In the week to come we will celebrate the natural heritage of Africa in connection with the release of our new book, “INTO AFRICA," which covers more than 30 years of our field work on that great continent. We want to draw attention to what is at stake for its wild places and its wildlife as Africa modernizes fast. In this image towering sand dunes roll down to the South Atlantic Ocean on the wild Skeleton Coast of Namibia, in the southwest corner of Africa. This area was once known as the Sperrgebiet—German for “prohibited zone”—and was off limits to outsiders for more than a century as an exclusive diamond-mining concession. A few years ago the government of Namibia turned this area into a new national park, part of a bold effort to protect its entire coastline. We hope that Namibia’s commitment to conservation can serve as an inspiring example for other nations. Go to the link in my Instagram bio to learn more about our “INTO AFRICA” book. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of wild Africa. @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @leonardodicaprio #Africa#Namibia#SkeletonCoast#Conservation#Explore#Safari
Inside every one of these orange globes is a future fish—it’s the miracle of life in front of our eyes. These are steelhead trout eggs incubating at a fish hatchery on California’s central coast. Steelhead and coho salmon are raised here for reintroduction into local streams where their populations have been dramatically reduced due to habitat degradation and drought. Young coho and steelhead migrate downstream to the ocean where they mature, and then return to their native streams to spawn—a life cycle that links land and sea and depends upon the health of both. I made this image for our project, “LIFE: A Journey Through Time,” which is a lyrical interpretation of the history of life on earth. We are pleased to announce that our film about the making of this project, “The Evolution of LIFE," will be screened during the Santa Cruz Film Festival, this Sunday, October 15th, 2017. Please check www.santacruzfilmfestival.org for more details. Follow me @FransLanting for more images from The LIFE Project.
Recognizing everyone as an individual and as a member of a family is one of the profound contributions Jane Goodall has made to our understanding of chimpanzees. Instead of assigning them numbers as scientists were supposed to do, she gave them names. Her work, and that of the gifted Dutch cameraman Hugo van Lawick, who was able to visualize what Jane felt, changed the way we look at chimps--and it influenced how I look at all animals. I post this image of Nickel, a female chimp in Senegal, and her newborn infant Teva, in honor of Jane Goodall and to celebrate the new NatGeo film “JANE,” which premiered Monday in Los Angeles. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of animals as individuals. @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Jane#chimp#ape#gratitude#family#baby#animal#celebrate#inspire#naturelovers
“Eye to Eye” Inside every animal is an individual with its own emotions. When I photograph animals I try to bring out their personalities just as people photographers do that with their subjects. In Senegal I connected with an old male chimpanzee named Ross by researcher Jill Pruetz, with whom we collaborated on a story for @NatGeo. I post this image in honor of Jane Goodall and to celebrate the new NatGeo film “JANE”, which premieres today in Los Angeles. Jane's pioneering work, and that of her partner, the gifted Dutch cameraman Hugo van Lawick, who was able to visualize what Jane felt, changed the way we look at chimps--and it influenced how I look at all animals. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of animals as individuals.
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #JaneGoodall#chimp#ape#gratitude#animal#celebrate#inspire#naturelovers
The quiver trees in the northern desert of South Africa look more like sculptures than living things. At day’s end, I juxtaposed a grove of shaded trees against the backdrop of a sunlit rocky hillside to express the miracle of life in the desert--thriving where you least expect it. This image is featured in our “Into Africa” book, which will be released in October. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of wildlife and wild places around the world.
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #SouthAfrica#Nature#Wild#Succulent#Aloe#creativity#naturephotography
A ribbon of water winds across dry plains surrounding Botswana’s Okavango Delta as morning mist shrouds the contours of the landscape. The delta is an intricate tapestry of dry land and wet land, with ever shifting boundaries defined by the ebb and flow of water. Fed by a river that begins a thousand miles away in the highlands of Angola, the delta spreads out across the Kalahari Desert sands of northern Botswana. The miracle of water in the desert attracts animals from antelopes to elephants—and supports a thriving regional economy based on high-quality, low-impact tourism. This image is featured in our new book, “Into Africa,” which will be released in October. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of wild places around the world. @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Okavango#Nature#Botswana#Dawn#Explore
The cat called cougar thrives throughout the Americas but they are very good at avoiding people. I live in prime cougar habitat and for a number of years I have deployed camera traps to try and capture an image of this elusive cat. One day a young cougar did what I dreamed it would do, and turned to cast a wary look back at my remote camera—creating a portrait of secrecy foiled.
@natgeo @thephotosociety @natgeotravel @natgeocreative #mountainlion#california#santacruz#MontereyBay#wildlifephotography#nature#BigCatInitiative
Iguazu Falls is one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world. It straddles the border of Brazil and Argentina and attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. Yet this magnificent expression of wild water on an epic scale is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. A few years ago a severe drought impacted the two rivers that feed Iguazu Falls so dramatically that the thundering falls were reduced to trickles for months. The water did rebound when rain returned to the region upstream, but it is sobering to realize that even the most powerful phenomena in nature are affected by our collective impact on the planet. Follow me @FransLanting for more images and stories about our changing earth.
Wrangell-St. Elias in Alaska is the largest of the US National Parks—it is six times the size of Yellowstone. Four mighty mountain ranges converge here, topped by 18,008-foot-high Mount St. Elias, shown here—the highest peak in the US after Denali. Follow me @FransLanting for more images from parks around the world.
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #WrangellStElias#Alaska#Mountains#NationalPark#beauty#nature#colors#explore
Backlighting reveals the soft contours of a valley in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park that used to be covered by glaciers but is now blanketed with trees and glacial lakes. This did not happen as a result of the accelerated climate change we’re witnessing now, but it gives us an idea of the landscape transformation we’re going to witness during our life time across the Arctic. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of our changing planet. @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @leonardodicaprio #Alaska#Arctic#ClimateChange#light
On Sep. 22 we celebrate World Rhino Day — She is massive, armed with horns and protected by thick skin, and yet she is utterly vulnerable. One ear is pointing my way, the other faces backwards. Rhinos make up for not seeing well with a sharp sense of hearing. Her calf is just curious, and has no clue what is facing them. But we know what is happening to them across Africa and Asia. Rhinos are in imminent danger of extinction in the wild. And that is why we need to celebrate World Rhino Day—to draw attention to them and to the people and organizations that are making a difference where it matters, in the hallways of governments and in the front lines of protection on the ground. I hope you will support them so that rhinos will get a fighting chance. Follow me @FransLanting for more stories about rhinos and how you can help.
@natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @worldrhinoday @wildaid @world_wildlife @SaveTheRhino @lewa_wildlife #wildaid#wild_net#Rhino#WorldRhinoDay#SaveTheRhino#AspinallFoundation#celebrate
The spiny desert of Madagascar is as otherworldly as it appears. More than 90% of all plants that thrive here are found nowhere else on earth—not even in other parts of Madagascar. The striking sights in this unique landscape include the twisted tentacles of the octopus tree, which resembles a cactus but it is not. It is one of the many astonishing examples of Madagascar’s parallel evolution. Lifeforms different in origin may end up looking alike when faced with similar conditions over long periods of time. Follow me @FransLanting for new discoveries from Madagascar.