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Ocean Encounters

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Published Aug 15, 2017 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 32 Contributors

    32 photos selected by

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    I was on my weekly night dive and we ran into a group of very friendly squids..I followed this gu...

    #squid_atnight #scuba #underwater #squid #nightdive

    Let me begin by saying thank you to every talented Your Shot member for his or her enthusiastic participation in this assignment, in partnership with National Geographic Encounter. Opening in New York City's Time Square with Ocean Odyssey, National Geographic Encounter is a first-in-kind immersive entertainment experience that transports you on a breathtaking undersea journey. Through ground-breaking technology, you'll come face-to-face with humpback whales, great white sharks, Humbolt squids and sea lions! 

    There were so many exciting images submitted that even after making my final selections, I was left with 103 images. I had to make some cuts that practically made me seasick to do. The ocean might be expansive, but digital real estate for a story is not, as it turns out.

    Hospitals reef is one of the most beautiful beach present in San Diego. It is a photographer’s pa...

    #landscape #california #la_jolla_beach #reef_beach #beach #travel #longexposure #nature #sunset

    Editor's Note

    The endless stretch of horizon, a landscape riddled by shallow, aqueous, sun kissed pock marks, the low perspective...everything about this still paints into focus a realm we are more likely to enc... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    A big part of Vietnamese live along the coastal and earn by fish catching. Therefore, they very m...

    #dried_fish #fish #vietnam #ocean_encounters #fisher #food #sunlight #traditional

    Editor's Note

    Incredible! What a remarkable perspective to tell this story from. It's like the fish are still suspended and animated somehow. There is a heart wrenching poetry to this insightful image. I am move... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Curious about the big marine creature.

    #bnw #ocean #fisherman #shark

    Editor's Note

    A sea of faces staring past the death of sea life. It is stark. It is telling. It is persuasive. Efficacious storytelling in a single glimpse.

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Winter is my favorite time to visit the coast along Northern California. The heavy weather and su...

    #california #surf #weather #coast #ocean #water #heavy #goat_rock #sonomacoast #waterscape #wave

    Editor's Note

    Incredible. I have seen so many images of waves and surf submitted to this assignment, the unique and compelling way in which your composition and framing enables me to feel the might of the sea is... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    This was the first time I had ever encountered a Monk seal and I had heard that they are unpredic...

    #monksealhawaii #monkseal #hawaii #underwaterphotgraphy

    Editor's Note

    The pensive, curious expression on this seal's face humanizes his presence and likens his demeanor to that of a toddler. Seals are deeply endearing creatures but their ability to emulate an animal ... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    A "Tako" (octopus) in Hawaii decided to latch onto my camera while I was diving one day. Instead ...

    #landscape #trending #protecttheselands #ocean #featured #top #underwater #people #nature

    Editor's Note

    I love that you took advantage of this "Technical Difficulty" and delivered a fun photo. Thanks for sharing the story behind this frame; your caption definitely makes me love your image even more —... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    In the shadows of Moalboal a storm of sardines await. The shoal is so immense that when overhead ...

    #sardines #philippines #ocean #underwater

    Editor's Note

    Wow! This image really portrays the scale of a bait ball! To me, it deliberates the ocean's abundance, and how much one human stands to take or set aside for the next generation. I think this compo... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Canyon one of the famous dive site at Dahab in Egypt. But horde of divers scare away all fith th...

    #diving #darkwater #hunting #dahabcanyon #cave #lionfish #underwater

    Editor's Note

    This is such a topical concern! To deliberate abundance of marine wildlife in a negative light, as is the case of an invasive species! Lion fish are adept predators, and compromise every ecological... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    The ocean is tenuous yet tenacious, formless yet finite, resilient yet ravaged. It seems that the ocean is an expression of abundance, and while it is, our rapacious greed has taken more than she is able to nurture into existence. The story of ocean is no longer one of just nature, but of the human race as well. We are undoubtedly an articulation of her imaginative depths, for like all life we too can trace our humble origins to her primordial abyss, and give her credit for one out of every two breaths we draw. 

    She is bountiful, but she needs something we seem to be constantly out of: time. Time to recuperate, time to create, time to be.The submissions handed into this assignment were brimming with the vitality the sea voices. Some left a haunting impression, while others managed to convey a wake up call, bringing our ever-fleeting attention to the loss of biodiversity. 

    I scuba dive every week-end all year round, along the coast of Tuscany, Italy. I created this sho...

    #mama #ocean #birth #diver

    Editor's Note

    Omigosh. This is exquisite! Honestly...I am blown away by how dynamically you have captured the moment of immersion. I have no words, except to scream Eureka, way to capture displacement! It also r... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Colliding backwash flared resembling Medusa's hair and backlit by the rising sun burning through ...

    #waves #weather #sea #ocean #water #moody #mood #rainy #clouds #rain #wave #storm

    Editor's Note

    Incredibly insightful captures of wave motion and the personality of the ocean. All three submissions of yours capture the soul and spirit of the sea, in quick glimpses. It shows what most miss, an... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    It was a summer afternoon at Dốc Lết bay - Việt Nam, with heavy rains and heavy thunderstomrs. Th...

    #oldman #doclet #man #weather #sea #vietnam #beach #peoaple #sky #travel #nhatrang #nature

    Editor's Note

    Was the fisherman oblivious of the tornado up ahead? How is he so tranquil with a tempest brewing before him? Feel like there is a nugget of Confucius wisdom I need to draw from this moment, or I a... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    A carpet of Nature, showing off in Bondi-Australia. Stopped staring at my iPhone screen for a min...

    #djimavicpro #mavic #sydney #dji #waves #bondi #ocean #drones #australia #rocks #birdseye #bondibeach

    Editor's Note

    There were many superb aerial shots submitted, but something about the colors, textures and the relationship between the land and the sea in this frame makes it truly alluring. If I were a bird, I'... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    The iconic photo of Garrett McNamara at Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal taking on likely the wor...

    #portugal #surf #garrett_macnamara #nazare #big_wave #big_monday #nazare_canyon #sports

    Editor's Note

    The people poised at the tip of the building's roof, look as though they are standing at the helm of an old vessel, ready to brace for the breaking wave during a perfect storm. There is something s... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Mangrove forests are under threat in many parts of the world. This is the biggest mangrove forest...

    #island #mountain #sea #ocean #drone #thailand #aerial #mangrove #south #phang_gna #forest #sunset

    Editor's Note

    I cannot believe I went all the way to Thailand a month ago and failed to see an exquisite landscape like this. Thank you for seeding the desire within me to make the journey over to the other side... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    A few weeks a year, the jade vine in the botanical garden produces bluish green flowers hanging ...

    #blue #jade_vine #macro #abstract #ocean #toys #water #flowers #whimsy #flower

    Editor's Note

    Just genius! Absolutely adore this fantastic take on an 'Ocean Encounter' using that which has withered off a plant, to bring a whole narrative sequence to life! To create a living moment with deat... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    This is my daughter dipping her toes in an ocean of blue clothes. I decided to gather all the bl...

    #clothes #oceanencounter #sea #water #h1 #wave

    Editor's Note

    Absolutely brilliant take on this assignment. I am really glad you decided to submit this image to Ocean Encounters, it helps expand how the ocean is seen on land, and how we use water as a species... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Young explorer at London Aquarium, facinated with the underwater world

    #london #aquarium #children #explorer

    Editor's Note

    The child's awe is evident despite being hidden from view. This is what we stand to lose, when we lose ocean. Magic. Sheer, inescapable, all consuming, magic!

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    The mother and her little daughter are lying on the fish-nets. They settle near the coast. Their ...

    #yourverticalworld #fish #kid #ocean #vietnam #woman #family #portrait #love

    Editor's Note

    This is fantastic! Exactly the kind of vision and insight I was looking for in an image for this assignment. Absolutely love everything about this composition and story.

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    From astonishing macro scenes of striking nudibranchs, to the overwhelming scale of bait walls, there has been such a rousing range of subjects to curate a final story from. My favorite captures brought an animal alive in a human state of mind or feeling, sporting either an expression or an attitude typical of our species. 

    In science, we are not meant to anthropomorphize wild animals, but I think in storytelling we can. It is important to recognize these similarities between us and wildlife, because in the end we will only save that which we identify with. It is important to perceive the wild within us and the humanity within the wild, as we are inextricably interdependent. There were many breathtaking submissions that portrayed a positive and negative partnership between the wild ocean and humanity.  

    This is a photograph of a small plastic water bottle with water in it and with air bubbles on the...

    #plastic #bubbles #abstract #pattern #ocean #water #ngmh2o

    Editor's Note

    The creative genius behind this concept is remarkable. I absolutely love how you have pushed the boundaries of this assignment's ask with this particular image. You bring ocean alive on a plastic b... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    A sea anemone greets the ocean, as the water rushes into a tide pool in Venice Beach, California....

    #wildlife #sea_anemone #water #sand #beach #animal #tide_pool #nature

    Editor's Note

    Great use of your camera settings to keep the anemone sharp with the water rushing through. It shows the profound and prolific interaction between ambient environment and an organism. An ecosystem ... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Last spring I did fieldwork in the Arctic fjords of Svalbard and got totally fascinated by all th...

    #ice #polar #spitsbergen #artic #sea #seaice #ocean #svalbard #pancake

    Editor's Note

    Abstract. Fascinating, and a unique insight into the frozen waterscape of the Arctic. The patterns, the positive and negative space all occupied by water in different states, seeds an intriguing lo... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Being so close to a 30 tonne 12 meter mammal that he does not fit on to My wide angle lens shows ...

    #humpbackwhale #whale #underwaterphotograhy #marine #conservation

    Editor's Note

    Unbelievable, love the movement being traced by the water it is suspended effortlessly in. Wonderful, dynamic composition.

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    My partner Sabrina is free diving over some sleeping sperm whales. Sperm whales sleep vertical fo...

    #encounters #whale #ocean #sperm_whale #encounter #underwater #free_diving #banfi #sleeper

    Editor's Note

    I genuinely cannot believe you submitted this image to this assignment! It is such an honor to see this moment, even if I was not physically there for it. I was just reading an article with the ent... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    This freediver measures 6'4" - a young adult male who would tower over the greater majority of hi...

    #whale #humpbackanddiver #tonga #humpback_dive #humpback

    Editor's Note

    I want to be the person in this image. I question why my priorities have not yet marked this interaction as the most vital of all in my life. What more is there than connecting to a whale in the wi... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    This image of three Lemon Sharks was captured in Tiger Beach Bahamas, one of the few places in th...

    #olympusomdem1 #aquaticadigital #tigerbeach #lemonsharks #scub_diving #shark #bahamas

    Editor's Note

    Omigosh, they look like they are conferring with one another on what to do on a Friday night. I love the human narrative to this shark encounter. It also reminds me of Finding Nemo's Sharks Anonymo... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Plunging from between ten and fifteen meters above the water, Gannet birds reach up to one-hundre...

    #wildlife_photogaphy #marine_behaviour #underwater_photograhy #marine_life #gannet_bird

    Editor's Note

    Like crossing swords in a fencing duel, I am enthralled by the diagonal entrance of each character into the shot's framing. Something as routine as feeding to have such active engagement will never... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    the felimare picta Is a nudibranch belonging to the Chromodorididae family

    #blue #vibrant #macro #mariopesce #nudibranch #sea #colors #felimarepicta #underwater

    Editor's Note

    Absolutely magical macro capture of a stunning nudibranch. It's surface and undulating skirt hem of yellow reflect the dance of light and dark in the deep.

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    I took this photo at the Oceanographic, while travelling in Spain. I immediately fell in love wit...

    #seaanimal #seal #sea_animal #blue #sealife #reflection #sea #aquarium #animals #sleeping

    Editor's Note

    The isolation of this social, gregarious creature is so pronounced in this composition that it broke my heart. I am not against conscientious captivity programs, but most fail to account for an ani... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    And there are sunsets that speak to your soul! My time in the province of the Samana in the Domin...

    #dominican #dominicanrepublic #lasterrenas #samana #sunset

    Editor's Note

    Viscous, textural, vivid. Binding sky to sea, bleeding light into darkness. The buoyancy of the medium is evidenced, and the conflicting truth that it suspends within it: the ephemeral nature of ti... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    The Milky Way over the Spanish coast, a spot that is dark enough to see the Milky Way with your n...

    #astro #ocean #spain #milkyway #nasa

    Editor's Note

    I wish I lived in the world your lens is able to bring to life! It's unbelievably transcendental and diffusive. Boundless despite being within a frame.

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    My friend enjoyed the Northern lights. Lofoten, Norway

    #lofoten #night #norway #lights #beach #northern #borealis #aurora

    Editor's Note

    If sound could find expression as light, it appears to have done so in this story. This person's echos seem to have found a synesthetic release on the night sky, as the aurora borealis! Not unlike ... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Perhaps with such open discourse we can hear the harm done, and highlight the need to preserve what remains. After all, none of us want our world to end up a wasteland. There is much that is still here now, on land and in water, worth protecting for future generations. Thank you for all your submissions to this incredible assignment. 

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    About the Editor
    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist
    Asher Jay, is saving the world’s threatened wildlife—with creativity. Her cause-driven art, sculpture, design installations, films, and advocacy advertising campaigns bring attention to everything from the blood ivory trade to plastic pollution. Jay’s upcoming projects will tackle biodiversity loss due to wildlife trafficking and climate change. Tackling issue after issue, ...

    Photographers Published In the Story