Sebastian Copeland

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Sebastian Copeland (born 1964) is an award winning photographer, polar explorer, author, lecturer, and environmental activist.[1] He has led numerous expeditions in the polar regions to photograph and film endangered environments. His award-winning documentary Into the Cold was a featured selection at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival and was released on DVD timed to Earth Day 2011.[2]

He has addressed audiences at the United Nations, The World Affairs Council, The General Assembly on Climate in New Orleans, The George Eastman House, and Fortune 500 companies such as Hewlett Packard, Google Headquarters, and Apple Inc.’s Senior Design Team, as well as colleges and museums. He is also actor Orlando Bloom's cousin.[1]

He is a sought after public speaker and polar consultant.


The son of Director of the Lille National Philharmonic Orchestra, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Sebastian graduated Summa Cum Laude from the UCLA Film School.[1]

Sebastian began his career in New York City directing music videos before moving on to commercial directing as well as professional photography with credits spanning everything from fashion and advertising to album covers and celebrities. His commercial credits include work for Fila (company), Old Spice, Pantene, Disney, Nintendo, and Mennen amongst others. His music video work has included collaboration with artists ranging from Branford Marsalis to Harry Connick, Jr. and Hall and Oates.[1]

His career in still photography[disambiguation needed] has ranged from celebrities to ad campaigns for Hollywood Studios such as Universal Studios, Disney, Warner Brothers, and Paramount Pictures. His studio credits include promotional work for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Herbie: Fully Loaded, and Goal!, as well as international press for such films as the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, Seabiscuit, and Troy. His Celebrity subjects include: Elijah Wood, Kate Bosworth, Salma Hayek, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Phil Collins, Sandra Bullock, and Orlando Bloom.[1]

In recent years, Sebastian has focused his energy on becoming a voice in the fight to bring awareness to the crisis of global Climate change. His prints have appeared in numerous, worldwide exhibitions that include the United Nations (Solo Show, 2007), the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Peabody Essex Museum as well as the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, among others. His works can also be found in private collections in Europe and the United States where several have been inducted into The Natural World Museum in San Francisco’s permanent archive. In 2006 and 2007 prints from his first book, Antarctica: The Global Warning, were selected to tour with the International Photography Awards’ “Best in Show” world tour. 'Antarctica' garnered much attention, winning Copeland the 2007 Photographer of the Year award in the Book category.[3]

His still work has appeared in countless amounts of publications worldwide including GQ, Marie Claire, Men's Journal, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, Elle, People, USA Today, W, Interview Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, The New York Times, House & Garden, and National Geographic.[4]

Copeland is a regular feature writer for Men's Journal and Huffington Post. He has made keynote addresses to audiences at the United Nations, The Planet Workshops, and many Fortune 500 companies including Google and Apple as well as cultural institutions such as UCLA and the Hammer Museum. Copeland has been featured on TV and radio notably on Larry King, CBS, NPR, Air America, and Al Gore's 24 hour of Climate Reality both as a panelist, host and moderator.

Copeland was named German GQ’s Man of the Year for environmental leadership in 2008.[1] Copeland received the German Gala award in 2010 for his environmental engagement. Copeland received the Global Green USA Founder's Award in 2010.

He is also on the Board of Directors for Global Green and Shine On Sierra Leone, a Non-governmental organization providing educational platforms for the children of war-torn nations.[1]

In 2008, Copeland and partner Luc Hardy led a group of nine children from international backgrounds to the northernmost Canadian arctic.

In 2009 Copeland mounted an expedition to the North Pole meant to commemorate the centennial of Admiral Robert Peary’s expedition in 1909.[5] Sebastian and his partner Keith Heger, filmed their 400-mile expedition on foot to the pole. The surviving footage became Sebastian’s acclaimed documentaryInto the Cold: A Journey of the Soul” which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010.

In 2010, Copeland traversed 2300 kilometers of Greenland's extensive ice flats from south to north on a Kite skiing expedition. His expedition was meant to raise awareness of Global Warming. He documented the journey with his camera as well as blogged live updates through Facebook and Twitter.[6] The expedition lasted 44 days[7] and earned Copeland and partner Eric McNair Landry the new kite skiing distance World Record by covering the longest distance in a 24-hour period: 595 kilometers.[8]

Copeland led the Antarctica 2011-2012 Legacy Crossing. Over 82 days between November 4, 2011 and January 24, 2012 Sebastian and partner Eric McNair-Landry were the first to cross the Antarctica icecap from east to west via two of its poles. They used kites and skis, setting three new polar records in the process. Pulling 400 pounds of supplies each, they were the first to reach the Antarctica Pole of Inaccessibility (POI) from the Novolazarevskaya station on Antarctica's East coast by non-motorized means and without assistance. They were also the first to link the POI to the South Pole without motorized transportation. On January 24, 2012, they finally reached Hercules Inlet, effectively linking the eastern and western coast of Antarctica after covering an adjusted distance of about 4100 kilometers.

Copeland currently lives in Los Angeles.[1] Sebastian continues to lead expeditions to remote corners of the globe to spread consciousness on Global warming.[9]

Artist and Athlete[edit]

Copeland was trained in photography and film through advertising, which he pursued for the first twenty years of professional life. A mountain and climbing enthusiast, it was a trip to the Arctic in 2005 that changed his goals and attitudes. Two consecutive trips to Antarctica in 2006 and 2007 aboard a scientific research icebreaker sealed a personal and professional commitment to combine fine art photography, adventure and environmental advocacy into a life mission. Copeland's motto is to "help people fall in love with their world, in order to protect it". In 2007, Copeland released his first book Antarctica: The Global Warning followed in 2009 with Antarctica: A Call To Action Copeland was named 2007's International Photographer of the Year in the book category. Copeland has had solo fine art gallery shows in Los Angeles, Paris, Hamburg, Munich and Milan and is presently represented by The Bernheimer Gallery in Munich and Flo Peters Gallery in Hamburg. In 2011, Copeland released his first documentary chronicling his and partner Keith Heger's grueling expedition to the North Pole in 2009. Into The Cold: A Journey of the Soul opened at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival and went on to win a number of awards including the 2010 Indie Spirit Film Festival Audience Choice award.

In 2013, in collaboration with RedBull Media House, Copeland completed his second documentary, Across The Ice: The Greenland Victory March, which follows his and Eric McNair Landry's Guiness record kite skiing expedition across Greenland. The film will be released in 2014.

Photo Exhibitions[edit]

  • 2006: Napapijri Gallery Soho; The Global Warning — NYC July 2006
  • 2007: Trans Photographiques 2007; Presented by the city of Lille, France, Celebrity Portraits, Spr. 2007
  • 2007: Council On Foreign Relations NYC, Antarctica—The Global Warning September–November 2007
  • 2007: United Nations, NYC, Antarctica: The Global Warning October 26-December 2, 2007
  • 2007: Salon Imperial, Paris, Antarctica: The Global Warning Nov. 27th-Dec. 16th 2007
  • 2008: Jan Kesner Gallery Los Angeles, Antarctica: The Global Warning Nov. 2007 – Jan. 2008
  • 2008: BREAD Show, Barcelona Antarctica Sponsored by Napapijri January 20–27, 2008
  • 2008: Flo Peters Gallery Hamburg Germany, Antarctica—The Global Warning April 24-May 24, 2008
  • 2008: Napapijri Gallery Milan, Italy Solo Show Antarctica June 23, 2008—September 15, 2008
  • 2008: Transfotografia—Poland Photography Festival, Gdansk Poland Celebrity Portraits August 27, 2008 – September 19th 2008
  • 2008: SLO Museum Art Center, San Luis Obispo, CA, Antarctica: The Global Warning, October 15-November 30, 2008
  • 2013: Bernheimer Gallery, Munich Germany A Million Faces of Ice March—April2013
  • 2013: Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles, CA B&W Ice exhibit to benefit the NRDC, October 2013
  • 2004: Scope Art LA, Group Show Los Angeles, Standard Hotel May 2004
  • 2006: International Photography Awards NYC, Best in Show 2006
  • 2007: Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway Melting Ice--Hot Topic World Environment Day 2007, Presented by The Natural World Museum June 5, 2007
  • 2007: International Photography Awards NYC, Best in Show 2007
  • 2008: United Nation, NYC, On Thin Ice Norwegian Ice Bridge, December 2007-February 2008
  • 2008: Salle d'Exposition at Quai Antoine 1er, Monaco -- Melting Ice: Hot Topic Presented by The Natural World Museum, February 20- March 14, 2008
  • 2008: BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium Melting Ice: Hot Topic October 6, 2007 - January 6, 2008
  • 2008: Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago Envisioning Change April 18-Sept 1, 2008
  • 2008: Prix Pictet Exhibition Palais de Tokyo, Paris Antarctica : The Global Warning Oct—Nov 2008
  • 2009: Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Massachusetts Polar Attractions June 28, 2008—June 7, 2009
  • 2009: Berheimer Gallery, Munich Germany Landscapes June 18-July 30, 2009
  • 2010: Salon d’Automne, Solyanka State Gallery, Moscow Russia November 25—December 3, 2010
  • 2013: Berheimer Gallery, Munich Germany Platinum September 20 – October 31, 2013
  • 2013: Paris Photo 2013 at the Grand Palais, Paris France with Bernheimer Gallery, 14–17 November 2013
  • 2014: Art South Hampton, in South Hampton, New York with Bernheimer Gallery 24-28 July 2014

Selected Photography Awards[edit]

  • 2006: International Photography Awards- 1st Place Professional Nature Category & 1st Place Professional Special Category
  • 2007: Photo District News (PDN) Awards—Merit Award—Extreme Exploration
  • 2007: PX3 Awards—2nd Prize winner Professional Category—Landscape & 3rd Prize Winner Professional Category—Other
  • 2007: International Photography Awards (IPA) --Professional Photographer of the Year Book Category & 2nd Place – Professional Nature category, Landscapes Antarctica
  • 2008: Prix du Cercle Polaire—Official Selection Antarctica: The Global Warning
  • 2008: Photography Masters Cup—International Color Awards: Wildlife Honorable Mention
  • 2008: Prix Pictet—Shortlist finalist—nominated by a “global nominations panel of 49 leading experts in the visual arts, from six continents” which “made over 200 nominations from 43 countries” from which the seven judges have short listed 18 photographers "who have produced works that are of outstanding artistic merit and communicate messages of urgent global significance."
  • 2009: International Photography Awards (IPA) -- 3rd Place—Professional Book Category: Nature (Antarctica: A Call To Action) & 3rd Place—Professional Fine Art: Nature
  • 2010: Photography Masters Cup—International Color Awards: 3rd Place—Honor of Distinction: Nature
  • 2011: Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Finalist
  • 2011: Px3 Prix de la Photographie Paris—Gold Award – Professional Press Nature/Environmental Category
  • 2012: Epson Pano Awards—Bronze Award, Category Nature
  • 2012: Arctic Awards -- FIAP Medal & PSA The Arctic ribbon
  • 2013: Arctic Awards -- PSA Gold Medal


  • Antarctica: The Global Warning 2007 Palace Press International (French translation Intervista; Spanish Lunwerg and German Rolf Heyne; Australia The Five Mile Press)
  • Antarctica: A Call To Action 2008 Palace Press International
  • Water 2008 – Prix Pictet Editions TeNeues
  • The Call Of The Poles 2009 (Introduction) Le Cercle Polaire Publishing
  • Commitment: When The World Must Come Together As One 2009 (Essay) Edition Electa

Book Awards[edit]

  • 2007: International Photography Awards (IPA) Professional Photographer of the Year—Book Category Antarctica: The Global Warning
  • 2009: Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award—Silver Award: Environment Category Antarctica: A Call To Action
  • 2009: Book Expo America—Silver Award—Environmental Books: Antarctica—A Call To Action

Selected Film Awards[edit]

  • 2009 Los Angeles Reel Film Festival—Best Director, Best Voice Over, 2nd Place Feature Documentary
  • 2010 Indie Spirit Film Festival—Best Sport/Adventure Documentary
  • 2010 Tribeca Film Festival—Official Selection Documentary
  • 2010 Cinema For Peace – Jury Special Prize
  • 2010 Environmental Film Festival - Official Selection
  • 2010 Blue Planet Film Festival - Official Selection
  • 2011 Victoria Film Festival - Official Selection
  • 2011 Action on Film International Film Festival - Official Selection
  • 2012 Arctic Light Doc Festival - Official Selection

Personal Distinctions[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Sebastian Copeland". DLD Conference. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  2. ^ "A Journey of the Soul". Into The Cold. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  3. ^ "Professional Winner Page". Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Cynthia Ellis: Tribeca Festival Interview: Sebastian Copeland Goes Into the Cold". Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  6. ^ "Expedition To The Third Pole By Power Of Kite - Technorati Sports". 2010-06-03. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  7. ^ "home « Sebastian Copeland Adventures". Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  8. ^ "Polar News ExplorersWeb - Greenland ski wrap-up: New kite world record". 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  9. ^ Truitt, Brian (2010-04-25). "For Sebastian Copeland, going 'Into the Cold' is a way of life". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 

List of polar explorers