Frans Lanting@franslanting

National Geographic Photographer || Author || Speaker || Creator of images, stories and events to inspire wonder and concern about our living planet.

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Frans Lanting

Video by @FransLanting Great flocks of waterfowl use the Pacific Flyway on their annual migratory journeys between the Far North and wintering grounds in California. Today the wetlands where they end up have shrunk to a fraction of their former size, and what remains is now intensively managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in order to allow the multitudes of birds dependent on it to survive in a much-reduced habitat. Snow geese arrive here after long flights from the Arctic. It gives me chills when I think of their endurance—some come from as far away as Siberia. Scientists call snow geese Anser Hyperboreus; it means “Bird from beyond the North Wind.” Whoever came up with that name was not just a scientist, but a poet as well. I like people who can use both sides of their brain and unite them. Photography requires that too; you have to be able to analyze and empathize to create meaningful images. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories about nature’s vitality. @Natgeocreative @Thephotosociety #Bird #Migration #Waterfowl #Snowgeese #Birdphotography #Wildlifephotography #Nationalwildliferefuge


Frans Lanting

Photo by @FransLanting For as long as anyone can remember, Monarch butterflies have fluttered from all over the American West to coastal California every fall to overwinter in a few sheltered places. In communities like Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz (my hometown for many years) their annual return has been as predictable as autumn colors are to people on the East Coast. I remember my amazement when I first saw them covering single trees by the thousands. But their wintering sites have become eerily quiet. A recent census by the Xerces Society confirms that the western Monarch population is in the midst of a catastrophic collapse. Their numbers have declined by more than 95% from more than ten million in the 1980s to a mere 20,000 today. The unthinkable is becoming a real possibility. Western Monarchs may go extinct if this trend continues. Researchers have not identified a single cause for this demise, but point to pesticides, habitat loss and drought as factors. Butterflies are barometers for an ecosystem’s health. When they go, we have reasons to worry, not just for them, but about ourselves too. It breaks my heart that a phenomenon that has been synonymous for generations with nature’s enduring cycles may turn into a new symbol for how seriously the balance of nature is being upset in our lifetime. What are your thoughts about this? Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom as we bear witness to our changing planet. @LeonardodiCapriofdn @Xercessociety @Thephotosociety #Monarchs #Endangered #Extinction #Nature #Butterfly #Santacruz #MontereyBay #California


Frans Lanting

Photo by @FransLanting Would you like me to review your best bird photos? I am looking for submissions of great images of birds to critique during my upcoming Creative Live course, "The Art of Photographing Birds.” I’m interested in seeing bird photos of all kinds—portraits, action shots, birds in back yards, and in both urban and natural environments. I hope you’ll surprise me with your creativity. Go to the link in my bio, and scroll down to “Student Work—Upload to Gallery.” I made this image of snow geese taking off in California’s Sacramento Valley last week. I’ll be returning there later this month for the filming of my Creative Live course, which will be streamed live online on March 20. Stay tuned for more details.

Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more images of birds.

@thephotosociety @creativelive #birds #birdphotography #snowgeese #birdmigration #SacramentoValley


Frans Lanting

Video by @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom No matter where you are and what you believe in, we wish you all Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Prettige Feestdagen, Feliz Navidad,Mirary Fety Sambatra, اجازة سعيدة, 節日快樂, Selamat Hari Raya, 幸せな休日, Furaha Likizo, छुट्टियां आनंददायक हों, 행복 휴일, تعطیلات شاد and we hope for peace for this earth in the year to come. Follow us for stories about what we all have in common, our precious living planet. @FransLanting @ChristineEckstrom @thephotosociety #Holiday #Snow #Peace #Earth #Planet #LivingPlanet #Gratitude #Hope


Frans Lanting

Photo by @FransLanting Bonobos along with chimps are our closest cousins on the tree of life. There are fewer than 15.000 of them in the forests of the Congo; the only place in the world where they live in the wild. They reproduce slowly; even a good bonobo mother can only raise one baby every five years. Only a few hundred bonobos are born every year and that means every single one of them is precious. This past year I went to the Congo with @Ashley_Judd and @ChristineEckstrom to help raise awareness about bonobos and to support the people who protect them. The Bonobo Conservation Initiative is doing important work in the Congo with local communities to empower them to save guard bonobos and the forests they depend on. Empathy and cooperation are hallmarks of bonobo social life and In that spirit I hope you can help us support BCI’s work by clicking on the link in their Instagram feed, @bonobodotorg, and by signing Ashley Judd’s Care2 petition, found in @Care2’s Instagram feed.
Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more images and videos from the heart of the Congo. @bonobodotorg, @ashley_judd, @care2, @Natureneedshalf #Bonobo, #Congo #Gratitude #Wildlife #Family #Ape


Frans Lanting

Photo by @FransLanting A bonobo cradles her infant in a tender embrace, but when you look at her right hand you can see the trauma she suffered when she was caught in a poacher’s snare. This past year @ChristineEckstrom and I joined @Ashley_judd and Sally Coxe for an expedition into the heart of the Congo; the only place in the world where bonobos live in the wild. Sally's organization, the Bonobo Conservation Initiative works there with local partners to help protect these amazing apes. Bonobos are not well known even though they are our closest primate cousins along with chimpanzees. While we get ready to gather with family for the holidays I hope you will join us in supporting the people who are working hard to ensure a future for our extended family members on the tree of life. You can help support BCI’s work by clicking on the link in their Instagram feed, @bonobodotorg, and by signing Ashley Judd’s Care2 petition, found in @Care2’s Instagram feed. Check @ChristineEckstrom to see a video that shows how bonobos take care of each other. @bonobodotorg, @ashley_judd, @care2, @Natureneedshalf, #Bonobo, #Congo #Gratitude #Wildlife #Family #Ape


Frans Lanting

Photo by @FransLanting Today we celebrate Wildlife Conservation Day with an image of a young orangutan standing upright in a forest clearing. It is easy to appreciate the similarities with humans—and the differences. Long arms enable orangs to swing through the trees and their potbellies help them digest all that plant food. There is not much protein in their diet, but they can deal with that. What orangutans can’t cope with is the dramatic loss of their habitat and the assault on their infants for the illegal pet trade. This young male is one of many orangutans who end up in rehab centers where dedicated people try to give them a new lease on life after their traumatic experiences with humans. I will leave it to you what you find more compelling; his body parts or the outlook on life for orangutans as a species. Follow me @FransLanting to see more orangutans and learn about their plight. And follow @ChristineEckstrom to see more video encounters of the animal kind. @World_Wildlife @WildAid @Leonardodicapriofdn #Borneo #Orangutan #Family #Orphans #Endangered #Wildlife #Conservation


Frans Lanting

Photo by @FransLanting A rainbow adds a touch of softness to a blustery squall that whipped up the waves off South Georgia Island, but for the millions of seabirds that call this frigid island in the Antarctic home, strong winds are just fine, because they are expert gliders. This giant petrel is one of them, but it’s the legendary albatrosses that are truly masters of the wind. To see them up close follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom. @thephotosociety #SouthernOcean #Seabird #YearoftheBird #Wind #Rainbow #Antarctica


Frans Lanting

Photo by @FransLanting South Georgia Island is one the wildest places on the planet. Few people have set foot ashore on the rugged headlands along its south coast where wandering albatrosses nest in the shelter of tussock grass. I photographed this bird in the evening with the last sunlight illuminating the highest peak of the island, Mt. Paget, while the reflected light from the sky made the bird glow. This male wanderer was waiting for a female to show up. When she did, they greeted each other with a spectacular courtship dance that is unique in the bird world. To see how albatrosses court and bond with each other, and to get a sense of how gigantic they are, follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom. @thephotosociety #Albatross #Seabird #SouthGeorgiaIsland #Antarctica #Amazing #YearoftheBird #Wildlife #Courtship


Frans Lanting

Photo by @FransLanting An Ice arch frames the southernmost end of wild South Georgia Island, named Cape Disappointment by Captain Cook. When he reached this point and became the first person to see the frigid southern coast of the island, he realized it was not the long sought shoreline of Antarctica after all and turned away. But for modern travellers, this stretch of the forbidding South Georgia coastline is an awesome sight. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more encounters with the wild places of planet earth. @Thephotosociety #Antarctica #Explore #SouthGeorgia #Ice #Wild


Frans Lanting

Photo by @FransLanting A gaggle of locals seems puzzled by the appearance of a visitor who is looking the other way. Where penguins and people meet, interesting juxtapositions occur. South Georgia Island is home to more than 500,000 king penguins and only a handful of humans—seasonal visitors like this man are a bit more numerous, but still rare, and they are privileged to spend time ashore on this remote island near Antarctica. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more impressions from the wild worlds down under. @thephotosociety #Penguins #Tourism #Naturelovers #Antarctica #SouthGeorgiaIsland #Kingpenguins


Frans Lanting

Photo by @FransLanting If you feel a bit overfed after your Thanksgiving meal, consider this emperor penguin chick with its bulging belly filled to capacity after a huge meal of fish and squid regurgitated by one of its parents standing guard. Emperor penguin parents travel for days across the sea ice surrounding Antarctica to bring food from the open ocean back to their chicks. It’s a race against time, because the young penguins must grow up and fledge before the sea ice melts out from under their feet. Nobody knows what the ultimate effects of global warming will be for these remarkable birds, but while they do what they do best, it’s our responsibility to look ahead to safeguard a future for them. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom to see more of these heroic birds. @thephotosociety #Penguins #EmperorPenguins #PenguinChick #Antarctica #Happiness #Family #Parents #ClimateChange