Brian Skerry, Photojournalist + Film Producer
By Paul Koenig
Brian Skerry has spent decades photographing the world’s oceans for National Geographic and other publications, but his most recent assignment has brought him home, in the cold waters off the coast of Maine. Skerry, who lives in York, pitched the project because he’s long been interested in producing a body of work on the Gulf of Maine, where he first began diving decades ago, and the region now finds itself as an epicenter of global oceanic climate change. The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans, and Skerry says the changes occurring here are a harbinger of things to come worldwide. He’s published four online pieces about the Gulf of Maine for National Geographic over the past year and will continue to create online stories leading up to the print project, which will likely be published in 2023. “If in fact we are the tip of the spear in terms of climate change and all the changes that may occur as a result of it, how we deal with it could be a model for the rest of the world,” Skerry says. “That’s the hope, that we figure things out and do a reasonable job to survive.” This year also marked the release of Skerry’s most ambitious project yet: a documentary series, Secrets of the Whales, which he filmed over the course of three years, along with a companion book and National Geographic print story. The series, which James Cameron produced, and Sigourney Weaver narrated, was nominated for three Emmy Awards.