Behind the Lens Photos - National Geographic Photographers: The Best Job in the World - National Geographic Channel - Sub-Saharan AfricaWe use first and third party cookies to improve our service, personalize your advertising and remember your website preference. Cookies are very small text files that are stored on your computer when you visit some websites. National Geographic recently launched a new section on its website called Field Test, giving readers a pretty unique look at the behind-the-scenes stories from its photographers. Starting out with photographer Michael Nichols, National Geographic’s Field Test takes us into the heart of Africa, in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, giving us a little bit of insight into how the up-close-and-personal wildlife photos are taken, what technology was used, and of course, we get to see some gorgeous photography in the process. Michael Nichols is working with a micro-copter, an adapted toy helicopter, to photograph lions in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The section not only gives insight into the amazing innovations in the field of wildlife photography, as is shown in the image above, but the photographer has also had the chance to convey his personal thoughts through dispatches sent to National Geographic, with about 15 already posted.
The gadgets you’re going to come across in Field Test go much further than just using hefty DSLR cameras.
Camera traps are usually triggered by movement, but Nichols had a camera trap specifically designed, equipped with a live video feed. The stunning wildlife photos featured in Field Test are all the more fascinating knowing what technology was used to capture those images, and accompanied with Nichols’ personal accounts of each day, makes it a must-see for any photography buff.
Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt.
The National Geographic Society has globally redefined conservation, exploration and discovery.
Inspiring people to care about the planet,” that’s what The National Geographic Society is all about.
Through their monthly publication, National Geographic Magazine and other forms of media – radio, television, film, music, books and social media – the society has an audience of more than 400 million people globally. Two notable programmes – explorers-in-residence and emerging explorers – help build this repertoire. Standing on the podium after I’d received the award, I spoke openly and without fear about the challenges I had faced. This was happening through consumption of birds that hunters had caught using pesticides in the largest irrigation schemes in Kenya.
My co-winner was Moi Enomenga from South America, a warrior of the Huaorani tribe, who are native Indians living in one of the most isolated parts of the Amazon. Enomenga speaks no English and I speak no Spanish, yet we had something in common and somehow we were able to communicate. An accolade from as prestigious a place as National Geographic has opened many doors for me and introduced me to extraordinary people, both in the Nat Geo fraternity and beyond. It’s typically crowded, as the general public strolls within the buildings to enjoy these exhibitions. As an emerging explorer, I get to meet and network with other explorers in residence, in a friendly environment of equality. The buzz was all about his record-breaking descent to the deepest part of the ocean, the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The young and highly excitable Luke Dollar who studies the fossa, a rare Madagascan carnivore, and Stuart Pimm, a renowned scientist who works on savannahs and lions, are two of my close associates.
One night at Sweetwaters Sanctuary she told me about an incredible parrot named N’Kisi, who was more than an ordinary Congo African Grey parrot. Being part of the emerging explorers family means I not only get recognised at Nat Geo, but also have my own card! The Nat Geo network welcomes all authentic stories I can bring from Africa about elephants and ivory trade, rhino poaching and lion conservation.
Tanned, rugged and casual, he’s always beaming, enthusiastic and eager to hear the latest news.
Enter the elevator, descend to the basement and exit into another world where people speak techie jargon, wear jeans and T-shirts, have long hair and bushy beards. Abernathy looks like National Geographic – young, bearded, daring and happy to be in dangerous places. I have been involved with National Geographic since 2008 and every year the connection gets stronger and stronger. Everyone agreed with Matteson, that Turere should be nominated the next National Geographic Emerging Explorer. What’s great is that you [US residents] can watch the entire 53-minute film for free over on SnagFilms.
A group of tourist photographers in the UK found themselves in the middle of a tense, awkward situation this week when they were confronted, detained by, and accused of paedophelia by a group of angry mothers who thought they were photographing children. The Canon EOS M line of mirrorless cameras hasn't been a big hit—at least not in the US of A—but Canon may do something big with it by the end of this year. Here's an amazing short film titled "The Old New World" by photographer and animator Alexey Zakharov of Moscow, Russia. When people say you should do "anything" to get the shot, getting decapitated or losing a hand might not be what they had in mind. We could just let the swirly bokeh of the photo above sweep us away, but alas, we have a new lens to tell you about. Everybody is "reinventing" things these days, but even still, we would be lying if we said we weren't at least intrigued by the all-new Impossible Project I-1.
Lytro has ditched the world of consumer cameras, and if the Lytro Immerge wasn't proof enough of this decision, their latest announcement should seal it.
I mean, what was he thinking, casually snapping a few pictures as dramatic sunlight broke through the clouds after one of last week’s late spring rainstorms? A little over a month ago, we shared some amazing drone photos of Hong Kong that truly captured the density of that megacity.
When snapping pictures of wild animals in the great outdoors, there are some animals that photographers generally know to be careful around.
If you love old film cameras and constantly want to know more about them, then we've got the perfect YouTube channel for you. There is a big craze for Sony full frame (FF) mirrorless cameras at the moment, and seeing people rush onto that bandwagon is like watching lemmings following each other over the cliff. Wish you could capture smooth, shake-free video or photographs on the move with your smartphone? For his new project Lux Noctis, photographer Reuben Wu lit and photographed landscapes at night by mounting powerful LED lights to GPS-enabled drones.
The 42MP Sony a7R II has got to be one of the most anticipated camera systems in the history of cameras, and for good reason. Over the years, I’ve had the chance to play with all sorts of camera systems, from cheap point-and-shoots to $30,000 80-megapixel behemoths. Whenever photographers need something that isn’t made by camera manufacturers, they turn to Yamaguchi, because he is the only person who can help them obtain that custom piece of gear. The relationship often goes the opposite way, too, when Yamaguchi has a cool idea of his own and the photographers make use of it. We are always looking for more interesting and insightful photography tips and techniques to share with our readers. Animals are at the heart of many of the stories we cover, and, for many readers, they’re synonymous with the name National Geographic. The photographers behind these images share a singular passion and have dedicated their careers to showing us amazing behaviors in a way that makes us take notice and maybe even fall in love. In celebration of the creatures both exotic and familiar who inhabit our planet, we reached out to eight of our photographers to ask: Of all the animals you’ve photographed, which one do you feel the most kinship with? A female American bison (Bison bison) is photographed at the Oklahoma City Zoo as part of Joel Sartore’s Photo Ark project.
My favorite season is winter, and my favorite animals inhabiting the pure white winter landscape are the ptarmigans. These males—two rounded balls of feather—were the boldest wild animals I have ever encountered.
Beverly and Dereck Joubert made a film about Legadema the leopard and later started the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative. A gray wolf from the Mollie’s pack moves through Pelican Valley in Yellowstone National Park.
The first story I worked on for National Geographic magazine deals with an animal that resembles humans in many ways: social mammals, strong family bonds, top predators, and a global distribution that rivals our own.
I remember standing alone in the darkness listening to the wolves playing a hundred meters away.
Matted with blood, an African wild dog—named Tremblant by researchers—pauses from devouring his impala kill to watch for other pack members.
For two years in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, I photographed Tremblant doing extraordinary things that never ceased to amaze me.


The jewel wasp makes its living by stabbing its stinger into the brain of a cockroach and injecting a special venom that disables the roach’s voluntary muscle control. A harp seal pup seeks shelter from the relentless winds that scour the sea ice covering the Gulf of St. While on assignment for National Geographic magazine I discovered a magical place on this Earth that entered into my soul and has changed the way I think—the world of the harp seal. For our work we pull our fishing boat into the ice and stay in the pack, drifting with the seals day and night.
Samburu warriors from northern Kenya interact with a black rhino at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Hi guys, the piece looks very much like it’s about EIGHT photographers and eight animals.
Minnesota native Jim Brandenburg traveled the globe as a photographer with National Geographic magazine for over three decades.
Subscribe to National Geographic magazine and save. Print and digital editions available for as little as $12. Only about 1000 of those photos were selected and published by the famous yellow-bordered journal.Of these 1000 published photos, National Geographic selected the 10 best images and created a 50-minute film that offers a behind-the-scenes look at how they were made. You can remove any cookies already stored on your computer, but these may prevent you from using parts of our website.
In order to get close-up shots of the Serengeti lions, Nichols and his team use a micro-copter, a remote-controlled toy helicopter which can carry a still camera, and literally dangle it right over the heads of the lions to get shots like the one you see below. The team has at its disposal a remote controlled car, digital cameras modified to shoot infrared images at night, and most interesting of all, camera traps that have been modified to suit the photographer’s needs. Since 1888, National Geographic has been in a class of its own, supporting expeditions that bring new discoveries to light.
To ensure continued commitment in preserving and examining the world’s ecosystem, National Geographic not only has knowledgeable explorers, but offers programmes that cultivate on- the-rise explorers. The explorers-in-residence programme seeks to foster affiliations between the society and outstanding scientific enthusiasts as well as explorers, while the emerging explorers programme acknowledges young and noteworthy explorers, funding each one USD $10,000 to advance their studies and discoveries. However, conservation and environmental activism has been a dangerous, lonely, and thankless expedition.
I was trying to raise the government’s attention to the crisis facing lions, hyenas and vultures, resulting from intentional poisoning using pesticides planned for agriculture.
The Kenyan Ambassador to the US, Elkana Odembo, congratulated me warmly in front of the National Geographic top brass.
He informed me that all his tribe has ever wanted was to live in peace in the rainforest, as his ancestors had for generations. In the days following the award ceremony we spent time together and he gave me a book written about him. As an emerging explorer, I am often invited to visit the National Geographic headquarters, give lectures and meet with staff.
The main glass doors on the ground floor open up to a circular lobby, which has a floor engraved with the National Geographic Atlas. The offices are a network of hallways and interconnected buildings – my first few meetings required a guide to show me around the labyrinth. This is the philanthropic section of National Geographic and it supports much of the research and exploration.
When I met James Cameron, the director of Avatar, he was hanging out in the break room at Nat Geo sipping coffee. Henson, on the National Geographic sponsored expedition to reach the North Pole for the first time in 1909. Many of these people have become good friends, particularly those I work with on a day-to-day basis.
Spending time with explorers at the various Nat Geo events is a rare opportunity to hear their amazing stories first hand. He showed me photos of him cutting up cardboard boxes to build models of the spacecraft that will descend onto the surface of this frigid lunar landscape. The first time Jane visited N’Kisi’s owner, Aimee Morgana in Manhattan, the parrot shouted from its perch, “Got a chimp then?” N’Kisi had seen Dr. He sits me in his tiny office in front of a microphone and interviews me for 10 minutes to get a take on my latest adventures. Above ground, the National Geographic Society building looks and feels like a busy office and everyone dresses formally for business. He was, from footage I saw of him, demonstrating cameras designed to stick on whales using suction cups, where he was leaning precariously out of a small zodiac pitching in the waves of the Antarctic Ocean.
I get that leadership is not about the size of your following, it’s about courage to stand up for what is right even if you are the only one. But that's what one tourist almost did while trying to get a photo of a plane landing at the dangerous St.
Collins noticed something curious about the reissues: the Phil Collins on the new album covers looks quite a bit older. Having gear stolen is always painful, but a photographer in Spain recently got it much worse than that.
It's Lensbaby's exciting new Twist 60, and in case the portrait didn't already clue you in, it's Lensbaby's take on the iconic Petzval lens. Yesterday, Lytro debuted "the world’s first Light Field solution for film and television," a 755MP cinema camera monster. Appropriately enough, the Leica M design has been with us for over 60 years and has documented revolutions in both times of peace and war throughout history as the idea of a simple, easy to carry camera enabling it to be carried anywhere. From the front seat of his car in a suburban Boston Trader Joe’s parking lot, of all places?
Now, photographer Andy Yeung is back with the followup series Urban Fog: drone photos of Hong Kong shot at night as fog sweeps over the bustling metropolis. A man over in Belarus was killed recently after getting too close to a beaver he was trying to photograph.
It's called, appropriately enough, "Old Cameras" and even veteran film photographers might learn a thing or two from a few of the videos.
I’ve observed as the DSLR video revolution spread across the world, and watched as the lines between photography and videography started to blur as video cameras started to shoot stills and still cameras started to shoot video. For example, he’s developed tweaks that shorten the minimum focus distance for a wide angle lens, allowing photographers to take shots from extremely close perspectives. They are masters of camouflage, molting the brown feathers that make them blend in the stone desert of the tundra in summer and changing into snow-white plumage to suit the winter season.
They did not give the slightest sign of discomfort as I was approaching them and did not care about my presence even when I was at an arm’s-stretch distance.
Around 2003 [my husband] Dereck [Joubert] and I were fortunate to discover a newborn leopard cub. On many days she stared right at me, appearing to understand that we were not there to harm her but to protect her species. Their attention to each other, as if nothing else mattered, was part of the love affair I started feeling for all leopards. Ronan Donovan’s photographs of wolves will be featured in the May 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine. It also symbolizes wild places, places that haven’t been completely engulfed by western civilization.
The impala zigs and zags, but the 75-pound African wild dog isn’t fooled and takes a straight line, gaining at roughly 35 miles per hour. He was the gifted athlete and put that to use as a fearless, focused hunter who embraced his role in the pack.
Recent years of higher than normal temperatures in the gulf have lead to unstable ice and mass mortality of harp seal pups. They may not be as cute and cuddly as a giant panda bear, but these majestic creatures have captured my heart.
The photography draws me in, but the photos are made all the more powerful by the accompanying text.
I’m constantly in awe of NatGeo photographers and the stories they have the talent and guts to show us. He has done assignment work and has been published in numerous national and international publications including the New York Times, Life, Time, Audubon, Smithsonian, Natural History, GEO, Modern Maturity, BBC Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, National Wildlife, and Outside.His career with the National Geographic Society resulted in 23 magazine stories, several television features and many National Geographic books. Paula Kahumbu takes us into this magical world and shows where she and Kenya’s amazing ecosystem fit in. Initially formulated to concentrate on environmental edification and distribution of attained knowledge, the society has grown to support worldwide explorations, scientific research and conservation projects that exceed 10,000 in number. Despite Kenya’s many conservation and environmental commitments, it is difficult, frustrating work getting the government to listen to the truth about threats facing our wildlife, especially as a result of our own development practices.


I explained that it was not only lions that were being killed – humans were being poisoned too. I could not miss out the opportunity to tell him how sad I was, having to fight my own government to protect our national heritage.
Over cups of tea and through a translator, Enomenga gave me graphic details of how they fought off explorers, missionaries and other trespassers.
The ceiling, several floors above, has an image of night stars that completely blankets your view.
Every wall, every board, every desktop screams National Geographic, with eye catching, spectacular, enlarged photographs of places, people and animals, and all the covers of past magazines. Missions is headed by Terry Garcia, a slightly greying, handsome, sharp and passionate leader. I wanted two things – his signature on his card and to hear more about his incredible explorations.
Young Kevin Hand, a boyish 20 something planetary astrophysicist spoke passionately about his explorations on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons.
Goodall on TV and its statement was not surprising – African Grey parrots are known to be capable of more than mimicry. It’s a deck of cards with caricatures of all the emerging explorers and explorers in residence. Matteson, a blond, middle-aged man who has retained his cheeky boyish guise, looks like he just jumped off his surfboard in California. In his hand he had a long metal rod, and he was trying to attach these cups on whales out in the open sea. 13, I participated in celebrations marking 125 years of Nat Geo by connecting with fans and fellow explorers from every continent on Earth in a Google hangout. Being part of the National Geographic network not only strengthens my commitment to conservation, but inspires me to fearlessly pursue what I believe in, and trust myself that others will follow. Apparently, he was robbed of some extremely expensive Canon gear he was testing, including a pre-production Canon 1DX Mark II.
Fuji, gawking at the frescoes in the Vatican, or relishing spicy cuisine in Thailand, most people think of the destination for what it has to offer, from culture to scenery to sensational experiences.
The new "Smoovie" is an affordable, effective stabilizer for your smartphone or GoPro that literally fits in your pocket. They are invisible most of the time but loud and flashy if it is a prime necessity to be heard and seen. After feeding for a couple of hours they lay down in this amazing volcanic landscape in Iceland, covered by fresh snow. She was so exquisite in every way, from her camouflaged, beautiful fur coat to those piercing eyes. But he was more than that: Tremblant was the consummate family man who loved to play with the puppies and always put the pack first. Jennifer Hayes was on assignment with her husband and photographic partner, David Doubilet, for the May 2014 issue of National Geographic magazine.
This assignment brought us face-to-face with climate change and with the most beautiful creature in the world.
We have also updated the figures for remaining black rhinos based on the most recent information from the IUCN Red List.
His November 1997 National Geographic magazine feature, "North Woods Journal," was—according to editor William Allen—“the most photographs the magazine has ever published in one feature in its entire history … and by the way, using the least amount of film.” The bestseller Chased by the Light elaborates on Brandenburg’s experiences during the 90 days. In the 1950s however, they had no choice but to come out of the forest to defend themselves against oil companies. The lobby is usually decked out with an exhibition of some great explorer’s latest discoveries.
I have had the privilege of working with different branches of Nat Geo – TV, magazine, Nat Geo Explorer, Nat Geo Travel, Nat Geo Radio, Nat Geo Digital, Nat Geo Media, Nat Geo Kids and Nat Geo Learning – and each seems to work independently without much knowledge of the other.
Standing with one foot on a chair and his elbow on his knee, he munched on a muffin while chatting another explorer. He believes that this moon has a watery sea beneath an 8km deep ice sheet and his dream is to go to Europa and see if there is life down there. To test his remote controlled spacecraft, Kevin goes to the coldest places on earth and plays. My card depicts me with two of my favourite friends, Owen and Mzee, a baby hippo and giant tortoise duo that have an unbelievable friendship.
We talked about how important novel technology like GIS and Crittercams are in helping us learn more about animals and the remote and previously unvisited corners of the planet. She led us to her den, where we met this tiny little fluffy fur ball, who we later called Legadema.
As she grew, her steel-blue eyes turned an incredible shade of bright amber, and they were always attentive. Several minutes later I began to hear the sound of legs brushing through the tall grass in front of me.
It is extraordinary to see this pulse of life in the ice—to follow it from birth to beneath the surface for its first swim—and then watch the pups learn what it is to be a harp seal when their mother leaves. He told me how he went to school to learn how to read and write so that he could dedicate his life to defending the Ecuadorian Amazon Forest and his people’s way of life. And that’s what it’s like at National Geographic, you get to meet and chat with some of the most famous and interesting people in the world.
Jane told us about the results of serious experiments that were done to test this theory. Other Kenyans in this family include Dino Martins (an etymologist also named in 2011) and Louise and Meave Leakey who are explorers in residence.
Abernathy excitedly explained how they had just successfully retrieved the first footage from a camera that he designed for a leopard seal – an enormous aggressive carnivore also found in Antarctica. Even today, in a horrendous blizzard that would kill every cow on the ranch, bison do just fine. The cover features Enomenga and another native Indian virtually naked, holding deadly spears and looking fierce.
We sit for an hour talking about the latest issues and he offers advice on what I can do within Nat Geo.
She is best known for her chimpanzee stories, and lately Jane is also increasingly known for her fascination with animal intelligence. The parrot was recorded as Aimee looked at photographs in another room out of its eyesight.
The gadget was glued onto its fur and the footage retrieved of the seal racing deep underwater and attacking fish was heart stopping.
I was representing Africa and spoke about the need to acknowledge and reward local and traditional knowledge. The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) twice named him Magazine Photographer of the Year for his National Geographic magazine work.
The parrot correctly commented 32 times out of 123 – the likelihood of which is one in a billion. I described how 14-year-old Richard Turere invented the now famous ‘Lion Lights’, flashing bulbs that scare lions away from livestock stockades, thus protecting domestic herds and the lions that would otherwise be killed in retaliation. Three jet-black wolves froze in the beam of light before [racing] in the opposite direction. He was named Kodak Wildlife Photographer of the Year by BBC Wildlife Magazine and the Natural History Museum–London, and was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the North American Nature Photographers Association (NANPA).
We promised to travel to each other’s countries, a pledge guaranteed by the ambassador who assured me a visa. This simple invention is one way to promote the peaceful coexistence of predators and pastoralists. I walked back to my truck as the wolf pack howled, reaffirming their bonds as a family group.
Brandenburg was a Hasselblad Master in 2002, a Nikon Legend Behind the Lens in 2001, and Canon Explorer of Light 2005-08.Brandenburg was the recipient of the World Achievement Award from the United Nations Environmental Programme in Stockholm, Sweden, in recognition of his using nature photography to raise public awareness for the environment. The parrot showed an unusual empathy, as Aimee looked at one picture of a man hugging a woman, the parrot said, “Can I give you a hug?” and when Aimee studied a photograph of a man stooping to step into a car, the parrot said, “Mind your head”. My feeling is that there are many more Richard Turere’s out there, and that perhaps we should be spending our time exploring the frontiers of local knowledge and innovation – it’s not only an untapped place of riches to start, but it will also deliver local ownership and therefore sustainability of environmental solutions. He was recently awarded with an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, by the University of Minnesota, recognizing individuals who have achieved acknowledged eminence in cultural affairs, in public service, or in a field of knowledge and scholarship.



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