“I call myself an interpreter and a translator,” says Nicklen. “I translate what the scientists are telling me. If we lose ice, we stand to lose an entire eco-system. I hope we can realize through my photography how inter-connected these species are to ice. It just takes one image to get someone’s attention.”
Paul has indeed managed to get people’s attention. Whether he is ice diving among leopard seals in Antarctica, covering hundreds of miles of terrain in -40F temperatures, or mastering aerial shots from his ultralight plane, Paul has specialized in photographing polar regions since 1995. A unique childhood among the Inuit in Canada’s Arctic and a professional background as a marine biologist with a specialty in polar bears and Arctic ecosystems, Paul's life experience and photography practice came together and he has been working as a National Geographic photographer for the past 15 years.
As an assignment photographer he has produced 15 stories for the magazine. His work focuses on the delicate relationship between healthy ecosystems and marine wildlife and his preferred working niche are polar environments. In addition to his collaboration with National Geographic, his work has been featured in hundreds of other publications around the world and he has given public presentations in over 20 countries. Most recently, Paul’s work was exhibited at the world renowned Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles and he was a featured speaker at the 2011 TED Conference. He was recently named one of the World’s top 40 Most Influential Outdoor Photographers by BBC Magazine.
Paul has received over 30 prestigious international awards including 14 BBC Wildlife Awards (Veolia Environnement Wildlife Awards), 5 World Press Photo Awards, several awards from Pictures of the Year International, Communication Arts, and Nature's Best Magazine and numerous other recognitions for his work as a photojournalist and a conservationist. Paul is the 2012 winner of the BBC/Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year award, the first ever Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) BioGems Visionary Award winner, and is also the recipient of the 2012 First Prize for nature for the World Press Photography Organization; the largest, most prestigious recognition a photojournalist can receive.
Paul was recently featured as part of National Geographic's 125 year celebration, noting his accomplishments in the field of photography and being known as a risk taker and explorer.
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