To experience the making of marine photography under the sea, visit the South Florida Museum in Bradenton on March 7. On that day the museum is hosting a program by National Geographic Photographer Charles “Flip” Nicklin. Nicklin will be discussing his long career of capturing marine life in its native environment.
The museum is also the home of Snooty, the only 63 year old manatee in captivity, though it is not Snooty that is the focus of the museum’s current show. Rather, Nicklin will be discussing his creation of the 30 photos that make up the museum’s current show on whales and other marine life. The full show will be open through April 12, 2012.
Nicklin’s images include striking images of several species of whales and in almost big-as-life photos. Nicklin’s abilities to free dive and his mastery of underwater photography over the past 30 years create a window into the world of whales, and other marine mammals, that he will share with those present.
The following is an except from the show’s guide which can be read in its entirety online.
“….By using his ability to free dive to depths of 80 feet, Nicklin has captured a glimpse of the largest creatures to have ever lived, documenting these animals in their natural habitat. The free dive is an important skill, without the large tanks and resulting bubbles, he can sneak into their environment without sending unknown messages; bubbles are a known communication method with some animals. Working directly with marine biologists, Nicklin has provided valuable information to them with his images. For example, Nicklin contributed to early humpback whale research by diving and photographing their undersides while singing, with these images, the biologists discovered that all humpback singers are males. His images have also illustrated countless National Geographic Magazine articles. Nicklin’s work demonstrates that photography can inform science and be a tool for understanding marine mammals as well as provide inspiration for conservation efforts.
“The dramatic exhibition images depict humpback whales, sperm whales, killer whales, belugas and narwhals in photographs taken around the world, from the Canadian Arctic to Hawaii to New Zealand. Many species showcased are also found in Florida waters. One featured photograph is a close-up image of staff and volunteers with the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, a locally-based, world-renowned program, and Mote Marine Laboratory, releasing a pair of dolphins in northern Manatee County. Nicklin was on-hand during the release and featured the image and the story in a 1992 National Geographic Magazine Article, “Dolphins in Crisis. …”
On March 7th the photographer will be present to discuss the making of these photos and answer questions on marine photography. It is a discussion worth attending and includes admission to the show. Incidentally, it is Ashley Burke’s — the museum’s curator and the mother of my sole grandchild — first show at the museum.
Congratulations Ashley, well done.
The photo in this post is from the show and should offer an insight into a very unique discussion.
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