Archive for Varina Patel

Interview with the Visual Wilderness Team

Posted in Articles about Photography, eBooks, Humor, Marketing, TCBlog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2011 by Darwin

Check out this interview with the Visual Wilderness team. Want to learn what makes us tick, and how we got together and what we do? Of course, some secrets are revealed (like my special fitness program) 😉

The Visual Wilderness Team


New eBook and Photo Contest over at Visual Wilderness

Posted in Art of Photography, Articles about Photography, Artistic Development, Books about Photography, eBooks, Good News, Image Processing and Software, Inspirations, Instruction, Monthly Photo Contest, TCBlog, Techniques, Webinars, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2011 by Darwin

Note: To see all future ebook releases, please visit us over at

Hey y’all, time to wander over to Visual Wilderness for two new offerings!  The first is Samantha’s new eBook, Foundations which is part of her new Mastering Composition and Design Series of eBooks. That means there are more eBooks on this topic coming in the future. This first book lays the foundations for those who have difficulty ‘seeing’ potential images while in the field. Personally, I think any visual artist needs to master the foundational skills in visualization; Samantha introduces you to the essential skills that underpin creative photography and all for just $4.95. Click on the photo below to learn more.

The Visual Wilderness team has just announced our next photo contest with the theme; American Landscape. So if you have a killer landscape image taken in the United States of America then head over to Visual Wilderness to enter. The prize? This month Jay and Varina Patel are giving away a four-part webinar: Nature Photography and iHDR Workflow worth $196 US greenbacks. These webinars have gotten rave reviews by all who take them. And for those of you who have no US landscape photos, no worries, in the following months we will be covering other geographical locales like Bahrain, Gabon, Laos, Mozambique and Uruguay.  😉

Secrets about Varina Patel

Posted in Good News, Humor, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2011 by Darwin

Samantha has done some deep investigative reporting and has come up with some dirt on Varina Patel (famed photographer, mother to Jay Patel… 😉 and six children).

Check out this blog post to learn more.

Speaking of Varina and Jay Patel check out their wonderful FREE new eBook on Photo workshops… it shows just how much fun you can have if you spend some time with Varina and Jay.

Visual Wilderness

Posted in Articles about Photography, Books about Photography, eBooks, Good News, Monthly Photo Contest, Photography Gear, TCBlog, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2010 by Darwin

I am happy to announce that today I am a proud co-founder of a new website called Visual Wilderness. Along with photographers Jay Patel, Varina Patel and Samantha Chrysanthou we are happy to create a web environment for  learning about nature and outdoor photography. At Visual Wilderness you can learn by downloading our instructional eBooks, by participating in our seminars, workshops, and webinars, by reading our informative blog and also by interacting on our forum.

As part of our launch we are excited to offer an online photo contest with a great prize, a Sigma 20mm f1.8 EX DG ASP RF lens. The Sigma 20mm is a fast, wide-angle prime designed for full frame and APS-c size sensors. This lens is a unique Sigma offering with an aperture of F1.8 making it the fastest super wide angle lens available from any camera or lens manufacturer. For the scenic or landscape photographer it’s important to have a wide angle lens with excellent optical performance and Sigma’s aspherical lens technology provides high quality images for the serious shooter. Sigma’s 20mm lens has a field of view of 94.5º and yet provides for a close focusing lens-to-subject distance of only 2.6 inches. Such performance parameters provide great creative freedom to the photographer who wishes to exploit its capabilities for juxtaposing very near subjects with the surrounding background. This extreme wide angle view also makes this lens ideal for creating “stitched” panoramic scenes for dramatic effect. The architectural photographer will find this lens attractive for shooting building interiors and the photojournalists will find its fast speed a life saver in low light conditions.This Sigma lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax, or Sony mounts.

We would like to thank Gentec International for supplying us with this great prize. For more information about Sigma lenses, visit Deadline to enter the contest is October 31, 2010. For complete rules go here.

Finally, for readers of this blog I am offering a 20% discount code on the following two eBooks. We think these two offerings are critical for photographers to master and we have made aperture and shutter speed choice as easy as 1,2, 3! Check these eBooks out; you’ll finally understand how to pick the right aperture and shutter speed for creative photography. The discount code is niwrad (that’s Darwin backwards) and it is valid until 11:59 PM (EST) on September 30th, 2010. Just click on the eBook photos below to learn more. We want to help you become a better photographer and over the course of the next few months we will have lots of new goodies designed to make learning fun and effective. Give us a quick look, drop by and say hi and let us know what you would like to see from us.

Photographer of the Month – Varina Patel

Posted in Image Processing and Software, Photographer of the Month, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , on August 6, 2009 by Darwin

I have long been familar with fellow TimeCatcher’s member Jay Patel’s fine photography so his work needed no introduction to me. Over the last several years I have come to know  and love the work of his wife, Varina Patel. Many couples in nature photography have one spouse being the shooter while the other spouse does admin. What I like about Varina and Jay is that they are both super accomplished photographers and experts in Photoshop. And when you compare their work from the same shoots (they often travel together) they each have a distinct style – no one is riding on the other’s coat-tails.  These folks know their way around a camera!

Sometimes when I look at a photographer’s work, individual images are stunning but when taken as a whole the images are just too much of the same stuff; fomulaic and repetitive. When I look at Varina’s images, there is an expressive range that is refreshing and engaging and never boring. There is depth to her vision. And Varina’s comps are so clean and simple, they look effortless, but it is a rare photographer who can so easily make order out of the chaos of nature.

Also I admire the way Varina processes her images. Her images look ‘real’ but vivid and they never cross over into that cartoonish or garish zone so common with nature photography today. Look closely at her backlit work (she loves to shoot backlit scenes) and you’ll see someone who is a master at blending images with super wide tonal ranges into something that feels ‘real’. In fact Varina and Jay offer workshops on Intelligent HDR where they teach photographers how to make high dynamic range images from several exposures of the same scene by using layers and masks in Photoshop. I have seen their process in action and think it is something every landscape photographer needs to know how to do. I have yet to see another process that works so well! Best of all it is a simple 3-step process that is not overly complicated. If you get a chance be sure to sign up for one of their workshops.

Thanks Varina for the inspiration!