As a conservation photographer and storyteller, Sony Artisan Paul Nicklen travels the world. But when he comes home, it always blows his mind at how special it is in his own backyard. “Tofino is special to me because it is the perfect cross-section of the British Columbia coastal ecosystem,” Nicklen says, “Where the mountains are thousands of feet tall, and the oceans are thousands of feet deep, and everything in between that is connected. “I see so much beauty in nature that at some point I lose my perspective at what’s amazing and what isn’t, and to come back, it really allows me to slow down, to press pause, and to not take nature for granted.”
In this video, Nicklen takes us behind his creative process and the lenses he relies on to tell the stories he’s most passionate about.
Conservation photographer and storyteller Paul Nicklen takes us behind his creative process and the lenses he relies on to tell the stories he’s most passionate about.
Nicklen’s creative process starts with first finding a story that he’s passionate about, and the next step is deciding which lenses he’s going to make those images with. “I have my ultra-wide 12-24mm F2.8 GM. I love that lens underwater. I love it for landscapes. And then from there I have a couple of really beautiful sharp primes. The 24mm F1.4 GM, the 35mm F1.4 GM, and at the top I have the 600mm G Master, which is incredibly sharp. You would never in the past ever even consider holding a 600mm lens, but they’ve become so light and the body’s light – it’s the perfect lens for this.”
What keeps Nicklen going? He says he has two things that get him out of bed in the morning – knowing that our planet is ailing, and knowing that he can add value to the conservation movement with his camera. “I look at my life now as a photographer, and I couldn’t be any more privileged. I wake up and I put on the sharpest glass in the world on the most advanced bodies, but it hasn’t always been that way. And I tell photographers, just get whatever glass you can. Imagine if you bought one or two wide angle lenses, like a 12-24 or a 24-70, and the work you can do in your backyard, you can change the world.”
See more videos like this one on the Sony Alpha Universe YouTube Channel.