Tag Archives: Whale photography


Whale Quest 2014 - Courtesy Whale Trust copyKAPALUA—Humpback whales, some 10,000 who visit Maui and patrol Kaanapali Beach annually, will have their life stories told by some of the world’s leading whale researchers during four days of special events over the weekend at the 10th annual Whale Tales the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua.

Through films, unique underwater photography and lively presentations the public will be able to get better acquainted with these mammoth creatures of the deep, including their journey here from Alaska, how they birth and care for their young and how they communicate with each other along the West Maui coast.

The non-profit Whale Trust Maui will kick off the special events with an appearance by Chuck Nicklin, father of award-winning photographer and co founder of Whale Trust Maui Flip Nicklin.

Attendees will be able to talk story with NIcklin during a signing of his new book “On Camera” from 2 to 5:30 p.m Friday. Nicklin first came to Maui to shoot whales 40 years ago and has been a cinemaphotographer for many Hollywood movies.

Also on hand to talk story will be Whale Trust Co co-founder Jim Darling who made headlines recently with his discovery of mysterious whale sounds barely audible to the human ear.

Other top researchers who will be giving presentations and talking story on whale watches include Dr. Fred Sharpe, Alaska Whale Foundation; Ed Lyman, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary; Kenneth O Brian, Alaska Whale Foundation; Dr. Jonathan Stern, San Francisco State University; Olga von Ziegesar of Eye of the Whale and Merra Howe, University of Hawaii Manoa, Oceanwide Science Institute.

In addition to the prominent speakers, another highlight will be the premier and only Maui showing of a much heralded I-Max film with spectacular images of whales in Maui waters at the Ritz at 3:30 p.m. Sunday..

Visitors and residents will be able to mingle with the experts and hear about the antics of whales and learn about the their annual journey from Alaska to the Kaanapali area, how they birth and take care of thier young and how they communicate through “whale songs.”

One session will include a talk about a discovery how large number of whales come to the defense of other whales and even seals under attack by killer whales

Attendance is free but a donation to Whale Trust to support research is suggested. Whale Watches with top researchers on board will offer insights on whales will be available for a fee.

Whale Tales is hosted annually by Whale Trust Maui, a non-profit dedicated to whale research and education. Funds raised at Whale Tales support whale research efforts in the Hawaiian Islands.

Research led by Whale Trust Maui scientists has been featured in documentaries on the BBC, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic International, National Public Radio, theToday show, PBS, NHK (Japanese National Broadcasting).

Meagan Jones Gray who co-founded Whale Trust with Flip NIcklin and Jim Darling studies the birthing habits of whales and teaches a course in marine biology at UH in Kahului. She and colleagues are working on establishing a marine biology curriculum.

Contact Whale Trust Maui at info@whaletrust.org or 808-572-5700 and visit WhaleTrustMaui.org for a schedule of activities, sponsorship information, and program updates.

What is this man on Maui looking for when he dives 80 feet in 60 seconds and makes a living for 40 years doing it?

Flip NIcklin giving a talk on a whale watch cruise

Flip NIcklin giving a talk on a whale watch cruise

Lahaina, first day of spring—Seeking out creatures that boast the biggest muscle in the animal kingdom—the tail—Flip Nicklin, world famous national geographic photographer journeys from Alaska where he lives along with humpback whales in late fall each year for another season depicting the life of whales.For more, read my Lahaina News column appearing this week below. SCROLL DOWN

Voices of Maui Talk Story, LLC photos except the whale.

Flip Nicklin: 60 seconds, click, click, click…

Voices of Maui • Beyond the Beach

BY NORM BEZANE , Lahaina News

LAHAINA – When Flip (nicknamed after a character in the 1940s comic strip “Terry and the Pirates”) left his father’s dive shop in San Diego for Maui decades back, he sought adventure and a way to make a living.

For Charles “Flip” Nicklin – today “widely regarded as the premier whale photographer in the world,” according to National Geographic – the connection with these massive giants of the sea goes way back.

His great, great grandfather arrived on the West Coast on a whaling ship.

Mother and calf humpback whales swim together off the coast of Maui. PHOTO BY FLIP NICKLIN/MINDEN PICTURES (NMFS Permit #753).

His father, who he has always called “Chuck” because that is his name, was not only a dive shop owner but a world-class cinema-photographer who came to Maui 39 years ago for a shoot.

Flip as a young man tagged along as a deckhand on a whale research ship and was mentored by National Geographic ace underwater photographers Bate Littlehales and Jonathan Blair, who taught him about lenses and light.

flip IMG_0284Flip took photos alongside them, and as a beginning photographer, got three of his photos published in the magazine. This was a follow-up to the $10 he received from a kid’s magazine for his first published photo.

Flip may flip over when he is on one of his 60-second dives, but he has never flipped careers. He has been photographing whales and dolphins since 1976 for fun and pay.

In free dives as deep as 100 feet, Flip takes several deep breaths and has just 60 seconds under water to click off his photos. One of 500 shots is a keeper, he told some 200 people at a recent Whale Trust Maui talk story session.

By free diving with only a small air tank for emergencies, the free-diving photographer generates no bubbles “that would change the whole human to whale dynamic,” he wrote in the handsomely illustrated book “Among Giants: A Life with Whales.”

Flip often partners with research pioneer Jim Darling in a three-boat armada of sorts. Darling has “the singing boat,” because he researches whale songs.

Megan Jones-Gray, one of the Whale Trust Maui founders with Nicklin, operates out of the “female boat” for research on female behavior. Flip and videographers work out of “the video boat.”

Flip met his wife, Linda, a naturalist, when both were lecturing on a whale cruise – trips they take when not doing research.

This month, the two departed for Alaska, their permanent home, so Linda can work studying bears and other animals as part of her work. When not in Alaska or Maui, Flip has traveled the world from the Arctic to Antarctica, Florida to Maui.

Along Kaanapali this year, the 10,000 whales that travel here each year seem to be getting better. There are more frequent shows than ever.

There is so much to report on what whale researchers now know that a series of columns do not scratch the surface. Talks at the whaling museum at Whalers Village can fill the gaps.

New fascinating fact: humpback males singing can reach up to 160 decibels, equivalent to the noise made by a jet engine.

Flip straps on his long lens camera and carries one every time he is on the water – even on a whale watch for visitors.

You never know when you are going to get the breach shot of a lifetime.

Columnist’s Notework: This profile is based on interviews and presentations involving Nicklin and others, his book, and an article by Stephen Frink in “Alert Diver” magazine. Next column: saving entangled whales.

– See more at: http://www.lahainanews.com/page/content.detail/id/531366/Flip-Nicklin–60-seconds–click–click–click—.html?nav=11#sthash.Yw1kZBi5.dpuf

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