Nigel Barker apparently wasn't surprised to learn Tyra Banks had fired him from America's Next Top Model along with fellow longtime participants Jay Manuel and Miss J. Alexander.

"It wasn't a shock. I'm friends with Tyra and the producers. There had been a discussion that ratings were down and that something like this would happen," the Top Model fashion photographer and judge told E! News.

"There had been previous years where discussions about me being eliminated from the show had happened and I had actually survived the chopping block before."

Barker insisted there was no direct correlation between his departure from the show and his relationship with Banks -- who is Top Model's creator, producer and lead judge.

"We had an incredible run and there aren't any hard feelings. This isn't a Tyra thing. This is a network thing," Barker explained, adding that he's seeing the situation as an opportunity rather than a disappointment.

"My contract was so exclusive that it was holding me back from other projects."

Those projects reportedly include creating a cosmetics line and skin care line for men and stirring up a new television series.

"I'm looking very much forward to creating my own show that focuses on some of my passions like photography," Barker told E! News. "We're looking at producing and directing a number of projects. There are several scripts we're looking at right now."

Barker, Manuel and Alexander learned their contracts would not be renewed for Top Model's nineteenth season on Thursday, Us Weekly reported.

Current America's Next Top Model: British Invasion judge Kelly Cutrone is reportedly expected to return to the show for her second season alongside Banks. She joined the show this season as a replacement for Andre Leon Talley -- who joined America's Next Top Model's judging panel four seasons ago for the show's fourteenth edition.