Michael “Nick” Nichols, a native of Alabama, is an award-winning photographer whose work has taken him to the most remote corners of the world. He became a staff photographer for the National Geographic magazine in 1996 and was named Editor-at-Large in January 2008. From 1982 to 1995 he was a member of Magnum Photos, the prestigious cooperative founded by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa.

1960 – 8 years
1960 – 8 years
 1981 – Indus River
1981 – Indus River
 1984 – Fear of Frying
1984 – Fear of Frying
1965 – 13 years
1978 – 26 years
1985 – San Francisco Examiner

He has photographed 26 stories for National Geographic magazine, most recently “The Short Happy Life of a Serengeti Lion” (NGM August 2013), breaking new ground in photographing the king of the beast using infrared, a robot controlled mini-tank for eye-level views, and a tiny, camera-carrying electric helicopter. LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph featured this story at its 2013 Festival; and was also featured at The Visa Pour L’Image festival in Perpignan, France at its 25th Anniversary 2013 festival. The December 2012 cover story of National Geographic magazine, “The World’s Largest Trees,” featured a 5-page foldout of a Giant Sequoia built from 126 images. The image of the 247 feet tall, 3,200-year-old tree was made during a California blizzard. This built upon the technique used in “Redwoods: The Super Trees” (NGM October 2009), where Nichols broke new ground in photography of the world’s tallest trees by using these innovative rigging techniques to create an 84 image composite of a 300-foot-tall, 1,500-year-old redwood tree.

Nick recently returned from Yellowstone where him and Reba embedded in the national park for 18 months for an entire issue of National Geographic Magazine that will be published in the Spring of 2016. This will be his last essay.

Starting in 2012, Melissa Harris, editor-in-chief of Aperture Foundation, began working on a biography of Nick Nichols that includes intensive interviews with Nichols, as well as with many of his colleagues and collaborators. A WILD LIFE will be published by Aperture in the spring of 2016.

 1989 – Brazilian Amazon
1989 – Brazilian Amazon
 1989 – Lechuguilla Cave assistants
1989 – Lechuguilla Cave assistants
 1990 – Brutal Kinship
1990 – Brutal Kinship
1985 – SF Examiner
1987 – American Photo (gear)
1987 – American Photo

From 1999-2001 Nichols documented conservationist Mike Fay’s Megatransect expedition across Africa. Fay walked 2,000 miles (3,219 km) on foot from Congo’s deepest rainforest to the Atlantic Coast of Gabon, studying Africa’s last great wilderness. Nichols’ work from this undertaking can be seen in the 2001 National Geographic magazine articles “Megatransect: Across 1,200 Miles of Untamed Africa on Foot,” “Green Abyss: Megatransect, Part II,” and “End of the Line: Megatransect, Part III.”

In Fall of 2013, Aperture published Earth to Sky: Among Africa’s Elephants, a Species in Crisis. Nichols highlights the elephant crisis through poignant images that bring us directly into their habitats—lush forests and open savannas, or stark landscapes ravaged by human intervention—to observe the animals’ daily engagements and activities. In 2005, National Geographic Books published The Last Place on Earth, a book featuring Nichols’ photographs and Fay’s journals from the Megatransect expedition. Nichols’ work has appeared in five other books, including Keepers of the Kingdom, a photographic essay reflecting on changes in U.S. zoos; The Year of the Tiger, which focuses on the world’s remaining tigers; and Brutal Kinship, a look at the timorous bond between man and chimpanzee, with text by Jane Goodall.

 1992 – Apes and Humans
1992 – Apes and Humans
 1993 – Zoos
1993 – Zoos
 1994 – Ndoki Congo
1994 – Ndoki Congo
 1996 – Year of the Tiger
1996 – Year of the Tiger
 2003 – Ndoki Congo
2003 – Ndoki Congo
 2005 – American Photo
2005 – American Photo

Early in his career, dubbed “The Indiana Jones of Photography” by Paris Match, Nichols was featured in Rolling Stone, Life, Aperture, American Photographer and many other magazines. He has won first prize four times for nature and environment stories in the World Press Photo competition. His other numerous awards come from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Pictures of the Year International competitions. In 1982 the Overseas Press Club of America granted him a prize for reporting “above and beyond the call of duty,” an honor usually reserved for combat photographers.

Born in 1952, Nichols’ training in photography began when he was drafted into the U.S. Army’s photography unit in the early 1970s. He later studied his craft at the University of North Alabama, where he met his mentor, former Life magazine photographer Charles Moore.

2005 – American Photo (gear)
 2005 – Grand Canyon
2005 – Grand Canyon
 2008 – Samburu Kenya
2008 – Samburu Kenya
 2009 – Redwoods
2009 – Redwoods
 2012 – Serengeti
2012 – Serengeti

Nichols is also very involved in fostering community among photographers. In 2007 he founded the annual LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, VA. This three-day celebration of peace, love and photography creates a space for photographers to meet as a community of equals, to be renewed, and to share their views with a broader audience.

Nichols lives in Sugar Hollow, VA, with his wife, artist Reba Peck.

His archive is represented by National Geographic Creative.

Limited Edition Fine Art Photographic prints are available through Steven Kasher Gallery in New York City.

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