TREES Artist, 2013
“I photograph natural history subjects from coral reefs to the rain forest canopy, but birds hold a special fascination. I think it’s the beauty, the action, and the challenge – but especially, birds are great ambassadors for the wild places that need protection.” —Tim Laman
Tim Laman is a wildlife photographer and field biologist. He credits his childhood in Japan, where he spent a lot of time in the mountains and at the ocean, for his strong interest in exploring nature, both above and below water. Since then, Tim’s interests have led him to various remote corners of the world in pursuit of stories, photographs, and scientific data. He first went to the rain forests of Borneo in 1987, and since then the Asia-Pacific region, and especially the Indonesian archipelago, have been a special focus of his scientific research and photography.
Tim’s project on the birds of paradise is his most ambitious to date. He has recently completed the first comprehensive coverage of this extraordinary family of birds in the wild. They are the most spectacularly ornamented birds in the world, but inhabit rugged and remote regions of New Guinea, where they are an extreme challenge to locate and photograph in their dense rain forest homes. His feature story on birds of paradise in the July 2007 National Geographic magazine was the first-ever photographic treatment of its kind published in the magazine. Now having completed 18 expeditions over the past 8 years with collaborator Edwin Scholes, Tim has succeeded in photographing all 39 species of birds of paradise in the wild for the first time in history. He and Ed have now brought this project to fruition as another feature article in the December 2012 National Geographic, a book with NG Books, a major traveling educational exhibition, a documentary on the National Geographic Channel, and various other media, all with an aim to spread awareness about the birds of paradise and the rain forest of New Guinea.
In 2009, Tim was honored with the North American Nature Photography Association’s annual Outstanding Nature Photographer Award, the highest honor for a nature photographer in the U.S. Tim’s photos have also received recognition in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards, Pictures of the Year, Nature’s Best International Photographic Awards, and Communication Arts. His images have appeared in National Geographic’s “100 Best Photos” and “100 Best Wildlife Photos” special publications.