Nick Carver Photography Blog

Photography Tips, Tutorials, & Videos


Algae and Rocks in Crystal Cove

Rocks in Crystal Cove State Park, CA

In this past summer session of my Landscape Photography Class in Irvine, I took my class down to Crystal Cove State Park for the field shoot. We lucked out with a super low tide at sunset, but the sunset itself wasn't anything to write home about. No clouds made for a lackluster sky - typical of July in SoCal.

But with the tide so low, we had access to tons of rocks that were absolutely blanketed in bright green algae, which made for great foreground subjects. My best results came from the light a few minutes after sunset. The purple tones in the sky at this time of day complemented the green algae well.

Rocks in Crystal Cove State Park, CA

Rocks in Crystal Cove State Park, CA

And just a quick reminder that registration is open for the next session of my Landscape Photography Class, which starts October 6th. Info on that here.


A Couple New Pics

As I've mentioned recently, summer isn't exactly peak season for landscape photography here in So Cal. The beaches are packed and the hills are dead. But in my Landscape Photography Class in Irvine this May, we were lucky enough to get a pretty decent sky and empty beach for the field shoot.

The tide was very high that day and the sand was littered with seaweed and other debris, but in between helping students with their manual metering and filter use, I was able to get a few decent shots. I picked the two "cleanest" compositions to share with you here.

Crystal Cove State Park, CA

Crystal Cove State Park, CA

I'm really looking forward to fall. That's when the skies start to show some color again and the beaches clear out.

Looking Back On An Old Picture

I wanted to post some new pictures for you this week, but I simply don't have any. I haven't taken any new pictures in quite awhile, but that's to be expected this time of year. The summer is kind of my "off-season." The beaches are too crowded, the sunsets are bland, the hills are dry and it's too hot to hit the desert. I'm hoping to visit the Sierra Nevadas this summer to quench my photographic thirst, but we'll see if that actually pans out.

So instead of posting new pictures, I thought I'd share an old picture - one from way back in April 2004. It's from back when I was still shooting Fuji Velvia slide film on my old Minolta Maxxum 7. I had the cheapest lenses I could get and was just barely getting into filters. Here is a scan of the original film:

Fallen Tree in Canyonlands National Park, UT

I took this picture in Canyonlands National Park after a freezing night of rain and snow. My uncles, my dad, my brothers and I had backpacked in the day before through intermittent rain to reach our first camp just in time to set up our tents and eat some grub. Luckily for me, we awoke to fresh powder on an otherwise arid landscape. There's no noticeable snow in this shot, but the stormy sky did help create a mood.

I was at the ripe old age of 17 when I snapped this frame. I used Cokin brand grad gray filters (if memory serves), my old Slik tripod and a Sigma brand lens in the neighborhood of 28-135mm.

It's not a perfect shot and I'm sure I would do it differently now (for better or worse), but I wanted to share this picture because this particular image always stood out for me. I was very proud of the composition, exposure and filter use at the time. Also, it was my first "real photo trip" into the backcountry with an SLR camera. It's one of my first memories of really applying my skills to get a shot I was proud of.

A lot of memories have come and gone in the 7 years since (wow, is it really 7 years?), but I can still remember setting up this shot when I think back to it. Good times...