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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Views from Beneath the Keel

    David Doubilet, who started taking pictures at the age of 12, sold his first photograph before he even had a driver’s license. Now 60, the National Geographic photographer and contributing editor offered a photo presentation to Stony Brook students and faculty on Sept. 5 in the Sac Ballroom.

    The photographer has published seven books and has received numerous honors and awards, including the Sara Prize, the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award, and the Lennart Nilsson Award. In 2002, he was inducted into the International Diving Hall of Fame.

    ‘I loved it,’ exclaimed social sciences professor Gregory Tsontakis-Mally, referring to the Wednesday presentation. Tsontakis-Mally has experience in Doubilet’s field, as has done about 200 underwater dives in Guam.

    Although the presentation was themed in the sciences, it was not excessively technical, and was made enjoyable for those without science or photography experience. Doubilet’s down to earth personality and sense of humor made provided for a comfortable atmosphere.

    Throughout the event, in detail, Doubilet explained everything from the use of lighting in photos to how sand is formed. His presentation, which included a vast array of slides, captured glances of sharks, dolphins, manta rays, sea horses, octopi, sardines, and clown fish, to name a few. He explained the mating rituals of turtles on Rain Island in Indonesia, the behaviors of the Great White Sharks in South Africa, and techniques for swimming with sharks underwater.

    ‘The pictures were so awesome, so vivid, and lively,’ said Mohana Anwar, a freshman biology major who attended the event. Doubilet said, ‘I want people to feel, when they look at my pictures, a little bit like a fish – to feel that freedom, that weightlessness of the sea.’

    During a brief Q&A session, Peter Brink, who organized the event asked, ‘In all the places you’ve been what would you say is the greatest threat to coral reefs?’ Doubilet replied, ‘Fishing’hellip; Coral Reefs are in the most trouble in Indonesia, and in the long-term view, global warming will have the biggest effect.’

    Photography can be applied to anything, according to Doubilet. Because a photo captures things the human eye cannot see, it can be used as a means of studying the world, one picture at a time.

    ‘Photography is a way of exploring your interests,’ Doubilet said. ‘Photography alone is not a future. What do I want to do with my life? What do I want to learn? I wanted to study the ocean, and photography is a way to look at the ocean.’

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