Changing Planet

Vote for the Ocean Photo You Want to See at the Smithsonian

Contender: This photo by Brian Skerry is among those users can vote on for display at the Smithsonian.


Photographer Brian Skerry has long dazzled and inspired the public with his spectacular images of life beneath the waves. Skerry was recently recognized for his contributions to ocean conservation by Australia’s Emerald Award. Now, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. is planning an exhibit of Skerry’s work.

That exhibit, “Portraits of Planet Ocean,” will open in March and run for 15-16 months.  But people don’t have to wait that long to get a look at some of Skerry’s transformative images, because the Smithsonian is currently running a contest in which the public is invited to vote for the photo they most want to see included in the exhibit.

Voting is open until Sunday, November 4, at midnight. More info here.

According to the Smithsonian, “The threats to the ocean are abundant, including overfishing, acidification, and habitat destruction. But if you had to pick one photo to convey the idea of a vanishing ocean worth conserving, which would you choose?

“Vote for which Brian Skerry photo you think is a portrait of a vanishing ocean and see it on exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in March!”

Take a look at the stunning photos, and decide whether you will vote for a beluga, hammerhead shark, leatherback sea turtle, Florida manatee, hermit crab, or coral reef. All of these organisms face unique threats, and they all have much to teach us.

Vote Here>>


An exhibit of Brian Skerry’s underwater photos was recently shown at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, in conjunction with the publication of his recent book Ocean Soul.


Picture of Coral reef Phoenix Islands by Brian Skerry
Also running: This photo of coral reefs in the Phoenix Islands by Brian Skerry


Brian Clark Howard covers the environment for National Geographic. He previously served as an editor for and E/The Environmental Magazine, and has written for Popular Science,,,, Yahoo!, MSN, and elsewhere. He is the co-author of six books, including Geothermal HVACGreen LightingBuild Your Own Small Wind Power System, and Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater.

  • Roi’ikka-Ta

    did anyone notice that all the new pictures of the coral reefs are really ugly…?

  • Roi’ikka-Ta

    look at that picture of the coral reef. this pollution is out of control. just think about what it would feel like if you were BORN as one of these animals. youre life would suck… dont you agree?

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