Photography in the World’s Extreme Environments

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Photo by Michael Nichols

 “My whole thing is visceral,” says photographer Michael Nichols. “My stuff is savage, on the run.”

“What I'm really known for is pushing the boundaries—showing something you can't see in any other way.”

Nichols is one of five photographers featured in the Annenberg Space for Photography's Extreme Exposure, a special series on shooters driven to capture the world's most remote and endangered locations. You can listen to each photographer talk about the dangers they face in this digital exhibit.

“I live in the middle of the Everglades,” says Clyde Butcher, “As primeval a place you can find in the United States.”

Photo by Clyde Butcher
“I'm fighting wind. I'm fighting rain. I'm fighting mud. I'm fighting lightning. Now that's something to be scared of. I've had my hair stand on end. I've had lightning come out of my fingers.”

Photo by Paul Nicklen
Other photographers in the project include Arctic expert Paul Nicklen—who dives with seals and whales—and a husband and wife team that captures volcanic eruptions.

                                                    Stephen James and Donna O'Meara

“We've seen volcanic cyclones, volcanic lightning,” says Donna O'Meara.

“To go to the explosive volcanose, the boomers, and to feel the earth under your feet—just awesome power,” says Stephen James O'Meara. “As long as you survive, it's exciting.”

The couple flew to the erupting Kilauea volcano on their second date, then later married in the same location. They wore tennis shoes during the ceremony, in case they had to run to safety.

You can view jaw-dropping images from the photographers on the Extreme Exposure gallery page. If you want a close encounter with the chance to pose a question or two, go listen to the photographers speak at the center this winter.

–Joe Spring

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