How Photography
Can Save Oceans

Blue Shark photographed by Keith Ellenbogen

Associate Professor Keith Ellenbogen is working at the intersection of art, science and technology to raise environmental awareness about marine life within Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary located in Massachusetts Bay. Ellenbogen is one of the first FIT faculty to conduct research at the FIT Center for Innovation, FIT’s latest outpost at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. His research focuses on exploring cutting-edge, lens-based media technologies to create immersive and innovative large-scale public art installations, 360-degree virtual-reality experiences, and a planetarium full-dome projection that focuses on inner space (the water planet). The public-art exhibitions and immersive visual experiences will be complemented with science-based storytelling to build ocean awareness, foster environmental stewardship, and increase understanding of the key role that “natural” systems play in societal resilience to environmental change.

Due to COVID-19, Professor Ellenbogen’s artistic approach will focus on immersive installations within both the physical and virtual world—allowing viewers to experience the sensation of swimming in the ocean with fish and marine mammals without getting wet.

Professor Ellenbogen is also an International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) fellow. In partnership with more than 100 photographers around the world, the mission of iLCP is to further environmental and cultural conservation through photography.  The organization “coordinates Conservation Photography Expeditions to get world-renowned photographers in the field teamed with scientists, writers, videographers and conservation groups to gather visual assets that are used to create conservation communications campaigns to foment conservation successes.”

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