nicholas whittall photography

Welcome to Nicholas Whittall Photography... the online gallery section of www.nicholaswhittall.com. For more information, please visit www.nicholaswhittall.com and fill out the "Contact" form and I'll get back to you as soon as possible!
  • "Jinsei". This photograph ranks as one of my favorites of all time! I had spent 2 full weekends in the Japanese Garden and had taken several hundred photos of this tree. But for the first time, a heavy mist rested in the garden for most of the morning... allowing slower shutter speeds and rich colors. Just as I was leaving, the sun broke through for about 10 minutes... and in a twist of patience and sheer luck, I managed to catch this shot from under the canopy of this old Maple tree. The word "Jinsei" is Japanese for "life" and this tree with the starburst represented the epitome of the cycle of life. The twisted, knotted branches, almost symbolic of veins returning life from the leaves to the tree for the winter months... and the starburst adds an element to this shot that's impossible to "photoshop" in. The brilliant Fall colors make this shot all the more captivating! For more on this shot, check out my blog posting at http://nicholaswhittall.com/2011/10/life-under-the-tree/

  • "Fire in the Stare". Photographing wildlife in the Fall has its benefits. I managed to catch this shot of the intense glare of a lioness with the Fall foliage behind her lit up by the evening sun. It creates the impression to me of a firey scene... which is only outdone by the firey, intense stare of the lioness. I enjoy looking at this image for the majestic power she exudes.

  • **Getaway Magazine Winner: Best Photo August 2011**. "Natural Design". There’s a bird hide in the Kruger National Park that allows visitors to the hide to get out of their car. As I returned from a rather uneventful breakfast at the bird hide, I caught site of a speckle-breasted woodpecker. As I started to photograph the persistent bird as it tried to drill a hole in a tree stump – I noticed this brightly colored spider masterfully weaving its web. Against better judgment I spent a fair deal of time outside my car photographing this spider – and as the light streamed through the dense foliage – it lit up the spider and its creation.

  • If I had to provide a title for this photo it would be: "Gateway". I purposefully overexposed the sky as the sun was setting to create a sense of mystery. The blurred, receding water almost invites you to take a journey to end of the pier and into another world altogether. So what are you waiting for?

  • "Peace of Fall". I contemplated whether to title this "Piece of Fall" or "Peace of Fall". In truth, both would work. This picture was taken at the start of the largest Aspen forest I've ever seen... so although this is actually an 18 shot, 260 megapixel image, it is still only represents a very small piece of the incredible Fall landscapes I was treated to. But if you look long enough at this image, I think you'll land on the same choice as I did... it's pure magic... and peaceful... and so many other things too!

  • "Cutting Up the Field". Although the vibrancy of the color in the Palouse at Spring is something to behold, the interesting lines and contrasts are an equally fascinating photographic study. I took a long evening drive and was starting to get a bit frustrated with my inability to find a spot I wanted to camp out at while the sun set. Then I came across this field, about 15 minutes before the sun set. The dual direction of the lines in this field was really interesting... and I find as the eye finishes looking down the first set of lines, they catch the direction of the next and continue through the shot. This is a 7 shot panorama.

  • "Isineke". The word "Isineke" is taken from the Zulu language and means "patience". I thought this was an appropriate name for 2 reasons. First, the leopard is one of the most illusive animals to see in the wild... and I've been traveling to the game parks of South Africa for some 30 years and have never had such a leopard sighting in all of my previous trips combined. We tracked this leopard for about an hour as the sun was rising and she'd periodically stop, look back over her shoulder and wait patiently for her almost full-grown cub to catch up. Hence the second reason the name is appropriate. The f2.8 I used to capture this image does such a great job of placing the leopard in her environment... a dry patch of African veld... as she made her way toward her next resting point.

  • "I'm Not Fooling Around". I'm not sure if you've ever been in a wildlife situation where you haven't wanted to breath too loudly in case you startled an apex predator. I shot this image with the superb Canon 300mm 2.8L lens. I couldn't zoom out as the lioness walked within feet of the vehicle. it paused a minute, licked its lip, stared me down (probably contemplating whether I'd be a good enough snack) and then moved on. After changing my pants, I took a deep breath and marveled at the intensity of the experience.

  • "The Hills are Alive". Steptoe Butte... what a beautiful place to spend an evening... watching as the setting sun dances across the rolling hills beneath causing all kinds of colors and shadows to emerge. For the first time, I used my polarizering filter in this 7 shot panorama. The filter worked its magic in cutting the haze as well as helping to get some really good color saturation. I can alsmost find myself getting lost in the yellows, browns and greens of this shot.

  • "Stone Arch". Stone Arch Bridge is an iconic structure in Minneapolis. I found myself on the shoreline of the Mississippi river shooting this shot, while providing a tasty buffet to the hoards of mosquitoes that decided I made for a pretty good fast food option.

  • "Approach with Caution". This breeding pair of lion have been through the ringer. The female... in the prime of her life... and the male... a battle hardened warrior who carries his scars on his face like badges of honor. This shot captures them as the morning sun was just rising... and before both of them fell fast asleep shortly after!

  • I kind of happened upon this location. I'd never actually been to Treasure Island and as I exited the freeway I found myself forced around the island. I took my first possible right turn and wound my way up a steep road to an apartment complex. I parked in the dumpster area and was immediately drawn to the tree on the left with it's hanging tentacles.

  • "Vogue". I don't assume to know what's fashionable in the animal kingdom... but this lioness has a grace and charm about her. The soft morning light just hitting the side of her face, her face has got to at least be the envy of the rival hyena packs she interacts with.

  • "Spring has Sprung". This is quite a simply composed photograph... but the balance of color and light seem to compliment each other so well. A friend of mine - Hendra Lauw (www.hendralauw.com) recently posted about light and shadows... and in this shot I wanted to make sure I didn't blow out the petals but still retained the soft light hitting the bud on the left. This lily was photographed in the lily pond at Balboa Park in San Diego.

  • "Tranquility Falls". This is not the actual name of the falls, but it's the over-arching sense I got that afternoon as I sat there photographing the whispers of water cascading over the green-rich moss. I was going to name the shot "Clean Green" or something like that... as I wanted people to think about what they can do to preserve such sights. But I opted for the name "Tranquility Falls" because in the fast-paced world in which we live, I wanted to give you a place of calm in the hustle and bustle of life.

  • "On the Fence". Nothing transforms a scene like a bit of snow... and nothing really transforms a scene like a lot of snow :-). This caption has more to do with whether I planned to venture out on this cold and snowy day than the snow piled high on the old, wooden fence. My wife and I did venture out... I managed to drive a car into a ditch... but through it all... captured a memorable winter scene in Minneapolis, MN. This is a 6 shot panorama.

  • "Big Mac". This caption has nothing to do with the fast-food chain... Mac was this old bull elephant's name... as given him by the trackers and rangers at Timbavati in the Kruger National Park. Mac is over 30 years old, and probably could have done with some skin-care treatment along the way... wearing his wrinkles like an old leather boot! What a photographic subject though!

  • Parental Control

    My Dad and I were sitting in a hide enjoying a rare opportunity to photograph together... and we watched this swift tirelessly catching insects and then come in to feed it's chick. It was a special bonding moment for father and son, as I'm sure it was too for the chick.

  • The Tale of a Widow

    The long-tailed widow bird must be one of the most frustrating birds to photograph... due in part to it being so stunningly photogenic, while at the same time, incredibly shy. I snuck up on this one... and managed to catch a shot before it danced away through the grass.

  • Sentinels of the Bosque

    Bosque del Apache is a must-see for the bird enthusiast. Thousands of snow geese and sandhill cranes migrate to the Bosque for the winter months. They feed off the nearby farmlands during the day and return to the water at night to roost. The sun had set in this shot 20mins prior... but I soldiered through the cold as I noticed this wonderful symmetry emerge.

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