Photo by @FransLanting The annual gathering of king penguins on the beaches of South Georgia Island is one of the most phenomenal wildlife spectacles on the planet. It is an overwhelming sensation to spend time among them and they are a confirmation of the abundance of the Southern Ocean on which they depend. Fisheries around South Georgia are well-regulated, but beyond the territorial limits of the island, a lot of work remains to be done to safeguard a future for king penguins and all other wildlife dependent on the frigid seas surrounding Antarctica. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories and images from the Southern Ocean. @ThePhotoSociety#Antarctica#SouthGeorgia#Penguins#KingPenguins#SouthernOcean
Photo by @FransLanting A controversial culling of more than one thousand red deer in the Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve in the Netherlands is underway. It is the sad outcome of a heated debate about the most appropriate way to manage nature and wildlife in this famous wetland near Amsterdam. For some this area represented a unique opportunity to recreate nature on a scale that had not been seen in the Netherlands, nor anywhere else in Western Europe, in many centuries. But for others the mortality among the horses and the deer after a recent severe winter became too much to bear and they demanded action. After consulting the experts and pondering the options the Dutch government decided that the experimental approach to rewilding this wetland needed to be replaced with a more conventional management of culling the large mammals back to a drastically reduced population. So nearly 1800 deer will get killed and many hundreds of Konik horses are slated to get removed. I realize there are no easy answers for resolving this dilemma, but as a Dutchman living abroad looking at the Oostvaardersplassen with an international perspective I am sad that it has come to this. I hope that this will not be the last chapter in the ongoing debate about the meaning of nature and wildness in the most densely populated country on earth. Please, let us know what you think and follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories about our changing relationship with nature @ThePhotoSociety#Netherlands#Oostvaardersplassen#RewildingEurope#reddeer
Photos by @FransLanting “A storm came and an island went.” East Island was tiny, but for sea turtles in Hawaii it was the center of their universe. More than half of the entire population used it. But now it’s gone. Hurricane Walaka recently wiped it out. East Island was situated in the French Frigate Shoals, which is one of the Hawaiian Leeward Islands, an archipelago of atolls that stretches for a thousand miles in the Central Pacific. Even though they are mere feet above sea level, they are home to millions of seabirds and to endangered green sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seals. All of them are now threatened by the extreme weather episodes and the sea level rise caused by climate change. The aerial view in this set of photos shows Tern Island, also in the French Frigate Shoals. It has an airstrip built in World War Two to serve military planes. After the war it enabled researchers to use it as a base, but Tern Island has been abandoned and its future is doubtful. And nobody knows where the millions of creatures who depend on these fragile islands can go when they get submerged. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories about our changing planet. @LeonardodiCaprio@LeonardodiCapriofdn@ThePhotoSociety@NatGeo@NatGeoTravel@NatGeoWild#Hawaii#Seaturtle#Endangered#Climatechange#Climatereality#Sealevelrise
Photo by @FransLanting Receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from @nhm_wpy, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in London the other night has made me reflect about memorable moments in my career. When I was on assignment for @natgeo in the Okavango Delta I searched for new points of view and decided to get into the water to capture impressions of water lilies from underneath. I had no experience with underwater photography and the presence of crocodiles added another element of uncertainty to the situation, but after several days of trying I did emerge with a novel perspective that expressed the wonder of the Okavango. This great wetland, with its abundance of life, is really just a thin sheet of water stretched across Kalahari sand. The second image shows me during another effort to capture water level views of birds in the Delta. Was it risky? At the time, I didn’t think so. Was it worth it? For sure. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more views of our lives in the field as we search for intimate encounters with nature. @natgeo@natgeotravel@natgeowild@thephotosociety#Okavango#Botswana#Nature#Wonder#Kalahari#Beauty#NaturePhotography#PhotoAward#Naturelovers#nhm_wpy
Photo by @FransLanting Last night I had the great honor of receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from @nhm_wpy, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition during a gala ceremony in London’s magnificent Natural History Museum. To be recognized with so many peers, colleagues, friends and brilliant young photographers In attendance was a moving experience. I was given a wonderful sculpture of a bull elephant. When @ChristineEckstrom examined it closely she realized it was inspired by a photo I had made years ago of a famous elephant named "Survivor" in Zambia’s North Luangwa Valley. Survivor lived through a previous poaching holocaust in the 1980s and he was written up in Mark and Delia Owens' books "Eye of the Elephant" and "Survivor’s Song." The bull elephants depicted here, which I photographed in Botswana one memorable evening, lived more tranquil lives thanks to its government’s enlightened policy of putting a moratorium on elephant hunting, but even there the tide is turning. I’m sharing this image in honor of all elephant champions including the late Paul Allen, and respectfully ask that you consider supporting the organizations that can turn the current poaching crisis around and secure a future for elephants. Proceeds from a limited print of this image titled "Twilight of the Giants" will benefit their cause. Check on the link in my bio to learn more or write to email@example.com. @elephantcrisisfund@savetheelephants@wildaid@wildnetorg#elephants#ivory#nhm_wpy#conservation#wildlifephotography#wildlife.
Photos by @FransLanting and friends. I love teaching photography and I am proud of the images participants in our workshops create when they join us at our studio in Santa Cruz along the coast of California. Here are some highlights from previous sessions with thanks to the talented Kathy Richardson, Peter Boender, Thomas Vogelsang, Gabe Kronisch whose photos are shown here. We’re planning 3 new workshops for the first part of 2019 and we invite you to join us to unleash your creativity and improve your technical skills. Check out lanting.com/workshops-travel/workshops for details. Or go to the link in my bio. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more encounters with the natural world. #Photography#Naturephotography#Photoworkshop#Workshop#Creativity#MontereyBay#Naturelovers#Nature
Photo by @FransLanting This is one of the most unusual animals I have worked with yet. South America’s giant anteater is designed to eat ants and nothing else. It breaks into ant hills and termite mounds with giant claws and slurps up the tiny insects by the thousands with a long, sticky tongue. Anteaters have no teeth and half of their body length is made up of a giant hairy tail, which serves as a blanket to keep them warm. Stay tuned for more stories about anteaters and other wonders from South America’s grasslands and follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom. @ThePhotoSociety#Wildlifephotography#Pantanal#Anteater#Naturelovers#Wildlife