Nick Carver Photography Blog

Photography Tips, Tutorials, & Videos


Old Barn in Black and White

Snow on an old barn in Utah - Ilford Delta 100 Film

I took a trip to Utah recently to visit family and managed to get some photos while I was there. I brought only my 35mm Canon EOS 1V, a single 24-105mm lens, a few rolls of Ilford Delta 100 black and white film, and my trusty filters.

My aunt owns an amazing old barn out there that is just dripping with character. The spaces between the wood slats stream beautiful mottled light into the dark interior, the green painted wood exterior is weathered to a gorgeous textured patina, and the tool shed is jam packed with rusty old tools, spare parts, and farming implements.

The place is so stunning that my aunt rents it out for weddings and photo shoots, and she's booked all the way out to September 2013. She also sells seeds, posts gardening tips, and is basically a non-profit animal shelter. Okay, she's not an official non-profit, but at no small expense to herself, she houses, feeds, and cares for just about any animal the dregs of society will drop on her doorstep - and a lot of them do. She does this without complaints and without ever asking for a nickel. Check her out at Green Barn Gardens and support her if you like supporting those who selflessly care for neglected animals.

But anyway, I was like a kid in a candy store photographing this place. I would have been thrilled to spend days shooting it. Seriously. There were endless photo ops. Especially with the fresh snowfall from the night before, the contrast was just superb.

Thankfully, I made the right prediction that black and white film was the way to go on this subject matter. I developed the film myself, which was fun, and really, I just love the look of true B&W film. I think it looks so much better than any Photoshop, SilverFX imitation. I wish I could have had my 4x5 large format camera with me, but alas, the restraints of time and air travel made 35mm the only logical choice.

But I'll stop talking and just let the pictures speak for themselves. Click any image for a larger version. More pictures from this location coming soon.

Snow on an old barn in Utah - Ilford Delta 100 Film

Interior of an old barn in Utah - Ilford Delta 100 Film

Interior of an old barn in Utah - Ilford Delta 100 Film

Interior of an old barn in Utah - Ilford Delta 100 Film

Reflections in old barn window, Utah - Ilford Delta 100 Film

2013 Wall Calendar Now Available!

Nick Carver Nature Photography Calendar 2013

I'm thrilled to announce the release of my 2013 wall calendar!

Showcasing 13 of my favorite photos, I personally designed this entire calendar from scratch with aesthetics and functionality in mind throughout. Features include high-quality, full-color printing on top-quality card stock with a wire-o binding that allows this calendar to hang flat with only a single thumbtack. Months are labeled with all major US holidays, moon phases, time changes and first days of each season.

And this year, the print quality is better and it's more affordable at just $19.50!

Click here for more information
and order yours today!


Nick Carver Nature Photography Calendar 2013

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Shooting Film in Death Valley

The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunrise in Death Valley National Park, CA

I was fortunate enough to work with a student this past week in Death Valley National Park for a 2-day, 2-night, 1-on-1 photography workshop. We met in Stovepipe Wells, shot 2 sunrises, 2 sunsets, and spent the daytime discussing techniques, reviewing photos, and covering topics to apply for the next outing. We were lucky to get stunning sunrises and sunsets.

My student was a blast to work with and it was really amazing to see how much his photography progressed over a mere 2 days. It was actually quite unbelievable that one person's entire approach to landscape photography could change so dramatically in such a small amount of time. His dedication and passion for the craft paid off with excellent photos. I'll be sharing one or two of his images with you in the coming weeks.

As for me, with my recently re-discovered passion for film, I decided to shoot film exclusively on this trip. Although I would have loved to bring my 4x5, I opted instead for a lighter, quicker system so as to not hinder my student. So, I "Galen Rowell'ed" this trip by packing light with a 35mm film camera and my split NDs.

I shot Fuji Provia 100F color transparency film and Ilford Delta 100 black and white film. All in all, 1 roll of color, 1.5 rolls of B&W. This post is only about my color photos, which I shot with my trusty Canon EOS 1V.

Canon EOS 1V 35mm film SLR camera

The Canon EOS 1V is a beautiful camera with top-notch electronics and ergonomics. The viewfinder is big and bright, the meter is dead accurate with a +/-3 scale, the viewfinder blackout time is practically non-existent, it's's a very nice machine. Truthfully though, this camera is a bit much for shooting landscapes. The EOS 1V was Canon's flagship film camera for years and was built to accommodate the rapid-fire shooting and lighting fast auto focus required of sports shooters and photojournalists - stuff I don't need for landscapes. But the weather-sealing can sure come in handy, and even though I don't need all the bells and whistles, it doesn't hurt to have 'em.

I also used an all-manual Nikon from the 70's or 80's, too, but only for my B&W stuff. That'll come in another post. This post only includes my color images on Fuji Provia.

All in all, I'm quite pleased with the results. We had excellent light to work with, interesting terrain, I metered just about every picture correctly - no major errors or hiccups. And I tell ya, the more I shoot film, the more I realize why I'm shooting film. It's so much fun seeing those color transparencies on the light table in all their pure, untainted, un-digitized glory.

And as I look at more and more pictures taken on film, I'm remembering more and more how much better I like the color rendition achieved with film. I'd forgotten how much more beautiful the purples and blues look compared to digital. Provia especially leans a little bit towards the magenta/purple end of the color spectrum (as opposed to the slightly greener Velvia) which matches my taste in colors nicely. For sunset and sunrise images, especially at the coast and the desert, I prefer a little more magenta than green. Gives the sunset colors a nice glow.

The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunrise in Death Valley National Park, CA

The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunrise in Death Valley National Park, CA

Badwater Basin at sunset in Death Valley National Park, CA

Badwater Basin at sunset in Death Valley National Park, CA

Oh, and as a nice little bonus while were out shooting the sunrise, the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber happened to fly over us several times. Not sure why it was out, but I used to be obsessed with this amazing jet as a kid, so it was a treat to get to see it in flight. Managed to fire off a few photos of it (which ended up being my only digital shots from the trip).

B-2 Bomber Over Death Valley