Ocean Soul

Ocean Soul

Photojournalist Brian Skerry celebrates the sea and its creatures in magnificent images.


3 - 12+


Arts and Music, Photography, Biology, Oceanography

NG Live

This video was filmed on November 14, 2011 as part of the National Geographic Live! Lecture series at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.


Photojournalist Brian Skerry celebrates the sea and its creatures in magnificent images collected during more than 10,000 hours underwater spanning 30 years. Skerry specializes in underwater and marine-related subjects and stories. Since 1998, Skerry has been a contributing photographer for National Geographic magazine, covering a wide range of assignments.


  • Introduction: Photographing the ocean's soul (start-1:03 min.)

  • Telling underwater stories: Challenges, finding order in chaos, and focusing (1:04-5:10 min.)

  • Photographing the icy waters of northern Japan (5:11-7:00 min.)

  • Species in the Ogasawara Islands of tropical Japan (7:01-10:55 min.)

  • A lens for conservation and environmentalism: Harp seals (10:56-14:57 min.)

  • A war story: the industrial fishing of bluefin tuna and shrimp (14:58-18:25 min.)

  • Photographing the plight of sharks (18:26-19:28 min.)

  • Humans and right whales (19:29-21:05 min.)

  • A story of hope: marine reserves in New Zealand (21:06-27:20 min.)

Strategies for Using Video in a Variety of Learning Environments

  • Have students preview several of the videos and choose the one they find most inspiring. Have students describe in writing a conversation they might have with the speaker(s).
  • Freeze the video on a relevant image. Have students observe details in the still image and jot down predictions of what the full video might address. Discuss students’ ideas before and after watching the video.
  • Pose an open-ended question before students watch the video, and have them discuss their ideas before and after in small groups.
  • Have students determine what they think the key message of this video is. Was the speaker effective in getting his or her message across?
  • Show a short clip to engage students during class, and then have students watch the full video at home and write a paragraph responding to the content or a question you give them.
  • Have students note statements that represent facts or opinions, including where it’s difficult to tell the difference. What further research might help distinguish facts and opinions? How might the speaker’s viewpoint compare with others’ viewpoints about a topic?
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Page Producers
Nina Page, National Geographic Society
Samantha Zuhlke, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

December 8, 2022

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