Frans Lanting@franslanting

National Geographic Photographer || Author || Speaker || Creator of images, stories and events to inspire wonder and concern about our living planet.

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Photo by @FransLanting If this photo was made at Loch Ness it might create a sensation. But instead of a dinosaur it shows an elephant crossing the Chobe River between Botswana and Namibia with only the tip of its trunk visible above water. This boundary area is a crucial corridor for multitudes of elephants migrating between these two countries across fertile river floodplains and into their dry hinterlands. More than 100,000 elephants congregate in a region that may be the last best place for elephants in Africa. This image is featured in our new book “Into Africa," which has just been released. Follow me @FransLanting for more images and stories of wild Africa and to learn about the book. @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @leonardodicaprio @savetheelephants #Africa #Elephants #Botswana #Namibia #Conservation #Wild #Hope


One day I peered down into a clear lagoon in the Okavango Delta and noticed how a patch of water lilies was anchored in desert sand. An idea took hold. I slipped in and sank to the bottom. Looking up, I saw that the lilies symbolized the essential wonder of the delta: This great wetland, with its abundance of life, is really just a thin sheet of water stretched across Kalahari sand. This image is featured in our new book “Into Africa,” which has just been published. If you are in the Netherlands, please consider joining me on Saturday October 28 at Cinemec in Ede, where I will do a presentation about “Into Africa,” sponsored by @NatGeo. Books will be available for sale and signing. For event details, go to A reminder to all our friends in the Netherlands and Belgium: Tomorrow, October 25, is the last day you can vote for your favorite images shortlisted for this year’s WNF-Frans Lanting Award. Go to to see the images that are vying for the top awards and cast your vote. @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Okavango #Botswana #Nature #Wonder #Kalahari #Beauty #NaturePhotography #PhotoContest #PhotoAward


I am pleased to announce the publication of our new book, INTO AFRICA. The result of many journeys across the continent over the past three decades, it captures the wonders of wild Africa—and shows what is at stake in the twenty-first century. The trade edition of the book is published in English, German, and Dutch editions, and is now available in stores and online. French and Chinese editions are in development for next year. In collaboration with our publisher, Insight Editions, we have also produced a luxurious Collector’s Edition of INTO AFRICA. This exclusive edition of the book is limited to 250 numbered copies and will be available in November. Copies can be pre-ordered now from our studio and delivered in time for the holidays. Click on the web link in my Instagram bio for more details. I hope you will enjoy our new book! @thephotosociety #Africa #wildlifephotography #nature #gift #wonder #beauty #holiday


In the week to come we will celebrate the natural heritage of Africa in connection with the release of our new book, “INTO AFRICA," which covers more than 30 years of our field work on that great continent. We want to draw attention to what is at stake for its wild places and its wildlife as Africa modernizes fast. In this image towering sand dunes roll down to the South Atlantic Ocean on the wild Skeleton Coast of Namibia, in the southwest corner of Africa. This area was once known as the Sperrgebiet—German for “prohibited zone”—and was off limits to outsiders for more than a century as an exclusive diamond-mining concession. A few years ago the government of Namibia turned this area into a new national park, part of a bold effort to protect its entire coastline. We hope that Namibia’s commitment to conservation can serve as an inspiring example for other nations. Go to the link in my Instagram bio to learn more about our “INTO AFRICA” book. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of wild Africa. @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @leonardodicaprio #Africa #Namibia #SkeletonCoast #Conservation #Explore #Safari


The quiver trees in the northern desert of South Africa look more like sculptures than living things. At day’s end, I juxtaposed a grove of shaded trees against the backdrop of a sunlit rocky hillside to express the miracle of life in the desert--thriving where you least expect it. This image is featured in our “Into Africa” book, which will be released in October. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of wildlife and wild places around the world.
 @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #SouthAfrica #Nature #Wild #Succulent #Aloe #creativity #naturephotography


A ribbon of water winds across dry plains surrounding Botswana’s Okavango Delta as morning mist shrouds the contours of the landscape. The delta is an intricate tapestry of dry land and wet land, with ever shifting boundaries defined by the ebb and flow of water. Fed by a river that begins a thousand miles away in the highlands of Angola, the delta spreads out across the Kalahari Desert sands of northern Botswana. The miracle of water in the desert attracts animals from antelopes to elephants—and supports a thriving regional economy based on high-quality, low-impact tourism. This image is featured in our new book, “Into Africa,” which will be released in October. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of wild places around the world. 
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Okavango #Nature #Botswana #Dawn #Explore


Wrangell-St. Elias in Alaska is the largest of the US National Parks—it is six times the size of Yellowstone. Four mighty mountain ranges converge here, topped by 18,008-foot-high Mount St. Elias, shown here—the highest peak in the US after Denali. Follow me @FransLanting for more images from parks around the world.
 @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety  #WrangellStElias #Alaska #Mountains #NationalPark #beauty #nature #colors #explore


Backlighting reveals the soft contours of a valley in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park that used to be covered by glaciers but is now blanketed with trees and glacial lakes. This did not happen as a result of the accelerated climate change we’re witnessing now, but it gives us an idea of the landscape transformation we’re going to witness during our life time across the Arctic. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of our changing planet. 
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @leonardodicaprio #Alaska #Arctic #ClimateChange #light


On Sep. 22 we celebrate World Rhino Day — She is massive, armed with horns and protected by thick skin, and yet she is utterly vulnerable. One ear is pointing my way, the other faces backwards. Rhinos make up for not seeing well with a sharp sense of hearing. Her calf is just curious, and has no clue what is facing them. But we know what is happening to them across Africa and Asia. Rhinos are in imminent danger of extinction in the wild. And that is why we need to celebrate World Rhino Day—to draw attention to them and to the people and organizations that are making a difference where it matters, in the hallways of governments and in the front lines of protection on the ground. I hope you will support them so that rhinos will get a fighting chance. Follow me @FransLanting for more stories about rhinos and how you can help. @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @worldrhinoday @wildaid @world_wildlife @SaveTheRhino @lewa_wildlife #wildaid #wild_net #Rhino #WorldRhinoDay #SaveTheRhino #AspinallFoundation #celebrate


The spiny desert of Madagascar is as otherworldly as it appears. More than 90% of all plants that thrive here are found nowhere else on earth—not even in other parts of Madagascar. The striking sights in this unique landscape include the twisted tentacles of the octopus tree, which resembles a cactus but it is not. It is one of the many astonishing examples of Madagascar’s parallel evolution. Lifeforms different in origin may end up looking alike when faced with similar conditions over long periods of time. Follow me @FransLanting for new discoveries from Madagascar. @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Madagascar #discover #explore #nature #wonder #amazing


Fall colors erupt when plants quit producing chlorophyll as days grow shorter. The yellows and reds we see are stages in this seasonal retreat of life. In the Arctic, the height of fall color comes and goes in a matter of days. In Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, I captured the fleeting nature of this phenomenon by contrasting the peaking colors on the slope in the foreground with those already fading on the opposite side. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of our living planet. 
@natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @leonardodicaprio #Alaska #Arctic #ClimateChange #light


An enormous ice arch dwarfs a zodiac with photographers who joined me for an expedition to the east coast of Greenland. That morning we were the first people to witness the aftermath of an event of epic proportions. A glacier that had long dammed a giant lake had melted and collapsed, releasing a massive amount of water into the Atlantic Ocean, adding yet another notch to sea level rise. As we moved upstream, we could see the “bathtub rings” of the former lake high up on the walls of rock and ice. It was sobering to think that this had happened just days before and to see firsthand how rapidly Greenland’s ice cover is melting. Follow me @FransLanting for more stories of our changing planet. @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @leonardodicaprio  title="#Greenland" class="tagInMsg" href="/tag_Greenland">#Greenland #Ice #climatechange #earth #picoftheday #nature #explore


I played a game of hide-and-seek with this hippo floating in the Congo's Garamba River near the Sudanese border. When he submerged, I moved closer; but when he surfaced with a snort--I held my breath. When you work with big animals up close, it's important to know when to move and when to stay still. Follow me @franslanting for more images of Africa's wildlife. @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Hippo # Congo #Garamba #wild #power #attitude


Palm trees dot a savanna in southern Madagascar. Once this great island supported an amazing cast of animal characters from pygmy hippos to giant tortoises with lemurs the size of gorillas and flightless elephant birds mixed in. They disappeared after humans colonized Madagascar some two thousand years ago. In many ways Madagascar is a microcosmos of our planet in peril. I’m about to go back there to document changes in our lifetime. Follow me @FransLanting to see what I will find. @thephotosociety @natgeotravel @natgeocreative #Madagascar #discover #explore #nature #wonder #amazing


On World Elephant Day we honor the matriarchs who are lending their strength and passing on their wisdom to the next generation. And we salute the people and organizations dedicated to ensuring there will be a future for these magnificent creatures. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of our living planet. @leonardodicaprio @natgeocreative #respect #dignity #wisdom #mother #elephant #awesome #protection #wild #WildAid #SaveTheElephants #WorldElephantDay


"There is mystery behind that masked gray visage, and ancient life force, delicate and mighty, awesome and enchanted, commanding the silence ordinarily reserved for mountain peaks, great fires, and the sea.” ― Peter Matthiessen, The Tree Where Man Was Born @thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeocreative #respect #dignity #wisdom #elephant #awesome #wild #WildAid #Wild_Net #SaveTheElephants


Photo by @FransLanting Here’s another scene from our backpacking trip through the Paria River canyon, one of the most dramatic slot canyons in the Southwest. For this image I put my camera on a tripod and slowed the shutter speed down, which blurred my companions. It created a sense of motion as a counterpoint to the immutability of the landscape. A polarizing filter took glare off the rocks and saturated its colors. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of amazing places and stories about creative photography. @natgeo @natgeotravel @thephotosociety #America #explore #wonder #nature #inspire #creativity #naturephotography


Photo by @FransLanting Magic light is what I look for all the time to add an exclamation mark to my images. It can occur at dawn or dusk, when light gives way to shadows or vice versa, but in slot canyons it happens in the middle of the day. Here’s another image from one of those temples of nature. Shafts of light suffused with dust can penetrate deep into a narrow canyon whose sandstone walls are shaped by water over time. Sunlight from high above reflects back and forth between the walls and creates an ethereal luminosity deep down below like a cathedral illuminated through stained glass windows. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of these special places. @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #beauty #awesome #amazing #colors #nature #picoftheday #earth #light #inspiration


Backpacking into a deep canyon in the American Southwest is an otherworldly experience. You feel like you’re getting swallowed up by the earth itself. On this particular trip we got surprised by a flash flood caused by a thunderstorm upstream and we were pinned down on a narrow raised beach watching a raging river carry debris downstream. We had to wait for two days before we could hike out. It's the power of water that shapes this awesome world of rock. @natgeo @natgeotravel @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #beauty #awesome #amazing #colors #nature #picoftheday #earth


Usually the magic light that can transform an ordinary scene into something extraordinary occurs at dawn or dusk, but in Arizona’s slot canyons it happens in the middle of the day. That’s when a shaft of light suffused with dust penetrates deep into a narrow canyon whose sandstone walls are shaped by water over time. Light bounces back and forth between the walls and it creates an ethereal luminosity at the bottom that is reminiscent of a cathedral. This particular canyon is located on Navajo tribal land. Follow me @FransLanting for more images of special places around the world. @natgeo @natgeotravel @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #beauty #awesome # amazing # colors #nature #picoftheday #earth