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Secrets of Stunning Ocean Photography

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala has visited and photographed some of the most remote and beautiful places in the ocean. Hear him reveal what he’s learned.

The manta in the mirror

By John Weller and Shawn Heinrichs A meeting of minds Chain upon chain of jagged islands jutted up from the sea. Dense vegetation clung to black, pitted rock walls that dropped sharply into cerulean blue lagoons. A Sulfur-crested Cockatoo landed in the top of a tree, its raucous call bouncing around the cliffs before daring out…

The tribes of Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley in Photographs

    The Omo River rises on the mountainous plateau of Ethiopia’s Shewan Highlands, then flows for hundreds of kilometres through lush grasslands, acacia plains and riverine forests, until it reaches Kenya’s Lake Turkana. The river’s lower valley, in the southwest corner of the country, is a wild, beautiful, remote region.  In the mud and volcanic…

Bhutan Rising: Democracy from Scratch

Bhutan is a relative newcomer to modernity: the country’s first paved road was completed in 1962, and the Internet and TV were not introduced until 1999. Since 2000, however, the pace of its development has snowballed. That acceleration is particularly evident in the country’s shifting demographics. Sixty percent of the Bhutan’s population is below the age of 34. While some people work on farms, more and more prefer to live and work in cities such as Thimphu, the capital. It’s easier than ever to move to those cities, but difficult to find jobs in them.

Sumatran Tigers, Close to Extinction

Conservationists put the number of Sumatran tigers in the wild at around 300. It’s a devastating statistic, particularly given that Indonesia has already lost the Bali and Javan tiger which were both hunted to extinction. Without a serious overhaul of its present laws on wildlife crime, Indonesia can presume that the Sumatran tiger is in its dying days. It is a heartbreaking notion, but with the right level of deterrence and education, it is one that does not have to become reality.

So You Want to Fly a Phantom 4?

The latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, in which Kike profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography. Since I started reporting about drones in 2013, I always knew this moment would come. While people thought about military drones and the negative things they…

Best Job Ever: Filming a Wild Beluga Whale Party by Drone

Thousands of beluga whales congregate in Canada’s Cunningham Inlet each summer for what National Geographic Young Explorer and nature photographer Nansen Weber calls “a big beluga party.” Using a drone, Weber captures the breathtaking view from above.

Close Encounter with a Polar Bear

After photographer Cory Richards joined the Pristine Seas expedition to Franz Josef Land in the Russian Arctic, he spent over a month trying to capture an image of a polar bear from a relatively close distance. On his final attempt, a teammate launched a remote-controlled quadcopter, or drone, and the polar bear ended up right where they wanted him.

World of Dances #19

This post is the latest in the World of Dances series, which profiles ballet and dance photography in iconic, architectonically unique, culturally emblematic, rapidly vanishing landmarks or simply unexpected locations, that Kike captures about during his travels.      I photographed  Leydi in a remote village next to the Chagres River when she was still dancing for the National Ballet of Panama. The Emberá…

Apocalypse Paused: Scenes From Soviet-Era “Ghost Farms”

Picture two giant farms: one the size of France; the other the size of Wisconsin. That is how many acres of agricultural land sit fallow in Russia (45 million) and Kazakhstan (35 million).   The 250,000-acre Chilinka Collective Farm, in northern Kazakhstan, was once known as an oasis on the steppes. It was home to 500…

Peru Affords Full Protection to World’s Largest Known Manta Population

In a significant move to safeguard the world’s largest known manta population, Peru’s Ministry of Production announced on January 1, strong regulations to protect the oceanic manta ray. It is now illegal to target, capture, and retain a manta ray or trade in any manta parts across their entire range, from Peru to Ecuador, where they are already legally protected.

Kikeo and The Whale

Kikeo and The Whale is a bedtime story that submerges the young reader in a sea of dreams. Hand-in-hand with National Geographic Creative photographer Kike Calvo, the reader discovers a beautiful story of an encounter between Kikeo, the main character,  and a baby whale and her mom. “This children’s book comes at a time when…

Skadar Lake – Joining Forces to Save the Last Breeding Colony of Dalmatian Pelicans in Montenegro

Since the 17th century, 80% of the Dalmatian Pelican’s breeding sites have disappeared, but efforts in Montenegro’s Lake Skadar aim to protect and stabilize its population.

Top 10 Drones for 2016: The Beginner’s List

The latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, in which Kike profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography.   Shopping for a “drone-obsessed” friend, family member or yourself? I have decided to update my article The Best Drones for Beginners that was…

Photos From Nepal: Drones and Image-Mapping for Next-Generation Disaster Response

The latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, in which Kike profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography. Arriving in Nepal for the third time makes me think about how unpredictable life can be. During my last expedition, I was documenting the…