Nick Carver Photography Blog

Photography Tips, Tutorials, & Videos


Apr 10 Crystal Cove Workshop Results

I held a workshop out in Crystal Cove State Park on April 10th with a great group of students. The marine layer prevented a the sunset from showing any real color, but nevertheless, we made the most out of the scene. Here are my shots from the day. The first one is looking away from the ocean - something I don't often find myself doing at Crystal Cove, but these flowers were begging for a shot. It was taken with a circular polarizer to richen the sky.

This next one is more like one of my classic Crystal Cove shots. It was taken with a 2-stop hard transition split ND and a 1-stop hard transition split ND (place at different "heights").

Thank you to my wonderful students for attending! I hope you all learned a thing or two!

Mar 27 Chino Hills Workshop Results

Had another workshop this past Saturday. I forget what it's like having Saturday off from work...hmm. I imagine it's nice, but I can't complain for getting to take some great people out to beautiful locales to teach them photography!

This past Saturday's workshop was in Chino Hills State Park - I love this park. The scenery is classic California and its rolling green hills never fail to relax a worried mind. After giving a few lessons about manual exposure, filtration, focal length, histograms and all that jazz, I thought I'd try to get a shot or two myself. The breeze was moving the grass a fair amount and I wanted to use a small aperture for the large depth of field, but that small aperture slowed my shutter down to something a little bit too slow with my polarizer on. I was about to raise the ISO up to compensate, but then I figured "why fight nature?" The grass blowing in the wind was actually quite beautiful, so why not communicate that in the image?

So instead of increasing the ISO and shutter, I kept the ISO low and slapped a 3-stop solid ND filter on the front of my lens and went for a long shutter to capture the movement on film (card?). This was my favorite composition for this effect. My settings were 0.3" at f/18 and ISO 100. I also had a circular polarizer, a 3-stop solid ND and a 1-stop split ND on the front of my lens.

To my students: You guys were a lot of fun to take out there! I hope you enjoyed the scenery, the knowledge and the company. Thank you all for coming and I hope to see you again soon!

For more information on all of my workshops including other Spring Wildflower Workshops, visit!

Mar 23 Quail Hill Workshop Results

Well, Quail Hill Trailhead is finally open again after some renovations and, although there weren't blankets of flowers, there were some lupine and goldfields in bloom for my March 23rd Quail Hill Workshop.

I snapped this quick shot at the end of the workshop as the sun was setting behind the hills. Looking back on it, I wish I'd captured a lupine instead of this grass because the purple flowers would have stood out nicely against the green background. This grass with the green on green color scheme is a little hard to see. But oh, well... The shot ain't horrible, so here it is. For those of you interested, I used a 2 or 3-stop split ND (can't remember which one) to darken the sky.

Thank you to my group of students for attending and for making this little outing so much fun!

For more information on all of my workshops including other Spring Wildflower Workshops, visit!