Well, we seem to have an orca theme going on and i appreciate all of the kind words. so here is a video of a different orca on a different day but he too was a large and impressive individual who approached to check me out. however, his approach was calm, not as curious and he did not seem to want to interact other than a quick flyby. with @goranehlme and @cristinamittermeier for @sea_legacy score by @adamnriddle #nature #orca #experiencesofalifetime
Here he is, making another high speed pass. this time, he seemed to surf in on one of the big rolling waves. to put things in perspective, his pectoral fins would be about the size of a hood on a mid-sized car. his dorsal fin was around six feet tall. it is such a privilege to witness the stealth, speed, grace and efficiency of the worlds top predator on his terms. i love sharing these experiences with like-minded people. one of the models we are trying at @sea_legacy is to find passionate and concerned citizens who have the means to fund our expeditions and they too can have these experiences. that way, we get to do our conservation work and someone gets to have their life changed through awe, beauty and of course purpose. for @sea_legacy with @cristinamittermeier @hannestrager @goranehlme #orca #experienceofalifetime
This is my drug. my addiction. for me, there have been no greater highs in my career than being fed penguins by leopard seals and having orcas approach within inches. this encounter with this huge male was extra special. on this rough day off of norway, i could hear the clicking sounds of him echolocating but i couldn’t see him as he stayed beyond the visibility barrier initially. then, out of the darkness he came racing towards me. he did this many times. on this pass, he came to within two feet of me and head faked me. i reacted by jerking my head back and you could see the delight that it gave him. so, he continued to head fake me and when i reacted i could see his body shake with delight. this interaction was humbling, fun, intense, and a beautiful high. #adrenaline #whatajourney #orca #love #connection #gratitude
This image of king penguins on south georgia, antarctica, never quite made the final cut for my new book “ born to ice”. it does not make me love it any less. it is a very special moment when a large group of 3-foot tall king penguins hover over you. like everything in life, book projects are a huge collaboration. i have been truly privileged to work with so many talented people throughout my career and this massive book project was no exception. that is why i needed two full pages for my acknowledgements. @kimfrankwriter jumped into this project last minute and turned my lifetime of stories into beautiful flowing sentences. @christensenzoe made the whole project come to life while @kengeiger spent months working on the the images and, of course, @leonardodicaprio so graciously agreed to lend his name and words to this book that will hopefully live on for years. i do not want this book to become a record of the species and habitats that we lost at the ends of the earth but rather, it is a reminder for what and whom we still have time to fight. thank you @teneuespublishing for going above and beyond with quality. #gratitude #borntoice
I have always strived to be as non-intrusive as i can while photographing. i am forever grateful to the bears that have tolerated my presence and shared with me a small, yet intimate, part of their world. this beautiful mother grizzly bear watched me as her cubs of the year carefully navigated the small branches of the crab apple trees above her.
My favorite quote by an amazing author. henry beston .
“we need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. we patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. and therein do we err. for the animal shall not be measured by man. in a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. they are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” photo taken on assignment for @sea_legacy in the great bear rainforest.
The thing i love the most about leopard seals is that they are amazing communicators. they are full of curiosity and always seem to have an excess of bravado for the first few minutes of an encounter. then they either leave or stick around and act like a massive dog as was the case with this beauty. but, this is indeed a case of “don’t try this at home.” i have been around wild animals most of my life and believe that i exude calm energy, and in turn, they relax. the best thing about this photograph is that you get to study the canine and tri-cusp molar dentition of this species. the canines are for catching penguins the the molars are more for straining krill out of the water. as a baleen whale, they take a big mouthful of krill and water and then use their big tongue to push the water out between their teeth while keeping the krill in their mouths.
Soon, bears will be thinking about heading off to sleep for the winter. it was a tough year for bears on the north coast of bc. we saw it firsthand. creek walkers, first nations, scientists and fish counters reported some of the worst returns in recorded history. what are ways that we can help mitigate these disastrous returns? fishing closures and getting atlantic salmon fish farms out of bc waters are the biggest things we can do to help save our disappearing wild salmon stocks. what can you do specifically? please stop eating farmed atlantic salmon. don’t buy it in a grocery store and always make a scene in a restaurant if that is all that they serve. we have to beat them at the source. #follow the work we are doing with @sea_legacy to rid our coasts of fish farms. alaska refuses to have fish farms in their waters. washington state, under the leadership of my good friend jay inslee are ridding their waters of fish farms. what is the department of fisheries and oceans doing to address or ailing wild stocks in canada? they are increasing fish farms in our waters. dfo is the same organization that managed our atlantic cod stocks to a complete collapse. is this the organization you want managing canada’s greatest wild marine treasures? speak out. i have a lot of great friends who do good work within the structure of dfo, however, politicians are the ones who make the final decisions and they never make those decisions in the best interest of wildlife and ecosystems. #useyourvoice #speakout #thesebearswillthankyou #gratitude #bear #grabthemicrophone
As we head south by boat from the great bear rainforest on this thanksgiving long weekend, i have nothing but gratitude for everyone and every species in my life. to the tide community who supports our conservation efforts at @sea_legacy, we thank you for keeping our team in the field and on the front lines of connecting a global audience to the biggest threats facing our oceans today. you keep our team of 22 hard working individuals in our office cranking away on campaigns and solutions. i am grateful to our volunteers and interns who give tirelessly to our never ending projects. thank you to the gitga’at and kitasoo first nations who allowed us to travel and work in their territories on this project. thank you to @pacificwild and @iantmcallister for your guidance and friendship. thank you @cristinamittermeier for being the brains, the vision and the passion behind this movement. most of all, thank you to the species who allow us a glimpse into their wild, fragile and secretive lives. may you continue to roam free like this humpback whale. #happythanksgiving #nature #naturelovers #bethechange #gratitude #whale
These sled dogs are the engines of the far north. they are powerful, beautiful and have an incomparable work ethic. here, they anxiously await their turn to pull a sled across the frozen sea. on this thanksgiving in canada i have so much gratitude for the cultures, the people,the dogs and the wildlife that i have had great fortune to come in contact with. #dog #puppy #love #nature #greenland #climatechange #pet #picoftheday #beauty @thephotosociety #mpa #202020
It is not an easy life for a grizzly bear. they are constantly foraging on a diverse diet of vegetation, fish, carrion and other sources of nutrition until it is time to sleep for the winter. even in october and at -20 celsius on the fishing branch river in canada’s yukon. the key time to get f*t is in the autumn months when they target salmon. this forces these typically isolated nomads within close proximity to one another. young bears like this ice-covered female are always on the lookout for big lumbering males or protective mothers and cubs. the one skill they have is that they are light and fast. if you aren’t big and tough then you better be alert and quick. #turningthetide with @sea_legacy