Nick Carver Photography Blog

Photography Tips, Tutorials, & Videos


Anza-Borrego Desert

I went to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park this past Thursday to get some shots of the Spring bloom. I'd never been to Anza-Borrego before, so I didn't really know what to expect, but overall, I really enjoyed the trip. The flowers were plentiful and the weather was nice. Lots of Brittle Bush, Desert Dandelion and Lupine. The Ocotillo cacti were also in bloom, which was great.

Even though what drew me out to this park in the first place was the flowers, that wasn't where I ended up getting my best pictures. Truthfully, I was only marginally pleased with my flower landscape attempts. Things just weren't vibing for me, I guess.†

I did, however, spend some time in The Slot where I got some great pictures. I spent around 2 hours in this narrow slot canyon and didn't see a single person while I was out there! The lighting was dramatic in many spots and the experience was so much fun. I'd never been in a slot canyon before and I was just blown away by it.

For this one ^ I threw some sand into the air to bring out the shaft of light.

It's a good thing I'm in shape because some of the canyon barely fit me with my backpack on.†

Tight quarters in The Slot.

Later on, I went out to Village Site to get some flower landscapes. Again, the results are just mediocre, but I still had fun. I tried my luck at some star trail shots, but didn't do too well (I've never really mastered that). I did get one nighttime shot I was pleased with.

Group Shoot at Descanso Gardens

I attended a really great group photo shoot at Descanso Gardens in LA County with some friends this past Sunday. It was just a bunch of photographers and models getting together to do what they do best without the pressures of money, deadlines or competition. These kinds of meetups are tons of fun and I highly recommend organizing/attending some if you have the chance (photographer, model or otherwise)!

Here are a few of my results from the shoot.

Morgan Carver (3,6,8)
Rachel Lindley (1, 2, 5, 7)
Alex Lake (4)
Forrest Wish (7)

Winter in Orange County

We've had a lot of weather lately in Orange County. Some winter storms have brought rain, wind and very cold temperatures (for OC at least). I personally love it. I think I was built to live someplace more like Seattle than Orange County, so it's nice to have a little taste of winter weather for a change. I remember one year my friend and I went and got popsicles on Christmas Day because it was so hot. I'm happy to say this year will be different.

Orange County in Winter

These storms have, of course, made for some interesting light. I'm ashamed to say I haven't taken advantage of it to the degree that I should. Life has gotten the best of me and I've consequently been in a bit of a rut these past few weeks. I haven't felt like taking new pictures, editing old pictures or doing anything at all, really. Just an overall lack of vigor for life, you know what I mean?

Oh, well. These periods happen in life. At least they are few and far between for me and I am coming out of it. So I decided to get off my ass yesterday and go get some shots. I didn't go to the beach like usual. Instead, I drove to the empty road behind my old high school. It's in the hills and only the roads are set up for the acres of tract housing that are soon to come (don't get me started on that - I hate all this development).

There's a nice view of Irvine and Tustin below from up there, especially on a clear day after a rainstorm. I was pleased to find prominent shafts of light piercing through the clouds to the ground below. Patches of light illuminated portions of Irvine and Tustin creating some interesting layers and patterns. The light was fantastic, the scenery - not so much. But I did get a couple nice shots. Check it out above or on Flickr.

On a side note - I will be keeping up with this blog better in the future and I will be taking more pictures!

Happy Holidays!