Nick Carver Photography Blog

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Summer Classes Now Open

My summer photography classes in Irvine
are now open for enrollment!

Landscape Photography
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 weeks before the start date almost every summer, so sign up soon! - More Info
Date: July 19-Aug 9 on Thursdays from 6:30pm-9:00pm
Max Size: 20 seats
Fee: $99

How to Shoot in Manual Mode
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 saw sign-ups at almost double max capacity that last time it was offered! Sign up soon! - More Info
Date: Tues, July 10 from 6:30pm-9:00pm
Max Size: 25 seats
Fee: $39

Composition for Dramatic Landscapes
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. And this class is brand new to Irvine! - More Info
Date: Tues, Sep 11 from 6:30pm-9:00pm

Max Size: 25 seats
Fee: $39

My summer classes almost always fill up to max capacity, so don't wait!
More information and enrollment details
can be found here.

Quick Survey – I Need Your Feedback!

I'm debating offering a new service, but before I put all the work into creating and advertising them on my website, I want to gauge the interest in such a service.

My idea is to start offering private destination workshops.

What's that mean? Well...you, me, a beautiful destination of your choice and 3-5 days of shooting, learning and exploring. Think of a traditional photography workshop except you set the date, you choose the location, and it's just you and me (or better yet, bring some of your friends). This blog post is from such a trip with one of my long-time private students.

Possible areas to visit would be Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree, Mojave National Preserve, Yosemite, Lee Vining/Mono Lake area with a trip to Bodie Ghost Town, Bishop/Lone Pine area, Sedona, San Francisco or even the Grand Canyon - areas I know well and in which I can show you the best spots.

As for a rough idea of price, you're looking at $750-$900 a day (depending on distance to location). That means a 3-day, 2-night trip to Yosemite would be $2,400. Split that among 2 of your friends and you're looking at $800 per person. Rate covers my teaching fee and all my expenses, but not your own expenses.

So be honest...yay or nay?

[polldaddy poll="6169237"]

Private Workshop in Death Valley: Part 2

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunrise in Death Valley National Park, CA

View "Private Workshop in Death Valley: Part 1"

For sunrise of the second day of our trip, my student and I visited the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. These dunes are gorgeous and easily accessible (relatively speaking), which, unfortunately, means they are quite popular. And popular sand dunes mean foot-printed sand dunes.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Sand dunes are one of the toughest locations to shoot. Climbing up them is like going up the wrong way of an escalator, and before long, 35 lbs of camera gear starts to feel like 50. But that's not the worst part - that's just physical exertion. The real tough part is the footprints. They are damn near impossible to avoid, your own footprints included.

But we went off to a lesser-visited section of the dunes to capture some pristine spots. Of course, the next guy will have to frame out the holes from our tripod legs...

This was my first time photographing dunes at sunrise. I normally catch them at sunset, but the morning light here was gorgeous. I loved the dark, curvy shadows the dunes casted on themselves. And the ripples in the sand...it doesn't get much better than that. The moon even came out to pose for me.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunrise in Death Valley National Park, CA

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunrise in Death Valley National Park, CA

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunrise in Death Valley National Park, CA

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunrise in Death Valley National Park, CA

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at sunrise in Death Valley National Park, CA

After a much-needed nap for me, we ventured out into Panamint Valley to photograph the Panamint Mountains at sunset. We camped out near the dry lake bed there to catch the cracked dirt, sand, bushes and all the other weird formations there.

Panamint Mountains at sunset in Death Valley National Park, CA

Panamint Mountains at sunset in Death Valley National Park, CA

Panamint Mountains at sunset in Death Valley National Park, CA

Before heading home on the last day of our stay, we hit Devil's Cornfield at sunrise. Devil's Cornfield is an interesting area where tons of arrowweed bushes dot the landscape - some over 7 feet tall - like stalks of corn (I suppose). They remind me less of corn stalks and more like strange bushes that have been pulled up out of the ground and then set back on the sandy floor of the desert.

Devil's Cornfield at sunrise in Death Valley National Park, CA

Devil's Cornfield at sunrise in Death Valley National Park, CA

Devil's Cornfield at sunrise in Death Valley National Park, CA

And to seal off the trip, I did a quick self-portrait with my student, Kim Murphy. Check out that "stalk of corn". I'm 6'2" and that bush is taller than me!

Nick Carver & Kim Murphy at Devil's Cornfield in Death Valley National Park, CA

I had tons of fun taking Kim out on this private workshop. Her work is phenomenal and she's an incredibly talented photographer. Be sure to follow her blog and visit her website here. She also posted a blog entry about the trip, so check that out to see her beautiful photos from Death Valley.