Award-winning natural history photographer, documentary filmmaker, diver, author and outstanding environmental speaker. Sir David Attenborough commented “Wildlife cameramen don’t come much more special than Doug”.
Doug toured UK theatres in 2019 with his latest show Wild Images, Wild Life, sharing his extraordinary filming challenges and successes.
His legendary expertise in Polar Regions and other extreme environments make him a charismatic guest speaker at educational institutions, corporate events and on expedition cruise trips. His book, Freeze Frame – a Wildlife Cameraman’s Adventures on Ice, is packed with stunning polar photography and fascinating stories that include tracking polar bears, eye to eye with killer whales and up close with leopard seals. The upper slopes of Everest to the deserts of Namibia have become his natural habitats
In his 35 years of filming he’s been involved with more than 65 films, freelancing for the BBC, Discovery, National Geographic and others. He was principal cameraman on many prestigious award-winning programmes, making over 25 trips to the Antarctic and more than 30 across the Arctic, filming for series including Hostile Planet, Forces of Nature, Operation Iceberg, Frozen Planet, Ocean Giants, Human Planet, Life, Planet Earth, The Blue Planet and Life in the Freezer.
His topside and underwater filming – from the ice covered polar seas to tropical coral reefs – combined with his scientific credentials as a marine biologist, have given Doug unparalleled first-hand experience as an environmental speaker. He has a unique long term perspective on these issues which are now severely impacting our environment. He was one of the cameramen for, and appeared in, the award winning documentary, A Plastic Ocean.
Doug first overwintered in the Antarctic in 1976 when he was the research diving officer with the British Antarctic Survey on their station on Signy Island in the South Orkneys. Over the next seven years he spent four winters and six summers working for BAS as a diver, marine biologist and base commander at Signy and at Halley station at 75o south, receiving both the Polar Medal and the Fuchs Medal for his science and support work. It was at Halley where he spent the winter of 1983 that his filming career began. He made frequent visits to the emperor penguin colony ten miles from the base, to film the penguins for the BBC series Birds for All Seasons.
Since then he has spent over 500 days looking for polar bears, lived with the Inuit, interviewed scientists, and travelled in a nuclear submarine from Greenland to Alaska under the North Pole. His dive experience includes more than 5000 hours underwater with over 650 dives under ice. He’s been hugged by a walrus and made friends with a narwhal. He has spent the last forty years at the frontiers of climate breakdown.
Doug’s photographic awards include eight Emmys, five BAFTAs and five Wildscreen Pandas. He has twice won the underwater category in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. He has three Honorary Doctorates in recognition of his camerawork and is an Honorary Fellow of the prestigious Royal Photographic Society and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographic Society. In 2018 he was awarded the RSGS Mungo Park Medal for his contribution to geographical knowledge in hazardous environments.
Doug is an outstanding environmental speaker and speaks with passion and authority about the challenges of plastics and climate change.
“Fabulous talk by Doug Allan last night for our Imprint Book Festival He is an exceptional speaker and the photographs and film clips that he showed us were outstanding” East Ayrshire Libraries
“… a natural and engaging speaker” Science Laboratory Show
“Doug Allan was, of course, excellent. Great speaker, amazing images & stories and an important urgent message about climate change.” Helen Moncrieff, Shetland Islands Manager, RSPB
“A massive round of applause goes to our multi-award winning wildlife cameraman and guest speaker Doug Allan” BSS Tourism Awards
“… guest speaker was the brilliant cameraman Doug Allan. Awesome images” Whale & Dolphin Conservation