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I have worked with National Geographic since 1987. For many years, I was the Geographic's Director of Multi-Image and an Executive Producer. My work included writing, photography, producing and lecturing. I created shows about history, travel, photography, cultures, wildlife, environmental issues, science, exploration, the Geographic and other topics.

I continue to photograph and lecture on National Geographic Expeditions. I have traveled on them to Europe, the Arctic, the Galapagos, Antarctica, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, the South Pacific, and the Baltic Sea. Future expedition assignments will be listed here on the Events page.

On this page you can watch a few of the many shows I created for National Geographic. More films and photography can be found on other pages of this website.

Todd Petra.jpg


A look at the unique flora and fauna of these magical islands, photographed on two National Geographic Expeditions.

A look at the unique flora and fauna of these magical islands, photographed on two National Geographic Expeditions.


I created this film for use in the lobby of National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was created in the year 2000, so some of it is now dated. But I think it still gives a feel for how the Geographic works. It takes us behind the scenes to show how explorers, photographers and writers in the field are supported by work back at headquarters to bring their work to the Geographic’s magazines and TV shows. I commissioned a piece of music from John Kusiak for the score of the film. 

I WITNESS: The Career of James Stanfield

In 1998, National Geographic celebrated the career of Jim Stanfield, perhaps the greatest photographer ever to shoot for the magazine. He was retiring after more than thirty years shooting blockbuster stories. They also launched a book of his photographs, “Eye of the Beholder.” I created this show to support these two events, and also to document the work of this extraordinary artist for posterity. I went with Jim to Greece to photograph him on assignment. I interviewed him and worked on the narration for this show. In my years at National Geographic, I created many shows profiling its talented corps of photographers. But Jim was, to me, in a league of his own. His images are art, and in this show, he shares insights into what went into his photography. He also shares some stories from his wide-ranging and illustrious career at National Geographic. Working together on this show sparked a friendship that continues to this day.

Jim passed away in October, 2023. His incredible body of work will live on, an homage to a talented artist.

CULTURES: The Tapestry of Life

This piece was originally created for National Geographic Traveler Magazine to use at an international travel symposium.  It premiered in Beijing, China, in 1997. My goal was to show that when we travel, we experience other cultures and realize that we are more alike than we are different. We all share a common humanity. That unites us more powerfully than any difference divide us. Today, in 2020, perhaps more than ever, the message of this show is one that I hope everybody who sees it will think about and promote.

KINGDOM: A Journey Through Animal Life

This film was created for National Geographic Magazine. It is a journey through the animal kingdom. I wanted to show the beauty of wild animals, their behavior, and explore our relationship to them. Most of the photographs are by the great wildlife photographer Frans Lanting, with some images from others as well. Since the show would be used worldwide, I used no script that would require translation. Instead, I created small chapters of images and music to tell the story. I hope this film will help viewers appreciate the diversity of the animal kingdom and connect them emotionally to the wild creatures with whom we share our planet.

Lindblad / National Geographic Expedition Films


In December of 2018, I worked on two Expeditions to Antarctica for National Geographic, aboard its ship the Explorer. My goal in this film is to give folks an impressionistic feel for what Antarctica is like, from its sweeping vistas to its small details, from its colonies of penguins to an old British research station. I hope viewers will get some sense for the humbling, magnificent desolation and remoteness of Antarctica.


A look at the unique flora and fauna of these magical islands, photographed on two National Geographic Expeditions.


A remote British base in Antarctica is the setting for this story — an examination of isolation and madness.


For Nat Geo/Lindblad Expedition guests only, download a PDF of Todd's thoughts on photography,  media and storytelling. It includes resources, techniques and a bibliography.

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