Co-founder of the non-profit @sea_legacy and photojournalist for National Geographic
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I love images that create a sense of place for a species like polar bears. A receding glacier provides the backdrop of a polar bear drifting on a piece of ice while waiting for a seal to float by while doing the same thing. With a top predator like a polar bear, it is all about patience. Lancaster Sound or Tallurutiup, Nunavut is one of the richest polar marine ecosystems in the world and at @sea_legacy we are excited to see that the Government of Canada, the Government of Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association recently announced an agreement on the final boundary for a National Marine Conservation Area. With @natgeopristineseas#NMCA#nature#ice#beauty#glacier#ice#marine
Polar bears love a good lookout. Their smell is their most powerful sense but they also love an elevated position from which to search for seals drifting by on ice. I have photographed hundreds of bears but when the beauty of ice and the elegance of a polar bear come together in one image, I stare in awe and hit the shutter while giving thanks. #gratitude#mpa#polarbear#photography#arctic#nature#naturelovers#adventure#love
Mom does a gentle stretch and then tastes the air with her tongue. Like mother, like cub. When I am near bears I always watch their body language. I always want bears to be relaxed and to do what they do. At this point, she was trying to pick up our smell, however the way she had her back legs stretched out told me that she was quite relaxed. Bears obviously smell with their noses but they also taste the air. Try it sometime. For @sea_legacy with @eyosexpeditions // #bear#polarbear#nature#naturelovers#animal#wildlife#instagood#family#love3#beauty
In the Arctic, it is all about sea ice. Ice is the foundation of this ecosystem. As pools in the ice begin to melt they get dark and grab more sunlight accelerating the melting process. Have you noticed that you get a lot hotter when wearing a black shirt versus a white shirt? The sea ice is no different. White ice and snow reflects the suns energy and black ice absorbs it. This is called the albedo effect. Please #follow@sea_legacy to learn about our conservation efforts on this rapidly changing ecosystem. #nature#naturelovers#mpa#protect#ice#beauty#sunset
We did not want to get too close to him. I did not want him using his last ounce of energy in trying to avoid us. It took him a long time and a lot of effort to be able to stand up only to collapse again. We let him be. It was one of the hardest decisions I have faced in a long time. I want the images to be able to tell his story. I want to be able to tell the story of his species. He was once a huge male polar bear and now he is a bag of bones, reduced to skin hanging loosely off of his once massive frame. He will be dead soon and I want him to go in peace after living a life as a great polar nomad. We cannot prove that he is in this condition because of a lack of sea ice but is it a glimpse into the future as ice reaches its lowest extent in recorded history? I hear a lot of suggestions from people like “let’s take polar bears to Antarctica so they can eat penguins” or “let’s put out styrofoam platforms so they can be on the ocean”. These suggestions are irrational but it does mean that people do care. The only way polar bears can be saved is by reducing our global carbon footprint and finding renewable energy. It breaks my heart to see this but our team at @sea_legacy is shifting into high gear to continue connecting the world to our ailing marine ecosystems. #MPA#keepoilexplorationoutofthearctic#climatechangeisreal#bethechange#riseup#hedoesnotspeakforme#love#beauty#hungry
Narwhals jockey for position and gently cross tusks as they push for a breath of air. They are diving under the sea ice in an attempt to access the thick schools of polar/Arctic cod. Soon after taking this image, I slipped into the water and was caught in the middle of two courting male narwhal. One narwhal never realized that I was there and started to rub my neoprene clad head with its tusk. @sea_legacy#unicorns#unicornsofthesea#narwhals#climatechange
Just in the door from the North Pole in time to repack and head back to the Arctic. Once this frozen paradise works its way into your veins, there is no going back. I will be addicted to the poles until the day I die. #nature#naturelovers#adventure#polarbear
I realize that I have posted this picture of this vulnerable and adorable emperor penguin chick before but it feels like a Happy Feet kind of day. Full of gratitude for all of the amazing creatures I have spent time with in #nature. #emperorpenguin#penguin#cute#love#beauty
I am proud to be opening my fine art show called “Polar Obsession” in Southern UK. It is an extension of the @paulnicklengallery in NYC. For me, it is all about spreading the message and using the proceeds from these sales to fund and fuel our work with @sea_legacy. King penguins huddle during a blizzard on South Georgia, Antarctica. #gratitude
Here are some dates and times.
THE DRANG GALLERY - SALCOMBE
PREVIEW: 10 AUGUST, 6-8 PM | EXHIBITION: 11 - 24 AUGUST, 2017
THE DRANG GALLERY - PADSTOW
PREVIEW: 1 SEPTEMBER, 6-8 PM | EXHIBITION: 2 - 22 SEPTEMBER, 2017
Sometimes it is the small things in life that grab our attention. While diving under the ice in the Canadian Arctic, I discovered this Sea Angel. Fortunately @jedweingarten was swimming behind me with a macro housing and I was easily able to swap cameras. I could spend hours watching these sea slugs undulating and flapping their wings in the cold polar current but the bone chilling cold limits our time under the ice. For @sea_legacy#gratitude#nature#naturelovers#discovery#adventure#invertebrates
My dive partner and long time friend, @goranehlme prepares his gear to follow me under the ice in the Ross Sea of Antarctica. It was the best visibility I have ever seen. The 28F water was dark but once my eyes adjusted to this underwater realm beneath the ice I could see for hundreds of feet. For me, this journey has been about relationships. Relationships with nature, wildlife and ecosystems but also, relationships with people. Goran has been at my side on many of my more extreme expeditions. #gratitude for amazing friends with whom I have shared this journey. @sea_legacy. #nature#ice#diving#adventure#expeditions#teamwork#maxeffort
Greenland! After two powerful weeks at the North Pole Climate Change Summit with great global leaders, scientists and experts in their respective fields, we are heading home to lead our @sea_legacy team into action. There is much work to be done and with our new collaborations and ways of reaching the masses I am energized to continue tackling the biggest issue facing us as a species today. Thank you @quarkexpeditions for hosting this event. #climatechangeisreal#climatechange#bethechange#hedoesntspeakforme
Why must we vilify such a gorgeous and threatened species? Why do we feel a need to turn bears into growling and roaring monsters? Why must we kill bears for hotel/ restaurant decorations in the first place? I have seen over a thousand grizzly bears in the wild and I have never felt threatened. I definitely have never had a bear growl at me. #changeourattitudes#bear#nature#naturelovers
A baby walrus, almost the size of its mother, seeks shelter on her back from the surrounding walrus herd and any lurking polar bears. This is what a huge 500-600 pound baby walrus looks like. It could be two to three years old. Can you imagine having to lug this much baby around? You will also notice that they are sinking the ice floe that they're sleeping on. This multi-year ice which is estimated to disappear from the Arctic in the next decade or two is essential to their survival. For @sea_legacy.
It's not about the money, it's not about the glitz, it's not about the bathing suits or the surfboard, or the brands. When you hang out with people from Makaha...it's just they have an obsession — they have salt water running through their veins. It was an honour to be welcomed into Hawai'ian culture while working for @natgeo. It put me way out of my comfort zone but was nothing but fun. Not my usual working environment, but one I'm proud to have covered. Thank you to @zekelau and all the people of Makaha for helping make it happen.
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Oh, to be in the company of greatness. A polar bear rests on the shores of Hudson Bay waiting for the sea ice to freeze so it can feed on seals. A similar print can be found at the @paulnicklengallery in beautiful black and white. All print sales benefit our important work at @sea_legacy.
That incredibly humbling moment when the ocean currents brought a sleeping leopard seal and I into close proximity. The seal lifted its head for a second and then immediately went back to sleep. I love being in the company of wildlife that have this level of confidence where they know that I am not a threat and not worth a second look. Leopard seals have been the villain portrayed in almost any film that has to do with #antarctica. It is my life’s work to dispel these myths and portray these charismatic, intelligent and vulnerable species in their true light.
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