Nick Carver Photography Blog

Photography Tips, Tutorials, & Videos


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

Thousand Steps Sunset

Thousand Steps in Laguna Beach

The clouds looked promising last Friday, so I decided to get out to the beach for some sunset pictures. I'm a little bit burned out on Crystal Cove and my other usual spots, so I went to Thousand Steps to see what I could get. I hadn't been to this beach in awhile, but I really do love it there. The single staircase of 223 stairs makes it more difficult to access than the usual Laguna beaches, which sucks for carrying 30+ lbs of camera gear (mostly on the way back to the car) but it's great for keeping the crowds away.

The sunset was, well...I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Thousand Steps in Laguna Beach

Thousand Steps in Laguna Beach

There's a weird illusion going on with this last picture where the horizon looks crooked, but definitely isn't. Strange...

Great Laguna Beach Sunset

Last night was one hell of a sunset here in So Cal. Luckily, I was scheduled to take a student to Laguna Beach for a lesson/shoot. We picked a beautiful beach just below the Montage Resort where it was low tide and plenty of rocks abound for good foregrounds. It had been a really long time since I've visited this beach for some photos, and when I returned, I kind of remembered why it had been so long.

Although this area at low tide is really interesting, it is a little bit tougher to get a good shot than in some of the other places I've visited. It's actually quite deceiving because the rocks look great, the tide pools look great, the reflections look great, but the problem is just how dark the rocks are and how little variation in color there is. The rocks are really dark brown and the sea life covering it is really dark green. As a result, the subtle textures and colors can be difficult for your camera to capture. Without some practice, careful composition and spot-on exposure, the details get lost and the foreground ends up looking like just a big, boring mass of ugly rock.

Thankfully, that stunning sunset made for some great reflections.