Nick Carver Photography Blog

Photography Tips, Tutorials, & Videos


Take a Moment to Enjoy the Sunset

I've been working hard indoors all day. Been working on some projects, administrative duties, you know, all that boring desk job stuff we as photographers became photographers to avoid doing.

I glimpsed the sunset out my window and decided to head out front to enjoy it for a little break. It's a good idea to focus your eyes on something miles away after focusing it on a computer screen a few feet away all day.

I've seen a lot of sunsets in my day, but this one was stunning. I almost wished I was out taking pictures, but then I relaxed and decided to just enjoy it. I stood in the middle of my street staring up at the delicate curves and soft wisps of orange and pink while the faint music of a violin struggled to make its way to my ears. A neighbor must have been practicing. I imagine I looked a little weird standing barefoot in my street gazing up at the sky like it was going to disappear. I say this based chiefly on the double take of the girl across the street probably wondering what the hell was wrong with me.

I enjoyed this sensory massage for a little bit, snapped some pics with my iPhone and headed inside to get back to the grind. This little experience reminded me how important it is to pause and enjoy the sunset every once in awhile. Luckily for my line of work, that often times goes hand in hand with the job!

Aperture 2, You Win

Alright, I caved and bought the Aperture 2 upgrade. Was I wrong about the things I said in my previous post? No (for the most part). True, proportional spacing in grid view shouldn't have been dropped in this upgrade and, yes, the jumpy scrolling is annoying as all hell, but there are some pretty awesome changes that actually do outweigh my quibbles.

I will admit that I can understand the advantage of unchecking proportional spacing in grid view in Aperture 2. It's hard to explain without a firsthand demo, but having it unchecked makes things more orderly when organizing pictures, splitting up stacks, creating stacks and all that jazz. It should still be an OPTION, though, not a requirement!

And it seems the "ignore stack groupings" option on smart albums has been replaced by the (surprisingly) more useful "include stack picks only." The way smart albums work in Aperture is a little different than in previous Aperture versions. It's almost like it automatically ignores stack groupings, but still lets you know when an image is part of a stack. It indicates, for example, that both of these images are 5-star, but they are 2 of 5 total images in the stack. It just doesn't show those other 3 images.

As for the jumpy scrolling: That's just straight up stupid. I can't for the life of me figure out why they swapped out the intuitive, logical smooth scrolling of Aperture 1.5 for this jerky ridiculousness. I really hope my dozens of complaints get through for the next update.

Now for the reasons TO upgrade:

- Vignette tool: Incredibly handy
- Smoother straightening: This was a major frustration point for me in 1.5
- Metadata and Projects panels in the HUD: Full-screen mode just got useful
- Retouch tool: Surprisingly effective
- Flip tool: FINALLY
- Interface: I can customize this thing until it's unrecognizable and it makes better use of my screen real estate
- Tether: So easy to do
- Customizable hot keys: I love hot keys even more now
- RAW Processing: WAY better results than in 1.5
- Background export: I can keep working? WHILE images are exporting?! Sweet!
- Faster: Don't ask me how, it just is

Here are some images from my first batch using Aperture 2 - an engagement photo shoot for my awesome friends, Bubba and Lisa. The new adjustment tools made my job much quicker and easier. Thanks Aperture! (cue cheesy 80's high five)

Band Shot Style

Cute Couple

Dusk at the Beach


What'd I do?

P.S. You may notice the large majority of my recent work is all portraiture stuff. Don't fret, nature is still my main game. It's just that summers in Southern California for the nature photographer, shall we say, leave something to be desired. The weather is boring, the heat is relentless, the crowds are ridiculous and the vegetation is...crispy. I'm not a sell-out and I'm not money-motivated (but I do need to, you know, eat). I wouldn't be doing this portraiture work if I wasn't loving it.

I have a problem…

I have few addictions in life - Milano cookies, S'Mores Pop-Tarts, bread. But I'm afraid I just found another: Antique cameras.

As you can read from my previous blog entry, I bought a vintage Kodak camera from an antique shop a few days ago. It's been on display in my room/office and I thought I was satisfied...

Then I saw her. She was sitting so innocently in her display case. A "1-A Kodak Jr." Good condition, excellent price tag. I knew I had to have her. Then I saw her friend. Slightly larger, same era. She even came with her original leather case. Her price tag was just as appealing. I couldn't decide between the two; I had to get both. I forked over the money, got them home, cleaned them up and now all three are on display in my room/office.

Three antique cameras in 2 days. I'm referring to them as sentient females. I think I've just opened a box I don't know how to close. I think I have a problem. I'm scared.