Flip Nicklin

Flip Nicklin

EYOS Advisory Board

Widely regarded as the premier whale photographer of the world, Flip Nicklin, a National Geographic contributing photographer, has been diving since 1963. An active, vital voice for marine mammal conservation, Flip brings his broad network and ability to inspire others in his role as a member of the EYOS Advisory Board.

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 16, Nicklin was helping his father teach people to dive off of the coast of southern California. 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.

His first work 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 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 3 National Geographic books, Whales Dolphins and Porpoise, Face to Face With Dolphins and Face to Face with Whales. Since 1996, Nicklin has worked with Jim Darling in a study of humpback whales off the coast of Maui, Hawaii. He is a co-investigator, along with Ph.D. candidate, Meagan Jones.

Since 2012, he has worked with Golden Gate Cetacean Research, documenting the return of Harbor Porpoise to San Francisco Bay.

He was North American Nature Photography Association “Photographer of the year” in 2012 and his most recent book is “Among Giants, a Life with Whales.” He has worked throughout the world, from challenging conditions in the polar regions to more hospitable tropical locales as he follows the marine mammals he loves.