David Doubilet on the World Beneath the Surface

David Doubilet on the World Beneath the Surface

“We’re making pictures that have to astound, that have to open people’s eyes, that have to stop people." says David Doubilet.

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Australian sea lions swim in the waters of the Great Australian Bight, featured in Milestones of Underwater Photography.

David Doubilet inadvertently realized his sense of awe with the underwater world as an 8-year-old at a New York summer camp. He opened his eyes under the water and was instantly mesmerized by a world of different light. Doubilet began his career in underwater photography by shooting through a rubber anesthesiologist’s bag, before eventually graduating to diving with scuba gear to the depths of the world’s oceans.

Describing his work, he says, “We go to the ends of the earth, and then we go underwater.” Since his first assignment over 40 years ago, Doubilet has had close to 70 stories published in National Geographic Magazine.

Allison Russell, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This video portrait was produced by National Geographic magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It is part of an ongoing series of conversations with the photographers of the magazine, exploring the power of photography and why this life of imagemaking suits them so well. Learn more about the making of the series and watch the full trailer here.