Arts Desk

Reviewed: Brian Skerry at the National Geographic Society

Once again, the National Geographic Society dazzles with nature photography made in the most difficult of circumstances. To produce the images in “Ocean Soul: Photographs by Brian Skerry,” the photographer spent 10,000 hours underwater, some of it under 25 feet of ice or feet away from 70-ton whales. Skerry found a riot of color—glowing clams,  a fog of squid ink, a purple jellyfish, a translucent blue “sea angel,” ridiculously vibrant Pacific reefs—as well as a wealth of vital details, from tiny air bubbles to the jagged teeth of a crocodile. The exhibit includes its share of adorable megafauna—penguins, harp seals, manatees—but the most powerful images are downright depressing. In one, a commercial trawler leaves a deadly “bycatch” in its wake; in another, a tiny fish known as a yellow goby peers through the top of an encrusted top of a soda can.

Through Feb. 12, 2012 at the National Geographic Society, 1145 17th Street, NW, Washington, D.C., daily 10-6.



Photos courtesy National Geographic Society

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