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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Creative Interpretations - The new e-book is here!

I am thrilled to announce the release of my first instructional e-book called "Creative Interpretations". The e-book can be purchased via my website at - It's only $10! If you do purchase it, I would love to receive any feedback you may have.

Here is the description of the e-book:
Photography is all about interpretation. From focal length to aperture and shutter speed, to composition and post-processing, a photographer makes many decisions that interpret the subject. The subject can be presented in an atypical manner that may challenge our perceptions or by delving into the abstract, the viewer can be left guessing as to what the subject really is. In this e-book, Nikhil takes you into the realm of conceptualizing and interpreting the scene that is to be captured by the creative photographer. Using his photographs and experiences as examples, Nikhil shares many ideas and offers plenty of insights on how you can reach a new level of creativity with your photography.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chincoteague Workshop Report

The last workshop of the year was probably the best in terms of the light we had. All 3 days were a treat!

I have mentioned that Chincoteague remains one of my favorite locations to photograph. It's very challenging to switch from photographing the wildlife to a landscape and then a detail shot. Not to mention the ocean which is a lot of fun to photograph. You really need to know your camera gear to maximize the opportunities.

I made the next three photos the morning before the workshop started.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mid-Atlantic Photography Expo this weekend

I will be sharing a table/booth with my friend and fellow photography Bill Folsom at the Mid-Atlantic Photography Expo (Nature Visions) this weekend. If you will be at the expo please stop by and say hello.
More info on the expo can be found at

We had some nice conditions last weekend. Leading a field session I made sure the participants were taking advantage of the situation. I managed to take 15 exposures in 3 hours. This photo is not bad considering that :)

Misty Potomac, Great Falls Park, Virginia

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Exhibit at the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery

Lone Willet, Assateague Island National Seashore

This weekend I will be exhibiting nine photos (including the photo above) at the new Betty Mae Kramer Gallery at the Silver Spring Civic Center at the Veterans Plaza. It's the first exhibit at this new gallery and I am honored to have been invited by the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County to be part of this 3 person exhibit called "Three Visions of Nature". Opening reception: Sunday, November 7, 2-4pm. The exhibit will be on display until December 31, 2010.

The idea for the exhibit is that all three artists being exhibited have very different ways of seeing and interpreting nature. More information on the exhibit is available at -

November 4 - Manassas Warrenton Camera Club
November 10 - Arundel Camera Club
November 15 - Reston Photographic Society
November 30 - Baltimore Camera Club
December 2 - Silver Spring Camera Club

Great Falls (field session) - Nov. 6 (Full)
Photoshop for Photographers (One day workshop) - Nov. 7
Chincoteague Island - November 19-21 (only 1 spot available)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Back from Arizona/Utah

Just got back from a fruitful trip to Arizona and Utah. I haven't been to another state that has such remarkable texture and feel. And there are parks round every corner! It's an absolute treat for a photographer. It's no wonder that these states attract people from far and wide. This was supposed to be a scouting tour but one of the two clients was admitted to hospital and they had to cancel. That left me with a couple of friends to adventure with. And adventure we did.

The last time I was in Utah everyday was sunny until rain arrived the last day. This time it was the opposite. Heavy cloud cover and rain, then clear skies the last day. As nature photographers we have to adapt to the shooting conditions and try to get to the right place at the right time. Not easy, but we can try :)

Dixie National Forest, Utah

At higher elevations it was cold enough for some snow.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

West Virginia Tour Report

Got back from West Virginia on Sunday. Had a great time with the tour participants. It was a small group and this gave me a chance to do my own photography while still giving them plenty of attention. The color was patchy when I got there but came in nicely for the last couple of days. It might not be as spectacular as it was a couple of years ago as the area has been in close to drought conditions. We have to remember that it's not about how good the color is but how you use it. After a quick sunset shoot at Lindy point the first evening I took the participants to a few spots I had scouted, that had great color. We worked on several close up photos but really had fun with canopy shots and making abstracts images using several blur and multiple exposure techniques.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A day in Shenandoah National Park

It's my favorite time of the year! I always look forward to photographing in the fall. Too bad it doesn't last very long. While I usually travel, locations close to home offer many opportunities. One of these locations is Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Beautiful at any time of the year it becomes really special in the fall. Since my travel schedule will prevent me from visiting during peak fall color this year I chose to make a day trip this past weekend as I was showing a friend around. The color has just started to come in and we were presented with some nice opportunities.

In the morning, we photographed the fog in the valley. It wasn't as dense as I had hoped for but enough to make things interesting.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Back from Colorado!

Well...I got back about 3 weeks ago. I've had several matters that needed my attention. In the past 3 weeks I have made 4 presentations at camera clubs (upcoming schedule below). Three of these presentations were on my upcoming eBook (stay tuned for that announcement). I've also had a chance to get out and make some photographs. Photographers making photographs...what a concept!

As I had mentioned in my earlier blog post, the Colorado visit was not going to be a photography trip since I was showing my Mom around. I was almost always driving to and from locations during the best light but I was lucky to have favorable conditions at times. While we visited a few familiar locations, I also used the time to scout out some new locations that I might visit in the future.

If you haven't been to Colorado, you must visit! It's scenery is amazing and it is almost a guarantee that you will run into some kind of wildlife if you get away from the city.

White River National Forest, Colorado

The biggest attraction are the Rocky Mountains.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Photo of the week on National Wildlife Federation website

I am pleased to announce that my photograph "The Island" has been selected as the photo of the week on National Wildlife Federations website.
Please click on the link below to view the larger photo.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Last chance to sign-up for the West Virginia Fall Tour

Sign-up now for a chance to photograph an amazing display of fall color, waterfalls, mountain ridges and more. Only 3 more spots available.
View photos at
Register at

West Virginia Fall Tour (Davis, West Virginia)
Date: October 7-10, 2010
Tuition: $375
Limit: 5 participants
Schedule: Start - 4:30pm Oct. 7, End - 11am Oct. 10

C&O Canal and the Potomac (field session) - Sept. 26
West Virginia Fall Tour - October 7-10 (3 spots available)
Great Falls - October 30-31 (only 2 spot available)
Great Falls (field session) - Nov. 6
Photoshop for Photographers (One day workshop) - Nov. 7
Chincoteague Island - November 19-21 (only 2 spots available)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Off to Colorado!

I'm off to Colorado for 5 days. It's not really a photography trip since I will be showing my Mom around. But I'm sure I'll take a few photos to document the tour.
Looking forward to re-visiting some of the amazing Colorado parks. Too bad I won't be visiting one of my favorites; Great Sand Dunes Nation Park and Preserve.
The photo above was made on during my last visit.

C&O Canal and the Potomac (field session) - Sept. 26
West Virginia Fall Tour - October 7-10 (4 spots available)
Great Falls - October 30-31 (only 2 spot available)
Great Falls (field session) - Nov. 6
Photoshop for Photographers (One day workshop) - Nov. 7
Chincoteague Island - November 19-21 (3 spots available)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Computers for Photographers

(Nikon D3s, 24mm f/1.4, processed with Lightroom, Photoshop, Nik Software, Topaz and Photomatix for realistic look)

While I get numerous questions about camera gear and software, hardly anyone asks me about computer hardware. In the world of digital photography the computer is "essential gear". To facilitate digital work-flow photographers need good computer hardware along with software. Please note: I said need not want :)

I just replaced my old Dell computer with a custom build thanks to my friend Rob Engels. I was very close to purchasing a Mac but being able to build a PC (with Windows 7) for one third the cost was hard to ignore.

The computer configuration:
  • i7 (930) processor - All i7 processors are quad core and really fast.
  • 16GB RAM - This might seem like a lot but Adobe products tend to use a lot of RAM. More is better in the long run. With every new version of software more processing power and RAM is required.
  • 2TB hard drive - Plenty of space since I store my photos on external hard drives.
  • GeForce GTX 275 video card (896MB on board RAM) - Excellent video card. Good for 3D gaming and video.
  • USB 3.0 enabled motherboard - While I currently don't have any USB 3.0 devices, USB 3.0 is going to become commonplace in no time. From what I have read it is supposed to be 10 times faster than USB 2.0.

I upgrade my computer every 3 years or so. That is the reason I chose this configuration. It took me a couple of weeks to get everything setup. Now that I do, I am really enjoying it. Windows 7 is a lot nicer than XP (I skipped Vista). It's a little Mac like. The 64 bit OS and software are noticeably faster. Processing photos is a pleasure compared to what I was dealing with before. In fact, that's what I will do now.

Monday, July 26, 2010

6 degrees

For those who question how global warming can affect us; here is a short video that sums it up concisely.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Photo Impressionism - Zoom & Flick

I demonstrated the swipe/blur technique at a workshop this past weekend. This technique is all about coordinating the shutter release and the movement of your camera. Sunflowers make a great subject for this technique. The first time I visited this Sunflower field I made about 250 photographs. Out of those, over 200 were abstract and photo impressionistic.

It's very easy to create photos that are abstract. It's much harder to create a photo impressionistic image, especially in the camera. Being able to understand what the subject is and yet see it rendered in a different fashion is always more intriguing.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Just added - Hands on Photography Workshops to Improve Your Compositional Skills!

What you shoot, the lighting at that moment, how you frame an image and when you click the shutter, all combined create either a photograph we are proud of, or one we discard. Wouldn't you like to discard less and create more inspiring images?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Classic or different?

When we visit the same location several times it can be a challenge to see our subjects in a different way. I have photographed Dragonflies at Kenilworth several times. The above image is what I like to call a classic image. If you have seen photos from Kenilworth, it is quite likely that you have seen an image that looks similar. A photographer needs the technical know-how to create an image like this but it is not different.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sea Otters

Sea Otters are really a lot of fun to observe more-so when they are in a playful mood. In this particular situation I was able to get several photographs that captured their playfulness but these two photographs captured the interaction between the male and female the best.

Here the two of them swimming side by side looked straight at me for about 2 seconds. I really like the way the male (to the left) is holding the females "hand". If you look carefully you will notice the female's nose is bitten. Biting each other is common amongst mating pairs, just like the female is about to do in this next photograph.

Friday, June 18, 2010

West Virginia Fall Tour announcement

Announcing the 4 day West Virginia Fall Tour! Come photograph mountain ridges, fog in the valley, blueberry bushes, bogs, forests, streams, waterfalls and landscapes all covered with or surrounded by amazing fall color. This tour is designed to give you maximum time in the field and get you to the most photogenic locations at the best time of day. Limited to only 6 participants! Date: October 7-10, 2010. Location photographs, registration and details at -

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Shoreline Revelation - a photo essay

This photo essay has photography from the eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia. Long exposures, textures, sea shells, wildlife and more. Best viewed in the 480p or 720p resolution. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chincoteague Island Workshop Report

Chincoteague is definitely one of my favorite places to photograph. I love it for the variety of photographic opportunities. It's not a very grand or large location, but I am attracted to it's subtle beauty and wildlife.

A couple of weeks ago I lead a spring workshop at Chincoteague. The weather held up and we were able to view and photograph some beautiful beach scenes and lots of birds.

Here are a few photographs I made while demonstrating various techniques. The image above was a "grab shot". We got to the beach the first morning and witnessed a colorful display of nature. This was one of two photos I made while the color was intense. I spent the rest of the time with the participants making sure they were making the most of this lovely sunrise.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sitting on a Dock

Seeing the California Sea Lions hanging out on docks is a common site in the Monterey Bay area. I heard from a local (Dan Tracy) that this dock cost a pretty penny to construct only to have the Sea Lions claim it as theirs even before it was operational.

The Sea Lions forage at night so they hangout at the dock all day. This offers us a chance to view some interesting behavior. Wildlife never fails to entertain...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brookside Gardens Workshop Report

I just completed a workshop through VisArts. We spent some time photographing at Brookside Gardens. The Tulips were quite amazing! If you haven’t had a chance to visit Brookside while the Tulips are in bloom, you should.

The group was very enthusiastic and photographed non-stop for 3 hours. I demonstrated various techniques from optimal exposures to creating abstract images. The participants were fairly new to creating blurs and multiple exposures and seem to enjoy the process. Seeing their images in the critique session I was quite impressed how quickly they were able to pick up the technique and create some lovely images.

The blog image was made as the light started to get harsh. A diffuser was used to soften the light. Here are a few abstract/photo impressionistic images I made during the demonstrations and after the participants left. Click on the thumbnails to view the larger image.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

February Featured Photo on

Rhythm and Light (_NIK0207)

Walking along the beach on a lovely morning, I came across this unusual pattern in the sand. It seemed like there was potential, but the pattern by itself was not interesting enough to make a strong photo. I chose to include the seaweed and setup the composition to create diagonal movement. Even then, the photo did not feel complete; the water had to be included. As I decided how much space the water should occupy in the picture frame, the seaweed got swept away by the next wave. I quickly found more seaweed. Now I knew I had to act fast and time the release of the shutter perfectly. Serendipitously, the next wave stopped perfectly at the top of the frame to give me the pre-visualized photo.

Having only a little bit of water in the composition allows the photo to be about the pattern in the sand. The seaweed acts as a focal point and the foamy water is a supporting element that adds interest and enhances the movement created in the photograph. Let’s not forget, the early morning light helps bring out the texture in the sand and adds the warm hue.

None of these elements were strong enough to make a photo by themselves, but brought together in harmony they make an effective photograph.