A photographer nearly froze to capture these images. The results? Spectacular.
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Barilla

45 minutes after diving under the ice into the frigid water of the Arctic, Paul Nicklen's body starts uncontrollably shivering.

He can't feel his fingers — or the camera in his hands — at all. The only way he knows he's actually taking pictures is to watch his finger hit the shutter button on the camera.

But he keeps pressing on, taking photos, until the early stages of hypothermia start to set in and everything starts to slow down. That's when he knows it's probably time to wrap up the shoot.


Image by Paul Nicklen via Barilla/While the Water Boils.

Nicklen is a Canadian photographer who has spent much of his career photographing wildlife in frigid polar environments.

"I'm really good at freezing," he jokes.

He's even been away from home for up to 10 months at a time, relying solely on the equipment and food he brought with him to survive. (And what does he eat on those trips? Lots and lots of pasta, he says, because "I can take 90 pounds of pasta into the field and that will last me three months.")

But no amount of shivering, extreme conditions, or any other challenges can keep Nicklen from getting the shot.

"This is my one chance to connect the world to the changing polar regions and that's what drives me," Nicklen told Hannah Hart on While the Water Boils. "If I’m cold and frozen and miserable, I can push past that to get these images."

Image by Paul Nicklen via Barilla/While the Water Boils.

Nicklen’s work is not just about getting a beautiful photograph —  it’s also about education.

Through his art, he wants to draw attention to fragile ecosystems, climate change, and other pressing issues affecting polar wildlife. That's why he takes photographs in some of the world's harshest environments and has had encounters with numerous wild animals, including polar bears, narwhals, leopard seals, and penguins.

In fact, educating others about these issues was so important to Nicklen that it's why he chose to become a photographer in the first place.

"I went off to university to become a biologist," he said, "but I became frustrated that we weren't affecting change with that science."

"I thought if I can become a photographer and if I can get a job with say, National Geographic, now I have the chance to reach a hundred million people to bridge the gap between the important science and the public," he adds.

Paul Nicklen. Image by Paul Nicklen via Barilla/While the Water Boils.

To Nicklen, even something as simple as a caption can help get the word out about important conservation issues.

In fact, he uses his Instagram — which he calls "millennial-bait" — to draw people in through a beautiful photograph and then, while he has their attention, teach them something about the animal or landscape shown through the caption.

With more and more exposure and education, Nicklen hopes he can mobilize others to care about science and conservation, too. And hopefully that can help drive action and change to help combat the issues affecting these polar regions.

Image by Paul Nicklen via Barilla/While the Water Boils.

Nicklen discussed his passion for his work recently on While the Water Boils.

This is a YouTube show where Hannah Hart (YouTube star and author) sits down with people to find out more about their passions. Learn more about him and his photos in this video:

Capturing these stunning wildlife images puts his life at risk, but he does it to shed light on an issue that affects us all.

Posted by Upworthy on Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Nicklen's story shows that there are lots of ways to use your passion — whether it's photography and science or something else entirely — to help make the world a better place.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

Gem is living her best life.

If you've ever dreamed of spontaneously walking out the door and treating yourself a day of pampering at a spa without even telling anyone, you'll love this doggo who is living your best life.

According to CTV News, a 5-year-old shepherd-cross named Gem escaped from her fenced backyard in Winnipeg early Saturday morning and ended up at the door of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Spa, five blocks away. An employee at the spa saw Gem at the gate around 6:30 a.m. and was surprised when they noticed her owners were nowhere to be seen.

"They were looking in the parking lot and saying, 'Where's your parents?'" said Shawn Bennett, one of the co-owners of the business.

The employee opened the door and Gem hopped right on in, ready and raring to go for her day of fun and relaxation.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."