Photographer // Public Speaker // Contributor to National Geographic // Co-founder of SeaLegacy// SonyArtisan // NatGeoCreative // Founder of iLCP
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On this Earth Day let’s commit to working as hard as we can to ensure a living planet for those who come after us. That requires making changes in our lives: using less, recycling, sharing, remembering with every action, that Earth has to carry 8 billion of us and that we need to make room for all the other life forms that share the planet with us. Let's commit to walking with a kinder, lighter footprint, so that we won’t trample the resources that support all of us. Happy Earth Day!
A leopard seal comes near my camera to say hello! Both excited and curious, it couldn’t get enough of its own reflection on my dome. Me? I couldn’t stop giggling at the wonderful ballet this graceful animal performed for me as it tried to keep me engaged. If I swam away, it came right back to the front of my camera as if you say “Where do you think you are going?” Truly an unforgettable experience! #OnAssignment for @NatGeo, @NatGeoPristineSeas and @SeaLegacy. With @PaulNicklen, @Andy_mann, @Ladzinski and @CraigWelch.
Earth Day flash sale. A great opportunity to own a signed print by myself or one of my talented @natgeo colleagues.
Like a veil of molten gold, the early evening light bathes a lone humpback whale as it feeds in the krill-rich waters off the Antarctic Peninsula. During our assignment for @NatGeo, we saw hundreds if not thousands of humpback whales. These beautiful cetaceans have made an amazing comeback after having been hunted to the very verge of extinction during the whaling era. No matter how many times I see them, I am always thrilled to know they are still out there.
With @PaulNicklen, @Ladzinski, @Andy_Mann, #pattersonimages. @CraigWelch for @NatGeo, @NatGeoPristineSeas and @SeaLegacy.
Shadows dance across the frozen landscape as a pod of Antarctic Minke whales travels along the face of a massive glacier. Minkes, the third smallest of the baleen whales, were largely spared by the whaling industry due to their small size. As a result, they once were the most abundant baleen whale in the world. In the past 40 years, however, they became the target of whalers in countries like Brazil and South Africa and more recently, they have been hunted by the Japanese Antarctic whaling fleet, which hunts them under the guise of a very controversial “scientific research” scheme. I am sure most people would join me in voicing a desire for these whales to be left alone and for the long overdue end of the whaling era. #OnAssignment for @NatGeo and @NatGeoPristineSeas with @PaulNicklen, @Ladzinski, @Andy_Mann and @SeaLegacy. *
Adelie penguins may spend hours stacked together on blocks of floating ice, just waiting for the right moment to forage. Ice is their perch, their safe haven from predators, their launch pad. But ice, especially sea ice formed by frozen ocean water, also is essential for krill, staple of the penguin diet. Here near the eastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, ice often remains thick through summer. But travel across the Antarctic Sound to the western peninsula and ocean circulation and wind patterns are different. There, temperatures warming extremely fast, rapidly melting ice. And there, Adelie populations in many places have dropped by more than half in 30 years. #onassignment for @natgeo with @paulnicklen, @ladzinski, @andy_mann. Caption by NG assignment writer @craigwelch@pattersonimages@ianvaso #travel#explore#learn#ocean#worldpenguinday#photographersforantarctica
I have travelled to more than 100 countries, dived, snorkeled, or swam in many oceans all over the world and while every one of them is sacred and vital, the beauty of the Salish Sea is truly exceptional. Even before I ventured beneath the surface, I was captivated and mystified by the fact that orcas and humpback whales frolic in what is now my “front yard”. My love for British Columbia’s Salish Sea only intensified when I experienced the abundance, beauty and health of its underwater world. Once I put my head beneath the Thin Blue Line, I was met with a veritable underwater garden unlike any I have ever seen - a truly magical ecosystem. Through @sea_legacy, my partner @paulnicklen and I are supporting a campaign to see the Salish Sea designated as a World Heritage Site. Watch the video link in my profile to experience the wonder of this magical area and learn how you can be a part of this important iniative. With @willie_mitch33@sonyalpha@unesco, @hellobc, @parks.canada@filterstudios#salishsea, #wearethesalishsea, #whales, #stellarsealion
A baby elephant seal, or "weaner", sits alone on a beach on the Antarctic Peninsula. After suckling her pup for about twenty-eight days, the mother elephant seal shuts off the supply of rich milk. The mother weans her pup abruptly so that she can return to the sea and replenish her depleted nutritional supplies after having fasted since coming ashore to give birth. In so doing, she will leave her pup, now re-named ' weaner ', to fend for itself on the beach. Over the next two to three months, as the weaners spend more and more time in the water, they venture further and further away from their home shore. Sometimes, they get caught up in the ocean currents and have to come ashore on different beaches to rest. #OnAssignment for @NatGeo, @NatGeoPristineSeas and @SeaLegacy. With @Paul Nicklen, @Andy_mann, @Ladzinski and @CraigWelch. *
From the time they are born until they become independent, baby humpbacks depend on their mothers not just for food and protection, but also for experience on how to survive. Mothers and calves spend several months in the warm waters of the Silver Bank off the coast of the Dominican Republic where, in the sheltered waters of this maze of reefs and shallow banks, the babies can gain the coordination and strength they will need for the enormous migrations they will need to make to their feeding grounds in the summer. As mom “trains” baby on how to swim, float and fend for itself, the two often touch, snuggle and when baby gets tired, it sits on its mother’s back to rest on the surface. It is hard to articulate the privilege it is to be in the water with a massive humpback mom and for her to feel confident enough to allow us to swim so close to her calf. So much we can learn from nature!! On a @SeaLegacy expedition with @_AquaticAdventures, @PaulNicklen and @_TomConlin. #gratitude#mothersday#ocean#underwater#brakeforwhales#silverbank#love#respectnature#lucky#beauty#sonya7rii#nauticamhousings@sonyalpha
A Porgera man from the highlands of Papua New Guinea, goes wild with the makeup! Imagine a place that wasn't to be discovered by white explorers until 1930, yet was the home to over 1 million indigenous people; people who were so culturally diverse that they spoke over 600 languages. This man belongs to one of those tribes! ⠀
Described by some as "a tiny country with a big heart and warm and friendly people", the kingdom of Swaziland in southern Africa is not a common tourist destination but it is a place where traditions and culture are still an integral part of every day life. Music and dance are embedded in Swazi culture with traditional songs for almost every occasion. Rights of passage, festivals, art, food, traditional healers are some of the many cultural traditions that are still practiced today. ⠀
Known as “The Lungs of Planet Earth”, the Amazon covers a vast area, bordering 9 countries. If the Amazon rainforest was a country, it would rank 9th in size. In addition to the superlative diversity of plants and animals, it is also home to great cultural diversity. Over 400 indigenous groups live here, each speaking their own language, with their own culture and territory. This is one of the first photographs I ever made. It was almost an accident as I had no idea what I was doing, but it launched me into a career in photography and has allowed me to find my purpose as a defender of “all things diverse”. #diversity#amazon#culturaldiversity
It's amazing what a great team can do! Shout out to the folks back home on Vancouver Island working hard to make this happen. Through my non-profit, @Sea_Legacy, we are supporting an application to designate the Salish Sea as a World Heritage Site. Right now, and through to the end of April, the public (that's you!) is encouraged to support the campaign by writing a letter and signing a petition. We have set up a site to make it easy, www.WeAreTheSalishSea.eco.
The full video story will be released in early April and we are super excited to share that with you. Put the sound on for this one ... @paulnicklen@filterstudios@willie_mitch33@email@example.com@unesco@natgeo@cher_wildawake@oceana#salishsea#worldheritagesites
Concerned citizens around the world are going to make a difference tonight from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. It's the 10th annual Earth Hour and I'm excited to take part while away on a @sea_legacy Mission in the Dominican Republic. For those who haven't participated yet, @wwf founded the event, which encourages all of us to shut off non-essential electricity to save energy.
For the 10th Anniversary of Earth Hour, I’m joining the #MakeClimateMatter online community. This photo helps tell the human story of climate change. There is a need for urgent action around climate change. Earth Hour is the world’s biggest movement for taking such action. Sign up to take part on 25th March at 8.30pm at http://buff.ly/2mVbQes⠀
Photo: Fishermen in Pulicat Lake follow an ancient fishing system that dictates when and where people may fish. This ensures a sustainable catch. Southern India. @wwf_uk#climatechange
What is it about humpback whales that fascinates me so much? Perhaps the fact that they were almost wiped out from the face of the planet during the whaling era and that over the past 30 years they have made such an amazing comeback? Maybe it is how they are able to communicate over vast ocean distances and orchestrate global symphonies that only they can understand? On this day we enjoyed the spectacle known as “carrousel feeding” in which several humpbacks work together to “corral” a school of fish with bubbles. Their coordinated efforts created an unbelievable ballet under the canopy of the Great Bear Rainforest in beautiful British Columbia. Unforgettable!
With @SeaLegacy and @PaulNicklen in #@Gitgaat territory. *
A conch shell lies in the shallow waters of the Mosquitia Reef in Honduras, where vast underwater grasslands fringe the hundreds of islands that form this remote archipelago. Along with being an important Blue Carbon repository — this is the carbon captured by living organisms in mangroves, salt marshes, seagrasses and algae, the Miskito Indians that inhabit this region, depend on the bountiful marine resources of this coast. I was proud to work with Dr. Stephen Box of the Centro de Estudios Marinos, who has spent much of the past decade studying the coastal ecology of Honduras to support local efforts to conserve and manage the coral reefs, marine life, and mangroves upon which coastal communities depend. Join me! I'm presenting a free STEM workshop today, March 18, with @paulnicklen at the @Microsoft Store in Bellevue, WA at 10:00AM. Visit aka.ms/storeevent for more. @natgeo#MakeWhatsNext#sponsored
This is me, 25 years ago! Growing up in the mountains of Central Mexico to a middle class Mexican family, there was nothing in my upbringing that would point me to the sea and to a life of adventure working in photography and conservation. When I was in my Senior year in high school, a marine biologist came to speak at my school. He talked about how the ocean, being our planet’s largest ecosystem, is the most important life support system we have and one that if managed properly, can feed the entire planet for generations to come. Hunger and poverty are something I have worried about, so I thought that studying how the ocean can support humankind would be my best way to make a contribution. I graduated with a degree as a Biochemical Engineer in the Exploitation of Marine Resources and was disheartened by how carelessly and voraciously we, as a species, have decimated our marine resources through our current industrial fishing practices. That is how I decided to dedicate my life to highlighting the imperative of healthy ecosystems to maintain humanity. I continue to call on my training as biochemical engineer and my marine biology expertise to interact with scientists and understand their challenges, as they rely on me to tell the stories of their data.
Every step I have taken since then, from my years working with indigenous communities in remote parts of the world, to my passion for conservation, has led me to where I am today: uniquely positioned to tell the story of our oceans, from a very human perspective.
Join me for a free workshop at the @Microsoft Store in Bellevue, WA on 3/18. Visit aka.ms/storeevent for more. @natgeo#MakeWhatsNext#sponsored #fbf#itesm
Iconic stories, like the fabled friendship that my partner, photographer @PaulNicklen struck with a female leopard seal that insisted on feeding him penguins while he was trying to photograph it in 2006, are the kind of storytelling that create emotional connections with people. When @NatGeo asked Paul to return to Antarctica to see if that behavior was still there, I was privileged to have a chance to document it and to represent @Sea_Legacy and our efforts to push for a #MarineProtectedArea in the Antarctic Peninsula. When we first arrived to the spot where he had photographed leopard seals so many years ago, there were no seals to be seen. As soon as we got in the water, however, this large female immediately swam over to Paul. Thankfully, Paul had told me that this big “show of teeth" is more of a greeting than a threat display. Once her initial “hellos” were said, she went back to hunting for penguins and all we could do was smile and try and capture her grace, beauty and power in these icy seas. Moments like this, are impossible to forget.
While snorkeling to photograph the comings-and-goings of a penguin colony, I suddenly felt a tap on my arm. I thought it was my fellow photographer @ladzinski who was floating motionless nearby. Imagine my surprise when I looked up to find this very curious blue-eyed shag chick swimming around me. As this very curious young bird looked at its reflection on my dome, pulled at the cords on my strobe,s and poked me on the head with its beak, I had to hold back tears of laughter. Spending time with Antarctic wildlife as part of a team lead by @PaulNicklen for a @NatGeo assignment, has been one of the highlights of my photographic career.
Oh the joys of a dirt bath! I photographed this Johnny Rook, or Cara cara on a remote island of the Falklands archipelago (formerly known as Las Malvinas). As fun and interactive as these birds are to watch, they can also be a complete nuisance, as they are incredibly curious and intelligent, and thus able to wreck havoc if a vehicle, house or camera bag is left lying around. Being clever and effective hunters and scavengers, they are one of the most important causes of mortality for the chicks of penguins and albatrosses nesting on these islands. So goes the circle of life! With @PaulNicklen and @theWCS on #assignment for @natgeo.
Young Hawaiian explorer, Keānuenue De Soto, examines a tiny crab she just pulled from a tide pool. Anu, as her family affectionately calls her, is part of a large, traditional Hawaiian family with deep roots in the ocean. From their achievements in professional surfing, to their commitment to conservation, the De Soto family have saltwater running through their veins. Makaha Beach, Oahu, Hawaii.
I'm teaming up with @natgeo and @Microsoft on 3/18 to empower girls to change the world, stay in STEM, and be the ones to #MakeWhatsNext#sponsored
When @PaulNicklen was asked to return to Antarctica to see if the leopard seals he had photographed for a story he published in @NatGeo 11 years ago would behave the same, I was thrilled at the chance to document it. I never imagined I would get to experience first-hand how intelligent and communicative these animals are. Yes, I feel bad for the little penguin, but from the seal’s perspective, that is just lunch. What was amazing, is how excited the seal was to show me what an extraordinary hunter she is. She caught penguin after penguin and brought them over proudly for me to behold.