Flip Nicklin Has Done Decades of Dives With Dolphins and Whales
A drop of what this extraordinary National Geographic photographer can show you
Widely regarded as the premier whale photographer of the world, Flip Nicklin, a National Geographic-contributing photographer, has more than 5,500 dives under his belt. His ability to free dive to depths of up to 90 feet (27 meters) allows him to swim near enough to record whale behavior without interrupting it.
Nicklin was born with both diving and photography in his blood. His father, Chuck, is a diver and underwater cinematographer who taught his sons to become scuba divers. At the age of 14, Nicklin was helping his father teach people to dive off of the coast of southern California.
His first contact with the National Geographic Society came in 1976 when he was signed on as a deckhand and diving assistant for a three-month shoot with photographers Bates Littlehales and Jonathan Blair. Every day he shot with the photographers, a lifelong dream for him. With the help of his mentors, two of Nicklin’s images were published along with theirs in National Geographic.
Since then, Nicklin has gone on to photograph many articles for National Geographic. He is also the author of a National Geographic book, Face to Face With Dolphins.
In 2001, Nicklin, along with two others, co-founded the Whale Trust Maui, a nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research and public awareness of whales and their environment.
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