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Amos Nachoum is an internationally acclaimed wildlife and underwater photographer. During his 40-year career, he has explored the outposts of the world and captured award-winning images of leopard seals, killer whales and great white sharks. Nachoum likes to get up close and personal with his subjects; he does not use a cage underwater.


The documentary film “Picture of His Life,” shot in the Canadian Arctic, depicts Nachoum’s quest to photograph polar bears underwater. The film is an elegy to nature, and it showcases the impact of climate change on polar bears. Because of ice melt and sea-level rise, the animals are forced to swim farther to find food. Scientists estimate that two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will be gone by 2050. This is why Nachoum wanted to photograph them underwater. “When you take a picture of Mother Nature, you capture a piece of it that may never be the same,” he says.



An Israeli citizen, Nachoum lives in Pacific Grove, California, and heads a company called BigAnimals that leads groups of adventurers to far corners of the Earth to discover novel ways to observe and photograph animal behavior in the wild. Nachoum is a conservationist and advocate for protecting wild animals, and for saving endangered species. “Be calm and collected with wildlife,” Nachoum says. “The biggest mistake all photographers make is to be quite aggressive.”Nachoum has guided expeditions for such clients as Apple, Discovery Channel, Microsoft and Columbia Pictures. Among many other publications, his work has appeared in National Geographic, Time, Life and The New York Times. He has twice been named BBC Wildlife Photographer of the year. Last year, he was awarded the SeaKeeper of the Year Award from the International SeaKeepers Society.



Nachoum has launched a nonprofit called Ocean Giant Legacy, whose mission is to create a photographic monument of the world’s 35 biggest marine animals.

“We can protect them for future generations if we will do the right things now,” he says. “Extinction is forever. Conservation is inspiring, and I want to show that there is hope.”

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This article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of Yachts International.