Frans Lanting is considered one of the greatest photographers of the natural world in the contemporary times. His work is featured in exhibitions, magazines, and books worldwide. For more than twenty years, he has photographically documented flora and fauna, as well as the relationship between humans and nature in settings from Antarctica to Amazon. Lantings has been presented with several awards as a conservationist and a photographer.
Lanting was born on 13th July 1951 in Netherlands. He later moved to the United States. Now he resides in Santa Cruz an runs a gallery and studio. His wife Christine Eckstrom is an editor, producer and writer.
Lantings work is recurrently published in the popular magazine, National Geographic. His photographs have also been featured in Life, Airone, Audubon, Stern, and Outdoor Photographer.
His work on rainforest animals and plants was exhibited in 2005 in Field Museum of Natural History. The show was called, Jungles. A year later, his work was included in the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California. The exhibition was named, Life: A Journey Through Time and it combined Philip Glass‘s music with his photographic pieces. In the same year 2006, a traveling exposition of his work took place in Leiden’s natural history museum – called, Frans Lanting: LIFE. The retrospective traveled across the United States and Europe. Twelve years later, in 2012 an exhibition took place at the SS Rotterdam with seventy five images from the last show, Life: A Journey Through Time.
In 2012 only, Lanting was made the ambassador in Netherlands’s World Wide Fund for Nature. He also became International League of Conservation Photographers‘ Fellow.
Frans Lanting has won several awards including World Press Photo, 1988 and 1989; Wildlife Photographer of the Year, 1991; Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography, 1997; Nature and Environment Stories second prize, 1997; Knight in the Royal Order of the Golden Ark by Prince Bernhard, 2001; Lennart Nilsson Award, 2005; Photographer of the Year award by Photo-imaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association, 2008; and Cherry Kearton Award and Medal by the Royal Geographical Society, 2010.
Lanting’s works include Feathers, 1982; Islands of the West, 1985; The Albatrosses of Midway Island, 1990; Madagascar: A World Out of Time, 1990; Forgotten Edens: Exploring the World’s Wild Places, 1993; Okavango: Africa’s Last Eden, 1993; Animal Athletes, 1996; Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape, 1997; Eye to Eye: Intimate Encounters With the Animal World, 1997; Living Planet: Preserving Edens of the Earth, 1999; Penguin, 2003. In some of these projects, his wife Christine also participated.
Lanting immerses himself physically, emotionally and intellectually in the lives of plants and animals, such as lions, elephants, penguins and albatrosses. He arrests photos that elucidate those aspects of nature that are rarely seen. His images excite the viewer, since Lanting shares his discovery with them.
His work has been accredited for making people aware of problems in the environment, and sometimes becoming a catalyst for non-governmental and governmental actions to find the solution.
In an interview, he warned that the generations to come will definitely have much better technologies, however what will be left of the wildlife to even photograph. Since Lanting keeps visiting places around the world, he realizes more how the ecosystems are unraveling. The ultimate pattern in the end of wilderness. In this case, Lanting’s photography serves a great purpose – his lens is the eye of the world.