Co-founder of the non-profit @sea_legacy and photojournalist for National Geographic
3,467,776 followers1,118 following992 posts
The sea around the Antarctic Peninsula is a magical, fragile place; rich with wildlife, like this humpback whale feeding on krill. It is finally time to protect it.
This week in Moscow we are representing @natgeo, @sea_legacy and @natgeopristineseas at #Antarctica2020, a meeting of the Ambassadors from the countries representing the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Resources #CCAMLR to begin the process of creating a network of Marine Protected Areas in Antarctica. Caption by @cristinamittermeier
More polar bears coming soon. Meanwhile here is a picture of Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow. We are overnighting in Moscow for some important meetings on Antarctica. I find my drysuit to be more comfortable than a suit and tie but we have to be willing to wear many hats in the name of conservation. Setting sail for the North Pole tomorrow. #gratitude#adventure#russia#cathedral#travel
They call him the 'Beast of the East'. Nikolai Valuev ( @nickvaluev )is a two time boxing heavyweight champion of the world and he made me feel like "mini me". Now he is a congressman in Moscow fighting for the environment and I am glad he is on our side. @cristinamittermeier and I are representing @sea_legacy and @natgeopristineseas in Russia attending #Antarctica2020, a meeting of Ambassadors from the countries representing the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Resources #CCAMLR to begin the process of creating a network of Marine Protected Areas in Antarctica. #gratitude#drivingchange
She was such a gentle, elegant and stunning spirit bear. Spending quality time with her has been a true highlight as a naturalist and photographer. Just when I thought she could not get anymore beautiful, I studied her closer and noticed her long eyelashes. Over 5 years ago, she was on the cover of National Geographic magazine for a story we did on keeping oil tankers off the BC coast. Thanks to the efforts of so many including the #Gitgaat First Nation and non-profits like @sea_legacy and @pacificwild, these bears will continue to roam this coast. #bear#bc#instagood#love#naturalbeauty#adventure
A baby humpback whale launches into a chin breach. This calf did over 40 of these in a row. This calf has now travelled north to their summer feeding grounds. The calfs mother has gone for months without any nutrition whatsoever while allowing her calf to drink many gallons of rich milk each day. She will have lost a lot of her body weight and will need to replenish her fat stores throughout the summer months. With @cristinamittermeier for @sea_legacy#nature#whale#gratitude#instagram#adventure@_tomconlin
Humpback whales feeding in Monterey Bay, California. I am excited to be back in New York City at the Paul Nicklen Gallery. Tonight we open the show for @Chrisburkard. @CristinaMittermeier still has some beautiful pieces up on the wall and I am proud to unveil a few of my new favorite pieces. Come and visit us tomorrow. We will be open all day tomorrow. #gratitude
I’m super excited to welcome my friend and fellow photographer @chrisburkard to my gallery in NYC. Chris is an amazing and talented human being and a great visual storyteller. Chris’ exhibit Vanishing Worlds opens at the @paulnicklengallery this Saturday, July 15 where he and I will both be in attendance. I love this #fineart piece of his of a braided river in Iceland. #seeyouthere#fineartwithpurpose
I realize that I have posted this before but I never tire of revisiting this moment and I hope you will help me everyday in celebrating our global marine environments and the creatures who call it home. With @sea_legacy#ocean#lungsofourplanet#spiritanimal
We need you. The U.S. Department of the Interior is conducting a review of 27 National Monuments. Iconic natural treasures like Arizona’s Grand Canyon (pictured above) and Idaho’s Craters of the Moon are under threat from an administration that wants to use these Monuments for resource extraction. It’s terrifying to think that a long legacy of protection of special places may be undone with the stroke of a pen. Speak up, loudly, and start by visiting the link in my bio before July 10th and commenting. Then, spread the word with your friends and engage your politicians. We can’t let this happen.
Sometimes they look over at you and instantly grab you by the heart. Approximately one in a thousand fur seals are born as ‘blonde' variants. The Antarctic fur seal was very heavily hunted in the 18th and 19th centuries for its dense fur by sealers from the United States and Great Britain. By the early 20th century, the seal was regarded as commercially extinct, and perhaps completely extinct. Today, their numbers have returned to near historic numbers. We as humans are capable of doing great harm but we are also capable of greatness and compassion. #nature#gratitude#greatness#MPA
A female wolf navigates a stream along the BC coast that she has walked through a thousand times. She knows this section of coastline better than we will ever know any of our own surroundings. Her sense of smell, eyesight and hearing are incomparable. She scratches out a living where at least 70% of her diet consists of seafood in the way of mussels, clams, chitons, seals, sea lions and barnacles. These morphologically smaller sea wolves are like a unique and distinct culture and yet for 5.00 someone can kill one or two or three to hang their pelts on their wall. I am proud that the work we do at @natgeo and @sea_legacy shines a light and gives a voice to species like this that most of the world does not know even exists. On July 15th I will be releasing this piece at the @paulnicklengallery in #NYC and much of the proceeds will keep our dedicated team in the field where we will continue to bring pressing environmental issues to the forefront. #gratitude#nature#wolf#naturelovers#hedoesnotspeakforme#love#beauty
Happy 150th, Canada. I am proud to call you home. // How exactly do you manage your wandering baby emperor chick as it grows older? It seems that sitting on its head is one of the ways to keep it both in the vicinity and warm. The chick was perfectly content to just hang out. We will also be releasing this piece at the @paulnicklengallery in #NYC on July 15th. I have always dreamed of seeing my favorite moments in nature printed big. Really big! Much of the proceeds from these sales go back to fund our work with @sea_legacy. This is #fineartwithpurpose. We will also be unveiling a beautiful body of work by @chrisburkard. Please stay tuned for further details. #nature#naturelovers#penguin#emperorpenguin#gratitude
I am very excited to be taking some of my favorite images and turning them into black-and-white. Regardless of whether this images is in color or black-and-white, it remains as one of my greatest moments of my life when a group of male Narwhal swam next to me while diving in the Arctic. After spending hundreds of hours of freezing in -1°C water, this moment came as a great relief. When the closest whale swim through a gentle shaft of sunlight and let out a stream of bubbles and was then was framed perfectly by other narwhals above, in front of and below, I knew that a great amount of good luck and good fortune factored into this photograph. #gratitude#nature#whale#unicorn#unicornofthesea.
A massive male polar bear exits the sea and climbs an iceberg near Svalbard, Norway. We were in a small zodiac boat cruising through the ice and accidentally surprised this big male who was out hunting for bearded seals. In one motion, he effortlessly pulled his approximately 800 pound mass out of the water leaving a small waterfall running down the ice. I am always humbled by their power and grace. I apologized for the surprise encounter and left him to his hunt which requires stealth, patience and strategy. He was not going to catch a seal with us in his icy domain. I am proud that this piece will soon be hanging in the @paulnicklengallery in NYC. I will be there on July 15th to launch a new body of work and celebrate in the work of @chrisburkard. #nature#bear#polarbear#naturelovers#ice#beauty#climatechangeisreal#blackandwhite
You never want to find yourself in this situation. This is what it looked like when I had to use my underwater housing to push off of an aggressive 7000 elephant seal bull that treated me as a rival breeding male. I accidentally hit the shutter in my attempt to get away. I never approached the seal and it came shooting over to me, defending the entire beach area. Luckily, I was in the shallows and could quickly exit the water and learn from my mistake without injury. The seal went back to its harem. I get asked by other photographers if they should get in the water with elephant seals in Antarctica during breeding season. The answer is no. They are like getting in the water with hippos. I would love to swim with them in the open ocean while they are feeding and their behavior is not being fueled by hormones. Elephant seals beat up on each other all day long but I still do not want to play a role in affecting their behavior. I even watched bulls grab 1500 pound females in the surf zone and drown them in an attempt to breed. I should have known better and now I do. Please #follow me on @paulnicklen to see the moment where everything finally came together and we got the shot we were after. I just retold the story to Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air. @sea_legacy#respect#learnfromourmistakes#gratitude#seal#elephantseal#nature#wildlife#naturalbeauty
4 month old polar bear cubs peek over their mother while she waits out a hot day near Ellesmere Island, Nunavut. During the spring, polar bears often travel at night when the snow is more firm and the air temperature is cooler. Fortunately, that is when the light is best. #cute#bear#polarbear#nature#naturelovers
I realize that this is more of a Facebook post but I could not be more proud of getting an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Victoria, BC last week. To be surrounded by beautiful First People’s art makes this post worthy of @instagram. The hat is not the best look and would overheat my head at -40c let alone a warm auditorium but giving the commencement speech to the hard working graduating class of 2017 was truly an honour and one I will not forget. Another honour was to sit next to a woman of whom I have been a fan for as long as I can remember. Madam Chancellor, Shelagh Rogers (behind my right shoulder) has been inspiring us on the radio since the 80’s. She is a beautiful soul and her shows used to keep me company during the long polar days and nights when I was shooting in the field. Thank you @universityofvictoria for this recognition. I am humbled beyond words and there is so much work to do. Most of all, congratulations class of 2017. #gratitude#humbled#science#nature
For me, it is at this moment that I grab a couple of quick shots, sit down, put my camera away, lean back against a rock along the shoreline, put my hands behind my head and then soak it all in. Some of my best photographs have been taken with just my eyes. #nature#sunset#antarctica#thejourney#naturalbeauty
One more for all of the fathers out there. I hope it was a lazy day as we need your tireless energy tomorrow as we have a planet to fix. #happyfathersday
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers out there within all species. Just like this group of male narwhals I hope you are out reaching for the stars and dreaming big. Have a good one! #happyfathersday#nature#naturelovers
I have seen thousands of Atlantic walrus but have never seen a set of tusks as large as the ones on this huge male. They must have been close to 3 feet long, which is more common for the larger Pacific walrus. Walrus have not been hunted in Svalbard, Norway since 1952. Before that, they were nearly driven to extinction from 350 years of hunting. Now, their population is doing well, but like that of polar bears, walrus rely on ice in order to survive in the Arctic. Ice is where they give birth to their pups, where they rest between clam feeding forays and where they socialize with other walrus. #walrus#nature#wildlife#baby#love#beauty@thephotosociety@natgeocreative