discusses the construction of a complex image built up from twigs collected with his children. His blog-post of 21 Nov 2017  It starts with some twigs…  is reproduced in its entirety here with Harold’s permission. You can view these images at a much larger size if you visit his original post.

We don’t necessarily think of an image as being a “construction” and initially I didn’t really grasp where Harold was coming from when he referred to “constructs” and “construction” in previous posts. Here, the construction aspect of his creative process is abundantly clear.   — Liz

Harold Davis:   blog home   |   website   |   guest post


Double-Click on any image below to view a larger-version


It starts with some twigs…

Inspired by the Grove 4
It starts with some twigs © Harold Davis

My kids and I gathered some twigs in “The Grove” [of coastal redwoods] in nearby Tilden Park. I used the twigs to create a light box composition, shown immediately below as an LAB inversion and single channel. I like the simple impression of the bare twigs as an image on its own.

Inspired by the Grove 1
Twigs “line drawing” © Harold Davis


Next, I added some color using LAB equalizations, Photoshop blending modes, and gradients, shown below.

Inspired by the Grove 2
Adding some color © Harold Davis


The final image at the top of this story was constructed from the twigs using rotations and reflections. It is made up of eight copies of the version shown below, which itself involves four reflections.

Inspired by the Grove 3
The first reflections © Harold Davis


So this is the story of creating a complex construction from an extremely simple starting place—a line “drawing” of twigs gathered from the ground of a redwood grove in the California autumn.

Of course, the key issue with an image like this is not really the mechanics of photography and post-production, but rather the visual and aesthetic choices one makes along the way. Just saying!

Images and Text © Harold Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Harold Davis on Exploring Colour

Where and What is Beauty?

On Beauty and Art

Constructing an image from the materials of nature

Other Links

Behind the Lens with Harold Davis

“The behind the lens piece has a bit more of the (fairly complex) story of how I’ve become the person and artist I am today.” – Harold Davis

Harold Davis (photographer)  —  Wikipedia bio

Harold Davis:   blog home   |   website   |   guest post



12 thoughts on “It starts with some twigs… by Harold Davis

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: