Ocean photographer next to take stage for National Geographic Live series

Photographer Brian Skerry will share his images and thoughts on the soul of the ocean during a National Geographic Live event Friday night.

The award-winning photojournalist and marine conservationist specializes in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Since 1998, he has been a contract photographer for National Geographic magazine, covering a wide range of subjects and stories.

Celebrated for his intimate and stunning portraits of the planet’s ocean realm, Skerry’s presentation is a visually representation of his landmark National Geographic book “Ocean Soul.” Using his images and stories, Skerry will talk about the wonder and resilience of the vast underwater world.

In his National Geographic biography, Skerry is praised for his aesthetic sense as well as his journalistic drive for relevance: “His uniquely creative images tell stories that not only celebrate the mystery and beauty of the sea, but also help bring attention to the large number of issues that endanger our oceans and its inhabitants.”

With an assignment schedule that has him working nearly year-round, Skerry often finds himself in environments of extreme contrast from tropical coral reefs to diving beneath polar ice. While on assignment, he has lived on the bottom of the sea, spent months aboard fishing boats and traveled in everything from snowmobiles to canoes to the Goodyear blimp. Skerry estimates he has spent more than 10,000 hours underwater over the last 30 years.

In his work for the magazine, Skerry’s work covers a wide array of topics, including a cover story on the harp seal’s struggle to survive in frozen waters and sounding an alarm in the world’s fisheries. He also has looked at subjects like the planet’s last remaining pristine coral reefs, the plight of the right whale, sharks of the Bahamas, marine reserves, sea turtles and squid.

In addition to writing for other publications, National Geographic Books released his latest monograph, “Ocean Soul,” in November 2011.

He is currently at work on his 20th National Geographic story.

After three decades of exploring the world’s oceans, Skerry said he wants to continue pursuing stories that increase awareness about the sea.

“The oceans are in trouble. There are some serious problems out there that I believe are not clear to many people,” he said in a news release. “My hope is to continually find new ways of creating images and stories that both celebrate the sea yet also highlight environmental problems. Photography can be a powerful instrument for change.”