Throughout the centuries, the ocean has inspired and mesmerised countless artists, from Hokusai to J.M.W. Turner. In the 21st century, the ocean continues to inspire a host of ocean photographers and filmmakers, who showcase the beauty of the ocean through stunning photos and films.
To celebrate World Oceans Day on 8 June, here are eight of our favourite ocean photography Instagram accounts:
Coral Gardeners was launched in Mo’orea in French Polynesia by island kids who observed the degradation of their reefs and decided to take action. Coral Gardeners is now on a mission to plant 1 million corals and revolutionise ocean conservation.
Their surreal images of coral reefs and divers planting coral seem almost otherworldly. Adopt or donate a coral to support their work, or watch their Four Years for the Reef video to learn more!
Follow Coral Gardeners on Instagram @coralgardeners
SeaLegacy was founded by Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier with a mission to create healthy and abundant oceans for the community and the planet. Working with a collective of talented artists, SeaLegacy produces powerful content that gives people hope and inspires people to act to protect our oceans.
We are fascinated by how SeaLegacy tells a visual story about each of their conservation expeditions, from Cuba to Antarctica. You can navigate their journeys here, or donate to support their work.
Follow SeaLegacy on Instagram @sealegacy
A National Geographic photographer and speaker, David’s career has spanned over 50 years. His stunning photos reveal the beauty of the ocean from the icy waters of the Antarctic Ocean to the tropical waters of the Galapagos. David explains, “I want to create a window into the sea that invites people to see how their world connects to another life-sustaining world hidden from their view.”
Follow David Doubilet on Instagram @daviddoubilet
Photographer and photojournalist Brian Skerry has documented the marine environment for National Geographic since 1998. Brian covered a variety of stories for National Geographic, including the Harp Seal’s struggle to survive in frozen waters to dolphin intelligence. In his story ‘Saving Our Oceans’, Brian photographed the first image of a sitting U.S President (President Obama) underwater.
Follow Brian Skerry on Instagram @brianskerry
On Magnus Lundgren’s account, you will find close up photographs of majestic marine animals. As a photographer, storyteller and Sony ambassador, Magnus believes an image “may lure a person’s mind and move the heart.” He is also the Director of Wild Wonders of Europe, one of the largest initiatives launched to capture and celebrate the natural wonders of Europe.
Follow Magnus Lundgren on Instagram @magnuslundgrenphotography
Shawn is a photographer, conservationist and co-founder of SeaLegacy, a storytelling platform created to amplify ocean solutions. Shawn says of his career, “Art is my passion, conservation is my purpose, and for me the two are inseparable.” Shawn is also an Emmy award-winning cinematographer. Shawn is featured on Netflix’s ‘Tales by Light’ series, which showcases talented photographers and the story behind how they capture powerful images.
Follow Shawn Heinrichs on Instagram @shawnheinrichs
Alicia grew up in Hawaii and had an interest in Marine Biology from a young age. Her love of the ocean led her to scuba diving and freediving. On top of being an award-winning photographer, she is the co-founder of an oceanic wildlife eco-safari See Through Sea with her husband.
Follow Alicia Ward on Instagram @aliciaunderwater
Ryan is a photographer, filmmaker and surfer based in Australia. As a child, Ryan grew up in a small town where “there was basically nothing to do apart from playing Nintendo and going surfing”. Inspired by his relationship with the ocean as a surfer, he started taking photos of seascapes. His photos capture the essence of the ocean and remind us that nature, in itself, is an art form.
Follow Ryan Pernofski on Instagram @ryanpernofski
See also: World Photo Day: 8 Environmental Photographers to Follow on Instagram
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