National Geographic Photographer || Author || Speaker || Creator of images, stories and events to inspire wonder and concern about our living planet.
A winter sun sets behind leafless baobabs in Madagascar. These “upside-down trees” are associated with Africa, but while the entire continent has only one species, Madagascar is home to six species of baobabs, all of them unique to that great island. I’m excited to go back to Madagascar this September and October with my wife and partner Chris Eckstrom, and we want to recruit a local assistant based in Madagascar to help with photo and video production for portions of that period. We use Sony video cameras, Nikon DSLRs, and DJI drones. If any of you know of someone who is tech-savvy and interested in joining us, please write to email@example.com with a cover letter and credentials.
@natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Madagascar #Baobab #naturephotography #nature
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Ferns have been uncurling their fiddleheads for many millions of years. This is one image from our LIFE exhibition currently on display at Cinemec Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Our LIFE project is a lyrical interpretation of the history of life on earth from the Big Bang to the present, expressed through photographs. A film about the making of LIFE is also screened at Cinemec until September 1. "Natuur is overal en begint bij huis." Nature is everywhere and it begins at home. If you are a photographer from the Netherlands or Belgium, I invite you to submit your best images of nature and its relevance for people for the WNF-Frans Lanting Award in photography. The deadline is September 1. Find out more about how you can submit your images at https://photoaward.wnf.nl/. @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @wnf @wnf.nl/photoaward #WNF #PhotoAward #Nature #NaturePhotography #creativity #photography
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On World Elephant Day we honor the matriarchs who are lending their strength and passing on their wisdom to the next generation. And we salute the people and organizations dedicated to ensuring there will be a future for these magnificent creatures. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of our living planet. @leonardodicaprio @natgeocreative #respect #dignity #wisdom #mother #elephant #awesome #protection #wild #WildAid #SaveTheElephants #WorldElephantDay
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"There is mystery behind that masked gray visage, and ancient life force, delicate and mighty, awesome and enchanted, commanding the silence ordinarily reserved for mountain peaks, great fires, and the sea.”
― Peter Matthiessen, The Tree Where Man Was Born
@thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeocreative #respect #dignity #wisdom #elephant #awesome #wild #WildAid #Wild_Net #SaveTheElephants
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It may look like a vision of an alien planet, but it is a scene from planet Earth. Primitive bacteria stain the sides of a geyser with fantastic colors while hot water erupts from deep underground. Scientists believe that this is the kind of extreme environment where life may have begun on earth billions of years ago. This exquisite place is fragile, and it's located on private property not open to the public. I photographed it with special permission from the owners. Thank you for respecting their goal to protect it. Follow me @FransLanting to learn more about the history of life on earth.
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #amazing #nature #earth #beauty #picoftheday #colors
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"Rock gives reality to the otherwise abstract notion of transhuman time." Ed Abbey, writer and earth activist
@thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeotravel @WildernessSociety #monumentsforall #wild #beauty #earth #inspire #nature
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Photo by @franslanting This is a small section of one of the most complex rock art sites in the American Southwest. Over a period of thousands of years people carved images and stories into the rocks delivering to us a bewildering mosaic of how they lived with nature. What you do not see in this image is the damage done in more recent times when people vandalized these messages from the past. This site is one of the many precious places administered by the US Federal Bureau of Land Management, which operates its protection programs on a shoe string budget. And now BLM's resources are being shifted from protection to extraction to enable oil and gas deposits to get monetized. If you care about the American legacy of public lands for future generations, please speak up and become part of the conversation. Follow me @franslanting for more coverage of precious places.
@natgeo @natgeotravel @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #MonumentsForAll #beauty #nature #naturelovers #wilderness #America #Conservation
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The Waterpocket Fold is a major geologic feature that defines Capitol Reef National Park. It’s a buckle in the earth’s surface where rocks have been pushed up and erosion has cut through the layers. From the air it looks like a giant multicolored gash with crazy zig zag patterns. On the ground you can experience it in the course of a spectacular drive along Route 24. But if you want to find out what it’s named for, you have to get out and hike into the backcountry where shaded rocky hollows can contain precious freshwater well into the dry season. Follow me @FransLanting to see more special places from the Southwest.
@natgeotravel @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #America #explore #naturelovers #beauty #wild
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Photo by @FransLanting Here’s another scene from our backpacking trip through the Paria River canyon, one of the most dramatic slot canyons in the Southwest. For this image I put my camera on a tripod and slowed the shutter speed down, which blurred my companions. It created a sense of motion as a counterpoint to the immutability of the landscape. A polarizing filter took glare off the rocks and saturated its colors. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of amazing places and stories about creative photography. @natgeo @natgeotravel @thephotosociety #America #explore #wonder #nature #inspire #creativity #naturephotography
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Beyond the National Parks and National Monuments we’re all familiar with, there are scores of other public lands in the USA that are administered by the Department of the Interior. The Bureau of Land Management is charged with looking after many millions of acres of wilderness areas, but it barely has the resources to do so. And that is before the cutbacks that are now being contemplated in Washington, D.C. Here’s one amazing place I discovered while doing an aerial survey of the Colorado Plateau on assignment for @NatGeo. It’s called the San Rafael Swell and it’s located in central Utah. It’s full of shale rock and that means there may be oil and gas deposits underneath the surface. Imagine what this landscape would like with access roads for mineral extraction. Become part of the conversation if you care and check some of the links below and follow me @FransLanting for more coverage of these special places.
@WildernessSociety @thephotosociety @leonardodicaprio #MonumentsForAll #beauty #naturelovers #naturephotography #wilderness #America #Conservation
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Since we started posting images and stories on Instagram a year ago, it has been utterly gratifying to Chris Eckstrom and me to receive your responses. It has been heartwarming to learn how many of you share our passion for celebrating the natural world and our concern about keeping our living planet healthy for nature and for ourselves. Yesterday we reached a milestone with our Instagram endeavors when we reached half a million followers. We would like to say thanks to all of you around the world and hope you will stay with us as we continue to explore the world and share our experiences and insights with you.
#gratitude #inspire #nature #naturelovers #explore #earth #celebrate #create @ChristineEckstrom @thephotosociety
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Photo by @FransLanting Magic light is what I look for all the time to add an exclamation mark to my images. It can occur at dawn or dusk, when light gives way to shadows or vice versa, but in slot canyons it happens in the middle of the day. Here’s another image from one of those temples of nature. Shafts of light suffused with dust can penetrate deep into a narrow canyon whose sandstone walls are shaped by water over time. Sunlight from high above reflects back and forth between the walls and creates an ethereal luminosity deep down below like a cathedral illuminated through stained glass windows. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of these special places.
@thephotosociety @natgeocreative #beauty #awesome #amazing #colors #nature #picoftheday #earth #light #inspiration
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Things got a bit wet and muddy after that flash flood swept through the canyon. Follow me @FransLanting to see more images from this trek.
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #wild #explore #naturelovers #naturephotography
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Where light and darkness meet in nature beauty occurs. This is a scene from Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument in Utah. It is one of the many federally protected landscapes that is now under scrutiny from the current US presidential administration for an unprecedented rollback of its status under pressure from other interests. The American system of preserving large wild landscapes for all generations to come has been an inspiration to every other country on the planet, but now we need to call attention to the forces that aim to darken that light. Resist the attempt to undo decades of progress to protect temples of nature. Add your voice to the conversation if you care. Check the links to find out what you can do. @WildernessSociety #OurWild #SaveOurMonuments #Monumentsforall @leonardodicaprio @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #beauty #wild #naturelovers #naturephotography
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Backpacking into a deep canyon in the American Southwest is an otherworldly experience. You feel like you’re getting swallowed up by the earth itself. On this particular trip we got surprised by a flash flood caused by a thunderstorm upstream and we were pinned down on a narrow raised beach watching a raging river carry debris downstream. We had to wait for two days before we could hike out. It's the power of water that shapes this awesome world of rock.
@natgeo @natgeotravel @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #beauty #awesome #amazing #colors #nature #picoftheday #earth
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Usually the magic light that can transform an ordinary scene into something extraordinary occurs at dawn or dusk, but in Arizona’s slot canyons it happens in the middle of the day. That’s when a shaft of light suffused with dust penetrates deep into a narrow canyon whose sandstone walls are shaped by water over time. Light bounces back and forth between the walls and it creates an ethereal luminosity at the bottom that is reminiscent of a cathedral. This particular canyon is located on Navajo tribal land. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of special places around the world.
@natgeo @natgeotravel @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #beauty #awesome # amazing # colors #nature #picoftheday #earth
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A lone hiker contemplates nature inside a narrow sandstone canyon sculpted by water and time. The American Southwest is a wonderland for visitors from all over the world. This particular landscape has been protected, but under the current US presidential administration, many National Monuments with world class features are now being challenged. If you care about the value of protecting nature for generations to come, please add your voice to the public debate.
@WildernessSociety #OurWild #SaveOurMonuments @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #beauty #wild #naturephotography
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Video by @FransLanting with @ChristineEckstrom and @Gilholmer Tap the screen for sound. Thousands of surfers paddled out from a Santa Cruz beach into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary last Sunday to honor Jack O’Neill with many thousands more watching from the cliffs around Jack’s house overlooking Pleasure Point. It was a moving tribute to the man who was a pioneer of the wetsuit, which enabled many millions of people to plunge into the ocean to experience our blue planet for themselves. Jack passed away recently at the age of 94 after a life well lived. Many of us in Santa Cruz were touched by his spirit and scores of kids benefitted from his efforts to advance the cause of ocean education. Thank you fellow Santa Cruzans for coming together. Follow me for more images and stories about our living planet.
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Ocean #Inspire #Gratitude #SantaCruz #MontereyBay #California #Surfing #Oneillseaodyssey
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At Santa Cruz, California
A mare nuzzles her newborn foal, which is still unsteady on its feet in the Oostvaardersplassen Reserve in the Netherlands where nature has rebounded. I’m posting this image in honor of my niece Charlotte, who just gave birth to her first son, Kees. I hope we can make the world a better place for all newborns who will inherit the results of our actions. Follow me @FransLanting to see more images and videos of wild horses. @natgeo @natgeotravel @thephotosociety #life #birth #mother #WildHorses #Netherlands #Oostvaardersplassen #OneEarth
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Tap your screen to hear the story! Wild horses roam free in the famous Oostvaardersplassen Nature Reserve in the Netherlands. This video was made during my field trip with the winners of the Frans Lanting Award, organized by the World Wildlife Fund Netherlands. To all our friends in the Netherlands and Belgium, I invite you to submit images for this year’s Frans Lanting Award. Learn more and submit images directly at: www.wnf.nl/photoaward. Video by @ChristineEckstrom
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @world_wildlife @wnfnederland #Horse #WildHorses #Oostvaardersplassen #wild #naturephotography #WNFNederland
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By crawling towards them on hands and knees, I was able to get close to these two wild stallions as they were rearing up and testing each other’s strength. I trusted that they were aware enough of my proximity to avoid trampling me as they danced around each other. The Oostvaardersplassen Nature Reserve in the Netherlands has become a remarkable habitat for large grazing mammals that once roamed wild across Western Europe.
@natgeotravel @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Horse #WildHorses #Oostvaardersplassen #aggression #wild #restoration #fight
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I like to get up close and personal with animals. I was lying flat on my stomach with a wide-angle lens aimed at these two wild horses when they reared up to challenge each other for dominance over a herd of mares grazing in the Oostvaardersplassen Nature Reserve in the Netherlands. More than 1,000 wild horses thrive there, less than an hour from Amsterdam, in a place where a generation ago, there were none. It’s a remarkable example of how the Dutch are restoring nature in the midst of one of the most densely populated countries in the world. If you’re a photographer based in the Netherlands or Belgium, I would like to encourage you to submit images for the next Frans Lanting Award, sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund. Go to www.wnf.nl/photoaward to learn how you can participate. Video by @ChristineEckstrom
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @world_wildlife @wnfnederland #Horse #WildHorses #Oostvaardersplassen #naturephotography #wildlifephotography
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Lemurs are descendants of primitive primates that once ranged across Africa, Europe, and North America, but were later displaced by monkeys. Now more than a hundred kinds of lemurs survive only in Madagascar, where monkeys never occurred. Roaming with troops of ring-tailed lemurs, I fell under the spell of the rhythms of their daily lives, and watched this baby learn to see the world through its mother’s eyes. Images from my work in Madagascar are featured in my exhibition, “Into Africa,” which opens today at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and will be on display through October 22, 2017. If you are in the Cleveland area, we invite you to visit the show.
@natgeo @thephotosociety @natgeocreative @natgeotravel @cmnh #Cleveland #Madagascar #Lemurs #BabyAnimals #NaturePhotography #Nature
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The spiny desert of southern Madagascar is a world unto itself. Ninety-five percent of its plants are found nowhere else—not even elsewhere in Madagascar. A waxy coating on its leaves helps this aloe minimize moisture loss. I kneeled down to silhouette it against a sunset sky reddened by dust from a volcanic eruption in the Philippines, 5,000 miles away. This image is featured in my exhibition, “Into Africa,” which will be on display at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History from July 1 through October 22, 2017. If you are in the Cleveland area, we invite you to visit the show.
@thephotosociety @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @natgeo @cmnh #Cleveland #Madagascar #NaturePhotography #Beauty #Nature
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I was spellbound when I saw the multicolored tentacles wave from the pin-striped bell of this extraordinary flower hat jelly, a drifter in sea currents which also spends time moving along the ocean floor. The ancestors of jellies were among the first animals whose bodies exhibited an organized architecture, with groups of cells joined together as tissues that performed unified functions.
This is one of the signature images for my project “LIFE: A Journey Through Time,” a lyrical interpretation of the story of life on Earth from the Big Bang to the present. It is also featured in the documentary film “Frans Lanting: The Evolution of LIFE,” which has won several film festival awards and was shown last month as a part of the 2017 @Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride, CO. Thank you, we are honored!
@thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @MountainFilm #Jellyfish #MontereyBay #Nature #PhotooftheDay #LifeAJourneyThroughTime
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At Monterey, California
At the awesome amphitheater of South America’s Iguassu, many spectacular waterfalls plunge down to form one of the world’s natural wonders, equally powerful whether viewed from the Argentinian or Brazilian side of the falls. Known as Iguaçu in Brazil and as Iguazú in Argentina, the falls straddle the border of the two countries, both of which protect these thundering waters with contiguous national parks that draw millions of visitors each year. I made this photograph at dawn, when the landscape was saturated with water vapor from an overnight rainstorm mixed with mist rising from the falls.
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Iguassu #Iguaçu #Iguazú #Waterfall #Beauty #Wonder
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At Iguassu, Misiones, Argentina
Photo by @FransLanting “Jungle River” A primeval forest in northern Borneo shows why people comparing the architecture of forests on different continents have called those of Southeast Asia the most majestic. Their stately appearance is dominated by towering dipterocarp trees that reach heights of 200 feet. We’re all dependent on trees—what they exhale, we inhale. We are linked together in the cycle of life. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of our amazing earth.
@thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative #RainForest #Borneo #DanumValley #Nature #Forest #Trees #NaturePhotography
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At Sabah, Malaysia
Right now in Antarctica, emperor penguin females are laying their eggs. After they do, their nutritional reserves are exhausted, and they immediately transfer their eggs to the feet of their mates, who cradle the eggs on their feet to keep them warm and off the sea ice. The emperor penguin males do this for two months in the depths of the Antarctic winter. It takes heroic parenting skills to raise a chick in this brutally cold environment where temperatures can drop to 40 degrees below zero with winds of more than 100 miles per hour. I spent a month camped on the sea ice near an emperor penguin colony to document how the chicks grow up. Here a young emperor chick leans against its father. I share this image in celebration of Fathers Day!
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #FathersDay #Penguins #Fatherhood #Antarctica #Chick #Parent #Nature
I spent weeks inside Borneo’s tropical rain forest on assignment for @NatGeo to document its intricate natural history. One morning I took a helicopter up for an aerial perspective. When we rose above the canopy, my view expanded from single trees to the forest as a whole. I saw morning mist wafting through the treetops and envisioned the collective exhalation of these trees as the breath of a living planet. Trees are responsible for the air we breathe—what they exhale, we inhale. We are linked together in the cycle of life. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of our our amazing earth.
@thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative #Borneo #RainForest #Nature #Trees #NaturePhotography #jungle
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At Danum Valley Conservation Area
I live next to a forest of giants. From my home on a meadow overlooking the Pacific Ocean I can see them towering over all other trees. They are redwoods, and they have a long history. In the days of dinosaurs they were widespread, but nowadays they only thrive in the narrow strip of California coast where hot land meets cold ocean. That is where fog forms which provides them with moisture during the summer months when there is no rain. One day when I flew above a dense layer of fog moving inland, the tops of these giant trees emerged like ramparts in the sky.
@thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeotravel #BigSur #MontereyBay #California #Redwoods #Giants #Fog #Nature
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At Big Sur, California
This close-up portrait of a leopard made recently in Botswana’s Okavango Delta would have been very difficult to do 30 years ago when I first started looking for leopards in Africa. Back then, they were elusive and nearly invisible. When I did my coverage for @natgeo in Botswana in the late 80s, I rarely saw any leopards at all. They were ghost cats. Today sightings of leopards are common. The difference is better protection and especially, lack of hunting pressure. Botswana banned trophy hunting in 2014 and leopards like this one are beneficiaries. It is ever more important to recognize that every wild animal has its own life and that every one of them deserves our respect. Follow me @FransLanting for more tales of leopards and other big cats.
@thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative #Leopard #Botswana #BigCats #Panthera #Respect #wildlifephotography
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Surfing legend and ocean advocate Jack O’Neill was a pioneer. As a surfer in the 1950s he got tired of being cold in the water, and that led him to develop the wetsuit. The rest, as they say, is history. Thanks to that invention many millions of people have been able to get into the ocean themselves and experience its wonders firsthand. Jack passed away last week at the age of 94, and his home in Santa Cruz overlooking the Monterey Bay—in front of a sweet surf break which he rode many times in his life—has been covered in flowers since then. Here’s an impression of that floral tribute along with a picture of another tribute sculpted in the beach below. Thank you, Jack, for all your good work and all that you inspired in all of us.
@thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeotravel #oneillseaodyssey #jackoneill #ocean #surfing #santacruz #gratitude
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At Santa Cruz, California
In celebration of National Gardening Week, I share with you these beautiful Masdevallia orchids I photographed at UCSC’s Arboretum in Santa Cruz, Ca.
@natgeo @thephotosociety @natgeotravel @natgeocreative #ucscarboretum #ucsc #beauty #orchid #macrophotography #NationalGardeningWeek
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