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Photo by @FransLanting Two orphaned orangutans cling to each other at a rehab center in northern Borneo. Like humans, they need affection and care from their mothers in order to become healthy adults. Orangutans are the last great apes that survive outside of Africa. They live only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, and they are endangered due to the massive destruction of their forest habitat. Baby orangs are also victims of the illegal pet trade—captured by poachers who kill their mothers to reach them. It is imperative that we protect the forests orangutans depend on to insure that our next of kin on the family tree of life will be with us beyond our own lifetime. I welcome you to support the organizations that are in the front lines of protecting them, such as the World Wildlife Fund and Wild Aid. I share this image in honor of World Orangutan Day. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more images of endangered animals around the world. @wildaid @worldwildlifefund @leonardodicaprio @thephotosociety #WorldOrangutanDay #InternationalOrangutanDay #Borneo #Family #Love #Twins #Orphans

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Photo by @FransLanting Elephants have a towering presence wherever they occur. Here, a mature bull dwarfs giraffes and zebras at a waterhole in Namibia. I share this image in recognition of World Elephant Day. This is a time to reflect about elephants—what they mean to us, what we’ve been doing to them and what we can do for them. I’d like to draw attention to the organizations that have forged a strong coalition aimed at reversing the poaching crisis that has decimated elephant populations almost everywhere. The @ElephantCrisisFund was established by @SaveTheElephants in partnership with @LeonardoDiCaprioFdn and @WildNetOrg. They support the right people in the right places and they are making a real difference. Check them out and lend your support so they can do even better. And follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more intimate encounters with elephants. @ThePhotoSociety #Elephants #Respect #Dignity #Conservation #Wonder #Naturelovers #Botswana

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Photos by @FransLanting and friends, Eight conservationists in Iran have been in prison now for 18 months, wrongfully accused of using wildlife camera traps for espionage. I worked with them in Iran on assignment for @NatGeo, and with their help I was able to make this portrait of the highly endangered Asiatic cheetah, which occurs only in Iran. Fewer than 50 remain. These scientists are not spies. They are patriots dedicated to saving from extinction one of the most powerful symbols of Iran’s rich natural heritage. Many conservationists around the world and many other people inside Iran have spoken up for these scientists, but they remain in Tehran’s Evin prison without conviction and have spent months in solitary confinement. In protest, two of them, both women—Niloufar Bayani and Sepideh Kashani (shown after the cheetah photo)—started a hunger strike in prison on August 3. Tomorrow, Friday August 9, @ChristineEckstrom and I will join their hunger strike for 24 hours, to show solidarity and draw attention to their plight. Please consider joining us for a day or even just skipping a meal, and posting or tweeting about it. You can sign a petition at the Scholars at Risk Network to show support for Niloufar. The link is in my bio. #FastForAnyHopeforNature #AnyHopeForNature #HungerStrike #Iran_Conservationists @hrouhani @jzarif_ir @hediyehtehrany @Reza_Kianian_Official @mitra.hajjar @raisi_org @richardbranson @leonardodicaprio @hope4nature #ConservationIsNotaCrime #Free_Iran_Conservationists #hope4nature⁩⁩ #ConservationNeedsCameratraps #cheetahs اميد_براى_طبيعت #امید_برای_طبیعت #فعالان_محیط_زیست #فعالان_محیط_زیستی #امیرحسین_خالقی #هومن_جوکار #طاهر_قدیریان #نیلوفر_بیانی #سام_رجبی #سپیده_کاشانی #مراد_طاهباز #عبدالرضا_کوهپایه #کاووس_سیدامامی #اميد_براى_طبيعت #فعالان_محيط_زيست #اميرحسين_خالقي #سپيده_كاشانى #اميرحسين_خالقي #هومن_جوكار #سپيد

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Photo by @FransLanting Invasive mice are killing albatrosses on Midway Atoll in the Hawaiian Islands. An island that was once a safe haven for these amazing birds to nest is now in trouble. Fortunately there is a solution in sight and Island Conservation knows how to do that. We support their campaign to eradicate mice from Midway. It will take 2 million dollars to get the job done, but the need is urgent and we hope you can help. Go to the link in my bio to learn how you can help. And follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom as we chronicle our living planet. @islandconservation #albatross #islandconservation #noextinctions #midwayalbatross #midwayatoll #midway #bird #seabird #conservation #albatrossconservation #midwaycampaign #midwaymovie #hawaii #hawaiianislands

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Photo by @FransLanting Tide pools are amazing places, but challenging to photograph. That’s why I am dedicating the weekend of August 2-4 to teach photographers how to capture the wonders of the intertidal zone in Santa Cruz, California, south of San Francisco. Due to a cancellation, two spots have just opened up for this special workshop, “Between the Tides." The dates coincide with extra-low tides at sunrise, when tide pools will be fully exposed. We will demonstrate a range of lighting techniques and creative concepts to help you capture them in new ways at one of my favorite beach locations, shown here. For more info, check the link in my Instagram bio. If you’d like to join us or to stay informed about future workshops, please write to info@lanting.com. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom as we explore the wonders of nature with our cameras. #MontereyBay #CaliforniaCoast #SantaCruz #Photography #Photoworkshop #Creativity

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Photo by @NASA. Today we look back at the heroic mission of three men who went to the Moon 50 years ago. Many now wonder what is next in our embrace of space. Some want us to go back to the Moon. Others claim we can save humanity by colonizing Mars. I beg to differ. The next frontier is not out there; it is here on spaceship Earth. The simplest, yet most precious gift from NASA's Apollo program may be this image of a whole earth. It made us realize back then that there is only one earth for us all, but today we must embrace the fact that it will take all of us to keep this planet alive. We need to gather the same resources and political will that once sent a few men to the Moon and focus our collective energy and ingenuity during the next 50 years on learning how to live in balance with our home planet. If we can do that, then we’ll be able to look back in 2069 and marvel at our ability to make the earth whole again for all of us. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom as we explore our living planet. @OneEarth @LeonardodiCaprio @Leonardodicapriofdn @NASA

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Photo by @FransLanting I joined a boat full of photographers last night at the end of the Optic event hosted by @BHPhoto in New York. When the statue of Liberty came into view right at sunset everyone was clicking away. I remembered what the great photographer Jay Maisel once said: “If the light looks good in one direction, make sure you turn around as well”. And then I saw Lady Liberty in a different light. She is as powerful and relevant as she has ever been. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more encounters with light. @StatueofLiberty #Reflections @BHPhotoVideo #BHPhoto #jaymaisel

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I am looking forward to speaking in New York on June 2nd and 3rd for #OPTIC2019 hosted by @BHphoto. Seats for the event are sold out, but you can tune into a live stream of my talks via the link in my bio. I”ll be speaking about my three decades of experience with wildlife around the world and the new technology that we are applying for current projects on June 2. You can also check out my talk about copyright protection in the internet era on June 3. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more of our encounters with wildlife from around the world.

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Photo by @FransLanting Bonobos are our closest cousins on the great tree of life and we may be on the brink of losing them forever. I am taking over @Care2’s Instagram today to help spread word about @Bonobodotorg and their campaign to establish Peace Forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the only place where Bonobos survive in the wild. Go there now and learn what you can do to support that effort. And follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more close encounters with our relatives on the tree of life.

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Photo by @FransLanting Today we celebrate World Migratory Bird Day and I’d like to pay tribute to the billions of feathered creatures who trace pathways in the sky and connect distant places through their annual journeys. I made this image of migratory snow geese flying in front of the moon not long ago at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge in California. They were getting restless in anticipation of their epic journey to the Arctic where they nest. How they navigate using clues like stars, moon and weather fills me with wonder and respect. Like other migratory birds they face many hazards along the way and those obstacles are increasingly manmade on this crowded planet. Check some of the links below to learn more. And follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom as we take you around the world for more encounters with the wild. @WorldMigratoryBirdDay @USFWS @CornellBirds @Birdlife_Insta #RSPB #Wonder #Respect #Migration

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Photo by @FransLanting We need nature to survive, yet less than 15% of all land and only 5% of the world’s oceans are protected. The latest science shows we need to do much more to stop the wildlife extinction crisis and to turn the tide on the climate crisis. Investing in nature now will pay off for generations to come. On this Earth Day I’d like to ask you to join me in signing the #GlobalDealforNature petition that urges world leaders to take action to protect our planet. It provides support for an important new initiative aimed at significantly expanding the amount of land and ocean protected areas. It is endorsed by many of the world’s leading conservationists. Go to globaldealfornature.org to sign or click on the link in my Instagram bio. And follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more images of our precious living earth. @LeonardodiCaprio @LeonardodiCaprioFdn #EarthDay #GlobalDealforNature #Nature #Conservation

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Photos by @FransLanting The best way to document endangered animals like the Asiatic cheetah, which occurs only in Iran, is to use camera traps. It took the combined expertise of Iranian scientists and local wildlife rangers along with the permission of Iran’s Department of Environment and the support of an @NatGeo assignment to enable me to make this rare image of a male cheetah crossing a mountain pass. The second photo shows the teamwork that is required in the field. I am thankful to my friends in Iran for their help and devastated that two of the people shown in this photo have been in jail for more than a year now, accused of using camera traps for espionage: One of them may face the death penalty. But camera traps are not spy tools. Houman Jowkar and Amirhossein Khaleghi Hamidi worked with the government, not against it, and local rangers worked with them in the field. They were not operating on their own. They are patriots dedicated to saving one of Iran’s most powerful natural symbols from extinction. Yet they are on trial now along with six of their colleagues shown together in the third photo. Please spread word about this injustice and sign the Care2 petition by clicking on the link in my Instagram bio. @hrouhani @jzarif_ir @hediyehtehrany @Reza_Kianian_Official @mitra.hajjar @raisi_org @richardbranson @leonardodicaprio @hope4nature #ConservationIsNotaCrime #Free_Iran_Conservationists #anyhopefornature #hope4nature⁩⁩ #ConservationNeedsCameratraps #cheetahs #bigcats #امید_برای_طبیعت #فعالان_محیط_زیست #فعالان_محیط_زیستی #امیرحسین_خالقی #هومن_جوکار #طاهر_قدیریان #نیلوفر_بیانی #سام_رجبی #سپیده_کاشانی #مراد_طاهباز #عبدالرضا_کوهپایه #کاووس_سیدامامی #اميد_براى_طبيعت #فعالان_محيط_زيست #اميرحسين_خالقي #سپيده_كاشانى #اميرحسين_خالقي #هومن_جوكار #سپيده_كاشانى #سام_رجبى #طاهر_قديريان #مراد_طاهبا #عبدالرضا_كوهپايه #اميد_براى #اميد_براى_طبيعت

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Photo by @FransLanting Earth Hour is on tonight. I hope you will join us and remind your friends, no matter where you are, to turn off the lights at 8:30 pm local time, for one hour. Show your solidarity with this global initiative and let the Earth shine! @EarthHourOfficial @EarthOfficial@world_wildlife @Leonardodicaprio #EarthHour2019 #EarthHour #WNFNederland #WWF #Leonardodicaprio #EarthOfficial

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Photo by @FransLanting I invite you to join me for my new online photography course, tomorrow, Wednesday March 20, at 9:00 AM Pacific Time on Creative Live. It’s free for anyone to watch live—you only have to RSVP for the course on CreativeLive’s site. See the link in my bio. My course will be streamed live and free for 24 hours—in case you're in another time zone. The course is titled “The Art of Photographing Birds,” and I will share specific techniques as well as creative ideas to help you make better portraits of birds, capture them in flight, and show birds as part of landscapes and human environments. I will share insights about equipment and some of my favorite places to photograph birds. I’ll take you on the field trip I made to California’s Sacramento Valley with two photography students to capture images of spectacular flocks of snow geese and other waterfowl. As a special feature of this course, I will be offering a critique of a selection of images submitted in advance by you, the audience. I’ll tell you more about this image I made in Brazil of two macaws flying wing to wing against a backdrop of sandstone walls glowing with late afternoon light. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more images and stories from the wild. @CreativeLive @ThePhotoSociety #wildlifephotography #birds #birdphotography #photoworkshop #imagereview

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Photo by @FransLanting The Asiatic cheetah is facing a death sentence. Fewer than 50 survive—and only in Iran. But some of the best people dedicated to saving these unique cats from extinction are now in jail for their work and may even face the death penalty. They’ve been accused of using camera traps for espionage. But camera traps are only good for one thing—to capture images of animals at close range just like you see here. This rare image of a cheetah in Iran was captured by one of my camera traps while on assignment for @NatGeo. I worked there with permission and support of Iran’s Department of Environment, and with several of the excellent Iranian scientists who have been arrested. They belong to the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, but they worked closely with the government, and yet they are now on trial—for charges that are politically motivated. This is horrible for the individuals involved, but it is also a tragedy for the animal which faces extinction. And that is a great loss for everyone in Iran because the Asiatic cheetah is a powerful symbol for Iran’s unique natural heritage. If you care about cheetahs in Asia and the plight of the people whose mission is to protect them, please go to the link in my Instagram profile to read the story NatGeo just published and spread the word about it. You can also sign a petition to express your concern at Care2. Search for “conservationists face death penalty in Iran." @hassanrouhani @jzarif @hediyehtehrany @Reza_Kianian_Official @mitra.hajjar @raisi_org @FedericaMog @leonardodicaprio @hope4nature #ConservationIsNotaCrime #FreeIranianConservationists #anyhopefornature #hope4nature ⁩⁩#wildlife #conservation #cheetahs #bigcats اميد_براى_طبيعت#

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Photo by @FransLanting A reminder to all bird photographers! The deadline to submit photos of birds for my online image review during my upcoming @Creativelive course on bird photography, is this Thursday, March 14. I’m interested in reviewing bird photos of all kinds—portraits, action shots. Back yard birds and urban birds are especially welcome. I hope you’ll surprise me with your creativity. To submit your images, go to the link in my bio and scroll down to “Student Work—Upload to Gallery”. I made this image of a toco toucan in a bird park in Brazil and turned the amazing colors and patterns of the bird’s face into an abstraction. When you can get this close to birds, a new world of creative possibilities opens up. "The Art of Photographing Birds” will be streamed live online March 20. You can pre-register to view this course for free no matter where you are. @CreativeLive @ThePhotoSociety #wildlifephotography #birds #Toucan #birdphotography #photoworkshop #imagereview

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Photo by @FransLanting As a regular contributor to @Natgeo I am proud that their account just reached 100 million followers. To celebrate this landmark, NatGeo has launched a photo contest for the next 24 hours that will give any of you a chance as well to have an image featured on @NatGeo. To submit, simply post your most NatGeo inspired photo on your own feed using the hashtag #NatGeo100Contest. The top 10 photos will be posted on @Natgeo and the winner earns a photo safari to Tanzania. I made this photo of a remote valley in Wrangell St. Elias National Park in Alaska on assignment for @NatGeo and it was liked by more than 1 million viewers. Remember to tag #NatGeo100Contest in the next 24 hours. And follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more close encounters with the wild.

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Photo by @FransLanting Jaguars are the largest cats in the Americas, but this male was exceptionally massive. I photographed him in Brazil's Pantanal, a stronghold for jaguars and many other iconic animals like giant anteaters. This Saturday February 2 @ChristineEckstrom and I will do a presentation about “The Land of the Jaguars” in Santa Cruz, California at the Rio Theatre. Please join us if you can. Tickets are at seymourcenter.brownpapertickets.com or check their website. And if you can’t be there, stay tuned for more images from the wild wetlands of South America. @natgeotravel @thephotosociety #Jaguar #Strength #BigCats #Pantanal #MontereyBay #SantaCruz

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Photo by @FransLanting For as long as anyone can remember, Monarch butterflies have fluttered from all over the American West to coastal California every fall to overwinter in a few sheltered places. In communities like Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz (my hometown for many years) their annual return has been as predictable as autumn colors are to people on the East Coast. I remember my amazement when I first saw them covering single trees by the thousands. But their wintering sites have become eerily quiet. A recent census by the Xerces Society confirms that the western Monarch population is in the midst of a catastrophic collapse. Their numbers have declined by more than 95% from more than ten million in the 1980s to a mere 20,000 today. The unthinkable is becoming a real possibility. Western Monarchs may go extinct if this trend continues. Researchers have not identified a single cause for this demise, but point to pesticides, habitat loss and drought as factors. Butterflies are barometers for an ecosystem’s health. When they go, we have reasons to worry, not just for them, but about ourselves too. It breaks my heart that a phenomenon that has been synonymous for generations with nature’s enduring cycles may turn into a new symbol for how seriously the balance of nature is being upset in our lifetime. What are your thoughts about this? Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom as we bear witness to our changing planet. @LeonardodiCapriofdn @Xercessociety @Thephotosociety #Monarchs #Endangered #Extinction #Nature #Butterfly #Santacruz #MontereyBay #California

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Photo by @FransLanting Would you like me to review your best bird photos? I am looking for submissions of great images of birds to critique during my upcoming Creative Live course, "The Art of Photographing Birds.” I’m interested in seeing bird photos of all kinds—portraits, action shots, birds in back yards, and in both urban and natural environments. I hope you’ll surprise me with your creativity. Go to the link in my bio, and scroll down to “Student Work—Upload to Gallery.” I made this image of snow geese taking off in California’s Sacramento Valley last week. I’ll be returning there later this month for the filming of my Creative Live course, which will be streamed live online on March 20. Stay tuned for more details. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more images of birds. @thephotosociety @creativelive #birds #birdphotography #snowgeese #birdmigration #SacramentoValley

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Photo by @FransLanting Bonobos along with chimps are our closest cousins on the tree of life. There are fewer than 15.000 of them in the forests of the Congo; the only place in the world where they live in the wild. They reproduce slowly; even a good bonobo mother can only raise one baby every five years. Only a few hundred bonobos are born every year and that means every single one of them is precious. This past year I went to the Congo with @Ashley_Judd and @ChristineEckstrom to help raise awareness about bonobos and to support the people who protect them. The Bonobo Conservation Initiative is doing important work in the Congo with local communities to empower them to save guard bonobos and the forests they depend on. Empathy and cooperation are hallmarks of bonobo social life and In that spirit I hope you can help us support BCI’s work by clicking on the link in their Instagram feed, @bonobodotorg, and by signing Ashley Judd’s Care2 petition, found in @Care2’s Instagram feed. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more images and videos from the heart of the Congo. @bonobodotorg, @ashley_judd, @care2, @Natureneedshalf #Bonobo, #Congo #Gratitude #Wildlife #Family #Ape

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Photo by @FransLanting A bonobo cradles her infant in a tender embrace, but when you look at her left hand you can see the trauma she suffered when she was caught in a poacher’s snare. This past year @ChristineEckstrom and I joined @Ashley_judd and Sally Coxe for an expedition into the heart of the Congo; the only place in the world where bonobos live in the wild. Sally's organization, the Bonobo Conservation Initiative works there with local partners to help protect these amazing apes. Bonobos are not well known even though they are our closest primate cousins along with chimpanzees. While we get ready to gather with family for the holidays I hope you will join us in supporting the people who are working hard to ensure a future for our extended family members on the tree of life. You can help support BCI’s work by clicking on the link in their Instagram feed, @bonobodotorg, and by signing Ashley Judd’s Care2 petition, found in @Care2’s Instagram feed. Check @ChristineEckstrom to see a video that shows how bonobos take care of each other. @bonobodotorg, @ashley_judd, @care2, @Natureneedshalf, #Bonobo, #Congo #Gratitude #Wildlife #Family #Ape

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Photo by @FransLanting Today we celebrate Wildlife Conservation Day with an image of a young orangutan standing upright in a forest clearing. It is easy to appreciate the similarities with humans—and the differences. Long arms enable orangs to swing through the trees and their potbellies help them digest all that plant food. There is not much protein in their diet, but they can deal with that. What orangutans can’t cope with is the dramatic loss of their habitat and the assault on their infants for the illegal pet trade. This young male is one of many orangutans who end up in rehab centers where dedicated people try to give them a new lease on life after their traumatic experiences with humans. I will leave it to you what you find more compelling; his body parts or the outlook on life for orangutans as a species. Follow me @FransLanting to see more orangutans and learn about their plight. And follow @ChristineEckstrom to see more video encounters of the animal kind. @World_Wildlife @WildAid @Leonardodicapriofdn #Borneo #Orangutan #Family #Orphans #Endangered #Wildlife #Conservation

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Photo by @FransLanting A rainbow adds a touch of softness to a blustery squall that whipped up the waves off South Georgia Island, but for the millions of seabirds that call this frigid island in the Antarctic home, strong winds are just fine, because they are expert gliders. This giant petrel is one of them, but it’s the legendary albatrosses that are truly masters of the wind. To see them up close follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom. @thephotosociety #SouthernOcean #Seabird #YearoftheBird #Wind #Rainbow #Antarctica

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Photo by @FransLanting South Georgia Island is one the wildest places on the planet. Few people have set foot ashore on the rugged headlands along its south coast where wandering albatrosses nest in the shelter of tussock grass. I photographed this bird in the evening with the last sunlight illuminating the highest peak of the island, Mt. Paget, while the reflected light from the sky made the bird glow. This male wanderer was waiting for a female to show up. When she did, they greeted each other with a spectacular courtship dance that is unique in the bird world. To see how albatrosses court and bond with each other, and to get a sense of how gigantic they are, follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom. @thephotosociety #Albatross #Seabird #SouthGeorgiaIsland #Antarctica #Amazing #YearoftheBird #Wildlife #Courtship

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Photo by @FransLanting An Ice arch frames the southernmost end of wild South Georgia Island, named Cape Disappointment by Captain Cook. When he reached this point and became the first person to see the frigid southern coast of the island, he realized it was not the long sought shoreline of Antarctica after all and turned away. But for modern travellers, this stretch of the forbidding South Georgia coastline is an awesome sight. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more encounters with the wild places of planet earth. @Thephotosociety #Antarctica #Explore #SouthGeorgia #Ice #Wild

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Photo by @FransLanting A gaggle of locals seems puzzled by the appearance of a visitor who is looking the other way. Where penguins and people meet, interesting juxtapositions occur. South Georgia Island is home to more than 500,000 king penguins and only a handful of humans—seasonal visitors like this man are a bit more numerous, but still rare, and they are privileged to spend time ashore on this remote island near Antarctica. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more impressions from the wild worlds down under. @thephotosociety #Penguins #Tourism #Naturelovers #Antarctica #SouthGeorgiaIsland #Kingpenguins

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Photo by @FransLanting If you feel a bit overfed after your Thanksgiving meal, consider this emperor penguin chick with its bulging belly filled to capacity after a huge meal of fish and squid regurgitated by one of its parents standing guard. Emperor penguin parents travel for days across the sea ice surrounding Antarctica to bring food from the open ocean back to their chicks. It’s a race against time, because the young penguins must grow up and fledge before the sea ice melts out from under their feet. Nobody knows what the ultimate effects of global warming will be for these remarkable birds, but while they do what they do best, it’s our responsibility to look ahead to safeguard a future for them. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom to see more of these heroic birds. @thephotosociety #Penguins #EmperorPenguins #PenguinChick #Antarctica #Happiness #Family #Parents #ClimateChange

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 info@lanting.com. @elephantcrisisfund @savetheelephants @wildaid @wildnetorg #elephants #ivory #nhm_wpy #conservation #wildlifephotography #wildlife.

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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

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Photo by @FransLanting A baby crocodile is working itself fully formed out of the egg that has sheltered it for the first phase of its life. Reptilian eggs were a major innovation in the evolution of life and they paved the way for birds to colonize the earth in their wake. Baby crocs have to hide once they hatch to avoid getting eaten. But when they age, they become invincible. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom to see more wonders of the natural world. @ThePhotoSociety #Crocodiles #Eggs #Evolution #Okavango #Botswana #baby

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Photo by @FransLanting When crocodiles grow up, they initially increase in length, but as they age, they bulk out more in width. By that measure, this massive croc qualifies as a double wide. He was huge, yet still in the prime of his life. But his gape was not a threat aimed me. He had opened his mouth to regulate his body temperature. Nonetheless, a scary face to behold. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more close encounters of the animal kind. @thephotosoiciety #Okavango #Crocodile #Wildlife #Wildlifephotography #Scary

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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

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Photo by @FransLanting On Sept. 22 we honor rhinos with World Rhino Day and call attention to their plight. Within a massive body and encased by thick skin shines the eye of a rhino. When you focus on its alien outline a rhino seems far removed from our sensibilities, but when you get close you realize it is just another sentient being on a planet shared with too many of us and too few of them. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more close encounters of the animal kind. @LeonardodiCaprio @LeonardodiCapriofdn @Wildaid @World_Wildlife @Lewa_Wildlife @wildaid @theaspinallfoundation #Rhino #SaveTheRhino #endangered #protection #naturelovers

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Photo by @FransLanting A nearly full grown black rhino calf appears to be hiding behind its mom, who is a formidable adversary for any natural enemy, but she is defenseless against poachers who come equipped with military hardware like machine guns and night goggles. I photographed these rhinos at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, which has ramped up a paramilitary force of its own in response, but many places which harbor rhinos do not have the resources to do so. That is why we need to draw attention to their plight on Sept. 22, which is World Rhino Day. Please, consider supporting the organizations in the links below. They are as determined to act with solutions to the poaching crisis as this rhino mother is to defend her offspring. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom to see and learn more about rhinos. @LeonardodiCaprio @LeonardodiCapriofdn @Wildaid @World_wildlife @Lewa_wildlife @WorldRhinoDay #Wildaid #Rhino #AspinallFoundationn #endangered #protection #naturelovers

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Photo by @FransLanting A gaggle of emperor penguin chicks is surrounded by parents on sea ice off Antarctica where they gather every year to reproduce. In this image you can see the young ones huddled together just like their parents do to keep each other warm. It’s the only way they can survive the extreme conditions they face. A blizzard had raged for two days and covered everyone in snow. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more images from the edges of our living planet. @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Antarctica #Penguins #Extreme #Photography #Wildlifephotography #Cold #Parenting #Baby #Care #Bird #Naturelovers #Together

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Photos by @FransLanting The rain forests of South East Asia are as important as those of the Amazon and the Congo, but there is not much left of them in an original state. The pressures from the growing economies in the region is enormous. In these images you can see the process of clearcutting forest to make way for palm oil plantations, which is a main source of forest loss in Borneo. If the present rate of deforestation continues there will be no habitat left in another generation for wonders of nature like the ones we have been sharing with you recently like orangutans, tarsiers and rafflesias. And that would be a tragedy not just for them, but also for every person growing up in the region, because they are part of a unique natural heritage found nowhere else. So if you care, and especially if you live in this part of the world, I hope you consider raising your voice and please support the organizations that can help make a difference. It is not too late to stem the tide! @leonardodicaprio @leonardodicapriofdn @world_wildlife @WildAid @Conservation.org @thephotosociety #Borneo #Rainforest

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Photo by @FransLanting A field of wildflowers is touched by the wind, and a long exposure turns it into a glorious blaze of color. I made this image in South Africa, but the creative idea behind it can be applied anywhere. I would like to invite all photographers based in the Netherlands or Belgium to submit their best images of nature to be considered for the WNF-Frans Lanting Award in Photography. Together with fellow photographers @HumbertoTan, @JasperDoest, and other experts we will look for the most interesting submissions. The deadline for sending images is September 16. Go to http://go.wnf.nl/v8fncf to learn how to enter. To our Dutch friends and followers I’d like to say: Doe allemaal mee en laat zien dat ook in Nederland en Belgie natuur nog overal is. Ik kijk uit naar jullie fotos!! Follow me @FransLanting for more images of nature from around the world. #Netherlands #Belgium #photography #naturephotography #wildlifephotography #photoaward #creativity #nature #nflmuseum #wnfnederland #color

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Photos by @FransLanting There is nothing else like it in the world: a flower the size of a truck tire—three feet across, orange and rubbery with a smell like something that has been in the fridge for too long. This is Rafflesia, a mysterious, parasitic plant that lives underground. It only becomes visible as an improbable giant floral outgrowth in the gloomy undergrowth of Borneo’s rainforest. In the first image you see a Rafflesia flower in its full glory, which only lasts for a day, then it falls apart like a decaying mushroom. I illuminated this one from within. It was quite tricky to do that successfully. In the second image you see how it comes out of the ground like a jungle cabbage before its petals unfold. It is truly one of the great wonders of the plant world. Let me know if you have ever seen anything like it. Stay tuned for more marvels and follow @ChristineEckstrom for more video encounters with the natural world. @NatgeoCreative @ThePhotoSociety @LeonardodiCapriofdn #Borneo #Rafflesia #Wonder #Amazing #Jungles #Naturephotography

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Photo by @FransLanting With their giant eyes tarsiers bear expressions that seem to alternate between outrage and surprise. I know that this is projecting human emotions onto a creature that really uses its oversize eyes like owls do because they hunt for insects after dark in the jungles of Borneo, but I can’t help saying it anyway. There’s more to tarsiers than meets the eyes however. As primates they are related to us and scientists consider them a model for the very earliest primate from which all others evolved long ago. We may have come a long way since, but the way we respond to images of this tiny animal shows how deeply we are related after all. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more marvels from the animal world. @thephotosociety #Borneo #Primate #Rainforest #Tarsier #Wildlife

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Photo by @FransLanting You are looking at one of the smallest primates on earth. It may look a bit like Yoda from Star Wars, but its true name is tarsier. It’s a nocturnal creature found only in the rain forests of South East Asia and on Borneo it co-exists with orangutans. It fits into a human hand. Its eyes are bigger than its brain. Perhaps that is why it seems to live in a constant state of sensory overload. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more encounters with the animal world. @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #Borneo #Primate #Rainforest #Tarsier

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Photo by @FransLanting Two orphaned orangutans are clinging to each other at a rehab center in northern Borneo. Orangutans are the last great apes that survive in Asia. They live only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, and they are endangered due to the massive destruction of their forest habitat. Nearly half of all orangutans, a staggering 150,000 in all, vanished from Borneo during the last 15 years. Orangutans are also victims of the illegal pet trade—babies are captured by poachers who often kill their mothers to get their hands on the young ones. It is imperative that we protect the forests orangutans depend on to insure that our close relatives on the tree of life will be with us beyond our own lifetime. In recognition of @WorldOrangutanDay on August 19 I welcome you to support the organizations that are in the front lines of protecting orangutans through public activities and through covert actions aimed at busting wildlife criminals. @World_Wildlife @WildAid and @Freelandfoundation need your help. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more encounters with orangutans and other endangered animals around the world. @leonardodicaprio @leonardodicapriofdn #WorldOrangutanDay #InternationalOrangutanDay #Borneo #Family #Twins #Orphans #Endangered #Wildlife

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Photo by @FransLanting Adorable, but vulnerable. An young orang utan infant is testing her climbing skills at a rehab center in Northern Borneo where dozens of orphans are reared. Orangutans are sorry victims of the illegal pet trade; poachers often kill the mothers to get their hands on the young ones. I welcome you to check out some of the organizations that are working to combat wildlife crime, such as @World_wildlife and @Freelandfoundation through public and covert actions. And follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more intimate encounters with our close cousins on the tree of life. @thephotosociety #Freelandfoundation #Endangered #Orangutan #Borneo #orangutanalliance #WorldOrangutanDay

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Photo by @FransLanting A gathering of bull elephants animates the dawn like only they can. You can almost hear their rumbling. I share this image in recognition of World Elephant Day, August 12, to celebrate the majesty of elephants and to draw attention to the organizations that have forged a strong coalition aimed at reversing the poaching crisis that has decimated elephant populations almost everywhere. The @ElephantCrisisFund was established by @SaveTheElephants in partnership with @LeonardoDiCaprioFdn and @WildNetOrg. They support the right people in the right places and they are making a real difference. Check them out and lend your support so they can do even better. And follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more intimate encounters with elephants. @ThePhotoSociety @NatGeoCreative #Elephants #Respect #Dignity #Conservation #Wonder #Naturelovers #Botswana

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Photo by @FransLanting I captured this Indian elephant family gently touching each other with their trunks at the edge of a lake after they had finished bathing. Indian elephants look a bit different from their Africa cousins; their ears are smaller, their foreheads are bonier and their skin gets pink on their ears, but they are just as threatened by human encroachment as elephants elsewhere. The last best hope for elephants in Asia is a lush forest range in Southern India’s Nilgiri Hills where more than 6000 elephants still survive. Planning corridors of protected habitat is a key to their future and the best way to minimize conflicts with people. Check @WWF-India to learn what people are doing to help elephants in India and lend your support. And follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories about elephants @Thephotosociety #Elephants #NilgiriHills #Conservation

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Photo by @FransLanting The bald eagle is a direct beneficiary of the Endangered Species Act. America’s national bird has made a dramatic comeback as a result of the protection it gained under what many people have called the most significant legislation ever passed to protect wildlife. But now the Endangered Species Act is being reviewed in Washington DC for amendments that may significantly undermine its effectiveness to protect other species as well as it did for the bald eagle. That would be a tragedy; for eagles and for us. But it’s not a done deal yet. If you care about this, please inform yourself and support the organizations who are as vigilant as eagles to protect our wildlife. And follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom to learn more about the plight of wildlife around the world. @world_wildlife @nrdc_org @defendersofwildlife @sierraclub @leonardodicaprio @thephotosociety @natgeotravel @natgeocreative #endangered #eagle #conservation #wildlife