Nick Carver Photography Blog

Photography Tips, Tutorials, & Videos


Second Session of Beginners Class Now Enrolling

Due to popular demand, I have opened enrollment for a second session of my Understanding Exposure for Beginners Class starting June 22nd! Same days as the first session (June 22 and 29), but in the afternoon at 1:30-4:00.


NEW: Understanding Exposure for Beginners
June 22nd and June 29th - Two Saturdays in a row 1:30pm-4:00pm in Tustin, CA
Perfect for beginning photographers, this class is designed to make exposure easily understandable to even the greenest students. Learn what shooting modes to use, how to get correct exposures, and what the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are. You'll leave this class knowing what the f-stop is, how to get blurry backgrounds, how to avoid totally blurry photos in low light, and much, much more! - 2 days (5 hrs total) -  $75

Click Here for More Info and to Enroll Today! 

Fall & Winter Classes in Irvine Now Enrolling

Now open for enrollment:

Landscape Photography
Oct 4 through Oct 25 on Thursdays from 6:30pm-9:00pm
This class is 1 evening per week for 4 weeks. It covers everything from how to shoot in manual, to using filters, to composition, to final output and much, much more. And this class is my one and only class to include a field shoot! This class fills up to max capacity pretty consistently, so sign up soon! - $99 - Max size: 20 seats
Get More Info About This Class

Composition for Dramatic Landscapes
Tues, Sep 11 from 6:30pm-9:00pm
Tues, Nov 27 from 6:30-9:00pm

Composition is what will make or break your landscape photographs. Don't get so caught up in the technical stuff that you forget to give due attention to the artistic side of landscape photography. - $39 - Max size: 25 seats
Get More Info About This Class

How to Shoot in Manual Mode
Tues, Nov 13 from 6:30pm-9:00pm
Tues, Dec 4 from 6:30-9:00pm

Learn the correct way to shoot in manual mode in this very affordable single-evening seminar. You'll never have to guess at settings again! This class is very popular and has filled up to max capacity every time it's been offered. Sign up before it's too late! - $39 - Max size: 25 seats
Get More Info About This Class

Don't wait, sign up before these classes fill up!
More information and enrollment details
can be found here.

May 2012 Solar Eclipse

Unless you've been living under a rock the past week, you probably heard about the annular solar eclipse that happened this past Sunday (May 20, 2012). So, like many of the residents in its path, I headed out with my protective glasses and my camera to witness this amazing event.

Annular Solar Eclipse in Irvine, CA on May 20, 2012Click image for larger version

This was the first solar eclipse I'd ever seen, let alone photographed, so I didn't really know what to expect. Photographing it proved to be a bit tough. It was difficult to not get ghost images and reflections of the sun off the filters and elements inside the camera lens. Also, I had to bring the exposure way down since, you know, I'm looking directly into the sun and all. With the exposure way down, the sky turned black, which kind of made it look like a crescent moon. And even with 8 stops of split ND, there was no way to get a correctly exposed foreground element in the shot. So, in order to execute the picture above, I resorted to one of my least-favorite techniques: digital composite (bleh...).

If you're a regular here on my blog, you know how much I hate combining multiple images using Photoshop. I never do it for my more traditional non-eclipse photos - in fact, this was only the second composite image I've ever done - but the above photo was just physically impossible without either digital manipulation or an 11-stop split ND filter. If I'd had that 11-stop split ND filter that doesn't exist, I could have and would have executed this photo in a single frame without any Photoshop.

But, alas, my only option was to photograph the scene at a correct exposure for the foreground, then photograph the eclipse separately at a much darker exposure. I then overlaid the photo of the eclipse on top of the foreground image and faded the transition between the two images from top to bottom much like a split ND would. The sun is still in the correct spot in the frame and is about the correct size, but all-in-all, it took about 15 minutes of work in the computer to create this image.

And as for the close-up shots of the eclipse, I only had 400mm to work with on my lens. 1200mm would have been nice, but whaddya gonna do?

Overall, the eclipse was beautiful, interesting, exciting and fun to see/photograph. I'm already counting down the days to 2017 when we'll get a full solar eclipse!

Annular Solar Eclipse in Irvine, CA on May 20, 2012