2016 Jury Member

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise

Location: United States

David Doubilet
United States

For David Doubilet, one of the world’s most celebrated underwater photographers, “Every day is not just another assignment; it is a small, but contained voyage of discovery.” The pioneering conservation photographer, journalist, marine naturalist and protector of the ocean habitat, says his work provides “a constant sense of exploration”. New York-born Doubilet knew early on that his passion was underwater photography. He began snorkelling off the New Jersey coast when he was eight and, at age 12, began shooting underwater, using a Brownie Hawkeye camera. In 1971, following his graduation the year before from Boston University, he shot his first story ─ on garden eels in the Red Sea ─ for National Geographic. He soon became a contract photographer for the magazine and, in 2001, a Nat Geo Contributing Photographer-in-Residence. Over the years, he has shot nearly 70 stories and 13 covers. Exploring the world’s oceans during this period, Doubilet has photographed from the equator to the polar seas. He has descended into Africa’s Okavango Delta, photographed sharks, shipwrecks and coral ecosystems worldwide. He is a WWII expert, photographing sunken historical wrecks around the world. Doubilet pioneered the split lens camera, which allowed him to take photos above and below the water simultaneously, thereby connecting the two worlds. President of Undersea Images, Inc, Doubilet is also a feature columnist and contributing editor and an author of a dozen titles, including Light in the Sea, the award-winning Water Light Time, Great Barrier Reef and Fish Face. His numerous awards include the Explorer’s Club Lowell Thomas Award, Academy of Achievement Award and the Lennart Nilsson Award for outstanding scientific photography. He is a founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and a long-time Rolex Testimonee.

Other 2016 Jury Members