Florian Schulz@florianschulzvisuals

Photographer | Filmmaker | Speaker -
Contributor to @NatGeo. Passionate about protecting earth’s last wilderness areas and its wildlife.


Just 20 km 12mi (20 km) from the Pacific Ocean, Mount Fairweather rises to 15,325 feet (4671 m) towering over the ocean. For several summers I explored Southeast Alaska with a small sailboat. The area receives a ton of rain and the mountains are most often covered in clouds. I very much understand why Captain James Cook, named it Mount Fairweather in 1778 when the weather finally cleared and showed the massive peak.
I love traveling by boat, as you can access places no roads lead to - and those areas are in general more pristine and have very healthy wildlife populations. Most of Southeast Alaska is covered by the Tongass National Forest. Over 1/3 of it are protected by the roadless rule, preventing the construction of new roads and the clearcutting of the old growth forest. Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture intends to undermine the important roadless rule in Alaska. This would not only threaten 800-year-old trees but the health of the ecosystem while costing taxpayers enormous amounts of money, as building and maintaining roads greatly exceeds the income from the timber. We need to uphold such important conservations measures like the Roadless Rule - in Alaska and the rest of the country. #Alaska #roadlessrule #conservation #mountfairweather #earthpix #southeastalaska #whale #tongassnationalforest #sailing


As this powerful brown bear is dashing full speed into the river I am glad it is not me that it is after! The bear is chasing Sockeye Salmon that are traveling up the river from Lake Iliamna. I have spent weeks camping out in that part of the world observing the bears. It is a humbling experience to be in their presence. For days I had been sitting with my brother in our small tent as 50 mph winds were whipping curtains of rain sideways across the land. Finally, the sun broke through the clouds.
Even though the Iliamna Lake area is a remote wilderness the proposed Pebble Mine project has threatened the Iliamna Lake watershed with its millions of salmon and all the other wildlife from brown bears to bald eagles that depend on them. ( Swipe left to see the proposed mine site with the exploration camp as well as the surrounding landscape at risk ).
As I sit by the side of the river filming and photographing these bears up to twenty individuals fill my frame. It is a true wildlife haven. There are very few places like this left on the planet and we need to have strong measures in place to protect them. Follow me @florianschulzvisuals for more images from the wild! #bears #Alaska#PebbleMine #wilderness#wildlifephotography #grizzly#wildlifeplanet #nikon


Humpback whales are some of the most fun whales to watch. They show so much activity at the water’s surface: Slapping their tail, trumpeting from their blowhole, splashing with their pectoral fins. The most breathtaking of it all is when a 30-ton whale breaches right in front of you.
I was sailing in south-east Alaska when we came across this individual. It catapulted its body repeatedly out of the water. The breaching rarely happens multiple times in the same exact spot, so one has to develop a certain intuition where the whale might come up next. After a serious of failures, I finally got this image. For me, humpbacks breaching is one of the most exciting wildlife spectacles.
Humpback whales were almost hunted to the brink of extinction until they were protected in 1966. Populations since have recovered and an estimated 80000 whales roam the world’s oceans once again. #Alaska #whales #humpbackwhale #florianschulzphotography #wildlifephotography #wildlifeplanet #earthpix


While exploring the coast along the Alaska Peninsula out to the Aleutian Islands, we got a surprise visit from bush pilot friend Willy Fulton. He tied up to our boat and came onboard for a cup of coffee. This is Alaska! Willy is a bush pilot legend! We were mainly searching for coastal brown bears during this trip. Stay tuned for images! #sailing #alaska #bushflying #expedition #florianschulzphotography #floatplane #beaver #bushplane #sailboat


There are few places left on this planet that have not been touched by industrial development. The Arctic Refuge in northern Alaska is one of those places. If we allow drilling to move forward there, we surrender society to corporate interests and allow the destruction of The Last Great Wilderness! Year after year I have traveled to the Arctic Refuge to work on a film on this wilderness. It takes a long time until the wildlife presents itself, but when it does it becomes magical.
Speak up to protect the Arctic Refuge by submitting a comment via the link in bio. You have until tomorrow June 19th. You can also email the BLM here: blm_ak_coastalplain_EIS@blm.gov
#alaska #wildernessculture #wilderness #caribou #wearethearctic #arcticrefuge #arcticnationalwildliferefuge #conservation


When this grizzly bear saw me from the distance, it quickly came closer to investigate. I was photographing caribou on the coastal plane of the Arctic Refuge. Very few people visit this wilderness. Maybe this bear had never seen a person before. It rose up on its hind legs to get a better look, waving its paws for balance.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is now threatened by oil development. Check out this June issue of @natgeo magazine that has my story “A Refuge At Risk” to learn more. The current administration has opened up the coastal planes of the Arctic Refuge for oil development, which would destroy the home of this bear and the birthing ground of the Porcupine caribou herd. Speak up for the Refuge by emailing the BLM until June 19th: blm_ak_coastalplain_eis@blm.gov #alaska #arcticrefuge #wildernessculture #grizzly #protectthearctic #natgeo


Two fin whales come to the surface after hunting for sardines or krill in the depths. I have had the chance to spend quite a bit of time in my back yard lately – the bay of La Paz. Every day I head out with my cousin @ben_lanius we come across something else that is amazing. These two whales, kept circling our boat. They come to the surface very 3 to 12 minutes after hunting for food. Their massive exhales can be heard well over a mile. They are the second largest beings after the blue whale, to have ever lived on this planet. I am currently focusing on two large film projects – one down here in Baja, the other in Alaska. Soon I will follow the grey whales and migratory birds up north to to the wild country of Alaska. Follow me @florianschulzvisuals for more images from our beautiful wild planet. #naturephotography #florianschulzphotography #finwhale #bajacalifornia #whales #aerial #mexico


After migrating for thousands of miles a Dunlin rests in the mud flats of Copper River Delta in Alaska. A few weeks ago I still observed these little Sandpipers in Baja California, Mexico. I practically was laying in the mud to get this low angle shot for a more intimate portrait. #alaska #bird #birdmigration #florianschulzphotography #nikon #naturephotography #dunlin


I just posted one of my all-time favorite images to @natgeo and got a lot of questions about how the photograph was taken. It was part of a multi-year quest to document polar bears for my book “To The Arctic” and #natgeo story. A dead fin whale had washed ashore in the northwestern corner of Svalbard and had fed many polar bears the previous year. I returned to the spot the next year, as polar bears were converging to the location because the remembered the food. I wanted to tell the entire story with one photograph, that included the bear, the amazing arctic landscape and the whale carcass. At high tide I set up my @nikon with a wide angle lens inside a protective case. From a distance I was observing how this big male bear came back to the spot and I hit the trigger. Watch the behind the scenes video on my website: Scroll to bottom of link in bio. #polarbear #wildlifephotography #natgeo #arctic #nikon


I photographed these two muskox bulls during a blizzard in Arctic Alaska. With the wind chill the 30 below felt more like -60. For the muskox however, the cold did not seem to matter at all. The more time I spent with the muskox the more I learnt how perfectly they are adapted to this environment: Their wool is 8 time warmer then sheep wool and they can survive on small lichen in this frozen world. Muskox have fascinated me ever since I saw them for the first time in the coastal plains of the Arctic Refuge some 18 years ago. With their long guard hair they seem out of this world, resembling creatures out of a fairy tale. Follow me @florianschulzvisuals for more from the wild and get a behind the scenes look @florianschulzproductions @natgeo #arctic #alaska #savethearctic #wildlifephotography #wildlifeplanet #earthpix #winter #muskox #nikonphotography


There is hardly a greater wildlife spectacle left in North American than the massive caribou migration of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. Every year about 200 000 caribou migrate to the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to give birth to their young. Migrating close to 3000 miles it is the longest migration route of any land mammal. The reason: The caribou are dependent on the nutrient-rich vegetation that the coastal plain provides. The current GOP tax bill would allow oil drilling in this pristine wilderness. Opening up the Refuge has often been attempted by drilling supporters but never received congressional approval. This time around the situation is different. As the measure is tied to the budget process the bill only needs 51 votes – not the usual 60. Drilling in the Arctic Refuge could become a reality, destroying one of the greatest wild places in the country that has often been called the Serengeti of the north. In my work, I specialize in the last wild place on the planet and those become increasingly rare. I think it would be devastating to see one of the greatest wilderness gems be destroyed over a few months worth of the nation’s oil. #Followme @florianschulzvisuals to see more of the wild planet. @florianschulzproductions @audubonsociety @reddigitalcinema @patagonia @ilcp_photographers #savethearctic #endangered #publiclands #alaska #shotonred #wilderness #leonardodicaprio


When I look at this beautiful bald eagle, I see so much character and pride. No wonder it was made the national bird of the United States all the way back in 1782. It just has such an majestic look. I photographed this eagle in Alaska, where you find some of the largest eagles and the greatest abundance in the US. For a while bald eagles were not doing so well and were on the brink of extinction.At the end of the 20th century
there were only 400 breeding pairs left in the lower 48. The widely used pesticide DDT accumulated in eagles and caused them to lay eggs with
thinner shells that often broke, decimating the eagle population. Bald eagles received protection under the early version of the Endangered Species Act. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered a ban of the general use of DDT in 1972 and with several conservation efforts in parallel, bald eagles recovered until they were delisted in 2007 with around 10 000 breeding pairs. It is so important
that federal agencies like the EPA take environmental threats seriously and have the tools to protect wildlife and our environment. It is wonderful to see stories where we can turn things around! @natgeo@florianschulzvisuals@florianschulzproductions #conservation#EPA
#EndangeredSpeciesAct #wild#birdphotography #wildlifeplanet
#wildlifephotography #eagle #baldeagle#nikon #USA #birdofprey #alaska