Earlier this month National Geographic celebrated its 125th anniversary and showcased its history through the medium that the society is most famous for: photography. In its online gallery are some of the most iconic images ever published in the magazine, including “the Afghan girl” by Steve McCurry and an epic shot from 1963 of the ascent of what would be the first American team to summit Mount Everest.
Also featured was the work of wildlife photographer Paul Nicklen, who specializes in documenting species in the Arctic and Antarctic and through his work emphasizes the impact of climate change in these regions. With a lot of perseverance, a little luck, and the occasional push from his teammates, Nicklen has managed to photograph animals existing in their natural habitats in ways that few others have seen.
On National Geographic Live, Nicklen described the methods he employed to photograph an elusive 200-year old bowhead whale and the emotions he experiences when considering the uncertain fate of these tremendous animals.