Nick Carver Photography Blog

Photography Tips, Tutorials, & Videos


Large Wall Art: 7-Foot Wide Panorama

Large Wall Art - Panoramic Photography by Nick CarverLarge Wall Art: Nick Carver and the 7-Foot Wide Beast
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I recently made a large wall art piece for a client to hang in his TrueCar executive office in Goleta, CA. I've made some large wall art before. My record is 10-foot wide, a panoramic view of Sedona, AZ that hangs proudly in my Tustin classroom. But on the 10-foot wide piece, I broke up it into 3 smaller pieces, forming a triptych, simply because it's nearly impossible (or prohibitively expensive) to create a single piece that large.

Large Wall Art - Panoramic Photography by Nick Carver

For this wall art at TrueCar, we were looking at doing a 6-foot wide print with a 4" double mat and a 2" frame. All in all, the piece would measure 7-foot edge-to-edge when it was complete. Since we were going with traditional matting, doing a triptych wouldn't look right. The gaps between prints would be distracting. So the goal was to do a single continuous piece framed under glass.

Before this, I'd never done a piece this large with glass. The triptych hanging in my Tustin classroom is float-mounted with plexiglass and no frame. Doing it under a single pane of glass presents a different set of challenges. Thankfully my framer, Salamon Art in Fountain Valley, provided much needed guidance on this process. I learned from the head honcho over there that matting prints this big is so uncommon that there are only 2 colors available for matting: white and warm-white. Good thing that's what we wanted anyway. The next challenge was glazing (meaning the glass). They don't make glass this big for picture framing. We could get a pane specially made, but that would cost a fortune. Thank God for acrylic. Acrylic glazing made the whole piece surprisingly lightweight compared to glass and it made the materials far more affordable.

I typically like high-gloss metallic prints, especially for landscapes like this, but I decided to go with a regular matte finish paper. It was a tough decision because I don't really like matte photo paper, but it was the right decision. High-gloss prints this big become distractingly riddled with ripples and reflections. Also, it's a good idea to do really dark photos in a dull finish. High-gloss picks up reflections even worse when the picture is dark. If you got yourself a really bright composition, though, gloss can look great. The printing was done, as always, by the experts at Pro Photo Connection in Irvine. It's the only place I trust with my prints. This photo, by the way, is a 6x17 panoramic made on Fuji Velvia 50 film in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

Sunset at Rancho Palos Verdes

The finished piece came out great, it was huge, it didn't break on transport (my biggest worry), and it looked gorgeous hanging on this exec's wall. As I've said before, getting the photo framed and hanging on someone else's wall is the ultimate reward of photography. Feels good.

On to the next one.

Medical Office Art

Office Art by Nick CarverOffice Art by Nick Carver
Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Offices, Del Mar, CA

Office art can either be the most boring stuff on the planet - some cliché photos or paintings picked up from the local Bed, Bath, and Beyond for a few bucks - or it can be art worthy of a gallery. The artwork can be an active contributor to the office branding and overall "vibe" rather than an afterthought to fill wall space. I think the industry is moving more towards this type of high-quality artwork in office buildings, medical centers, and eateries because people are realizing that the extra effort and expense for something high-quality and unique is well worth it to give their clients a pleasant and memorable environment in which to do business, see the doctor, or enjoy a meal. Art consultants and interior designers have done a great job educating their clients that their restaurant, office, or doctor's office needs memorable artwork to tie the whole thing together. Gone are the days of mass-produced, unimpressive, and forgettable office art. It's a golden age of opportunity for creators of fine art.

Truly there's nothing I enjoy more than making wall art. The satisfaction of seeing one of my photographs framed up and on display in someone's home or office is the ultimate reward. I love the process of designing the artwork, picking out a frame, getting the prints made, delivering the finished's just good fun. So when I was approached with the opportunity to create 11 framed prints for a brand new medical center in Del Mar, CA, I jumped on the chance. The Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group offices in Del Mar with their gorgeous Craftsman style design needed photographs that promote well-being and a deep connection to nature. Luckily for me, they found my images through an online search and felt my photography was a perfect match.

I worked with Sharp Rees-Stealy for several months, narrowing down the selection of photos and planning out the matting/framing style. We ultimately opted for a sleek modern wood frame with an off-white double mat under anti-reflective museum glass. The results came out beautifully.

My underlying purpose with photography has always been to create images that connect people to nature and give them a vehicle to detach from their stressful lives, enjoy the scenery for a minute or two, and remember how much beauty is still out there in the world. I can think of no better place my images will fulfill this purpose than at a medical office, where people are often in desperate need of an escape as they wait for stressful news.

Office Art by Nick Carver

Office Art by Nick Carver

Office Art by Nick Carver

Office Art by Nick Carver

Office Art by Nick Carver

Office Art by Nick Carver

Photography Classes Orange County: Camera Filters


Photography Classes Orange County: Camera FiltersThe next session of my Filters for Outdoor Photography class is on Saturday, February 8th at 10:00am. This Orange County photography class meets just one Saturday at 10:00am-12:30pm. From UV filters, to polarizers, to split ND filters, to white balance, this class will teach you how to use all the most important camera filters for outdoor photography. I consider camera filters my most important tools for creating great landscape photos and they are an integral part to almost every type of outdoor photography. I've structured this class to not only teach you how to use these filters, but also to help you sift through the countless options at the local camera store so that you'll know exactly what to buy and what to not waste your money on.

Don't be fooled by the marketing of software companies - camera filters are just as useful in digital photography as they've ever been! Find out what filters Photoshop can never replace and which filters are most important to keep in your bag. Learn how to avoid blown-out skies in your landscapes with split NDs, how to get richer colors with a polarizer, how to mimic a warming filter with your white balance, what the real advantages to RAW files are, and more!

With a small class size of only 12 students max, you'll get personalized attention and you'll never be left behind. Plus, my photography classes Orange County are highly rated amongst previous students. Please browse through my Yelp reviews or read the testimonials on my website here to see what previous enrollees had to say.

Here's what a previous student had to say about my classes:

"I have taken a course at our community college and a few on line courses and have not found any to be as informative and easy to understand as Nick's instruction."

- Sheri P.

Don't wait until this class fills up! Reserve your seat today for just $39! More details about this course including enrollment information can be found here.