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Paul Nicklen

Co-founder of @SeaLegacy. @NatGeo contributor. @SonyAlpha

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Paul Nicklen (@paulnicklen) Instagram photos and videos

List of Instagram medias taken by Paul Nicklen (@paulnicklen)

Yesterday, I posted the behind- the-scenes moment of a mother and calf humpback whale approaching us in the waters of Tonga. Today, I am posting my perspective of the same encounter. What emotions would you feel if an animal that is 50 feet long and weighing over 80,000 pounds approached you underwater? You never know how you are going to react until you are in that situation. To see the eye of the mother looking back at you, assessing the situation of whether you are a threat to her calf or not. The ultimate compliment is when the mom brings her calf over to you, allowing it to approach you and interact with you. After this moment unfolded, we ended up spending another three hours with this mom and her calf. Frankly, I think the mom is just relieved for her calf to have some new friends and new toys to play with. Every time we did a body roll underwater, the calf would do a body roll in response. I have never been one to believe that I can talk to a whale but I do know if you show them immense respect, peaceful body language, calm energy then at some point they will let you into their world. Shot on assignment for @sealegacy with @Scott.portelli, @Kyle.roepke @vilitakau , @jaytuma and @swimmingwithgentlegiants

Vava'u , Tonga

A year ago, a gentleman and generous soul by the name of @scott.portelli asked me if I wanted to bring a small @sealegacy team to come to Tonga and film humpback whales. It is his contribution to the work we do. We have only been here for two days and this happened first thing this morning. I find that with whales, the less you move and the less you approach them the more they will approach you. This mom and calf did exactly that. Video by @kyle.roepke with @swimmingwithgentlegiants

I loved all of your responses from yesterday on what it means to look into the eyes of these wise souls. Much more eloquently stated that I am capable of! Loved it. Thank you as I needed that. Here is a wolf and I got lost in her eyes also.

What do you see when you look into the eyes of a grizzly bear? I know what I see, but I want to hear your thoughts first?

Words by @iantmcallister from @pacificwild. A leaked internal document released this week shows just how severely twisted the BC government is when it comes to wolf management. The letter written by government employee Darcy Peel who heads the Caribou Recovery Program is proposing to kill over 80% of wolf populations in large parts of the interior of BC. This would mean a massive escalation of the government sponsored wolf cull that has already killed over 700 wolves over the last five years. The letter also describes the intent to continue targeting “Judas" wolves. This is when a single wolf is fitted with a satellite collar so that it can be followed by aerial snipers in helicopters to locate the rest of the pack. They kill the wolf with the radio collar last. This is an unprecedented escalation of a wildlife kill program that is not based on science and is not supported by any meaningful public consultation. In fact if this letter was not leaked two days ago the public would not even know that this reprehensible wolf cull would be happening this winter. The letter states that the next two years could cost tax payers over 3 million dollars. The 700 wolves that were killed over the last five years cost taxpayers 2.5 million dollars. We have known for decades that caribou would disappear if we did not protect their habitat so instead of doing the right thing and ensuring that adequate habitat was protected to maintain predator prey relationships we instead let oil and gas, logging and mining companies have unbridled access to critical caribou habitat. Now the BC governments only plan of action is to begin another predator kill program the likes that we have never witnessed in BC before. There is time to demand an open public consultation process to stop this wolf cull. Send a note directly to Darcy Peel, Director of BC Caribou Recovery Program. email: visit: @pacificwild.for more info and links to take action. @bcndp @johnhorgan4bc


Another day in paradise. A recent image from our orca filming expedition to Norway.

One of the most significant challenges the environmental movement has struggled to overcome is its historical inability to work together as a unified force. For decades, conservationists and activists have faced off against enormous opponents like big industry, politicians that put profit before sustainability, and even one another. Although we have been able to influence critical change here and there, inroads to success are tough. Sometimes it feels like there's one roadblock after another, and it can seem impossible to get out in front of the when news of our glaciers melting faster than scientists ever predicted or tragedies like the cover headlines around the world, one after another. What gives me hope is the power that we have when we work together. I am humbled and grateful to each of you who have joined @SeaLegacy, @CristinaMittermeier and me on our journey to start with likeminded people, organizations and communities around the world. This is just the beginning, together we can do so much more.

British Columbia

These little rascals know when I am packing for an expedition and they give me a look that makes my heart melt. See you soon boys!

I was twenty-six years old when I took this photo of Dr. Mitch Taylor removing a tranquillizer dart from a massive male polar bear that we found sleeping in a summer den high up in the mountains on Baffin Island, Nunavut. This was the moment in my journey through life when I realized that I could be much more effective as a photojournalist than as a scientist. Now, I spend much of my time translating what the scientists are saying into visual stories to build a bridge between the scientific community and the rest of the world. When I was growing up the internet didn't exist - Google wasn't even a word. Young people today are growing up in an era where it's easier than ever before to access and to publish information. With all the climate deniers out there, it can be hard sometimes to know what's real and what isn't, but I've spent most of my life in the field, on the edges of the wild, and I've seen the effects of climate change with my own eyes. I hope that the stories I am able to share from behind my lens inspire and empower the next generation to , to work together to turn back the wheels of time on the . There's still time for all of us to make an impact if we start working together and today. ⁠ ⁠

My happy place. Rebreathers (bubbleless diving), underwater cameras, bright lights, a magical ocean, incomparable wildlife and amazing people around me. BTS shot by @cristinamittermeier while being photographed for @natgeo for the series by @marcogrob. Can’t wait to release my entire journey in my next newsletter.Link in my bio.

Planet Earth

I am so humbled and grateful that Born To Ice recently won the ITB Berlin book award in the category Illustrated travel books! Selecting his most evocative and thought-provoking imagery, this BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, top Instagram photography influencer, and speaker, takes you deep into a world he loves. Bathed in polar light, Nicklen’s photography breaks new ground, offering a vivid, timely portrait of two extraordinary, endangered ecosystems. In a wise intertwining of art and science, Nicklen’s bold expeditions plunge him into freezing seas to capture it all, from sea to sky, all species and all habitats, including unprecedented, up-close documentation of the lives of leopard seals, whales, walruses, polar bears, elephant seals, penguins, and narwhals. A captivating and important volume of fine art wildlife photography that illustrates Nicklen’s vision of seeking out truth and change through his work via his foundation with Cristina Mittermeier, SeaLegacy, a non-profit environmental organization. Available now through the link in my bio.


"Arctic Journey” from my latest book, Born To Ice. I am very excited about the upcoming release of new work in large fine prints. The power, energy and rawness of what I felt while living on the sea ice with these Greenlandic nomads and their huskies is best relived on a very large scale. There you connect with the expressions of the dogs, the snowflakes gently floating back to Earth and the texture of the thin sea ice we were traveling over as we approached the floe edge, just 600 miles from the North Pole. To see more of our fine art pieces, please go to the link in my bio.

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