Flip Nicklin is widely regarded as the world’s premier whale photographer. As an active and vital voice for marine mammal conservation, Flip brings his ability to inspire others and broad network to his role on the EYOS Advisory Board.
Flip 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.
In 1963, at the age of 16, Flip was helping his father teach diving the coast of southern California. Flip’s ability to free dive to depths up to 90 feet (27 meters) allows him to swim near enough to record whale behavior without interrupting it. 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.
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 was a dream for him. With the help of his mentors, two of Flip’s images were published along with theirs in National Geographic. Flip has gone on to photograph many articles for National Geographic.
Since 1996, Flip 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.
In 2012, Flip was North American Nature Photography Association “Photographer of the Year”.