Ian Shive is an Ansel award-winning American photographer and filmmaker whose work documents some of the world’s most pristine environments and brings to the public important conservation stories from around the globe. In 2020, Ian Shive launched a new series on Discovery Channel titled Nature in Focus, where he explores our planet as host and executive producer. In 2019, Ian led several expeditions to some of the world’s most remote coral atolls for the giant-screen film, Hidden Pacific, which he directed and produced. Hidden Pacific brings to life in IMAX 3D the vibrant marine national monuments at the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean — thriving ecosystems filled with colorful coral reefs, large colonies of birds, and threatened species that depend on these habitats for survival. He is the author of several, best-selling books including the award-winning The National Parks: An American Legacy, and is proud to announce the release of his next, hardcover book Refuge: America’s Wildest Places, which celebrates the National Wildlife Refuge System. 

Based in Los Angeles, Ian is also the founder and CEO of Tandem Stills + Motion, a leading outdoor media company. Check him on Instagram.

3 words to describe Nature?

Peace. Indiscriminate. Foundational

3 things Nature taught you?

That beauty exists all around us, even in the smallest details. 

To be at peace with all around me, and treat others with the same peace. 

That we are all connected, not just as people, but as a part of nature. 

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Channel Islands National Park, California

Shoshone Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Assunpink Wildlife Management Area, New Jersey

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Small. Curious to explore. Sad that something so big could suffer so much by our hands

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Tranquility. A part of it, as though I could blend in and not be seen

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

That I am witness to something still in progress. 

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

I sense time most acutely. I feel joy at both.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Excitement! 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Cozy. Time to light a fire. 

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Mountain, Desert, Forest, Ocean – in that order. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10 

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Where I lived in New Jersey, we didn’t have access to the big nature of national parks, but we had small parks. Ducks, fish in a pond, turtles in a creek. It was the small things, little trips daily to the water’s edge that I think really impacted me the most, and where I began an appreciation of all of nature, large and small. I remember my parents always being patient, taking me to those places where my young imagination could be so lit up by the natural world.