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Flip Nicklin free dives to 90 feet like I eat cake: with ease and, if we’re talking the carrot variety, extreme excitement. But while I’m jamming my piehole, Nicklin is taking one last breath, leaping into the ocean loaded with camera gear, and sinking to a lair few humans get to experience with or without air: the natural underwater environment of whales. Nicklin has photographed cetaceans for National Geographic since 1976, and the best of his life’s work is featured in the new coffee-table book Among Giants: A Life With Whales. In addition to his stunning shots of blue whales (the world’s largest animal) and orcas (killer whales to us lardy landlubbers), Nicklin spins yarns about his underwater adventures that are so captivating they’ll almost make you want to drop your sweets, grab your digicam, and jump into the water. Almost. Charles “Flip” Nicklin speaks at 7 p.m. at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $25. residentassociates.org.