TREES Artist, 2008

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 National Geographic magazine story on Maui Humpbacks was in 1982. He has by lines on 20 National Geographic magazine feature stories.

Nicklin has several books to his name including, With the Whales and Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises, published by the National Geographic Society; which he coordinated and to which he contributed many of the photographs.