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Photo by Brendan Hoffman @hoffmanbrendan Lhadon, left, and Tsemchok, right, put their neighbor's year-old son, Choenorbu, down for a nap at a nomad camp along the upper reaches of the Indus River, where they live with their families in remote western Tibet. In this harsh, high-altitude plateau, sharing tasks and supporting each other is both an ingrained way of life and integral to surviving and prospering. Follow me @hoffmanbrendan for more human stories from around the world. #tibet #china
Photo by @lynseyaddario As part of a project to cover the pandemic, I've been following the work of several funeral homes in southern England. Undertaker Anthony James at Taunton Funeral Services, in Taunton, England, begins the process of cleaning the body of a man who passed away from COVID-19 complications. Undertakers must decide whether they are willing to subject themselves to the exposure and danger involved in embalming and dressing those afflicted with the virus, as both activities allow for air to be released through the mouth and their orifices, which may contain the virus. The United Kingdom was one of the last in Europe to call for a nationwide lockdown to prevent large-scale deaths and illness from the coronavirus, and as of late May it had the second highest death rate worldwide behind United States. To see more of my work follow @lynseyaddario. Follow @natgeointhefield for real-time coverage of this developing story from photographers around the world.
Photo by @yagazieemezi Dushiminana Evalist and Izibyose Desire stand in front of their school in the Kamonyi District of Rwanda. They are part of a program that supports young girls and boys to challenge traditional gender roles and patriarchal values. For the two boys, the program has helped to change their views and expectations of girls. “I used to think that washing dishes was a chore for girls, but now I’m always ready to help,” Evalist proudly says. Desire adds, "Our problems are not equal. Boys have to change their minds that girls should do everything. Boys have two arms and a brain.” Follow me on @yagazieemezi for more stories from my work covering education and health across Africa.
Photo by @lucalocatelliphoto A view of the conversion hangar at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group in Tucson, Arizona. This is where retired F-16 fighter jets are installed with a kit that transforms them into drones, to be used in training exercises. The orange paint on the wings and stabilizers indicates that the plane is outfitted with this autonomous equipment. The process of optimizing the life cycle of such resource-intensive machines is a leading example of the "circular economy" in the industrial sector. Here at the so-called Boneyard, remanufacturing and repurposing technology makes the most out of the planes that sit on the airfield. Precious parts are dismantled and reused in the Air Force fleet, and entire aircraft can be reassembled and put back into service. At the end of the life cycle, they can be scrapped for steel and aluminum recycling. This image was part of the March issue cover story "The End of Trash." Please follow me @lucalocatelliphoto to find out more and discover other stories about the environment. #airplanes #usa #recycling #environment #lucalocatelliphoto Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by Charlie Hamilton James @chamiltonjames // Supported by Nat Geo Society/Wyss Campaign for Nature committed to protecting 30% of the planet by 2030. // Yesterday in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, just a few miles from the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater, Maasai bring their cows in for the night to the safety of their community of "bomas," or houses. #campaignfornature
Photo by Robbie Shone @shonephoto I often get asked what it's like to camp underground for days at a time. For a week I slept here, in Lechuguilla Cave, in Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Only when I made this photograph did we see how pretty the walls were. The rock patterns and the swirls are beautiful. For millions of years, Lechuguilla has been sealed off from humans—and this is why its otherworldly crystal formations are so pristine. Access to this cave is extremely difficult to obtain, and only researchers and scientists are allowed to enter for their work. This way, the fragile formations remain preserved.
Photo by @stevewinterphoto A bobcat in the Marin Headlands, with San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. We humans live with majestic animals in urban areas without even knowing they are there—and without major problems, if we let them be. Thousands of cats, like leopards, tigers, lions, and bobcats, lose their lives every year through conflicts with people, because they kill their livestock or chickens or sometimes people themselves. As humans populations grow and expand into new areas, the forests that act as buffers are being cut at an alarming rate, bringing us into closer contact with wild animals. The health of ecosystems, animals, plants, and humans are interconnected—nature is perfection; it gives us life.
Photo by @andreabruce In Kabul, Afghanistan, parliamentarian Maryam Sama, 28, a prominent member in the women's caucus, leaves parliament on December 9, 2019, the day that the body narrowly passed a law protecting children's rights. "We are the women who grew up after the war, we are the new generation, we have demands," she said. Take a look at the June 2020 issue of National Geographic for the story "Taking the Lead," for which I photographed the inspiring women of Bolivia, New Zealand, Iraq, and Afghanistan who have made huge gains in achieving political power but still face cultural resistance, and even violence, as their influence increases. Story by Rania Abouzeid. Follow me @andreabruce for more photos and stories. Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by @enricsala Juan Fernández Archipelago, Chile: You don’t need to understand the natural world to love it. I have studied the ocean for 30 years, but as a child, I loved the ocean because it was exciting, beautiful, and mysterious. I would spend my summer days snorkeling for hours in the Mediterranean Sea off the Costa Brava's shores. This summer, I hope you can find a safe spot in nature to love and to soak in the moments of peace and beauty.
Photo by @babaktafreshi We are one a trillion species currently living on Earth, a unique paradise in the harsh ocean of space. On this morning in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a full moon sets at sunrise, when hundreds of seabirds fly from their nests on nearby islands to the city’s shore. Some of these huge frigatebirds have a two-meter wingspan. Explore more of the world at night with me @babaktafreshi. #riodejaneiro #nature
Photo by Muhammed Muheisen @mmuheisen On Monday, a full moon rose behind the ancient temple of Poseidon, which dates to 444 B.C., on Cape Sounion, in Greece. For more photos and videos from different parts of the world, follow me @mmuheisen and @mmuheisenpublic #muhammedmuheisen #Greece #Fullmoon #Athens
Photo by Muhammed Muheisen @mmuheisen On Monday, a full moon rose behind the ancient temple of Poseidon, which dates to 444 B.C., on Cape Sounion, in Greece. For more photos and videos from different parts of the world, follow me @mmuheisen and @mmuheisenpublic #muhammedmuheisen #Greece #Fullmoon #Athens
Photo by @johnstanmeyer A man bathes away sin in the Ganges—amid a swirl of marigold offerings, plastic trash, and fecal waste. The river, sacred to Hindus and a vital resource to areas with large populations and little infrastructure, is one of the most polluted on Earth. The image is from my latest story in the August issue, "India: There’s Water Everywhere, and Nowhere," now on newsstands worldwide. @outofedenwalk #walkingindia #edenwalk #india #banaras #varanasi Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by @jasperdoest In the evening Flamingo Bob and two flamingo friends (both with an amputated wing, which makes it impossible for them to return to the wild) hang out in my cousin Odette’s backyard saltwater pool. As a veterinarian, she always hopes to release birds after they recover from an injury, but in case of these three she had to keep them in her sanctuary. Bob joins Odette in her educational work with @fdoccuracao, and he’s accustomed to people, but the other two don’t like people that much and would rather hang out around the house. They keep Bob company when he’s not on duty. Follow @jasperdoest for more images of Flamingo Bob on his journey to becoming instafamous. #flamingobob #meetbob #flamingo #shadows #flamingolove Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by @renan_ozturk A "moon walk," captured without digital manipulation within a single frame. This is dedicated to our late friend Dean Potter, who first envisioned a free-solo image like this. Pictured here is Andy Lewis, walking a gap high above the valley floor in Moab, Utah. I shot this image from three km (two miles) away, after navigating cliffy terrain with a huge 600mm lens, which truly pushed my physical capabilities, knowledge of the landscape, and all the technology abused in the process. After questing deep into the wilderness and missing the shot for the moonrise/sunset moment, I stumbled through the night, arriving tired and bloody to the moonset/sunrise location on the opposite side of the towers. This moment of alignment lasted for about one minute and only a few frames. It give me such hope to witness such artistic acts of humanity in these times! See @renan_ozturk for more on the backstory and images from this endeavor. #moonwalk #slackline
Photo by @beverlyjoubert They may not have the speed of the cheetah or the sheer brawn of the lion, but leopards have their own superpowers. There’s their famed adaptability, which sees to it that these flexible felines can acclimate to a range of landscapes, even ones heavily modified by humans. And then there’s that stealthy ability to go unnoticed, to slink their way ghost-like on the edges of perception. It’s a powerful combination for a wild creature. But perhaps it’s that very inconspicuousness, and our impression of them as so resiliently adaptable, that can make us overlook just how vulnerable these cats are to a growing number of threats. It is on our watch, after all, that leopards have lost huge swaths of their territory and many populations have suffered alarming declines. It is time we pay more attention. #leopards #bigcats #bigcatconservation
Photos by Michael Yamashita @yamashitaphoto I climbed up and through this labyrinth of bamboo stilt houses, some as tall as three stories, in search of the perfect sunset. Kampong Chnang stilt village, as seen in 1992, was built to withstand the 30-foot rise and fall of Tonle Sap (Great Lake) between Cambodia's wet and dry seasons. This is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and the only waterway in the world that actually changes direction twice a year. During the wet season, June through October, excess water flows northward and upriver into the lake, swelling it to five times its size. Come the dry season, November to May, the river reverses its flow, gradually draining the lake and regulating the water that reaches the delta in the south, keeping it constantly supplied throughout the year. Today Tonle Sap is in serious trouble. Drought, dam building, and overfishing have brought it to a tipping point. As the lake goes, so goes the greater Mekong ecosystem. A devastating drought last year left the Mekong River at its lowest level in recorded history. And as the Mekong goes, so goes Tonle Sap— and the livelihoods of the fishermen who live in this architectural wonder. Pray for rain. For more on the Mekong, please follow @yamashitaphoto #tonlesaplake #stilthouse #stiltvillage #tonlesap #cambodia
Photos by @stephenwilkes NEOWISE is a long-period comet discovered by astronomers on March 27. At that time, it was 190 million miles away from the sun and 160 million miles away from Earth. By July, it was bright enough to be seen by the naked eye. It’s one of the brightest comets in the northern hemisphere in the last 23 years. I took this on Block Island. A beautiful, clear night allowed me to capture the subtle color changes in the comet and the details of the sky, about an hour after sunset. Definitely worth the effort to see this magic. I feel fortunate to have captured the comet as it won’t be visible again for another 6,800 years. To see more from my travels near and far follow me @stephenwilkes. #neowise #comet #fujifilm #GFX100 #blockisland
Photo by @joelsartore I Looking for a simple way to help protect chimpanzees, like Ruben, in the wild? Go on a scavenger hunt around your house for old phones and small electronics, then take a trip to your local zoo or electronics store and recycle them! Coltan, a mineral used in our handheld electronics, is often destructively mined in central Africa—an area that is home to many species, like chimpanzees, gorillas, and okapi. When recycled, materials like tantalum from these electronics can be reused, reducing the demand for this material to be mined from this vital habitat. This wildlife-saving action also keeps battery waste containing harmful chemicals out of our landfills, local habitats, and waterways, protecting local species and our local communities! Photo taken @zootampa. To see more species featured in the Photo Ark, follow me @joelsartore. #PhotoArk #savetogether
Photo by Pete McBride @pedromcbride Samburu warriors sing and dance in the arid landscape of Kenya. The male warriors, known as moran, are the defenders of the pastoralist Samburu tribe. Singing, clapping, and dancing are integral to their traditional ceremonies—as well as a way of socializing. Some Samburu have been on the front lines of conservation efforts throughout northern Kenya. To see more from Kenya, follow @pedromcbride. @savetheelephants #Kenya #dance #Samburu
Photo by @paolowoods and @gabrielegalimbertiphoto Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy has been in total lockdown for over two months. The country’s museums were closed and deserted. Italy has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world, but tourism has come to a complete and painful halt. What do these museums look like devoid of visitors? How do the artworks fare without those that appreciate them? Thanks to the COVID-19 Visual Project, an initiative by Cortona On The Move festival, in partnership with Intesa Sanpaolo, we’ve had the unique opportunity to be the only visitors allowed in some of the most iconic museums in Italy. We have tried to pull them out of the darkness and reinvent them through light. We call this project Locked in Beauty. It's been published in National Geographic and is on exhibit at the festival until the end of September. In this photo: Museo dell’Accademia, Florence, "David," by Michelangelo. #covid19 #art #italy #gallerieditalia #museum
Photo by @williamalbertallard Palermo, Sicily, 1994: Laundry seems to soar like great birds in flight on lines strung from tenement buildings in an old neighborhood. Sicily was an incredible place to document. It's a wonderful visual resource, with people who aren't camera-shy, who are full of life and vigor. And the food, oh, how good it is! For more images of Sicily and other assignments spanning a five-decade career #followme @williamalbertallard. #palermo #sicily #filmphotography #streetphotography
Photo by @michaelchristopherbrown A Uygur man enters a mosque in the Old City of Kashgar, China. For more than 2,000 years, Kashgar has been an center of trade and cultural exchange, strategically located along the Silk Road. Kashgar’s Old City was called the “best-preserved example of a traditional Islamic city to be found anywhere in central Asia,” according to architect and historian George Michell. When I was there, in 2009, large sections of the old city were being razed. A small section remains, where the vital spirit of the Uygur people who inhabit the city can still be seen. Follow @michaelchristopherbrown for more human stories around the world.
Photo by @paoloverzone Taouz, Morocco. Samir Zouhri, professor of paleontology at Hassan II University of Casablanca, holds a large Spinosaurus tooth. Spinosaurus was one of the largest predatory dinosaurs of all time. It is named after the elongated dorsal spines that supported an enormous “sail” of skin. In contrast with other dinosaurs–predominantly terrestrial–a long list of anatomical features indicates that Spinosaurus was adapted to live in freshwater, like crocodiles and hippopotamuses. Follow me @paoloverzone for more photos and stories. Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by @dina_litovsky An Amish family waits for a bus in Pinecraft, Florida. For many decades, Amish and Mennonite families from around the U.S. have been taking winter vacations in Pinecraft, a small neighborhood in Sarasota. The strict rules of Anabaptist life are temporarily relaxed, as hard work is replaced by leisure and recreational activities. For more images, follow me @dina_litovsky.
Photo by @nicholesobecki Girls recite the Quran in a madrassa in Dadaab, in northern Kenya. Refugee camps are meant to be temporary solutions to acute crises, but Dadaab, which opened in 1991, is proof that some crises may drag on for lifetimes, a likely reality for many people fleeing climate change. Refugees living in camps are isolated from society—they can’t leave to pursue opportunities or build a future. To see more of my work on humanity’s connection to the natural world, please follow @nicholesobecki. Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by Luján Agusti @lujanag Sheep are herded after their biannual bath at Estancia Viamonte, in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Working with sheep is one of the few activities carried out in the fields, given the harsh climatic conditions on the island. Woolwork is one of the oldest pursuits for Fuegians, especially to protect against the cold. #latinamerica #tierradelfuego #tradition
Photo by @acacia.johnson A school of sockeye salmon under a bridge at Brooks Camp, Alaska. The pristine rivers of the Bristol Bay watershed form the most productive salmon ecosystem in North America, supporting the subsistence lifestyles of numerous tribal cultures and a $1.5 billion sustainable fishery that provides 14,000 jobs. But on July 24, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a final environmental impact statement in favor of Pebble Mine, a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine that would hold hundreds of millions of tons of toxic waste in earthen dams at the headwaters of this watershed, in a seismically active area, in perpetuity. Follow me at @acacia.johnson to learn more about protecting this remarkable wilderness. #alaska #pebblemine #salmon #bristolbay Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by @moisessaman In May Syrian refugees walk to their living quarters inside the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. The living conditions present a further challenge to containing the spread of COVID-19. Two-thirds of households in Jordan’s Syrian refugee camps have more than three people per room, making effective self-isolation impossible. Social distancing in public is also difficult in the two densely populated main camps, Zaatari (hosting about 76,000 refugees) and Azraq (about 36,000). In urban areas, Syrian refugees live in similarly crowded settings, with dwellings consisting of two or three rooms for households of five or more.
Photo by @estherhorvath A helium-filled, tethered balloon, called Miss Piggy, is deployed by scientist Holger Siebert at the Villum Research Station. Researchers at Greenland's northernmost science base measure turbulence, terrestrial and solar radiation, and black carbon, with the goal to understand the processes contributing to rapid change in the Arctic region. Please follow @estherhorvath for more climate science stories. For more on this story, see the September 2019 issue's "Eyes on Ice" article. Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by Stephen Alvarez @salvarezphoto A negative handprint in El Castillo Cave, Spain. I made this photo for a @natgeo story about the origins of art. Over 30,000 years old, the handprint was made by aerosolizing red ocher pigment around an outstretched hand on the cave wall. It's shockingly difficult to do—and amazing to realize I was literally standing in the footsteps of an ancestor who made their mark over 30 millennia ago. Images like this inspired me to found the nonprofit @ancientartarchive where we share and preserve humanity's oldest images. For more follow me @salvarezphoto and @ancientartarchive #spain #elcastillio Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by Prasenjeet Yadav @prasen.yadav Text by @petergwin: This image was taken two years ago on a steep cliff overlooking two small villages in India's remote Spiti Valley, but it can be traced directly back to a photograph taken some 50 years ago. In 1970 pioneering wildlife biologist George Schaller snapped the first recorded photo of a snow leopard in the wild, and for nearly two decades afterward, it would remain the only known image of the so-called ghost cats that prowl the Roof of the World. In 2018 Prasenjeet Yadav was funded by @insidenatgeo to photograph snow leopards in his native India. By that time, camera traps had helped to bring the creatures into a somewhat better view, but they still remained highly elusive. He spent months with local researchers from @snowleopardtrust, exploring high-altitude gorges and icy ridgelines in subfreezing temperatures, scouting for just the right spots to set up his camera traps. "I had to discover how to think like a snow leopard," Prasenjeet says. This camera trap image was taken close to a high pasture where ibex and blue sheep, the cats' favored prey, graze. "This was one of my first pictures," Prasenjeet says. "You think the cat looks startled—you should've seen my face when I opened the camera trap and found this image." Follow me @prasen.yadav for more photos from the biodiverse states of India.
Video by @kiliiiyuyan A fin whale surfaces in the southern waters of Disko Bay, Greenland. Marine mammals are sustainably hunted in Greenland's waters solely for local consumption. This system ensures that traditional ways of life can be sustained economically. Greenland uses Indigenous principles of conservation, resulting in an astounding level of biodiversity. That conservation success exceeds that of even government-protected areas, most of which have had the people living there forcibly removed. From an Indigenous viewpoint, there is no separation between humans and the natural world. Follow me @kiliiiyuyan for more from the Arctic and Indigenous worlds. #arctic #whale #greenland #Indigenous #conservation
Photo by @amivitale Wildlife rangers from a mobile scout team with Northern Rangelands Trust (@nrt_kenya) prepare for a night patrol in search of poachers in northern Kenya. Rangers like these literally put their lives on the line to protect and care for animals every day. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the work of rangers becomes more critical, as funding becomes more elusive—tourism has vanished. The threat to both livelihoods and nature grows ever greater. All over Africa, conservationists have reported an increase in illegal bushmeat hunting, and they fear organized poaching of rhino horn and ivory could be next. Learn more, including how to help, by following @amivitale and @nrt_kenya. @thephotosociety @photography.for.good #kenya #conservation #rhinos #africa #WorldRangerDay
Photo by @pete_k_muller “The nights are the hardest for me,” says Carly Ingersoll, a high school psychologist in Paradise, California. “It feels like I come home to a stranger’s house. I know that’s not rational, because it is my house, but losing so much around it completely changed my sense of emotional connection to it.” The rented house where Carly lives is one of only a handful of structures that survived the so-called Camp Fire in November 2018. Destroying nearly the entire town of Paradise and killing 86 people, the fire was the deadliest in the state's history. In the wake of the fire, Carly found herself living nearly alone in a neighborhood that once had dozens of residents. “We all have this need for community and belonging. But what is the process of rebuilding not only the physical structures that we lost but rebuilding the actual community that existed here,” she asks. Her question is emblematic of the ways in which environmental transformation has residual effects on our social fabric. Carly’s story is part of a new @natgeodocs and @RealRonHoward documentary entitled Rebuilding Paradise, which releases today. I joined the team because of my work on the concept of #solastalgia, a new word coined to describe the emotional distress that often accompanies major forms of environmental transformation. Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz Eroded marine sediments are exposed below sea level in the Mangystau basin in Kazakhstan. We had the place all to ourselves, but still wore face masks in the old 4x4 Russian ambulance we took to get out there in these pandemic times. I felt lucky to have this rare glimpse into a place that few have ever seen from above. To explore more of our Earth from the air, follow @geosteinmetz.
Photos by Kris Graves @themaniwasnt I was raised in and around the borough of Queens in New York City. When I graduated from college in 2004, I moved back. I've been photographing the ever-changing landscape and architecture in Queens ever since. Most of my work has focused on the rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in western Queens, which lies one stop from Manhattan on every subway line and is growing twice as fast as any other neighborhood within New York City. Mister Softee on a hot night, Astoria Park (first image); a view of Manhattan from Long Island City (second); 5Pointz Artist Studios a few weeks before it was demolished by the owner and replaced with two 40-plus-story residential towers (third); construction sites are a constant fixture in Long Island City: these towers are all located within a five 5-block radius of Queens Plaza (fourth); and writer and educator Erica Cardwell and I one late afternoon in Ralph Demarco Park in Astoria. To see more of my work, please follow @themaniwasnt and @kgpnyc.
Photo by @jimmychin Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright size up Mount Midgard in the Fenriskjefte Range, aka the Wolf’s Jaw, in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. Cedar and Alex climbed the first ascent of this 1,500-foot tower in two long pitches. Temperatures hovered around -20° F, so a bit chilly for rock climbing. Their one-day push culminated in an 80-foot-tall balanced rock on the summit. For more images of the last wild places on Earth, follow @jimmychin.
Photo by Muhammed Muheisen @mmuheisen This colorful alley caught my eye as I roamed the streets in Athens, Greece. I was happy to see downtown full of life and color—the last time I walked these alleys was in April during the lockdown, and it was empty. On June 15, Greece eased restrictions on international air travel, allowing tourists from most countries to land from abroad. For more photos and videos from different parts of the world, follow me @mmuheisen and @mmuheisenpublic. #muhammedmuheisen #Greece #Athens #DailyLife
Photo by @irablockphoto The Atlas Mountains in Morocco are home to the endangered Barbary macaques. This parent and child were attracting tourists near Ifrane National Park. The park, with its Atlas cedar forests, is home to this species—the only macaques living outside Asia. Their thick fur and intelligent eyes attract passing travelers who, if not careful, could get their drinks and food stolen by these clever primates. Follow @irablockphoto for more travel stories. #irablock #barbarymacaques #morocco #atlasmountains #ifranenationalpark
Photo by Keith Ladzinski @ladzinski Spring storms drop welcome rain over the farming fields of Frankenmuth, Michigan. Agriculture and tourism are the primary economies of this part of the state, an area uniquely positioned between lake Huron and Lake Michigan. To see more photos of the Great Lakes, please visit @ladzinski.
Photo by Cristina Mittermeier @Mitty This baby southern sea lion huddled close to a massive bull for an afternoon snooze while his mother was out feeding. They spent their time lounging on the rocks together in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) in what appeared to be a wholesome moment. Nature, however, is neither merciful nor cruel, and this big male had a secret agenda. He planned on keeping the pup hostage so when the mother returned from her feeding foray, he could use the captive pup to coerce her into mating with him. While the young sea lion wasn’t necessarily in any danger, I was relieved when it was able to return to its mother unharmed. Photographing wildlife in their natural environments is a beautiful and wondrous experience, but it can also be nerve-wracking. All we can do as observers is watch nature’s drama unfold and hope for the best. Follow me @Mitty for more stories from my work as a conservation photographer with my team @SeaLegacy and learn more about the animals we are working to protect across the globe.
Photo by @pete_k_muller "If it had just been the house that burned down we would have been fine,” says Matt Gates, a police officer in Paradise, California, a town largely destroyed by wildfire in November 2018. “But it's more than that. It's all your neighbors. It's your church. The school is gone. The stores. The restaurants you liked to go to. It's all gone." Matt explains a loss of a sense of community that I’ve encountered among those living through environmental transformation the world over. The physical places where we live are, in essence, stages upon which our lives and relationships unfold. The destruction of the physical creates a rupture in community, which is often the most painful part of the process for many. In the wake of fire, as he patrolled a ghost town, Matt experienced a type of phantom vision. “When I'm working now, I'll instinctively look over at what used to be the less-than-reputable places where there used to be stolen cars and stuff. Of course everything is gone but it's almost like I still see it." Matt's story is part of @rebuildingparadisefilm, a powerful new @natgeodocs film by @realronhoward that releases to the public tomorrow. Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by Saumya Khandelwal @khandelwal_saumya A rural health-care worker returns after a day's work of spreading awareness about COVID-19, in Khajuha, India. She's an accredited social health activist, an occupation designed to deliver a range of health-care services to villages. Follow me on @khandelwal_saumya for more from South Asia.
Video by @bertiegregory Watching this mystical silhouette dive in the morning sun and then approach was a dreamlike experience. This is a male dugong coming down to feed on seagrass in the Red Sea. Dugongs are closely related to manatees, with their top halves looking very similar. Their bottom halves, however, are different. Unlike the manatee’s paddle-shape tail, the dugong tail is fluked, like a dolphin's. It’s thought that because of this tail, dugongs were the inspiration for stories of mermaids. The small yellow fish in the shot are juvenile golden trevally. They hang out with dugongs to snatch any invertebrates spooked up by the disturbance. Follow @bertiegregory for more wildlife adventures! #redsea #dugong #diving #underwater #ocean
Photo by Brendan Hoffman @hoffmanbrendan Gudong, who uses only one name per local custom, poses for a portrait before milking goats at the nomad camp where she lives with her family and several others, along the upper reaches of the Indus River in western Tibet. She used an imaginative system to keep the goats lined up for easy milking—winding a rope in and out of their horns until they were tied together in this arrangement, which they seemed completely accustomed to. Follow me @hoffmanbrendan for more human stories from around the world. #goats #tibet Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photo by @paulnicklen In the incredibly nutrient-rich waters off the coast of British Columbia, marine species have everything they need to grow big. Really big. The giant Pacific octopus, for example, gets larger than any of its cousins. The specimen currently holding the record for size measured 30 feet (9.1 m) across and weighed more than 600 lbs (272 kg). Don’t worry–I also find this fact hard to believe. On average, this species measures closer to 10 feet (3m) in length and weighs in around 110 lbs (50 kg). The octopus in this photo, taken at God's Pocket Marine Provincial Park, was slightly smaller than average but still incredibly impressive: He stole my underwater housing right out of my hands, then started trucking off into the murky depths to stash it in his den. I was blinded by the water that had flooded my mask from laughing, but I did eventually manage to find him and coax it back. Follow me @PaulNicklen for more close encounters. Photographed in #BC with @Mitty for @SeaLegacy. #NatureLovers #Octopus #Love #Beauty
Videos by David Chancellor @chancellordavid This has been one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life, and I know how strange that is when so many are going through such a difficult time. These elephants arrived as orphans, long before we even knew about COVID-19, and they’ve been cared for by extraordinary human beings who must now release them into a new and complex environment. Over the past few days I’ve walked side by side with these elephants and those who have cared for them for four years, as they guided them for the last time to a water point deep within Sera Community Conservancy. They slipped away, hoping the elephants would find their new family among the herds already established here. At camp that night Tyson Lenanketai didn’t sleep; he thought of going back to where he’d last seen the elephants "just to check" but he resisted. In the morning we left before dawn and found the tracks of elephants known as Nadosit, Nchurai, Bawa, and Loisaba, which had joined up with a larger herd. We followed them at a distance until it became obvious that they’d split again and gone their own way toward a dam. There, we found them once more, and Tyson and another caretaker said their final goodbyes. From now on they’d watch the elephants via the tracking collars fitted on their necks. Now they are walking wild. Once again, I’m in awe of those who protect and preserve the planet's wildlife and resources. To see more follow me @chancellordavid. @r.e.s.c.u.e @nrt_kenya.
Photo by Robbie Shone @shonephoto Lechuguilla Cave, part of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, is beautiful and highly protected. Access is strongly controlled and only given to experienced cavers with specific scientific or exploration goals within certain parts of the cave. Posing for scale here, an American speleologist admires the giant tunnel known as Lebarge Borehole. At this point in the cave, it offered the first opportunity to collect drinking water, something our expedition team required because it's so hot down there.
Photo by @babaktafreshi In the pitch-black starry night of Death Valley National Park, a car heads downhill. The yellow glow on the horizon resembles a sunrise, but it is Las Vegas, 90 miles away (145 km), at midnight! Inside cities with so much light, you are enveloped in an artificial sky glow—the natural night environment is gone. According to International Dark Sky Association, the negative effects of this loss might seem intangible, but a growing body of evidence links the brightening night sky to the following: increased energy consumption; disrupting the ecosystem and wildlife; harming human health; and worsening crime and safety. The good news is that light pollution, unlike many other forms of pollution, is reversible—and each one of us can make a difference by learning more. Look for "Our nights are getting brighter" on natgeo.com and explore more with me @babaktafreshi. #lightpollution #saveournightsky #lasvegas @deathvalleynps @idadarksky Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for more on this story.
Photos by @stevewinterphoto It's International Tiger Day! Let’s celebrate one of the most powerful, mystical beings on our planet. I’ve spent 20 years documenting this magnificent animal for @natgeo, the largest of the big cats—and the most endangered. There are perhaps 4,000 left in the wild across Asia, with that number split among five subspecies. India’s Bengals have the most hope, with about 2,300; meanwhile, just a few hundred Indochinese, Siberian, Sumatran, and Malay tigers remain. I've documented tigers in Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan, Sumatra, and India, where this iconic species faces the same threats: habitat loss, deforestation, and poaching for a lucrative, growing trade in tiger skins and bones used in “tiger bone wine,” with China as the largest consumer, followed by Vietnam, and Laos. This deadly commerce is driven by consumer demand—and masterminded by international cartels. When demand ceases, so too will the poaching of this beautiful cat. This pandemic has been a harsh reminder that our survival is inextricably linked to the health of the planet. Saving the landscapes these animals inhabit will protect other animals and conserve forests that sequester carbon, mitigating climate change. So if we can save big cats we can help save ourselves. Mom and cub, Bandhavgarh National Park, India (first image); Sumatran tiger, caught with a camera trap (second); Sumatran tiger cub that spent four days in a snare and lost its right front leg (third); and a year-old cub—the same one in the first image, 10 months later. Check out our Nat Geo book, "Tigers Forever: Saving the World’s Most Endangered Big Cat,” written by Sharon Guynup, a NG Explorer. #InternationalTigerDay Check out Nat Geo's link in bio for our most recent story on captive tigers in the United States.
Photo by @amivitale Samburu warriors dance around a fire in northern Kenya's 850,000-acre (345,000 ha) Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy. During the 1970s and '80s, the area was devastated by poaching, and the elephants were hunted to near extinction. Without the elephants, nature's eco-engineers, the land and the people suffered. Strong investments in community-based conservation helped turn around the land. Today, more than 8,700 elephants roam the region. These men are part of that new transformative wave of thinking. It goes far beyond traditional conservation methods, and dives deeper into the core value of what nature represents, where those who live here are proud stewards of the land and the wildlife it holds. Learn more about community-based conservation and what it can accomplish by following @amivitale and @r.e.s.c.u.e. @conservationorg @thephotosociety @photography.for.good #kenya #conservation #magicalkenya #africa #campfire
Photo by @tamaramerino_photography Children play in abandoned caves next to their own cave home. This Spanish town, called Guadix, is considered the European "capital of caves" for its approximate 2,000 underground houses, spread over an area of 200 hectares (500 acres). Most are occupied, with about 4,500 citizens. The caves have been used for thousands of years. The security and isolation that prehistoric populations found in these primitive natural shelters would later be sought by modern cultures, like some in southern Spain. This photo is part of my series Underland, which documents communities living underground or in caves around the world. Follow me on @tamaramerino_photography for more photos from Underland. #caves #undergroundhouse #underland
Photo by @johnstanmeyer Along the banks of the Sindh River, a toy vendor stands among shrines to various Hindu deities, part of the Shri Shanideva Maharaj Temple complex in Seondha, Madhya Pradesh, India. Like many rivers that are sacred in India, the Sindh River is heavily polluted. The photo is from my latest story, "India: Water Everywhere, and Nowhere," in the August issue, now on newsstands worldwide. @outofedenwalk #walkingindia #edenwalk #india #seondha #madhyapradesh Check out Nat Geo's IG Story and link in bio for more.
Photo by @johnstanmeyer Dalveender Singh, a 25-year-old boatman on the Beas River, wraps his turban before ferrying passengers. Singh is one of many who convey people and supplies along the country’s dense web of waterways. Photograph from my latest story in @natgeo magazine, "India: Water Everywhere, and Nowhere," in the August 2020 issue, now on newsstands worldwide. @outofedenwalk #walkingindia #edenwalk #india #punjab #johnstanmeyer Check out Nat Geo's IG Story and link in bio for more.
Photo by @johnstanmeyer Today and in the coming weeks I'll be sharing work from my latest story, from India, which is titled "Water Everywhere, and Nowhere" in the August issue. This scene is a village of blacksmiths in Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh, near the Yamuna River. Nomadic and members of the lower caste, the group is composed of about 100 people from various families and travels along the river working their trade. @outofedenwalk #walkingindia #edenwalk #india #chitrakoot #uttarpradesh Check out Nat Geo's IG Story and link in bio for more.
Photos by @stevewinterphoto I’m excited to be part of the @printsforwildlife campaign, where for the first time ever, more than 60 renowned wildlife photographers from 21 countries have joined forces to raise funds for conservation and support @AfricanParksNetwork, an NGO which manages 18 national parks across Africa. Each photographer is donating 50 limited-edition prints of one of his or her best works for sale for $100 each, for one month only—and all the proceeds (after printing and handling) will to go African Parks. This is so they can continue to protect wildlife and support local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. We all joined this campaign to help counter the devastating impact this pandemic is having on protected areas and people in Africa; the collapse of tourism has stopped a critical a lifeline. This is a way to help conservation while also having special access to some extraordinary imagery. Thanks for sharing in and for supporting conservation in Africa! Some of the other photographers are: @shaazjung @shannon_wild @kiliiiyuyan @mia_collis @daisygilardini @clement.wild @pie_aerts @ladyvenom #printsforwildlife #AfricanParks
Photo by @enricsala The Southern Line Islands are one of the wildest places in the ocean. Diving here with @natgeopristineseas was like getting in a time machine and traveling back to the ocean of the past. We spent six weeks establishing a baseline model for healthy coral reefs, diving for more than a thousand hours. Studying pristine reefs like these help us envision what the ocean of the future can look like, if we give nature the space to come back.
Photo by @carltonward This aerial photo shows men and women on horseback, bringing cattle into pens for sorting at Buck Island Ranch in Florida’s northern Everglades. If you look closely you can also see cow dogs at work. Florida cattle are brought briefly into pens two or three times per year. Otherwise they live in low densities among seminative pastures and woodlands, typically less than one cow per five acres. While livestock are a major cause of deforestation and environmental degradation in parts of the world, cattle ranches in Florida are currently protecting some of the best remaining wildlife habitat from more intensive agriculture and suburban development. In fact, there is no path for the recovery of the endangered Florida panther, which needs to expand its territory, without the conservation of Florida ranches. Buck Island Ranch is also a research ranch, owned and operated by Archbold Biological Station. Shot for the @PathofthePanther project with @insidenatgeo. Check out @carltonward to see drone video from this same scene and @archboldstation to learn more. @flcattlemen @fl_wildcorridor #ranch #cattle #aerial