franslanting Frans Lanting

National Geographic Photographer || Author || Speaker || Creator of images, stories and events to inspire wonder and concern about our living planet.
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“Blizzard of Birds” California’s Klamath Basin is a funnel along the Pacific Flyway. Millions of waterfowl pass through it on their annual migratory journeys between the Far North and wintering grounds in temperate climates. Today the wetlands in the basin have shrunk to a fraction of their former size, and what remains is now carefully managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in order to allow the multitudes of birds dependent on it to survive in a much-reduced habitat. Enormous flocks of snow geese arrive here after long flights from the Arctic. It gives me chills when I think of their endurance—some come from as far away as islands off Siberia. Stay tuned for more sights and sounds of these amazing birds, which scientists call Anser Hyperboreus; it means “Bird from beyond the North Wind.” Whoever came up with that name was not just a scientist, but a poet as well. I like people who can use both sides of their brain and unite them. Photography requires that as well; you have to be able to analyze and synthesize to create interesting images. photography

21299 179 Jan 19, 2018

We call it the gathering of the tribe when we come together once a year at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., for a week of meetings and events. We are photographers and storytellers with a sense of purpose. We inspire and challenge each other with new work, we trade tales from the past and embrace the newcomers who show up for the first time. Here are some of us last week at the original entrance to the Headquarters where eclectic, talented people have walked in and out for more than a century. Shown here from left to right are some of my favorite image makers on the planet: and her partner , who are an awesome underwater team. David has been making remarkable photos underwater for 50 years and amazed us with his newest images. and are forces of nature on their own, but together they are a singular force for nature with their advocacy projects for Check out their work! On her own is a lyrical storyteller and videographer, but as my partner in life and work she enriches everything I do. I feel blessed to stand next to these amazing people who are helping all of us see the world in a different way. travel creative photography

10739 176 Jan 18, 2018

Emperor penguins never set foot on land. They gather on the sea ice that forms around Antarctica each winter to raise their young. It’s a race against time because they have to fledge their chicks before the sea ice melts in late summer. It is hard to know yet what the ultimate effects of climate change will be for these remarkable birds, but the worst-case scenario is that the sea ice will start melting from under the feet of young emperors before they are ready to go to sea. The birds cannot go anywhere else because the massive edge of the Antarctic ice shelf prevents them from going inland. Just like polar bears in the Arctic, emperor penguins are totally dependent on sea ice for their survival. They are like canaries in a global coal mine when it comes to bearing witness to how our planet is changing. Follow me and to learn how emperors are coping with life.

34243 224 Jan 13, 2018

If you are wondering how I stayed warm while working with emperor penguins in Antarctica, here’s a glimpse behind the scenes. I wore an outfit designed for people who work outside in extreme cold for long periods of time like polar explorers and Iditarod dog mushers. It included a very thick body liner that kept my body core warm. It made me look and feel like a blimp, but it was a lifesaver. My boots had very thick insulated soles that kept my feet well above the ice and they never got cold. This outfit is different from the kind of flexible, lightweight clothing mountaineers wear who need to be more mobile. My work required me to be immobile while observing emperors for long periods. Even so, there were times when I could barely cope and it only increased my admiration for the birds, who had nothing but their feathers and their ability to huddle together to survive the extreme conditions that are part of their way of life. If any of you would like to visit Antarctica yourself with one the ships that offer great trips along the Antarctic coast, you don’t have to equip yourself the way I did. Temperatures during a ship-based itinerary are moderated by the ocean and typically do not go far below the freezing point. But you won’t be able to get close to emperor penguins who can only be reached by icebreaker or if you join a private ice-based expedition like the one I organized. Follow me and for more stories from the frigid edges of the planet.

22340 303 Jan 7, 2018

"Happy New Life” Emperor penguin chicks are born on the feet of their parents. That’s where they crawl out of their eggs, which are kept off the ice by incubating adults, who cradle the eggs on their feet for two months. Here, a newborn chick sitting on its mother’s feet is getting a brief peek at the world before it gets covered again by a brood flap, which keeps eggs and chicks warm even under the extreme conditions emperors face during their reproduction cycle. If we can learn how to nurture our planet the way emperors take care of their offspring, we’ll all be better off. Follow me to see what emperor penguins have to do to stay warm when it gets really cold.

51768 471 Jan 3, 2018

When emperor penguin chicks are a month old they are no longer guarded by their parents around the clock and they begin to form creches where they keep each other warm by huddling together, just like their parents do. When parents return from the sea they head for the creches to pick up their chicks. Stay tuned for more scenes from the amazing world of emperors by following me and

56326 431 Jan 2, 2018

When it gets very cold, emperor penguins huddle together in large groups to keep each other warm. It’s the only way they can survive the brutal conditions they face in the course of their incredible reproduction cycle on the sea ice off Antarctica. During mid-winter blizzards, when males are incubating eggs on their feet with only their brood flaps to cover the future chicks, temperatures can drop to -70 degrees. When I made this image it was not quite that bad, only -30 degrees, but I was standing on top of a platform perched at the edge of a colony and I had to stay still to avoid spooking the birds. It was an ordeal, and it took a while to get warm again, but the images were worth it. Follow me for more stories from the amazing world of emperor penguins and check for more videos of our fieldwork together. travel creative

59017 549 Dec 29, 2017

Photo by The holidays are a time for togetherness and in that spirit I’m sharing this image of an emperor penguin family gathered around their chick. Right now it’s early summer in Antarctica and that means multitudes of young emperor penguin chicks are being nurtured on sea ice around the margins of the frozen continent. Their parents alternate between shuttling in food from open water and guarding their adorable offspring. It is an epic example of parental commitment under extreme conditions. Follow me and for more stories about heroism in the natural world.

86739 1062 Dec 27, 2017

Photo by No matter where you are and what you believe in we wish you all Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, Prettige Feestdagen, Mirary Fety Sambatra, اجازة سعيدة, 節日快樂, Selamat Hari Raya, 幸せな休日, Furaha Likizo, छुट्टियां आनंददायक हों, 행복 휴일, تعطیلات شاد and Peace on Earth. Follow us for more images and stories about what we all have in common, our amazing living planet.

22316 208 Dec 24, 2017

“Ivory is for Elephants” At the end of 2017 the Chinese government plans to ban ivory sales, by the terms of an agreement President Xi Jinping made with President Obama in 2015. Let’s make sure our elected officials in the US hold up their side of the bargain in 2018 and do not reopen the import of elephant ivory and other body parts from Zambia and Zimbabwe—as some interest groups are proposing to do. China’s ivory ban is a great gift to elephants and all of us who care about their survival. We salute the many individuals and organizations worldwide who banded together with their counterparts in China to make this happen. Our special thanks and gratitude go to Save the Elephants, to Wild Aid, and to the World Wildlife Fund network. I offer this image of a gathering of bull elephants at a waterhole in Botswana in recognition of this occasion and hope you will add your support to the organizations who will continue the hard work ahead. Follow me for more images and stories from the wild.

89226 1055 Dec 21, 2017

Photo by Wildfires are a cause of global warming and they contribute to ice melting around the poles. Fire and ice have been present on our planet for a long time, but now humans are meddling with the mix. Most wildfires in the USA are caused by people and that is the case as well in other parts of the world. The annual burnings of forests in the Amazon and Borneo are major contributors to climate change. Whether it has a human origin or not, the current Thomas fire in Southern California, which we shared with you in previous posts, is poised to become the biggest in California’s history. It has burned more than 270.000 acres and released massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, and that will have an impact, if ever so slight, on the shape of ice in Antarctica where this photo was made. That frigid continent has been at the edge of human attention until now, but it will become a major concern in the next decades as its melting ice will change coastlines around the world and along with that the lives of billions of people. Fire and ice are connected and so are we. Follow me for more stories about our changing planet. photosociety

21604 134 Dec 20, 2017

Photo by “California Burning” One of the largest wildfires in California’s history is still raging through the rugged coastal mountains near Santa Barbara. A few nights ago the hills looked like a scene from the apocalypse as the flames were encroaching upon homes on the outskirts of town. More than eight thousand firefighters from all over the American West are combating the blaze in an operation that is as massive as the fire itself. California is used to wildfires, but the ferocity and the magnitude of recent outbreaks is rattling people. Governor Jerry Brown calls these megafires part of the “New Normal,” as the state is adapting to the consequences of climate change. Our local firefighters are heroes when it comes to battling the flames, but they can only address the symptoms of a planet under pressure. We need a different and much bigger global force to address the root causes of the inferno that will impact all of us unless we act. Check the hashtags below to learn how you can engage. Follow me for more stories about our living planet.

19443 299 Dec 18, 2017