National Geographic Photographer || Author || Speaker || Creator of images, stories and events to inspire wonder and concern about our living planet.
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Once emperor penguin chicks are a month old, their parents leave them alone in the colony while they go off foraging at sea. The chicks gather together and wait. Emperors and their offspring recognize each other by voice rather than sight. So when adults return to the colony with food, they find their young by calling. Parents trumpet, and the chicks chirp in response. At the edge of a crèche where chicks gathered in a huddle that keeps them warm, one emperor parent listens for the sound of her chick. Follow me@FransLanting for more images and stories from Antarctica and the lives of the creatures dependent on ice. @natgeo@natgeotravel@natgeocreative@thephotosociety#Penguins#EmperorPenguins#Antarctica#PenguinChicks#HopeSpots#OceanOptimism#SouthernOcean
We are pleased to announce that “Frans Lanting: The Evolution of LIFE” film will shown as a part of the 2017 @Mountainfilm Festival, at the historic Sheridan Opera House in Telluride, CO on Saturday, May 27th at 9:15 AM and again on Sunday, May 28th at 3:45 PM. For more info visit: https://tinyurl.com/mpcv3yy and https://tinyurl.com/lw82rqb
Making contact with a mountain gorilla silverback is a humbling experience. Gorilla custom requires meekly bowing your head as a submissive pose when you are challenged by a 400-pound male rather than fleeing, as instinct tells you. This big male lived in the highlands of Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains, one of the last strongholds for these remarkable great apes. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of wildlife around the world. @natgeo@natgeocreative@natgeotravel#Gorilla#MountainGorilla#GreatApes#Rwanda
I don’t have to go far from home to witness awesome wildlife spectacles. Half an hour from where I live, sea lions haul out by the thousands on a rocky outcrop at the northern tip of Monterey Bay. It’s a great testimonial to the natural abundance and the resurgence of life that happened here after the protection of the California coast and the wildlife offshore. Follow me @FransLanting for more scenes from Monterey Bay.
Volcanoes are exhilarating to photograph, but challenging places to expose your gear--and yourself. The caustic fumes in the air corrode cameras and lungs alike, and turn rain into diluted battery acid. At the edge of an advancing lava flow, the heat was so intense that I could only expose a few frames at a time before I had to back off again. Modern-day Hawaii with its beaches and tourists was not that far away, but I was witnessing another era. When tongues of molten lava began to spill down a slope and covered solid ground with a new layer of liquid rock, I quickly moved into position to frame the image I was after--a vision of the world the way it was four billion years ago, when the surface of the Earth was still just taking shape. For more images of volcanoes and other scenes from early earth, follow me @FransLanting.
A midnight sun illuminates the contours of snow and ice right where the frozen surface of the Weddell Sea connects with the very edge of the Antarctic continent. It was bitter cold during the month that I camped here to work with emperor penguins, whose colony is just out of view. For more images of ice in our time from Antarctica and elsewhere follow me @FransLanting.
(Tap for sound) Hi Photographers, Tune in this Friday May 5 - Saturday May 6th on CreativeLive.com to see my free online course “The Art of Seeing, if you’re interested in learning creative techniques for photographing nature. I created this course with Creative Live, which will stream it live for 24 hours. If you cannot tune in at that time or if you want to own a copy of the course, you can buy it directly from Creative Live. If you’d like to join us for a future workshop session, write to us at email@example.com and ask to be on our emailing list. Video by @ChristineEckstrom
Whether you call them cougars, pumas, or mountain lions, they’re all the same cat. They were nearly wiped out along the coast of California near Santa Cruz where I live, but since they were given protection in 1990, they’ve rebounded. They now occur even at the edges of towns and cities, but they are very good at avoiding people. I’ve seen tracks close to my home, but it took the company of a researcher and a tracker to come eye to eye with this splendid big cat looking down on us from an old oak tree. The comeback of cougars in California is a success story, and it shows what can happen if we’re tolerant of apex predators and if we’re protecting enough wild land where they can survive. Stay tuned @FransLanting for more images that celebrate wild California.
Today we’re celebrating trees—it’s Arbor Day. I made this image of a grove of buttressed jungle trees festooned with other plants to express the interdependence of life inside a rainforest in Belize. Tree trunks carry nutrients between the forest floor and the canopy. Fallen leaves and other organic debris are broken down by organisms in the soil, then their nutrients are absorbed by tree roots and carried back up to the canopy with remarkable swiftness. In a tropical rainforest, from the moment a leaf falls to earth to the time it is decomposed can take as little as three weeks. We’re all dependent on trees—what they exhale, we inhale. We are linked together in the cycle of life.
I share this image in celebration of World Penguin Day! In late winter in Antarctica, the first emperor penguin chicks are exposed to the world. Parents cradle them on their feet to keep them warm and off the sea ice. It takes heroic parenting skills to raise a chick in this brutally cold environment where temperatures can drop to 40 degrees below zero with winds of more than 100 miles per hour. I spent a month camped on the sea ice near an emperor penguin colony to document how the chicks grow up. Browse through my feed for more images and stories about these remarkable birds.
Hi Photographers! You can join me online right now for my free macro photography course for CreativeLive. Watch it here: http://cr8.lv/lantingmacrotech It’s being streamed continuously for the next 24 hours! The course was filmed at the University of California at Santa Cruz's stunning Arboretum, where I photographed this beautiful pincushion protea. If you cannot tune in right now or if you want to own a copy of the course, you can buy it directly from Creative Live. If you’d like to join us for a future workshop session, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be on our emailing list. Special thanks to our sponsors: @sandisk@EpsonAmerica@seeinanewway (Lens Baby) @thephotosociety@natgeo@natgeotravel#ucscarboretum#ucsc#beauty # #macrophotography#creativelive
I share this image in celebration of Earth Day. One day, after overnight rain had drenched California’s Big Sur coast, sunlight and morning clouds blended land, sea, and air together, enabling me to capture this landscape as a dynamic visualization of a living Earth. The first Earth Day in 1970 marks the birth of the modern environmental movement. It’s more important now than ever. We all need to stay engaged, and the best place to start is in our local communities. That’s where everything begins.
Blazes of blue lupines blanket the hillsides and valleys of the Central Coast of California right now. It’s the best wildflower bloom we’ve had in years because of the abundant winter rains. For this image I used a polarizing filter to express more detail in the sky. To learn more about how I photograph landscapes and wildflowers in creative ways, tune in this Sunday April 23 at 9:00 am PDT on CreativeLive.com to see my free online course “The Art of Seeing.” I created this course with Creative Live, which will stream it live—and free—for 24 hours. If you cannot tune in at that time or if you want to own a copy of the course, you can buy it directly from Creative Live. If you’d like to join us for a future workshop session, write to us at email@example.com and ask to be on our emailing list.
(Tap for sound) Hi Photographers, Tune in this Sunday April 23 at 9:00 am PDT on CreativeLive.com to see my free online course “The Art of Seeing,” if you’re interested in learning creative techniques for photographing plants. I created this course with Creative Live, which will stream it live for 24 hours. If you cannot tune in at that time or if you want to own a copy of the course, you can buy it directly from Creative Live. If you’d like to join us for a future workshop session, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be on our emailing list. Video by @ChristineEckstrom
Photo by @FransLanting My home along the coast of California is situated in prime cougar habitat, and for a number of years I’ve deployed camera traps to document this elusive cat. One of my favorite locations is an overgrown trail that comes out of a steep wooded canyon and passes right next to our land. One morning a wary male passed by an old oak tree festooned with lichen. The look in his eye epitomizes the character of this cat. Cougars were nearly wiped out along the coast of California near Santa Cruz where I live, but since they were given protection in 1990, they’ve rebounded. They now occur even at the edges of towns and cities, but they are very good at avoiding people. The comeback of cougars in California is a success story, and it shows what can happen if we’re tolerant of apex predators and if we’re protecting enough wild land where they can survive. Stay tuned for more images that celebrate wild California.
As strong winter storms are giving way to gentle spring squalls, the time of big surf is nearing an end--for now. Here’s a testimonial to the force of the Pacific Ocean as it culminates in a huge wave breaking at Mavericks, not far north from where I live. It takes courage to ride these mountains of water. Stay tuned for more images of spring along the California coast.
After abundant winter rain, streams in the Santa Cruz Mountains are full of fresh water. I made this image standing in the middle of a creek using a long exposure made possible by a neutral density filter. It’s one of the techniques we demonstrate during our spring workshops held at our studio in Santa Cruz. If you’re interested in joining us for a future workshop session, sign up to be on our mailing list by writing to email@example.com. Stay tuned for more images of our lovely California coast.
It’s spring in California and the poppies are blooming—and blowing in the wind. This is a glorious season along the coast, especially after the welcome winter rains we’ve had this year. From the air the land is emerald green right now. This is also the time of year when we host photography workshops at our studio in Santa Cruz at the edge of Monterey Bay, where I’ve lived for more than 30 years. We organize field trips to some of my favorite places and help unleash everyone’s creativity. It’s rewarding to me to see how I can make a difference in how other people see and interpret the world with their cameras. Stay tuned for more images from the Monterey Bay. @thephotosociety@natgeo@natgeotravel@natgeocreative#California#SantaCruz#MontereyBay#Wildflowers#PhotoWorkshop#Orange#Beauty
Emperor penguins raise their young on the sea ice surrounding Antarctica where there is no vegetation or rocks with which they could build nests. When the young are just born, parents brood them on their feet. But a few weeks later the chicks start wandering around on their own. I came across this one, maybe a month old, at the edge of a colony, where it was awaiting the return of its parents. Without a nest site to come back to, emperor penguins and their offspring have evolved an amazing ability to find each other by sound. Imagine the cacophony of parents and chicks calling each other. It’s remarkable that this all works out. Truly a wonder of nature! Stay tuned for more amazing tales from the Southern Ocean.
It’s always rush hour on the beaches of South Georgia Island where awesome numbers of king penguins are going into the water to start fishing offshore. It’s a testimonial to the richness of this Southern Ocean ecosystem and the importance of this island at the edge of Antarctica as a sanctuary for marine life. Check my posts @FransLanting to learn more about the amazing life history of king penguins on this spectacular island.
Young albatrosses take many months to mature before they’re ready to take flight and head off to sea. These black-browed albatross chicks have a long way to go before they can lift their wings and become the supreme flyers sailors have admired for centuries. They’re all sitting on mud nests built by their parents, who are searching the open ocean for squid to take back to their downy offspring in the Falkland Islands. I love albatrosses! To me they are among the most amazing creatures on the planet. I never get tired of watching them and photographing them.
Photo by @NASA Celebrate Earth Hour! Turn off your lights for one hour at 8:30 pm, your local time, on Saturday March 25, to show solidarity with Planet Earth and demonstrate our global commitment to fighting climate change. Landmarks all over the world will go dark including the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Sydney Opera House, and the Las Vegas Strip. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Earth Hour, an initiative that was first organized by the World Wildlife Fund in Australia and has grown into a worldwide movement. Join in! We can all be heroes for our planet. This image is the perfect symbol for island Earth, our home.
A handful of visitors is vastly outnumbered by the astonishing concentration of king penguins that gather on South Georgia Island’s Salisbury Plain every year. Brown chicks are mixed with adults ready to start a next breeding cycle. Check my feed @FransLanting for more amazing images and stories of this Antarctic wildlife spectacle.
This male elephant seal is exhausted. He’s lost a lot of his body weight after weeks of fighting and fasting on a beach on South Georgia Island in the Antarctic. If you’re born as a male elephant seal you’re in for a life of all or nothing. Males weigh up to 4,000 pounds; they bulk out like prizefighters to gain a physical advantage over rivals who fight each other intensely to take control over beaches where females haul out. A handful of males get access to most of the females; all the other males are out of luck. Pups are born a year later on the same beach where they’re conceived. Check my previous posts to see how adorable the pups look during their first two months. After that they turn into super-size seals. Stay tuned for more tales from South Georgia, the island of superlatives.
Eyes full of innocence light up the face of this elephant seal pup which is less than two months old. Yet it’s already been weaned by its mother, who nourished it for a month with milk that is one of the highest in fat content of any animal on earth, and now it’s languishing on the shores of South Georgia before it takes a plunge into the cold waters of the Southern Ocean. Elephant seals dive deeper than almost any other marine mammal; some of them go farther down than 7000 feet. It takes more than big eyes to survive down there. Watch out, young seal! Stay tuned for more stories about seals and other wonders from South Georgia, the island at the end of the world.
Happy days are back again for elephant seals on South Georgia. After the island’s massive populations of marine mammals were discovered by sealers in the 19th century, a slaughter began that led to the killing of millions of fur seals and elephant seals, which continued into the 20th century. But today all seals are protected, and elephant seals blanket the beaches in enormous numbers again. Check one of my earlier posts on this feed that shows how many elephant seals and king penguins can be found together here. This young elephant seal is a “weaner.” It’s been pumped full of fatty milk by its mother for a month, and now it’s gaining strength by splashing around in shallow water before it heads offshore into the rich waters of the Southern Ocean. Elephant seals are amazing divers. They go deeper than almost any other marine mammal except for sperm whales. Some seals equipped with depth recorders have been known to go farther down than a mile. We are grateful for this recovery and hope that it can inspire the next level of protection for wildlife in the Southern Ocean.
It takes two to tango, but three is a crowd and four even more. Courting king penguins attract interlopers. Here a male is warding off rivals to protect the female he’s interested in. Another female stands by on the left, watching the outcome of this scuffle on South Georgia, the island of kings. A special message for photographers in the UK: I will be presenting at "The Photography Show" in Birmingham this Sunday March 19 at 3 pm and Monday March 20 at 11 am. This is a brand new show based on my exhibition, "Dialogues with Nature," which was launched this past summer in the Netherlands. It gives an overview of my career featuring images from five of my signature projects produced over a period of 40 years. You'll see classics, but also previously unpublished images and lots of stories. I hope to see you there! @thephotographyshow@thephotosociety@natgeotravel@natgeocreative#Nature#Penguins#picoftheday#naturelovers#attitude
The outcome of king penguin love is one fluffy chick, which takes a year to mature. This one has survived the long cold winter when parents barely come back to feed their offspring. A thick brown feather coat helps with survival. When whalers first reached South Georgia, they were amazed by these penguin chicks, and thought they were a different species than their parents. This chick has only a month or so to go before it will take its first plunge into the frigid waters surrounding South Georgia, which are brimming with sea life that sustain spectacular numbers of penguins, other seabirds, and marine mammals. This is truly one of the great wildlife sanctuaries on the planet. Stay tuned for more stories about the future of South Georgia and the king penguins who live there.
King courtship is a ritual affair with solemn greetings and ceremonial behavior that makes it easier for males and females to bond with each other. Here a male is draping his bill around the neck of a female who indicates with her bowed head and drooping flippers that she’s willing to go along to the next stage of coupling commitment. Stay tuned for what happens next. Follow me @FransLanting for more images from South Georgia, the island of kings.
It’s always rush hour on the beaches of South Georgia Island. In this time lapse, masses of king penguins are coming and going into the water with a few fur seals mixed in. Check our other posts @FransLanting to learn more about the amazing life history of king penguins on this spectacular island near Antarctica.
King penguins molt before they start a new breeding cycle. On South Georgia Island masses of kings gather along glacial streams where they stand for several weeks while they shed their old feathers. During their molt, they cannot go to sea to feed because they are losing their insulation. So all these birds are fasting. They’ll drink water or eat snow, but that’s it. They lose a lot of weight but at the end of their molt, they look like brand new birds with striking yellow-orange neck patches that indicate they’re ready to breed. @natgeo@thephotosociety@natgeocreative@natgeotravel#Penguins#Nature#WildlifePhotography#picoftheday#Wild
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