Keith Ellenbogen Gallery

Keith Ellenbogen poses for a photo holding an underwater camera
Keith Ellenbogen prepares to photograph marine life in the sanctuary. Photo: Courtesy of Keith Ellenbogen
Kieth Ellenbogen poses with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse next to a print of one of his photos
(L to R) Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI, co-chair of the Senate Ocean Caucus) and Keith Ellenbogen stand near a fine-art print of Ellenbogen's Lion's Mane Jellyfish photo hanging in the Senator's office in Washington D.C

Keith Ellenbogen, a celebrated underwater photographer, was awarded an Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Grant from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to photograph the wide range of species in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. He is the first person to receive a NOAA permit to dive with marine mammals for photo purposes in the sanctuary. Some of his photographs are currently on display within congressional offices in Washington, D.C. and his photograph of a breaching humpback whale adorns the cover of a new publication from Smithsonian Books entitled "America's Marine Sanctuaries: A Photographic Exploration.:

Space to Sea

blue shark
A blue shark (Prionace glauca) comes face to face with the photographer. Photo: Courtesy of Keith Ellenbogen
Calanoid copepods, like this individual (typical size 0.2 to 20 mm), are important prey at the base of the food web.Photo: Courtesy of Keith Ellenbogen

The Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Award allowed Keith to explore and characterize the sanctuary through traditional and more exotic imaging techniques. His project, "Space to Sea: A Photographic Journey into Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary," examines tiny plankton to great whales, seabirds to seafloor creatures, and more. The three-year effort has culminated in a major outdoor installation at the New England Aquarium in Boston, with images wrapped around the facility. The free public exhibit, which runs from June 22 to November 1, 2022, is sponsored by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, New England Aquarium, MIT Sea Grant, and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

humpback whale breaching
A humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) breaches in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Courtesy of Keith Ellenbogen
scholl of mackerel
Schools of forage fish, like these Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus), are important in supporting a healthy ecosystem. Photo: Courtesy of Keith Ellenbogen

Some of Ellenbogen's most stunning photographic moments include freediving with a 17-foot, 3,000-pound great white shark; descending into a giant school of Atlantic mackerel; and diving to a depth of 100 feet to to photograph a torpedo ray, an ambush predator that is capable of emitting electricity to stun or kill its prey. The exhibition also explores the microscopic world of alien-like planktonic creatures that support the abundance of New England's marine life.

"This is a remarkable opportunity to have an outdoor public art exhibition at the Aquarium that encapsulates the extraordinary marine life living just miles off the coast of Boston," said Ellenbogen. "It's a moment to celebrate 30 years of Stellwagen Bank's vital role in marine conservation as well as a very unique and intimate way for visitors to engage with the very wildlife that may otherwise seem elusive out at sea."

New England Aquarium's Space to Sea press release.

Keith Ellenbogen underwater holding a camera while a white shark swims by
Keith Ellenbogen free dives with a 17 ft., 3,000 lb. great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) using a 360 ĚŠ virtual reality (VR) multi-camera system. Photo: Courtesy of Keith Ellenbogen
torpedo ray on the bottom of the sea
The torpedo ray (Torpedo nobiliana) is a fish that can give an electric shock to prey or predators. Photo: Courtesy of Keith Ellenbogen
gray seal popping it's head above the water
The gray seal (Halichoerus grypus) is becoming a much more common visitor to the sanctuary and New England waters. Photo: Courtesy of Keith Ellenbogen