‘Sea’-soned storytellers: Local National Geographic photographers to give benefit talk, host exhibit | Education

‘Sea’-soned storytellers: Local National Geographic photographers to give benefit talk, host exhibit | Education

Clayton — The June 2022 issue of National Geographic includes a feature by Clayton residents and renowned underwater photographers and storytellers David Dubilet and Jennifer S. Hayes. The article “Philippines: The Splendor of the Seabed Under Stress” explores the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tsubata Harif National Park in the heart of the Sulu Sea in Palawan.

In the September 2021 issue, National Geographic published the story and photo of the couple, “The Sea of ​​the Night,” and in May 2021, the “Reef Reef” project. The couple created several national geographic stories, from coral reefs on the equator to under polar ice.

On July 7, Hayes and Dubilet were contacted by phone on the banks of the St. John River in New Brunswick, Canada. They were there as part of a multi-year National Geographic story about sturgeon. Hayes’ interest in surgeons began in 1995 when she studied at the SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry Graduate School on the St. Lawrence River. In June, she studied the Atlantic sturgeon on the Hudson River.

“At St. Lawrence, we work with lake sturgeon,” Hayes said. “It’s a completely freshwater species. Here in the Atlantic Ocean, there are larger species that come to the freshwater river, spawn, and then return, to the open ocean.”

Hayes said talking about fish for National Geographic is a dream come true for her.

“I’m glad that National Geographic has heard stories of sturgeons on the St. Lawrence River for years and said,’Hey, let’s start with that and talk about sturgeons around the world.'” “

David de Billet and Jennifer S. Hayes.Kelly Stremmel

“It not only allowed Jen to embrace her mind and soul, but also produced a series of works that greatly scaled up the knowledge of sturgeon needles and sturgeon, especially the lake sturgeon,” said Dubilet. “It’s a great piece of work, and it culminates in her National Geographic story.”

27 species of sturgeon are known all over the world.

“For some reason, they are all in trouble,” Hayes said. “From dam construction to over-harvesting caviar.”

Sturgeon fossils appeared in rocks dating back to the Middle Jurassic (about 174 to 163.5 million years ago). Fish can live for over 100 years. In New York, the lake sturgeon has been on the state’s endangered species list since 1983.

“David and I are talking about global sturgeon. We see as many species as possible, talk about them and try to keep them on our planet,” Hayes said. Said.

Such stories go beyond words and photographs for couples. They host “National Geographic Live” multimedia presentations around the world, including a stop at the Clayton Opera House in 2014 and 2018.

“The power of the story depends, in our case, on the power of the image,” Dubilet said. “And the power of image depends on the central moment that creates something that transcends the idea of ​​taking a picture and telling a story to a work of art. And when you do that, people look at the picture and what Start to understand how they work, and if you’re lucky, it goes to their hearts and minds. “

It is such an artistic view that has attracted Leslie Roland, Executive Director of the Thousand Islands Arts Center, to the couple’s mission and the desire to share it. On Wednesday, August 3rd, Hayes and Dubilet will give a presentation at the Clayton Opera House “below” to benefit TIAC.

Following that talk, the exhibition of the couple’s work at TIAC on John Street will begin on Thursday, August 25th and will continue until October 21st.

In 2018, Doubilet and Hayes announced the National Geographic Live “Islands to Ice”. A multimedia presentation at the Opera House that benefits TIAC and the Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue Service.

Roland said another collaboration between TIAC and the couple had been discussed for several years, but the pandemic delayed ironing.

“They are very good at sharing stories with nonprofits in the north,” she said. “It’s a great honor and luck because of the high demand. Their talent and fame, and their literally worldwide recognition, and the fact that there are few of my Claytons here where they live. And we are fortunate. “

Gentoo penguins and chinstrap penguins inhabiting the drift ice near Danko Island in Antarctica. It is a kind of “Two Worlds” completed by David Doubilet.Courtesy D. Dubilet / Undersea Image

“Two worlds”

Originally from New Jersey, Dubilet began snorkeling on the coast of the state at the age of eight. At the age of 12, he began shooting underwater with a brownie hawk eye sealed in a rubber anesthesiologist’s bag. He has been a contract photographer for National Geographic since the early 1970s.

Aquatic biologist Hayes is a graduate of Adams’ South Jefferson Central School. After graduating from her SUNY Potsdam with her bachelor’s degree in biology, she earned advanced degrees in aquatic biology and fisheries, zoology and marine biology from the SUNY Environmental Sciences and Forestry Department at the University of Maryland. She is the author of numerous articles on the marine environment.

The couple’s August 3 bonus talk will include details of various National Geographic assignments, including a multi-year project to record harp seal nurseries in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the West Atlantic Ocean off New Fundland.

“It’s part of a larger story in the Gulf, and the harp seal is just one part of it,” said Hayes, who spent the entire March embedded in the Canadian Coast Guard’s Sir William Alexander. Told. Newfoundland area.

Mr. Dubilet said they used different techniques to talk about seals.

“Some are old and some are proven,” he said. “One of the things I found when I first went out was because I wasn’t just diving under the ice. I’m in the open sea so I’m diving under the constantly moving ice. But you scuba When you go there, the seals are almost always very scary. They don’t like you there. “

Most of the “actions” realized are on the surface of the ice and just below it.

“One way to tell this story visually is with a photo half in the water and half out of the water,” Doubilet said. “Ice is displayed on one side and a sticker is displayed on the other side.”

These “half-and-half” photos are the passion that Mr. Dubilette had for about 40 years, and he is a pioneer in this technique. During the pandemic quarantine, he returned to his photo library and noticed that there was a book there.

In November, Mr. Duvillet’s book “Two Worlds: Above and Below the Sea” was published by Phaidon Press. His photographs reveal rare sea creatures, corals, botanical life, and underwater landscapes of striking shades.

In the introduction to this book, National Geographic magazine Kathleen F. Moran calls Mr. Dubilette a “poet of the sea.”

Barjack glides under the calm waters of the North Sound of Grand Cayman Island. The photographer and storyteller who worked on capturing this image will speak at the Clayton Opera House on August 3rd. Provided by: D. Doubilet / Undersea Images

“He created a whole new kind of image, which reveals the tensions and wonders between the two worlds,” Moran wrote. “He found a space where water and air meet. His photographs interpret the fusion and connectivity of these worlds.”

Approval stamp

In May, a photo taken by Mr. Dubilette was used by the US Postal Service as a stamp in honor of the pioneering marine biologist Eugenie Clark, who died in 2015.

Clark and Dubilet met in 1971 on National Geographic’s Red Sea expedition to study conger eels.

“This expedition led to a friendship that brought about his first published story at National Geographic and 14 stories that span many types of sharks,” he studies sharks at the University of Maryland. Ms. Hayes, the last graduate student of Ms. Clark, said. Northwest Atlantic fishing.

Other topics covered by Pear in his August 3 talk focused on areas such as the Opal Reef, one of the outer reefs that form part of the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland in eastern Australia. Includes “The Sea Through the Lens of Time”. Tumon on the coast and in the bay of Guam.

The talk will also explore the region of the Philippines, which Hayes said is known for the largest marine biodiversity on the planet. This is the subject of the couple’s latest National Geographic article.

“We spent a lot of time exploring the rich waters of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, but we didn’t travel to the Philippines,” Hayes said.

Around the same time as National Geographic’s four-week “Shark Fest,” which began on July 10, the pair jumped into the world of sharks, seeing shark species around the world and how some countries explore shark sanctuaries. Emphasize what you created in.

“We will dive into three shark sanctuaries in Palau, the Bahamas and Proinesia in France, where we will meet and meet sharks on their terms,” ​​Hayes said. “We have seen some nature maintenance victories on behalf of sharks, and sharing some good news is always good.”

The couple said the August 3rd lecture at the opera house was a way to give back to the community. They call the St. Lawrence River a favorite place in the world.

The United States Postal Service used a portrait of pioneering marine biologist Eugenie Clark on this “eternal” stamp, released in May. USPS

“Maybe it will inspire someone in the audience, the child, to follow their passion,” Hayes said. “Dave grew up in New York City, I grew up on a dairy farm and saw someone enter our third grade class and talk about India. I was inspired by that day in India. I left thinking about it. “

“We want to open the eyes of the people of our small community to the ocean and to this vast world of what this planet is,” Dubilet said. “As Jennifer and I say,” As the ocean goes, so do we. “


Includes: Special presentations and exhibits by Clayton residents, National Geographic underwater photographers, storytellers David Dubilet and Jennifer Hayes.

Presentation: “Below”, Wednesday, August 3rd, 7:30 pm, at Clayton Opera House, 403 Riverside Drive, to benefit the Thousand Islands Arts Center. Tickets are $ 20, $ 30, and $ 35. It is sponsored by former trustee, volunteer and TIAC supporter Alan Newell. Hayes explains: “Participate in National Geographic challenges, explore the world’s richest coral reefs, swim into the world of sharks, dive into the polar regions and meet extraordinary life in the ice.” To order your tickets, please visit claytonoperahouse.com.

THE DOUBILET / HAYES EXHIBIT: Opened on Thursday, August 25th at TIAC, 314 John St., Clayton. In addition, the opening reception will be open to the public on August 25th.

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