Ocean Photography

blog post photo

© Brian Skerry

Underwater photographers must endure some of the toughest conditions to tell a visual story. From coral reef wonderlands to deep sea diving, there’s plentiful obstacles along the way, such as low light levels and shimmering fish scales.

Join National Geographic photographers as they disappear beneath the waves and investigate an intentionally sunk artificial reef, photographing sponges, cup corals, surgeonfish, sharks and snapper in the newest artificial reef off the East Coast.

Coral reefs are one the world’s most diverse ecosystems. And although they cover less than one percent of the seafloor, coral reefs sustain 25% of all marine animals –over 4,000 species of fish.

Endangered, carnivorous, colorful coral reefs are responsible for feeding, employing or protecting half a billion people. But almost twenty percent of the planet’s coral reefs are destroyed, and about half of those left are stressed by global warming, sedimentation, pollution and overfishing.

But a man-made object, such as a ship, can become an artificial reef and birth new marine ecosystems. These areas become a gathering place for ocean life, offering opportunities for reproduction, hunting and hiding.

What challenges will these photographers face during an underwater shoot in this coral reef?

Watch Capturing the Deep, Wednesday, January 5th at 8 PM et/pt on Nat Geo WILD!

Interested in learning more? Discover more fascinating facts about coral and find out how scientists are growing coral in labs to help protect the species. And get tips on ways to improve your own underwater photography skills.