Frans Lanting

Frans Lanting has been hailed as one of the great nature photographers of our time. His influential work appears in books, magazines, and exhibitions around the world.

Lanting was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and later emigrated to the United States after being educated in the Netherlands. He now lives in Santa Cruz, California and operates a studio and gallery, as well as a stock photography services. Lanting’s wife Christine Eckstrom is a writer, editor, producer, and works on joint books of nature photography. Lanting works in many different parts of the world including the Amazon basin, Africa and Antarctica. His photographs are regularly published in National Geographic, where he served as photographer-in-residence. He is also featured in Outdoor Photographer, Audubon, and Life.

Besides being a National Geographic Photographer, author, speaker and creator images, stories and events that inspire wonder and concern about our planet Frans Lanting is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP)

A 2005 exhibit in the Field Museum of Natural History entitled Jungles focused on the plants and animals of the rainforest. Lanting’s 2006 exhibit, Life: A Journey Through Time, part of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, California, combined his photography with the music of Philip Glass. A travelling exhibition, Frans Lanting: LIFE began in fall 2006 at the Dutch natural history museum in Leiden, Netherlands. The show then travelled through Europe and the United States.

© Frans Lanting
© Frans Lanting
Lanting credits his wife with helping put words to his photographic vision and nowhere is that more pronounced than in Bullfrog, taken in Botswana in 1989, which depicts a huge, semi-submerged frog in the foreground, as grass and trees appear along the high horizon line.

“Bullfrogs in the Kalahari Desert lead secret lives. For most of the year, they hide underground, encased in a protective membrane, until the first heavy downpours bring them back to the surface,”

Asked about the description, Lanting says: “You have to be analytical. If you don’t understand what you are photographing, you are just looking at the surface of things. If you can’t get into this dance with wild animals, you remain a scientist,” he says. “There’s an interaction that goes on between animals and myself, and I’m working with them. It’s not as simple as sitting there and aiming a large telephoto lens from a great distance.” Although he isn’t a hunter, there are aspects of his photography that resemble hunting, Lanting adds. “And ultimately, you have to be able to express things in a way that is lyrical and poetical, or else it’s just a record.”