Wildlife photographers have the toughest job of capturing animal behaviour at the right moment to create a powerful image.
The job requires not just skill but also great patience and persistence.
Thankfully, wildlife photographers have taken to social media to share their images while also highlighting important conservation issues.
Here are some outstanding wildlife photographers who have shared their impactful photos with thought-provoking captions on Instagram:
1. Brian Skerry
Skerry is an 11-time award winner in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Hence, without a doubt all of his photos are breathtaking.
As you can see on his Instagram page, he specialises in marine wildlife and underwater environments.
Photo by @BrianSkerry Tomorrow, April 10th, I will be doing an Instagram Live event at 12pm EST. I will be at the headquarters of the @conservationlawfoundation and talking about the plight of the North Atlantic Right Whale – a species on the brink of extinction. I’ll be joining Dr. Scott Kraus with the @newenglandaquarium , a leading right whale researcher working on solutions to save this species. Please check out this event here on my Instagram feed! This photo shows a Southern Right Whale hovering inches above the sea floor in New Zealand’s sub-antarctic waters. About a million years ago there was once species of Right Whale on Earth. But as land masses moved and oceans became separated, the right whales became separated too. Both species were hunted to the brink of extinction by early whalers, but the Southern Right Whales recovered better following protection, because they live further away from industrialization. The North Atlantic Right Whales are urban animals and live from Canada’s Bay of Fundy to Florida. In these regions they become entangled in fishing gear and often die. They also get hit by ships. Last year (2017) 17 North Atlantic Right Whales were lost. Learn more about these amazing animals and how we can save them – here on my Instagram Live event on Tuesday at 12pm EST! #rightwhales #endangeredspecies #extinction #whales
2. Frans Lanting
Thomas Kennedy, the former Director of Photography at National Geographic said Frans Lanting has the mind of a scientist, the heart of a hunter, and the eyes of a poet.
This is perhaps why Lanting is often hailed as one of the great wildlife photographers of our generation.
Scroll through his Instagram page and you will understand why Lanting deserves that recognition.
Photo by @FransLanting When cheetah cubs are two months old they are irresistible to watch. Siblings are sparring partners around the clock. But the odds against their survival are not as appealing. More than half of all cheetah cubs do not survive their first four weeks of life and most of the rest do not make it beyond their first year. Cheetahs can’t climb trees like leopards, they can’t dig burrows like hyenas, and they’re not social like lions, so they are always vulnerable no matter where they are. When we worked with cheetah families in the wild we were always concerned about their safety, yet we could not interfere in their individual lives. But we can contribute to their survival as a species. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom to learn more about the plight of cheetahs. @Natgeocreative @Thephotosociety #Cheetah #BigCats #BigCatsInitiative #CheetahConservationFund #Panthera #Endangered #Cute #Play
3. Thomas P. Peschak
Peschak was originally trained as a marine biologist before switching careers to become a wildlife photojournalist.
His current vocation is to highlight current marine conservation issues through his images.
On his Instagram page, he educates his followers on the amazing world of marine animals.
A recent scientific study revealed that filter feeding marine animals like whale sharks accidentally ingest considerable amounts of micro-plastics. At less than five mm in size, micro plastics are similar in dimension to a whale shark’s regular plankton meals. Unlike the plastic bag in this picture which was easy to spot, grab and stuff into my wetsuit, removing micro plastics from our oceans is much more difficult. At present the only real solution is preventing plastics from getting into ocean in the first place. I would love to hear from all of YOU about what you are currently doing to help decrease plastic pollution in our oceans. Thoughts, ideas and tips in the comments please. That way we can all learn from each other.
4. Paul Nicklen
This Canadian photographer co-founded Sea Legacy, a non-profit society that utilises visual storytelling and photography to raise awareness of ocean conservation.
Even on his Instagram, each photo shared has a story to tell – like how he managed to capture this brown bear with a salmon in its mouth.
There is something wonderful about being able to capture the world at 1/4000th of a second. Here, a sockeye salmon rockets through the air trying to leap a set of falls in Alaska where a coastal brown bear is perfectly positioned to intercept that leap. A soon as a fish would leave the water, I would press the shutter, recording the moment at 10 frames a second. I did this over and over and over until I had shot thousands of images of the same situation. Finally, that moment appeared where the fish is in the mouth of the bear but it has not yet clamped its teeth around the fish. #nature #bear #fish #thejourney #gratitude #Alaska
5. Ami Vitale
She has travelled to almost 100 countries over the past 18 years capturing wildlife and people.
But one of her most outstanding works was photos of Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino who died on Mar 19, 2018.
Here is a photo of Sudan with one of the rangers Joseph Wachira.
Photo by @amivitale. If there is meaning in Sudan’s passing, it’s that all hope is not lost. This can be our wake-up call. In a world of more than 7 billion people, we must see ourselves as part of the landscape. Our fate is linked to the fate of animals Joseph Wachira, (@wachira.joseph) 26 comforts Sudan, the last living male Northern White Rhino left on this planet moments before he passed away March 19, 2018 in northern Kenya. Sudan lived a long, healthy life at the conservancy after he was brought to Kenya from @safari_park_dvur_kralove in the #Czechrepublic in 2009. He died surrounded by people who loved him at @olpejeta after suffering from age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds. Sudan has been an inspirational figure for many across the world. Thousands have trooped to Ol Pejeta to see him and he has helped raise awareness for rhino conservation. The two female northern white rhinos left on the planet are his direct descendants. Research into new Assisted Reproductive Techniques for large mammals is underway due to him. The impact that this special animal has had on conservation is simply incredible. And there is still hope in the future that the subspecies might be restored through IVF. The image is copyrighted to Ami Vitale/2018. For licensing information, including in-line links and/or framing of this post, contact Ami Vitale. @olpejeta @nrt_kenya @lewa_wildlife @tusk_org @kenyawildlifeservice @thephotosociety @natgeo #LastManStanding #SudanForever #WorthMoreAlive #OlPejetaRhinos#NorthernWhiteRhinos #protectrhinos#DontLetThemDisappear #rhions#saverhinos #stoppoaching #kenya#northernkenya #africa #everydayafrica #photojournalism #amivitale @nikonusa #nikonusa #nikonlove http://time.com/5209390/sudan-rhino-rhinoceros-northern-white
6. Joel Sartore
In an effort to document every animal species before they disappear, Sartore founded the Photo Ark.
As of today, there are nearly 7,900 species recorded on Photo Ark and some of them are featured on Sartore’s Instagram.
This wonder woman is a filmmaker, photographer and co-founder of the Big Cats Initiative.
She has documented the beauty of African wildlife for more than 30 years.
Thankfully some of those beauties are shared through her Instagram.
He is a well-known underwater photographer. He also contributed more than 70 feature articles on the environment.
Though Doubilet hardly updates his Instagram, every photo he has shared so far is surreal and almost dream-like.
9. Andy Mann
Andy Mann is a climber, diver and arctic explorer. He also co-founded 3 Strings Production, a commercial and documentary film studio.
He was named BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and BBC Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year.
You can also count on Winter’s captions to educate you a little bit more about wildlife and the environment.
Browse through his Instagram feed and you notice that his photos are so alive that they almost come off the screen.
This award-winning photographer managed to capture animals on motion in a perfect composition, making his images fascinating to look at.
A photographer and an ornithologist, you can expect most of Laman’s photos to revolve around birds.
Do you know how elephants hug? Apparently they hug by wrapping their trunks around each other, much like people do.
With Donovan’s short yet informative captions on top of his powerful images, browsing through his Instagram feed is time well spent.
Schmid once said, “Sometimes you need to take a risk by spending all afternoon waiting for that great picture, and you may miss some decent images somewhere else, but its all part of the game in wildlife photography.”
You will find some of those great pictures on his Instagram.
She was recognised as one of the World’s top 40 Most Influential Outdoor Photographers by Outdoor Magazine.
Her works are definitely deserving of that recognition as you can see by these photos on her Instagram.