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David Doubilet Underwater Photographer

Picture of seals swimming

Photograph by David Doubilet

Photo: David Doubilet
Photograph by David Doubilet

Photographer David Doubilet estimates he has spent nearly half of his life in the sea since he took his first underwater photograph at the age of 12 with a Brownie Hawkeye camera sealed in a bag.

Considered the world’s leading underwater photographer, Doubilet has introduced a generation to the mystery and wonder of the deep. He has photographed more than 70 stories for National Geographic reporting on coral reefs, historic shipwrecks, ocean predators, and exotic marine creatures.

Doubilet has produced several books, including Light in the Sea, Water Light Time, The Kingdom of Coral: Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and Fish Face. He is also the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Sara Prize, the Lowell Thomas Award, and the Lennart Nilsson Award in Photography.

His images are prized for both their scientific value and their aesthetic beauty. Endowed with a keen sense of humor and the ability to speak poetically about his subjects, Doubilet is an audience favorite.

Popular Presentations

Coral Kingdoms
The ocean covers 70 percent of our planet and yet remains an unknown and fragile frontier. The coral triangle includes tropical marine waters of Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Indonesia, and explodes with insane diversity. The Great Barrier Reef, the largest living reef on Earth, stretches 1800 miles. And Cuba’s reefs thrive due to political isolation. Artificial reefs are constructed where there are none. All around the world, reefs are teeming cities of biodiversity with layers of life that range from the tiniest coral polyp to apex predators that are now under threat due to global climate change and overfishing.

Australia: Under Down Under
Australia is surrounded by an unseen continent of marine life. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest structure on Earth created by a living creature, and is home to rich remote reefs, mysterious shipwrecks, and the largest green sea turtle nesting grounds in the world. Saltwater crocs and the deadly box jellyfish patrol the northern waters of Cape York Peninsula. Her southern coasts are the great white’s proving grounds. And further southward, Tasmania’s waters teem with creatures that defy imagination.

Secret Underwater Edens
Water is the single most valuable commodity on Earth—and Doubilet’s greatest passion. Take a visual journey into seldom-visited secret edens that exist on this planet. Submerge into the beating heart of the Pacific coral triangle, temperate kelp forests attended by dragons, kingdoms of ice with penguins and leopard seals, and the secret freshwater eden of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, a delicate and dangerous world of lily gardens filled with Nile crocodiles and unhappy hippos.

Vanishing Seas: Too Big to Fail?
After 70 National Geographic stories and 40 years in the sea, Doubilet has served as a witness to the changes taking place there. He has spent thousands of hours on coral reefs, has photographed the great migrations of sea life such as sea turtles, freshwater eels, and the the South African sardine run, and has explored the rich temperate and cold seas. Experience a time line in the sea—the great pulses of life and how they are now at risk.

A Shark’s Story… or Sharks, the Reality
Join Doubilet as he introduces the secret worlds of sharks around the globe, and shares the triumphs and tragedies of these great creatures that dominate our seas.

Sea Monsters, Real and Imagined
Meet the deadly box jellyfish, the poisonous blue-ringed octopus, and other dangerous creatures in the sea. Doubilet invites audiences to spend a day in his office—with top predators such as crocodiles, sharks, and toothy leopard seals. Discover the unique survival strategies of many animals that look scary, but are not. Appropriate for student or family audiences.

Seduced by the Sea
Doubilet presents a visual retrospective of a life spent in the sea, focusing on the absolute beauty of the world below.

Learn More About David:

National Geographic Photographer Profile

David Doubilet Photography

Photo: Turtle

Listen to Radio Interview With David Doubilet

Boyd Matson Interviews David for NG Weekend Radio Show

National Geographic Speakers

Speaker name
Sam Abell
   Photographer Photo of Sam Abell
William Albert Allard
   Photographer, Writer Photo of William Albert Allard
Casey Anderson
   Naturalist, TV Host Photo of Casey Anderson
Peter Athans
   Mountaineer, Filmmaker Photo of Peter Athans
Robert Ballard
   Underwater Explorer Photo of Robert Ballard
Brady Barr
   Reptile Expert, TV Host Photo of Brady Barr
Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith
   Photographers, Writers Photo of Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith
Keith Bellows
   Editor in Chief, National Geographic Traveler Photo of Keith Bellows
Melina Bellows
   Publisher, Editor Photo of Melina Bellows
Don Belt
   Former Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, National Geographic Photo of Don Belt
Lee Berger
   Paleoanthropologist Photo of Lee Berger
Joel K. Bourne Jr.
   Contributing Writer Photo of Joel K. Bourne Jr.
Kobie Boykins
   NASA Engineer Photo of Kobie Boykins
John Bredar
   Senior Executive Producer, National Geographic Specials Photo of John Bredar
Kenny Broad
   Cave Diver, Environmental Anthropologist Photo of Kenny Broad
Dan Buettner
   Author, Explorer Photo of Dan Buettner
Andy B. Casagrande
   National Geographic Cameraman Photo of Andy B. Casagrande
Barry Clifford
   Underwater Explorer Photo of Barry Clifford
Jodi Cobb
   Photographer Photo of Jodi Cobb
Michael Davie
   Filmmaker Photo of Michael Davie
Wade Davis
   Cultural Anthropologist, Author Photo of Wade Davis
Dennis Dimick
   Executive Editor, National Geographic Magazine Photo of Dennis Dimick
David Doubilet
   Underwater Photographer Photo of David Doubilet
Sylvia Earle
   Marine Biologist Photo of Sylvia Earle
Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom
   Photographers, Filmmakers, Writers Photo of Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom
Andrew Evans
   Travel Journalist Photo of Andrew Evans
Michael Fay
   Conservationist, Biologist Photo of Michael Fay
Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher
   Photographers, Writers Photo of Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher
John Francis
   Planetwalker, Conservationist Photo of John Francis
Jerry Glover
   Agricultural Ecologist Photo of Jerry Glover
Annie Griffiths
   Photographer Photo of Annie Griffiths
Kevin Hand
   Planetary Scientist and Astrobiologist Photo of Kevin Hand
Zahi Hawass
   Archaeologist Photo of Zahi Hawass
Fred Hiebert
   Archaeologist Photo of Fred Hiebert
Peter Hillary
   Mountaineer, Author Photo of Peter Hillary
Nizar Ibrahim
   Paleontologist Photo of Nizar Ibrahim
Donald Johanson
   Paleoanthropologist Photo of Donald Johanson
Beverly & Dereck Joubert
   Photographers, Filmmakers, Naturalists Photo of Beverly & Dereck Joubert
Karen Kasmauski
   Photographer Photo of Karen Kasmauski
Mattias Klum
   Photographer, Filmmaker, Conservationist Photo of Mattias Klum
Emory Kristof
   Photographer Photo of Emory Kristof
Tim Laman
   Field Biologist, Wildlife Photojournalist Photo of Tim Laman
Chris Eckstrom and Frans Lanting
   Photographers, Filmmakers, Writers Photo of Chris Eckstrom and Frans Lanting
Albert Yu-Min Lin
   Research Scientist and Engineer Photo of Albert Yu-Min Lin
Greg Marshall
   Biologist, Inventor, Filmmaker Photo of Greg Marshall
Boyd Matson
   Journalist, Adventurer Photo of Boyd Matson
Mireya Mayor
   Primatologist Photo of Mireya Mayor
Steve McCurry
   Photographer Photo of Steve McCurry
Kim McKay
   Environmentalist, Author Photo of Kim McKay
Mark Moffett
   Ecologist, Photographer Photo of Mark Moffett
Nalini Nadkarni
   Forest Ecologist Photo of Nalini Nadkarni
Cathy Newman
   National Geographic Senior Writer, Author Photo of Cathy Newman
Michael "Nick" Nichols
   Photographer, Conservationist Photo of Michael "Nick" Nichols
Paul Nicklen
   Photographer, Biologist Photo of Paul Nicklen
Børge Ousland
   Polar Explorer Photo of Børge Ousland
Bob Poole
   National Geographic Cameraman Photo of Bob Poole
Victoria Pope
   Deputy Editor, National Geographic Magazine Photo of Victoria Pope
Chad Pregracke
   Environmentalist Photo of Chad Pregracke
   Photojournalist and Humanitarian Photo of  Reza
Jim Richardson
   Photographer Photo of Jim Richardson
Enric Sala
   Marine Ecologist Photo of Enric Sala
Joel Sartore
   Photographer, National Geographic Fellow Photo of Joel Sartore
Barton Seaver
   Chef, Conservationist Photo of Barton Seaver
Paul Sereno
   Paleontologist Photo of Paul Sereno
Brian Skerry
   Underwater Photographer Photo of Brian Skerry
Bryan Smith
   Adventure Filmmaker Photo of Bryan Smith
Will Steger
   Polar Explorer Photo of Will Steger
Maria Stenzel
   Photographer Photo of Maria Stenzel
Ed Viesturs
   Mountaineer Photo of Ed Viesturs
Spencer Wells
   Population Geneticist Photo of Spencer Wells
Rory Wilson
   Aquatic Biologist Photo of Rory Wilson
Andrew Zolli
   Futurist Photo of Andrew Zolli

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  • Bob Ballard
    Photo: Bob Ballard

    Experience the wonder of deep-sea exploration with the man who found the Titanic.

    Learn More
  • Annie Griffiths
    Photo: Annie Griffiths

    One of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic, Griffiths has photographed in more than a hundred countries during her illustrious career.

    Learn More
  • Donald Johanson
    Photo: Donald Johanson

    An accomplished scholar of human origins and the discoverer of the “Lucy” skeleton.

    Read More

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