What’s just below the ocean’s surface? In the wondrous images by National Geographic photographer David Doubilet, we get a glimpse into the world beneath the water. Known as the “Audubon of the sea,” Doubilet captures vivid sights that are a split view, simultaneously showing what’s happening atop the water as well as within it.
The results are fascinating; a magenta jellyfish, for instance, blooms in the foreground, punctuated with a backdrop of tall pine trees. A fuzzy baby seal rests on a seemingly shallow piece of ice with no idea that it’s a much larger glacier below. This unique format supports the bigger idea behind Doubilet's work. “I want to create a window into the sea,” he explains, “that invites people to see how their world connects to another life-sustaining world hidden from their view.”
Doubilet’s incredible underwater photography has been compiled into a new book published by Phaidon. Titled Two Worlds: Above and Below the Sea, it features a bevy of images taken throughout his career, published just as he is celebrating his 50th anniversary as a National Geographic photographer. The above-below images feature places including the frigid Atlantic ocean and the tropical Great Barrier Reef. Each reveals the beauty of air and sea while offering a powerful reminder for us to do all we can to protect our world amid climate change.