Nepal and the Himalayas: A Must on a Photographer’s Bucket List

Nepal and the Himalayas: A Must on a Photographer’s Bucket List

I specialize in fine art panoramic landscape photography, wildlife photography, and indigenous portraiture from remote locations around the world. A visit to Nepal and a trek in the Himalayas should be a priority on every photographer’s bucket list.  Here’s some helpful knowledge for making the most of your Nepalese expedition. For my trip, I carried a Nikon D3s and D800E digital SLR bodies with a Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S ED VR,  Nikkor AFS 80-400mm f 4.5-5.6 ED VR, and 70-200mm f2.8 G AF-S ED VRII lenses.

Must See Locations

Nepal is riddled with photographic opportunities. You really can’t go wrong paying a visit anywhere in the country. However, there are a few locations worth zeroing in on if you have limited time or knowledge of the area, such as Kathmandu, Chitwan National Park, Himilayas, and Pokhara.

Picture1

An elder woman spins a Nepalese prayer wheel at the Monkey Temple. This image was captured with Nikon D3s and a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S ED VR II.

Gear Tips

The climate in the Himalayas is constantly changing, particularly at higher altitude. Prepare yourself for all types of weather conditions and layer your clothing. Be sure to wear a warm base layer and carry a waterproof layer with you at all times to protect you and your gear. Gear bags, such as a Gura Gear 26L Bataflae, work extremely well for ease of access and to keep your gear dry. Another tip is to hire a porter (or “Sherpa”) and trek with a walking stick or hiking poles such as those made by Leki. Even individuals in excellent cardiovascular shape have had difficulty in these mountains. Safety always comes first.

Picture2

A woman sits and relaxes on a temple’s steps in Durbar Square. This image was captured with a D800E and a Nikkor AFS 80-400mm f 4.5-5.6 ED VR.

Chitwan National Park

It is said that, “eyes are the window to the soul.” This Asian Elephant’s eye tells a tormented story. For years, elephants have been mistreated in the region and used primarily for work purposes. I can’t say I was ecstatic about how they were treated while in my presence; however, in the Chitwan National Park you can at least provide some comfort to these gentle giants by spending the afternoon grooming and bathing them in a river.

Picture4

Mt. Everest (on the left and tallest in the world at 29,029ft) and Lhotse (on the right and 4th tallest in the world at 27,940ft) stand together on watch over Nepal to the south and Tibet to the north. The night before, we had a white-out snow storm and our chances to observe these natural wonders looked grim. Not so as dawn broke, revealing this scene from the small mountain village of Tengboche. This image was captured with a D800E and a Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S ED VR.

Pokhara

A young monk is seen here on his way from class to daily prayer. This image was captured in a Tibetan Monastery near Pokhara.

Travel with Experienced Guides

I’ve heard many horror stories about adventure seekers attempting to hike the Everest Base Camp Trail alone or without an experienced guide. This is a mistake, which often does not end well for the trekker. While it is true that one path leads up to Everest Base Camp and back, there are many twists and turns that may lead you off course. Trekkers “going it alone” frequently have accidents, get lost, and even disappear to never be found again.

Personally, I recommend Nature Beyond for someone who has a keen interest in photography. Among the other local experts at your disposal at Nature Beyond, Pallab Bhattacharya is an experienced photographer himself with an extensive knowledge of the region that is invaluable. While in the Himalayas, Pallab and his organization also team up with expert mountaineers to lead the trekking portion of the expedition.

This Buddhist monastery was captured by our expedition member and talented photographer, Bruce Kennedy, at sunrise near the village of Tengboche in the eastern Himalayas.

A Final Word: Nepal’s Ongoing Earthquake Recovery Effort

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The Nepalese people need your help! On April 25, 2015, our photo expedition was caught on the ground in Nepal during a 7.8 magnitude earthquake – the worst to rock the region in over 80 years. In addition to the tragic loss of life, there was widespread devastation to Nepal’s infrastructure.

The Nepalese people continue their battle to recover and rebuild their communities today but require significant assistance. If you would like to help, please donate to a trusted group such as Children and Youth First (“CYF”). CYF is a 501(c) charitable non-profit and non-governmental organization that was established in 2008 by an energetic group of nine like-minded youth volunteers from Kathmandu.

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Dean J. Tatooles specializes in fine art panoramic landscape photography, wildlife photography, and indigenous portraiture from remote locations around the world. He also works with top-rated travel companies and fellow professional photographers to lead photographic safaris in locations like Antarctica, Kenya, Uganda, Iceland, Morocco and more.

97 Comments

  1. Breathtaking photos, Dean! You really capture a story in each one.

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    • Amazing photos!!! I can’t wait to see more!!

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  2. Great piece with stunning photos. It makes me want to know more and see more; very motivating.

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    • Thanks Rob, please contact me with any questions. Be happy to get you any information you need.

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  3. Breathtaking photos! Stunning!

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    • You are a true artist Dean!! You capture so much emotion and life!!!

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  4. Nepal has been on my bucket list for sometime. Your incredible photos reminded me why.

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    • Amazing place and people Michael. Grab some gear from BL and join us on our next tour!

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  5. Awe-Inspiring photos. You are truly talented, Dean!

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  6. What a beautiful collection and presentation of images and info. Great work Dean!

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  7. Nice work Dean. One day me and my camera will get to Nepal.

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  8. Amazing Dean! Your work is breathtaking! Pretty stellar my friend! Keep up the great work!

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  9. Always great to read about your trips Dean. Felt privileged to travel with you in BC, and hope to see other places of the world with you. Love the work. Keep at it bud!

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    • Thanks Capt. Make sure to mention our friends here at Borrowlenses when you are leading your expeditions. Might see you down in Antarctica in October. Best, Dean

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  10. I travel the world through your lens. Thank you for bringing me the beauty of our world with your pictures. You are an artist and your work is great. Thank you again.

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    • Thanks for following us and the nice words, Angie.

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  11. Thank you for allowing me to see the world through your breathtaking photos!!

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    • Thank you for following the journey Julie!

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  12. love your work dean; you could really distinguish your work aesthetically between different photographers. Hopefully in the future we could take a trip around the other side of the world and shoot!!

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  13. Dean, you have captured so much of the character of Nepal and the Nepali people in your article and photography. I encourage those who have indicated that this is a ‘bucket list’ destination to not miss an opportunity to experience the wonder of the landscape, people and towns/villages. I agree that the use of guides on our trek was key to the success to capture the diversity of the different regions, especially to go beyond and see areas you might not get to on your own.

    Having been in the middle of the Thamel market area in Kathmandu during the earthquake was a chilling experience. In spite of this, I would return to Nepal without hesitation. The people are amazingly friendly and consistently accommodated our requests for portraiture with grace and openness.

    Thank you for including my photo of the Tengboche monastery in this article! A unique experience to travel this iconic landscape with you, Dean! Donc on…

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    • Thanks for the image Bruce and the incredible commentary.

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  14. Dean you have made tremendous photographic expeditions, your photographs are extraordinarily impressive. Am waiting to host you come May 2016 in Uganda and Rwanda for the gorilla and chimpanzee photograph expedition. The low land gorilla safari to the remote national park of Kahuzi Biega of DRC is awaiting.

    As you will notice from your last visit, all our local people are waiting to show you their real smile.

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  15. Excellent work! I really enjoy following you.

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  16. Thanks for sharing! You have an amazing eye for photography Dean. Digital photos and media is the current and future wave to be on. I’m sure this blog will be relevant and it will inspire many people.

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  17. Truly amazing piece!! I believe that eyes are the window to the soul too and what you captured in the elephant is amazing! Love your work Dean!

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  18. Amazing photos, Dean! Your work is beautiful and inspirational. Thank you for sharing your view of the world with us!

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  19. Your stuff takes me (and the family) places that I would never see in my lifetime and it is magnificent. You got a gift and thanks for sharing it my man.

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    • Thanks for following us Jon. Borrowlenses.com is a great place to rent camera gear once we get the little ones into photography! : )

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  20. Great images as always Deano, always a treat to see.

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  21. Great advice and awesome images. I have traveled with Dean to Morocco and he is an all around great guy. We had a great time and came away with amazing images.

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    • Thank you Kevin and it was a pleasure traveling with you in Morocco!

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  22. Awesome work Dean. Makes me want to visit… someday!

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    • Thanks James and we love our friends at Eyes on Africa!

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  23. Dean is the right person to engage travel photography with, I highly recommend joining him on any trip he offers. Great article.

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  24. A great article Dean, technically superb images but it’s your photographer’s “eye” for an image which sets them apart!!!

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    • Thanks Doc. Safe travels in the Southern Ocean this season.

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  25. Great story Dean. You always manage to capture that special moment to tell stories with your photos.

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  26. If a picture can paint a thousand words, Dean has certainly done that. Amazing photos of a journey some of us can only imagine. Thanks for sharing your travels! Exquisite photography!

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  27. Fantastic. My bags are packed! Seriously though you have provided a wonderful overview of the majesty that awaits in Nepal, thanks!

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    • Thanks Jeff. Great place to rent gear here.Check it out.

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  28. Excellent article. I enjoy traveling along with Dean through his pictures.

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  29. Awesome work — may have to get one of these to go the fantastic shot of the Greek steps I bought a few years ago!

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  30. Very informative ! It is definitely on my bucket list.
    I will be sure to tag along next time you visit this part of our globe. Thanks Dean!

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    • Thanks Paul! See you in Germany next week.

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  31. Dean’s photos are always breathtaking and give me a glimpse into a world I have never experienced. I am far from a professional (or even amateur) photographer, and the insight on the gear and techniques used to take these photos is very interesting.

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  32. Great pictures and some good advice. Love the elephant photo!

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  33. Fantastic work my friend!… I look forward to joining you on one of these trips!…Keep up the beautiful work!

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  34. Great photos Dean Tatooles!!

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  35. Absolutely amazing work

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  36. Love this!!

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  37. معلم دين next time tak me with you.

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  38. I follow amazing work of my dear friend Dean and by his excellent images I travel with him to these fantastic destinations, probably will never visit.His extremely eye for beauty, colourful ethnic journey through the unique places on the world let me feel I travel with him.
    I truly admire his photography , especially when even NASA recognized his talent and choose for Space expedition – congratulations !!!
    Thank you Dean for opportunity to follow your photography carrier and be one of your friends from afar.

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    • Thanks Renata! NASA voyage was an April Fools joke though. : )

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  39. Great work as always! Exceptional talent.

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  40. Very informative and, as always, the photographs are truly a visual indulgence. Thank you for sharing your passion!

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  41. Beautiful photos .Thanks for your contribution in promoting Nepal we badly need this at present context.I have pinned your photos.

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    • You’re welcome. Namaste.

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    • Thank you!

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  42. Incredible photos, Dean!

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    • Thank you Annette

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  43. Very impressive photos! Thank you for sharing and lengthening my bucket list.

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    • Thanks my friend.

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  44. Dean – As always your photos make me feel like I am right there with you soaking in the amazing exotic scenes you capture. Absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to more!

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  45. Awesome article and work my dude! keep it up!

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    • Thanks Mike!

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  46. Great job, Dean! I’m so happy you loved Nepal as much as I did!

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    • Thanks CJ

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