Michael Nick Nichols@michaelnicknichols

A WILDLIFE:a visual biography of photographer michael nichols by Melissa Harris.


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once upon a time .....
william albert allard made this classic image on kodachrome 25 at dusk in basque country ... check out http://www.williamalbertallardflashsale.com/


Jane Goodall and the chimpanzee Gregoire, Brazzaville Zoo, 1995
I grew up with Jane Goodall, Flo, Flint and Greybeard on the pages of National Geographic magazine in the 1960’s, and wildly came to photograph Fifi, Frodo, Freud and Jane in the 1990’s. Jane and I collaborated on the book Brutal Kinship, bringing to light the disappearing terrain chimpanzees relied on to live, and how we humans cruelly and without irony used our closest relative as stand in surrogates for space exploration, HIV and hepatitis research, language studies, and entertainment.
Jane, 83, is still at it traveling nonstop on her mission. She recently closed my exhibit WILD at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with a talk that brought me and the entire house to tears.
Opening in theaters today is a masterpiece film by Brett Morgen. JANE is an intense love story made from footage literally found in the NatGeo HQ basement from legendary Dutch filmmaker Hugo van Lawick, and includes a beautiful score by Philip Glass. This is far more revealing than any huge budget biopic could ever hope to match. #JANE


i rarely leave sugarhollow but the new film #jane took me to LA for the premiere 15,000 strong at the hollywood bowl .. we photographers are light fingered with food and table (ie theft) settings at receptions left to right nat geo explorer @erikaberman @amytoensing @amivitale and hidden by the Jane pillow that we fought over is @gerdludwig


Today is the last day of @natgeocreative’s Flash Sale of signed prints for only $100. My image of
Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is in good company with stunning travel-
inspired images. Visit the link in my profile to see the full collection.


My image of Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is among the travel-inspired
signed prints available for $100 from Sept. 9th - Sept. 16th. Click on the link in my profile to see
all of the signed prints featured in @natgeocreative’s Flash Sale.


11:40 centerline Andrews NC #greatamericaneclipse


10:20 centerline of the #greatamericaneclipse Andrews NC


Jane Goodall with Ben Franklin @philamuseum
WILD michael nichols .. from the age of enlightenment boy could we use some " light " these days @aperturefnd @natgeocreative #awildlifebook #MichaelNicholswild


For WILD: michael nichols at The Philadelphia Museum of Art ... two "distinguished visitors from California" our 1500 year old Coastal Redwood tree and a 3200 year old Giant Sequoia have joined sculptures Diana by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Alexander Calders Ghost in the museums Great Stair Hall.
The great trees are represented by tapestry prints @ 1/5 actual size with the Redwood seen here at 65 feet.

Today I will be a "visitor" @philamuseum with impressions of WILD and my time @ the museum during installation. The exhibit runs from June 27 - September 17.

The story of how the two images were made for National Geographic can be read in A WILDLIFE by Melissa Harris just published by Aperture
@aperturefnd @natgeocreative #awildlifebook #MichaelNicholswild


Frisbee drooling at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
my life is complete. I did not screw up my love affair with Reba Peck. My sons are grown and do not hate me, even though I was always gone. We are stewards to a fantastic piece of land with Bears, box turtles, and great trees. We have new grandchildren Katman dude and Thermal the high flying hot dog .. and I just got a new knee

my work has come full circle from dreaming that I would be an artist but becoming a photojournalist to a fantastic display ..WILD michael nichols at the Philadelphia Museum of Art .. the incredibly smart Melissa Harris has spent 5 years translating my life for A WILDLIFE with Aperture an inspirational tale that begs humans to reexamine our relationship to nature

Hot damn .. tomorrow I will inhabit @philamuseum
@aperturefnd @natgeocreative @michaelnicknichols #awildlifebook #MichaelNicholswild


4 inches of rain last night .. we cannot even reach our bridge until the water comes down ..... 4:20 x 2 = 8:40 justified


The bite goes on #thermal&catmandude


catman-dude and thermal the high flying hot dog


what the hell he is still singing " satisfaction "


After 5 thousands days .. Let's get married .. And the rain will pass #happylyeverharveyobx


On the Rockfish River with Ian @iannicholsphoto a training float for my therapy dog Thermal. She does well only crying for me to pay attention and row properly


Finally made an image that fits with my phone . I'm kind of lost visually these days.


thanks for the naming comments. it is debate wether boy or girl .. im voting boy but there is "little evidence "
finalist are Bo , Fuzz Lightyear , Larry , Guttenfelder , and the name as we thought about this life change while in Yellowstone Cat-Man-dude .. the Dude or Dude .. does not seem to fit.
Thermal is having a hardtime with the quick movements , she understands the issue , but instincts are making electrical impulses that we cannot relax with. using a leash and firm commands.
#whatsmyname #catmandude #ihavenoname #blueheelersofinstagram #blueheelerwithakitten


kittens first night with us #ihavenoname #catmandude #whatsmyname


// image by Frans Lanting, a very wild chimpanzee visiting a drinking and cooling off pool in Senegal.

This chimp was too shy for Frans to be close so he waited for hours ( maybe days ) and captured the image from a hide using a radio to trigger his camera.

Frans and I go back to beginning of both our careers ( circa 1980 ) and we started sharing ideas and dreams as well as images with slideshows in mine and Reba's Berkeley California loft . Those tribal slide shows evolved from small gatherings to large backyard events to finally LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, Virginia. This year for the first time Frans will be celebrated @look3festival June 13-19 with a fabulous display of his work in the TREES lining the downtown pedestrian mall and with a public talk on the evening of June 15 at the beautiful Paramount Theater.

If you love photography and the natural world .. please come, ticket link at Look3.org


// image by Yuri Kozyrev , Noor cooperative from his @look3festival exhibit Arab Spring / Winter.

On June 18th Yuri and MaryAnne Golon will speak intimately on the Paramount Theater stage about what it is to be a conflict photgrapher and the relationship with the picture editor who becomes the life line , the mother , the best freind and often a calm voice of reason.

MaryAnne ( director of photography at the Washington Post ) noticed Yuris's work as a stringer for the LA TIMES on the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 90's when she was still at TIME magazine. She began to assign him first in Afghanistan after 9/11 and he then lived in Baghdad Iraq between 2002 -2009 on contract for TIME... since 2011 he has been non stop on the "Arab Revolutions " and continues this today.

Yuri is a quiet gentleman and will be not be speaking in his native tongue. The discussion could be about global politics and it could be about what drives a person to go into this world of chaos and darkness .... and stay there

we do not know where this illustrated talk will go or where it will end up.

In 2008 at the second Look3 MaryAnne went to the stage with James Nachtwey ... and we were taken to a place that brought us all (1200 attendees) to tears, joy and finally love. Yuri will be different ... this is what the stage @look3festival is all about.

Please join us


image by Nick Brandt from the just released "Inherit the Dust" // I spent so much of my photographic life in Africa mostly forests ... in recent years I reached the savannas of Kenya and Tanzania for long projects on Elephants and then Lions. It was here that I encountered the images of Nick Brandt. I was struck by the intimacy and the beautiful tonality of this work so well presented in his books. I wanted to know and see more.
I then found that he was giving back as much as he could with his Big Life Foundation, which was helping to protect lands were his subjects roamed.

When it came time to help put together this years @look3festival ... I reached out and asked if he would consider coming , talking about his work and exhibiting. Who could have known that Nick was just finishing "Inherit the Dust" a great departure for him. " In a series of epic panoramas, Brandt records the impact of man in places animals used to roam but no longer do "

Come and see the magnificent prints and hear how he got to this point of view with an intimate conversation with Vicki Goldberg on the evening of June 16 th in Charlottesville Virginia

for the next month I will bring you @look3festival with our history and why we do it ... hopefully you will come and join the tribe for more than " 3 days of peace love and photography "


the President tree photographed by 3 cameras mounted on a mid-air dolly hanging from a rope passing from the top of the President to a nearby taller tree in the Senate grove. This is the bottom section of the composite,
you can see the whole tree @natgeo

When I asked Steve Sillett which Giant Sequoia we should focus the worlds attention on with another composite he advised in his opinion the President was the most magnifcient individual and was likely the worlds largest tree not the acknowledged General Sherman tree. He even went so far as to bet his colleague in tree obsession Bob Van Pelt that if he could get permission to measure and age the tree for science it would prove to be number 1. He would bet his " LIFE " on this.

Disclaimer : it is totally illegal to climb trees in protected areas and my images and Steves science are done with the support and permits from the protectors. Great care is taken to protect the tree during the process.

We went to great lengths to help solve the bet .. making this composite image in a 10 foot blizzard and helping Steve with a grant for his science.
The fun part was going up the mountain in Febuary with no snow on the ground but three weather systems staged out in the Pacific ocean. The effort took 2 years of planning and working with the National Park Service to get permits.

We did the rigging during first two storms and by the wallop of number three we had 10 feet of fresh snow.
We could not calculate all that could and would go wrong , on the "magic day" we got only one attempt
without a tech failure , @kengeiger was able to piece it together
Finally the President is slightly smaller than Sherman .. Steve did not pay the bet and NPS is happy that they did not have to find money for another tour bus parking lot .


the name of this tree translates to " the mother of the universe " .. this works for me .. you can see the whole tree @natgeo

for 19 days we were up in the dark before dawn and at the base of this tree. By first light Giacomo was at the top watching for the sun to rise and telling us via radio what the fog was doing. We needed a foggy morning to give us a "glow" that you can only see in a old growth forest under special conditions. Thus the 19 attempts. We got it on day 13 but there was a tech glitch , that made me keep trying. The magic never came again so we used the 13 th day for the final piece. the image you see here is 3 frames in the composite of the " heart " of the tree with left to right Steve, Jim (in red that I asked him to wear ) and Marie.

on the ground for every attempt was Nathan and Marty ( our engineers ) and Ken on the computer.
all I did was worry with Reba holding my hand

love to you all on #Earthday #NatgeoEarthDay


Sawmill Geyser in winter // The first thing you notice about Yellowstone National Park, if you’re paying attention, is that the approach is uphill. It's UPHILL FROM ALL DIRECTIONS...................Atop the plateau lies the park, with an average elevation of 8,000 feet. Once you’re up there, large stretches of forest and grassland will seem almost flat, at least compared with your steep approach. You can drive for miles along a gently undulant road, through dense stands of lodgepole pine, across ground that appears cold and static. Don’t be fooled.
There’s a dramatic geological reason for the height of the Yellowstone Plateau. Directly beneath it burns a gigantic hotspot, a vast hole in Earth’s mantle and crust, through which heat and molten rock flow upward in a great plume. -----> continue series @natgeo

Writing by David Quammen (@davidquammen)

YELLOWSTONE the battle for the american west
May 2016 National Geographic magazine


Castle Geyser // There’s a dramatic geological reason for the height of the Yellowstone Plateau. Directly beneath it burns a gigantic hotspot, a vast hole in Earth’s mantle and crust, through which heat and molten rock flow upward in a great plume. Above that THERMAL TORRENT sit two magma chambers of partly molten rock, one atop the other, bulging the land surface into an enormous pustule. Around the bulge, like disorderly ramparts, loom mountains that are older and higher—most notably the Tetons, the Absarokas, the Wind River Range. Amid the plateau itself, geologists have traced the evidence of three huge ovals, three calderas, representing the scars left by three stupendous explosions over the past 2.1 million years. Those explosions, and the geothermal forces that powered them, have earned Yellowstone’s hotspot the label “supervolcano.” -----> continue series @natgeo

Writing by David Quammen (@davidquammen)

YELLOWSTONE the battle for the american west
May 2016 National Geographic magazine


So far this year, Bruscino told me, his old colleagues had counted 219 individual grizzlies working about fifty different moth sites. That’s about a fifth or a quarter of the GYE grizzly population, he reckoned, all feeding on moths while they’re available. His arithmetic assumed, as did Gunther’s, about a thousand grizzly bears—a huge rise since the nadir of the 1970s. “To me,” he said, “this is one of the greatest wildlife restoration stories ever.”
The grizzly still faces threats, Bruscino noted, but the worst is not loss of whitebark pine, nor of lake trout. It’s not that the moths might disappear, or become poisonous, if farmers in Kansas decide to use more pesticides. "THE BIGGEST LONG-TERM THREAT TO THIS BEAR POPULATION IS PRIVATE LANDS DEVELOPEMENT" he said.

-----> continue series @natgeo

Writing by David Quammen (@davidquammen)

YELLOWSTONE the battle for the american west
May 2016 National Geographic magazine



But the Plexiglas window doesn’t exist, and THE DIORAMA IS REAL It’s painted in blood—the blood of many wild creatures, dying violently in the natural course of relations with one another, predator and prey, and occasionally also with the blood of humans. Walk just two hundred yards off the road into a forested gulley or a sagebrush flat, and you had better be carrying, as Lance Crosby wasn’t, a canister of bear spray. Your park entrance receipt won’t protect you. You can be killed and eaten. But if you are, despite the fact that you have freely made your own choices, there may be retribution.
This is the paradox of Yellowstone, and of most other national parks we have added since: wilderness contained, nature under management, wild animals obliged to abide by human rules. It’s the paradox of the cultivated wild. -----> continue series @natgeo

Writing by David Quammen (@davidquammen)

YELLOWSTONE the battle for the american west
May 2016 National Geographic magazine