Brian Skerry@brianskerry

National Geographic Photographer // Speaker // Author // Rolex Explorer of the Year

Photo by @BrianSkerry.
Happy Earth Day, Everyone! In honor of this special holiday, signed prints of Earth’s wildlife and wild places from @natgeocreative photographers are on sale now.
In the photo that I contributed to the sale, a California Sea Lion investigates a drifting kelp paddy teeming with fish in the waters of Cortes Banks, located 100-miles off San Diego, California. Giant kelp frequently breaks free of the sea floor and gathers in ‘paddies’ that drift on the surface, attracting marine life. Cortes Banks is an underwater mountain range that has created a unique habitat of kelp forest and surf grass on the bottom of the ocean and has enabled a variety of pelagic marine life to thrive in the water above.
Visit the link in my profile to see the full collection of images. Remember, the sale ends at midnight on April 28th.

#california #sea #lion #cortes #banks #san #diego #underwater #photography #national #geographic #photooftheday #nat #geo #flashsale #sale


Live today! I’m pleased to announce that my photo of a California Sea Lion, created in the waters of Cortes Banks, is a part of the @natgeocreative’s Flash Sale of collectible prints that capture wildlife and wild places from April 20th-28th. Visit the link in my profile to see all the signed prints on sale for just $100.

Cortes Banks is an underwater mountain range that has created a unique habitat of kelp forest and surf grass on the bottom of the ocean and has enabled a variety of pelagic marine life to thrive in the water above.

#california #sea #lion #cortes #banks #san #diego #underwater #photography #national #geographic #photooftheday #nat #geo #flashsale #sale


Photo by @BrianSkerry
Saturday April 14th is #NationalDolphinDay! This photograph shows a large pod of spinner dolphins socializing while swimming over a white sand bottom in the waters of Oahu, Hawaii. I was freediving to depths of 60-feet to make pictures of these animals. The water was warm and blue and being in the presence of these dolphins was hypnotic. Spinner dolphins are among the most social of dolphin species and are almost always seen in larger groups. Dolphins have the second largest brain relative to body size in the animal kingdom, after humans, but their world is vastly different than our own. Dolphins see much of their world acoustically, using echolocation (sonar) to determine objects and distances. When they sleep, they keep half of their brain awake, because they are voluntary breathers and also must remain vigilant for predators. But what else are they doing with those big brains in the sea? In the time ahead, perhaps these answers will be revealed.
Photographed on assignment for @natgeo with a Nikon D4 camera and 17-35mm lens. Photograph made under NMFS permit #17941
#dolphins #hawaii #underwater #nikonlove #nikonnofilter #nikonambassador @nikonusa @hecsaquatic


Photo by @BrianSkerry
Tomorrow, April 10th, I will be doing an Instagram Live event at 12pm EST. I will be at the headquarters of the @conservationlawfoundation and talking about the plight of the North Atlantic Right Whale - a species on the brink of extinction. I’ll be joining Dr. Scott Kraus with the @newenglandaquarium , a leading right whale researcher working on solutions to save this species. Please check out this event here on my Instagram feed!

This photo shows a Southern Right Whale hovering inches above the sea floor in New Zealand’s sub-antarctic waters. About a million years ago there was once species of Right Whale on Earth. But as land masses moved and oceans became separated, the right whales became separated too. Both species were hunted to the brink of extinction by early whalers, but the Southern Right Whales recovered better following protection, because they live further away from industrialization. The North Atlantic Right Whales are urban animals and live from Canada’s Bay of Fundy to Florida. In these regions they become entangled in fishing gear and often die. They also get hit by ships. Last year (2017) 17 North Atlantic Right Whales were lost.

Learn more about these amazing animals and how we can save them - here on my Instagram Live event on Tuesday at 12pm EST!
#rightwhales #endangeredspecies #extinction #whales


Photo by @BrianSkerry.

A lobster crawls over the rocky sea floor near Hook Head Light in County Wexford, Ireland. According to legend, the saying ‘By Hook or by Crook’ is derived from this location. Oliver Cromwell, the English military leader, proposed to invade Ireland during the English Civil War by way of the village of Crooke - in Waterford - or from Hook Head in Wexford.

Ireland is a frequently photographed place, with ‘forty shades of green,’ beautiful landscapes, and charming towns. But Ireland under the sea is equally beautiful, with a stunning variety of marine life, ranging from marine mammals and fish to colorful invertebrates.

#ireland #green #stpatty #patrick #natgeo #instagood #photooftheday #travelphoto #travel #followme #travelphotographer #nature #animal #lobster #follow #travelphotography #nikonlove #nikonnofilter #nikonambassador


Photo by @BrianSkerry.

A pair of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphins swim through the temperate waters near Jeju Island, South Korea. Three dolphins from this pod were illegally captured several years ago and kept in captivity in a zoo. In 2013 the captive animals were re-wilded and released off Jeju, where they returned to their birth pod and are now doing well. On Tuesday, South Korea banned the importation of dolphins from Taiji, Japan; the location where dolphins are captured for use in captivity or are slaughtered. Although this does not mean that captive dolphins are prohibited in South Korea, such a ban should help reduce the number of captive dolphins, as approximately 70% of the country’s captive dolphins have come from Taiji.

Photographed on assignment for @NatGeo.

#dolphin #dolphins #bottlenose #underwater #southkorea #japan #cute #travelphoto #preservation #followme #follow #instagood #natgeo #nikonlove #nikonambassador #nikonnofilter


Photo by @BrianSkerry
A two-day old humpback whale calf rises towards the surface while its mom hovers below in the warm waters off the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. This population of humpbacks spends the summers feeding in Antarctica, migrating to warmer waters in winter where calfs are then born. The bond between moms and calves is strong, with calfs spending their first year with their mothers, during which time they nurse and are given protection. 
Although much has been learned about this remarkable species throughout decades of research, many mysteries remain with respect to humpback societies in the sea. The song of the male humpback, for example, has been described by scientists as the “horizontal transmission of culture.” Commonly believed to be a means of attracting females, the song of the male has never actually been observed as effective in finding a mate. Might there be greater complexities within these sounds? Further study will likely reveal fascinating aspects of the lives of these whales.

#humpback #whale #humpbackwhale#follow #followme #photooftheday#cookislands #pacific #underwaterphoto#underwaterphotography #instagood#conservation #research #marinebiology #nikonlove #nikonnofilter #nikonambassador


Photo by @BrianSkerry.
A surprised Yellow Gobi welcomes us into his makeshift home – an abandoned soda can - on the volcanic sandy bottom of Suruga Bay, off the coast of Japan. I was diving at a depth of about 100-feet when I saw some debris on the ocean floor. As I swam past, a flash of color caught my eye, and - as I slowly approached the can - this little fish drifted into the ‘doorway’ of his aluminum home. Diving in this place was like swimming through the pages of a storybook, filled with a fascinating cast of characters.
#yellow #gobi #pollution #trash #oceanography #oceans #pollution #fish #cute #animals #conservation #photooftheday #protect #oceans #nikonlove #nikonnofilter #nikonambassador


Photo by @BrianSkerry
A trio of Narwhals, cruise on the surface in the waters of the high arctic off Canada’s Navy Board Inlet. Narwhals are the ‘unicorn whale’ due to their tusk, which is actually a canine tooth that protrudes from the animal’s lip. Male narwhal tusks can grow to lengths of nearly nine feet. I made this picture from a helicopter at around midnight while on assignment for @natgeo. During the arctic summer, it is always light, which allows for long working days. We were living in tents on the beach and would journey out each day onto the pack ice to explore. After decades spent with wildlife, I still experience a thrill being in the presence of animals. And certain species, like narwhals continue to stir my soul. We see brief glimpses of them in surface waters, but I am intrigued by the portions of their lives that remain hidden and elusive. Their lives however are changing due to the decline of sea ice in the arctic and the future will likely be quite different for this mythical creature.
#arctic #explore #climatechange #whales#underwater #nature #narwhal
#nikonlove #nikonambassador


Photo by @BrianSkerry
Happy #WorldWhaleDay - A pair of Southern Right Whales engage in courtship in the waters off the Auckland Islands in New Zealand’s sub-antarctic. Their cousins, the North Atlantic Right Whales, are the most endangered species of whale on Earth, with only about 450 remaining. Both species were hunted to the brink of extinction by early whalers, but the Southern species, while also endangered, recovered better, due to the fact that they live further away from human industrialization.

Being in this chilly water water with 45-foot long whales that weigh 70-tons was a little intimidating, but absolutely beautiful. As an underwater photographer, I cannot use long, telephoto lenses to photograph my subjects or wait in a camouflaged blind for days on end. I can only stay underwater as long as the air supply on my back lasts and must get very close to make pictures. When animals like these whales allow you into their world it is a very special experience.
Photographed on assignment for @natgeo
#whales #nz #underwater #endangered #NikonLove #NikonAmbassador @subal_underwater_housing


Photo by @BrianSkerry
A Great White Shark swims through an undersea forest, approaching a ray, in the waters off South Australia. The largest predatory fish in the sea, the great white remains somewhat enigmatic, with much of its life and behaviors unknown.
As a visual storyteller working in the sea for decades, I am always thinking about how to create images that will engage the viewer. I search for places and brief moments during which I can make a picture that will make people want to know more about the animal or place. Producing such images requires spending a lot of time underwater, waiting for that elusive moment that will resonate as a photograph.
Photographed #onassignment for @natgeo
#australia #nikonlove #nikonambassador #visualstorytelling #sharks #greatwhite @subal_underwater_housing


WINTER FREEDIVING - Near my home on the coast of Maine I’ve been practicing my freediving techniques, even in winter. The air temperature today was 36-degrees F and water temp. was 39-degrees F.
But I absolutely love being in the sea during every season and in almost any conditions. A cup of hot chocolate after this session made it the perfect day!
Video of @BrianSkerry by my friend and colleague Lu Lamar.
#freedive @hecsaquatic hecsaquatic #maine #oceansoul #blackandwhite #winter #brianskerry


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