“People are fascinated by sharks because they can literally swallow you whole,” David Doubilet, an underwater photographer for National Geographic, told a capacity crowd in Campbell Hall on Tuesday night.
Doubilet delivered a two-hour slide show titled “An Evening of Underwater Photography” where he showed a picture of the inside of the mouth of a great white shark – which took him a month to capture – among other sea-life photos.
“There’s constant surprises in the sea” he said as he went on to describe the ocean as “the basement of our world.”
Brightly colored pictures of stingrays in the Cayman Islands, black coral in Hawaii and great white sharks from South Australia flashed across the screen as Doubilet provided an in-depth background of each picture. He also spoke of his firsthand experience during his quest for rare underwater photographs.
Doubilet, a graduate from the local Brooks Institute of Photography, expressed his love for the Santa Barbara beaches.
“Growing up in New Jersey,” he said, “I dreamed of clear water. I dreamed of Santa Barbara.”
Doubilet also compared diving in Santa Barbara to his experiences in New Jersey before attending the Brooks Institute.
“I like to refer to diving in New Jersey as ‘Frank Sinatra diving,'” he said. “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”
Community member Yael Kisel attended Doubilet’s presentation after seeing posters and articles of his work.
“His work is a beautiful combination of photography and marine life,” Kisel said.
In tribute to Earth Day, Doubilet concluded the night by stressing the preservation of the planet’s “living jewels” such as coral reefs, fish and coastlines.