Thomas Peschak

National Geographic Photographer // Storyteller // Conservation Biologist // NatGeo Explorer // 🇿🇦


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King penguins, most returning from hunting at sea, congregate in the shore break off sub-Antarctic Marion Island. The birds normally come ashore in small groups, the better to avoid orcas and other predators. On this day, heavy surf slowed their landing at the beach, leading to a rarely observed traffic pileup. Shot on assignment for @NatGeo in partnership with @environmentza // If you want to hear more about this and other #nationalgeographic assignments to some truly wild places come see my @natgeo LIVE shows at Los Angeles’s @thebroadstage on 25th and 26th April. Link below my bio. These are the two last shows of my 24 show 10 city North America tour. #santamonica #losangeles #penguins #natgeolive #nglive

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I have spent much of the last year working on a global sea turtle conservation story for @natgeo and with the October 2019 publication date looming I have one more photographic field trip scheduled. In May I am heading to Trinidad to photograph leatherback sea turtles with local conservation group @natureseekerstt I will also spend some time in the field with the @oceanic.society on one of their 50th anniversary sea turtle expeditions. Check out @oceanic.society on Instagram if you are interested in being part of this expedition and want to hang out with me in Trinidad. #os50 #seaturtles #oceanicsociety

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To the best of my knowledge Dassen Island off South Africa’s west coast was the only place in the world where penguins and rabbits interacted like this on a daily basis. Both species nested and bred in burrows dug into the sandy island soil. I made this photograph in the early 2000s and this scene no longer exists today. The rabbit (not native to the island) populations crashed after a disease outbreak and African penguin numbers declined dramatically due to a lack of their preferred fish prey, caused by overfishing and changes in oceanography. #southafrica #penguin #penguins #rabbitsofinstagram #rabbit

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I am currently on a @natgeo LIVE speaking tour of North America and will be presenting ‘Wild Seas, Secret Shores’ in Portland (Maine) on 4th April 2019. Click the link below my Instagram bio and scroll for tickets. Hope to see and meet many of you at this show. #natgeolive #nationalgeographic #portlandmaine #portland #merrillauditorium #maine #portlandme #instamaine

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I am currently on a @natgeo LIVE speaking tour of North America doing 24 shows in 10 cities. I am presenting ‘Wild Seas, Secret Shores’ in Calgary, Thousand Oaks, Mesa, Toronto, Tampa, Portland (Maine), Seattle, Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Click the link below my Instagram bio and scroll down for still forthcoming tour dates and tickets. My next two shows are Tampa, Florida on Tuesday 2nd April and Portland, Maine on Thursday 4th April. Hope to meet many of you from the Instagram community at these shows. #natgeolive #nationalgeographic #tampa #portlandmaine

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Join me on the 10th and 11th of March 2019 at the Calgary Arts Commons for my @natgeo LIVE show ‘Wild Seas, Secret Shores’. Let me give you a exclusive behind the scenes glimpse of my 10 years of adventures, expeditions and photographic assignments for National Geographic. I hope to meet some of you in person in Calgary soon. For tickets click the link below my Instagram bio. #calgary #calgaryalberta #calgarylife #calgaryphotographer #calgaryevents Caption: A whale sharks dwarfs a six foot silky shark in the Pacific Ocean off the Galápagos Islands.

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This split-level photograph of two manta rays feeding was originally a color image. It was only recently after some experimenting, that I started to appreciate its qualities as a black and white frame. Unpublished photograph from my @natgeo magazine story on manta rays. @mantatrust #manta #underwaterphotography

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Turn on the sound for this one !!! You will thank me :-) // One of my highlights of trekking across sub-Antarctic Marion Island in 2017 was photographing the “dancing grounds” of the wandering albatross, one of the largest flying birds in the world. In late afternoon sub-adults gather in small groups on the grassy coastal plain and break out into the species’ ritual dance, designed to help them size up prospective partners. With a elegant repertoire of bowing and sky-calling these performances might appear ballet-like, but surprisingly they sound like a bunch of donkeys. On assignment for @NatGeo in collaboration with @environmentza. Video shot by my long suffering assistant (also a seabird biologist and filmmaker) @ottowhitehead Please give him a follow for more great videos.

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150 years ago in Baja California’s San Ignacio lagoon, gray whale mothers weaponized their powerful tail flukes to smash whaling boats while protecting their young calves. Despite their heroic actions, which earned them the name devilfish, more than 20,000 gray whales were killed in the region. Today the scene could not be more different and gray whales have made a remarkable comeback. Our relationship with these marine mammals also changed dramatically. In just a single century it went from being dominated by fear and violence to one of mutual curiosity. Today the descendants of the few whales that survived the whaling years off Baja swim up to boats filled with whale watching enthusiasts. Today in San Ignacio lagoon the whales are in charge and will often surface right next to visitors to have their heads scratched. These inter-species interactions first began to occur in the 1970s and this new type of whale culture is being passed on from mother to calf. Shot on assignment for @NatGeo Magazine. @maresmexicanos #baja #mexico #whales #sanignaciolagoon

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Sometimes I have to go to extraordinary lengths to make photographs... like free diving in jellyfish soup and having my face tickled by their tentacles. Fortunately these moon jellies off Canada are only mildly venomous and barely irritate. Over the past 10 years I have had the immense privilege of photographing many assignments for @NatGeo in some truly extraordinary and unique places. Congrats to @NatGeo for reaching 100 million followers on Instagram. The more people are inspired by photography, storytelling and science the brighter the future of our planet will become. @insidenatgeo #natgeo #jellyfish #freediving

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In the tropical Indian Ocean coral reefs receive most of the attention, but I find lagoons, with their seagrass and mangrove ecosystems every bit as fascinating. At low tide lagoons are often completely separated from the #ocean, isolated by exposed reefs and sandbars (Pic 1). At high tide seawater floods back in, connecting the lagoon and ocean once again (Pic 2). Lagoons are often both nursery and feeding grounds for many different species of #sharks. In the #Seychelles I often encounter blacktip reef sharks hunting amongst the mangrove branches and roots (Pic 3).

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Marine scientists from the @darwinfound and @saveourseasfoundation explore a underwater cave at Wolf island (Pic 1), one of the most northerly outposts of the Galápagos. Sea turtles, sea lions (Pic 2) and even hammerhead sharks have been encountered inside. Shot on assignment for @natgeo magazine in collaboration with @parquegalapagos and @pelayosalinas #adventure #explore #ocean #galapagos

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