Experience the world through the eyes of National Geographic photographers.
Photograph by @CristinaMittermeier // I was very honoured to represent @NatGeo at their #WomenofImpact event at the @cannes_lions International Festival of Creativity in collaboration with @facebook. Having the opportunity to meet, photograph, represent, mentor and empower women has been one of the greatest gifts of my career. As an ethnographic photographer, I get to visit some of the most remote places on the planet and on these travels, I continuously feel the kindness, the sisterhood and the generosity of women from all cultures and all walks of life. I photographed this Enga woman from the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Though her headdress was a prized possession, passed on from generation to generation, I chose to focus on her eyes, reminding us of our shared humanity. #FollowMe at @CristinaMittermeier to see more images from around the world. #gratitude#girlpower#empowerment#womenwhoinspire#nature#conservation#canneslions
Photo @tbfrost | Words by @paulrosolie What makes the blunt-headed-tree snake so remarkable is that it can be four feet long and still be only thick as a pencil. They are a common nocturnal find in the lower canopy of the west Amazon. Last night we found two. One of them was a dark grey and the other a luscious red earth hue with cream colored bands. Both had the absurdly large eyes that are signature to their species (eyes of a blunt headed tree snake can make up ¼ of the entire head!). But what struck me most was watching the difference in their personalities. It may sound crazy, but the earthy one (pictured) was hyper and curious and always moving through my fingers, entirely different from the calmer grey one who seemed content with stillness. She would extend her body straight out, and you could see her eyes moving as her tongue flicked. When she came face to face with a sweat bee, she paused. Watching her it was impossible not to wonder what was going on in the tiny brain between those eyes. Some people will tell you exploration is dead, they see nothing left to discover, and yet our ignorance of the beings around us remains abyssal.
To see more photos of Amazon snakes, including green anacondas - the largest snake in the world, I'm @tbfrost
Photo by @BrianSkerry
A Great White Shark swims through surface waters in the waters off South Australia. The largest predatory fish fish in the sea, the great white remains somewhat enigmatic, with much of its life and behaviors unknown. In the past, researchers believed that white sharks lived to an age of about 35 years, but more recently scientists published findings suggesting that they live into their 70s. Imagine how much wisdom about the sea that an animal which travels thousands of miles each year and lives 70 years must possess.
If you know kids that love sharks, check out the new book 'THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF SHARKS published by National Geographic Kids! And to learn more about all marine wildlife, follow @BrianSkerry. #sharks#australia#greatwhitesharks#oceanwisdom#predators
A male lion not wanting to share his food. Animals have emotions just like us – even bad ones!
Zakouma NP is just one of 15 parks managed by conservation NGO @africanparksnetwork . If you want to see wild plains teeming with lions, leopards, herds of elephants, giraffe, and now rhinos (they just reintroduced black rhinos after a 50-year absence) and no tourists - go to Zakouma - check out the lodges there and in the other parks the manage in 8 other countries via their website. Tourism revenue goes back to the parks they manage and important community projects like education, healthcare and improved livelihoods.
What is happening in Zakouma is one of the most hopeful stories in conservation. The park was once ravaged by poaching and insecurity. More than 4,000 elephants, which was 95% of the population, were slaughtered between 2002 to 2010 for the sale of their ivory – and poachers wreaked havoc on both the wildlife and people who lived there. By 2010, only 450 elephants remained. That same year, @africanparksnetwork signed a long-term agreement with the government of Chad to fully manage Zakouma and change the trajectory of the park. They built a ranger team and implemented effective law enforcement measures and community networks, and today poaching has been practically eliminated. The elephant population is finally on the rise for the first time in a decade. Elephants have surpassed 550 individuals, and not one has been lost to poaching since January 2016. Last year @africanparksnetwork counted 81 elephant calves under the age of three years old; in 2011 they counted one. Without the support of local communities this would not work. The park is the largest employer in the region; thousands of people are getting an education and healthcare, and decency and civility, along with life, have found their back to this once forgotten place. To learn more about Zakouma and other truly hopeful conservation efforts happening across Africa, please follow @africanparksnetwork
Photo by @CarltonWard | The seductive ghost orchid survives in remote South Florida swamps, usually hanging from twisted branches of a pond apple or pop ash tree forming cathedral arches above shadowed wetlands. Approximately 2,000 ghost orchids are known to exist, of which a small fraction bloom each year, and even a smaller number are pollinated. Once sought by collectors and smugglers, the ghost orchid is surrounded by cultural lore, including the book The Orchid Thief and movie Adaptation. Even today, the exact locations of these rare plants must be kept secret for their protection. The ghost orchid is thought to pollinated by the giant sphinx month, the only flying insect with mouth parts long enough to reach into the ghost orchids extended nectar spur. This summer I will be working with researchers to place precision camera traps near orchid blooms with hopes of capturing evidence of the pollination which is thought to happen in the middle of the night. Please follow @CarltonWard to join me in the swamps on this quest. And check out the work of fellow @NatGeo Explorer @Peter_Houlihan who has done his PhD on Ghost Orchids in the Fakahatchee Strand. #GhostOrchid#Orchid#Swamp#Everglades#PathofthePanther#FloridaWild#KeepFLWild.
Photograph by @simoncroberts. Running along the crest of the Sololaki ridge, prominent above Tbilisi’s Old Town, are the ruins of the Narikala Fortress, also known as Sololaki Citadel (the Rival Fortress). This former Persian citadel it one of the most recognizable structures in Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia, and travelers who venture to this 4th century wonder are rewarded with some of the best views of the city. Sitting at the foot of the imposing hill are a labyrinth of narrow streets where wooden balconies look down from old brick-build homes. Persians, Byzantines, Ottomans, Russians and Soviets have all had their influence on Tbilisi’s architecture. Over the past few years the city has gained several cosmopolitan new buildings, including The Bridge of Peace, a bow-shaped pedestrian bridge over the Kura River (see here on the right of the photograph). It was designed by Italian architect Michele de Lucchi and built to create a contemporary design feature connecting Old Tbilisi with the new district of the city.
Photo by @amytoensing (Amy Toensing) :: Vrindavan, India - A widow walks through Maa Smarda Ashram.
The United Nations estimates there are around 285 million widows around the globe with over 40% of them living in poverty - often due to discrimination and inadequate or poorly enforced laws to protect women and their rights to inheritance - especially to land and property. These women are often marginalized and in some cases even blamed for the death of their husbands - pushing them out to edges of society.
Please join me in honoring these women today in celebration of International Widows Day. To learn more about this issue check out organizations like @ijm and The Loomba Foundation or google International Widows Day. #internationalwidowsday#widowhood
Photo by @ivankphoto / Minihua Huani hunts with a spear while Omayuhue Baihua carries a shotgun near the Waorani community of Boanamo, bordering the Yasuni National Park, in Ecuador. The Waorani live in one of the most bio-diverse places in the world. There are also vast amounts of crude below the ground. The extraction of oil has continued to threaten the environment and the people of the Amazon for decades. This image was shot #onassignment for National Geographic.
Photo by @amivitale. Twelve year old mother giant panda, Si Xue explores her enclosure at the Wolong China Conservation & Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan Province, China. Because of their low-energy diet, pandas avoid stressful situations and exertion.
It’s hard to imagine, but these animals were once as mythical and elusive as Bigfoot. They have been around for millions of years, but were only made known to the western world within the last century. The first panda was captured alive only in 1936.
After years of research, scientists have learned how to successfully breed pandas in captivity. With an adult population estimated at more than 1,864 wild pandas and 500 captive pandas, they have been upgraded from endangered to threatened. In a region where bad environmental news is common, China is on its way to successfully saving its most famous ambassador.
I have recently published my new book, Panda Love, featuring my long-term panda work made on assignment for National Geographic. See more on my feed @amivitale.
Photograph by @PaulNicklen // The relationship humans have with dogs in the Arctic is deeply intertwined. Hardworking sled dogs enable quick, efficient travel across an icy, unforgiving landscape. It is an often misunderstood partnership that, when witnessed, deserves reverence, especially in the circumstances I have experienced. Greenlandic hunters are famous for their ability to navigate thin ice as they hunt throughout the winter, but sea ice has changed drastically over the past twenty years. As the ice thins at alarming rates, travel becomes increasingly dangerous, and often devastating, for hunters. Here, Inuit hunters quickly figure out a way to get their sled dogs back onto thicker ice after falling through. The loss of one of these sled dogs was a harsh reminder of the far-reaching consequences of climate change. #FollowMe at @PaulNicklen to learn how we can turn the tide.