Nick Carver Photography Blog

Photography Tips, Tutorials, & Videos

CONTACT
 

December at the Beach

Whew! The past couple months have been busy as hell! That's good news because there's nothing I hate more than being idle, but that also means I'm building up a hefty backlog of image editing. Luckily I had some time today to at least get through a couple days of shooting from back in December. I have pictures here from 2 different beaches (Crystal Cove State Park and a beach in Laguna).

The first set is from Crystal Cove taken on December 23rd. This was actually during a lesson with a student of mine, Kim Murphy (her work is awesome).

We started the evening photographing the gorgeous clouds reflected in the wet sand. Ahh, gotta love that blue sky. In the interest of full disclosure, I'll tell you I did remove some of the lens flare on the following picture once I got it in the computer (shame on me).

Once the sunset rolled around, I continued playing with the reflections and the motion of the waves. Couldn't decide which of the following 2 I liked better, so I posted both.

Then twilight rolled around and the blues in the sky made for a good, cold mood - perfect for December at the beach.

The second day was at a little beach in Laguna...not sure of the name...on December 29th. We'd been having heavy storms here in SoCal and the skies were breaking up into some pretty dramatic clouds and light. I rushed down to the beach and got there just in time for a few good shots.

Strong winds and passing rain made the job extra difficult, but also extra fun. I had to juggle holding an umbrella, wiping down my filters and avoiding the waves throughout the shoot. I loved it.

The waves were so choppy and tumultuous, I decided to make that the communication in these shots. I made the motion of the water the focal point in these compositions by using slower (but not too slow) shutter speeds. I also slightly under-exposed the pictures to add to the stormy feel.

And lastly, a panorama just as the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds. Click it to see a bigger version.

Thanks for viewing!

Back to Thousand Steps Yet Again

I returned yet again to Thousand Steps beach in Laguna last night. This time, it was with a private student for an on-location lesson. We went to the cave that I mentioned in my previous post and made our way through. The tide was low, but still higher than last time, which made getting through quite a bit more difficult. Compounded with the sharp, slippery rocks and the darkness later on, we had a hell of a time getting there.

The shot below is the one I really wanted to get last time, but wasn't able to pull it off. This time went a little better. I learned from my previous experience, knew where to put myself and figured out how to get decent exposure in both the foreground and background.

Thousand Steps Cave

I wanted to include a bit of the ceiling of the cave off to the right of the frame in order to show that I was in a cave and not just on the open shore. The reflections in the tide pools helped bring some light to the dark foreground and some split NDs allowed me to get the sky in range for the exposure. Lucky for me, the moon drifted in to the perfect spot just in time.

I also snapped a silhouette of my student getting her pictures of the sunset. Extra points to her for not giving up despite the extraordinarily tough trek into the cave.

Thousand Steps Cave

No doubt I'll be returning several times to come in order to master this location. It's one of the toughest I've shot in for awhile!

Cave Exploration

I went down to Thousand Steps in Laguna Beach again this past Saturday to check out a really awesome cave that you can only get into at low tide. I'd seen it from the outside before, but had never been through it. Luckily the tide was low enough to permit entrance this time and, I must say, it was really awesome. Nothing like your typical So Cal scenery. The only photo I came home with was the following mediocre shot from outside the cave. Words won't do this place justice, so I intend to return several times in the future to better document it.

Laguna Beach