As a staff photographer for the National Geographic Society for 37 years, Bates Littlehales covered a wide range of assignments around the world. He is considered one of the pioneers of underwater photography and designed the OceanEye housing for the Nikon F and all of its interchangeable lenses.
Littlehales's interest in natural history predates even his photography. Nature assignments for National Geographic reaffirmed his zeal for the natural world, and since his retirement he has embarked on a second career as a nature photographer. This new career has seen him again published in National Geographic magazine, as well as National Geographic Traveler and World (now National Geographic Kids).
He has had many books published, including Wild Southland, Wetlands of North America, Birdwatch, and Nature's Habitats.
He has been published in more than 60 magazines and publications, including National Wildlife, International Wildlife, Ranger Rick, Natural History, Birder's World, Wild Bird, Pacific Discovery, Nature Conservancy, National Parks, Equinox, Canadian Wildlife, Washingtonian, Chickadee, Reader's Digest, Science World, Adventures, Smithsonian, Photo District News, the Washington Post, and American Heritage.
Littlehales has conducted workshops for the Audubon Naturalist Society, for Biological Journeys of California (in Glacier Bay, Alaska), and on a National Geographic Society tour of Costa Rica. He also teaches nature photography workshops.