Discovering sanctuaries through photography

Beyond the Lens


10 Nov, 2020


Virtual discussion
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Beyond the Lens: Discovering sanctuaries through photography

Join the photographers behind the beautiful images of the forthcoming America’s Marine Sanctuaries: A Photographic Exploration, due out on October 20 from Smithsonian Books, for a unique, intimate look beyond the camera lens.

Each session will feature an expert ocean photographer sharing their stories of getting the perfect shot, finding their inspiration, and answering your photography questions.

Oct 20, 7pm EST: Keith Ellenbogen, Underwater photographer

Oct 27, 7pm EST: Melody Bentz, Photographer 

Nov 10, 7pm EST: Stephen Frink, Underwater photographer

REGISTER for the event


Tickets can be purchased for individual sessions or as a package. We no longer have copies of the book available as a donation gift; find out where to buy a copy of America’s Marine Sanctuaries: A Photographic Exploration here.

About America's Marine Sanctuaries: A Photographic Exploration

Our ocean, rivers, and lakes inspire feelings of awe, serenity, and a desire to know what can be found in their mysterious waters. America’s Marine Sanctuaries gives you an intimate and immersive look at our nation’s marine sanctuaries, and it will be sure to enchant you.

The fourteen underwater gems that make up the National Marine Sanctuary System are celebrated for their beauty, history, and importance in this striking volume. The full-color photographs allow you to dive right into the waters where sunken wartime ships and wildlife are protected. Whether you love maritime history, scenic coastlines, or cute creatures like otters and dolphins, this book offers something for everyone.

America’s Marine Sanctuaries is a testament to the ocean’s incredible ecosystems and landscapes, from kelp forests to deep-sea canyons. The marine sanctuaries, which range from the Hawaiian Islands to Stellwagen Bank off Massachusetts, ensure that our ocean waters, coasts, and Great Lakes are preserved. This book is a gorgeous reminder of what’s at stake in our efforts to conserve the world’s most critical and beautiful environments.

About Keith Ellenbogen

Keith Ellenbogen is a celebrated underwater photographer working with conservation-based organizations to showcase the visual complexity of underwater environments, from coral reefs to coastal rivers to the wild open sea. Through his photography Keith seeks to evoke a sense of discovery of fantastical creatures to captivate our imagination and create intimate, personal connections, that inspires positive social change.

Keith is an Associate Professor of Photography at SUNY/Fashion Insitute of Technology; Visiting Artist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant; Senior. Fellow, International League of Conservation Photographers; Fellow, The Explorers Club; Affiliate Partner, Mission Blue – A Sylvia Earle Alliance; and a recipient of a TED Residency.

Keith received a National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Award to use the art of photography and visual storytelling to showcase the underwater world of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. His dramatic image of a Humpback Whale breaching within Stellwagen Bank Sanctuary was selected for the cover of America’s Marine Sanctuaries: A Photographic Exploration.

For more of Keith’s work, visit

About Melody Bentz

Melody Bentz’s passion for photography began a little over 4 years ago after moving into a bungalow on the beach across the waters from Diamond Head and near Pearl Harbor. Recovering from an eye disease that caused her to lose partial vision, she was given a DSLR camera, instead of binoculars, so she could not only see her new amazing views of Hawaii sunrises, sunsets, wildlife and military vessels and aircraft, but also to share and enjoy them.

Two years later, she retired from a career in higher education and found her photography niche as a volunteer conservation ambassador with two native marine species…the endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal and the threatened White Tern seabird. To help preserve these species, her photography is featured in public outreach, education and research conservation efforts.

Melody’s passion for photography grows each day she interacts with her subjects. She is a self-taught “photog” whose work is published and recognized in books, magazines, and newspapers, both locally and internationally, in print and online.


About Stephen Frink

Stephen Frink is among the world’s most frequently published UW photographers, with a career spanning four decades. He arrived in Key Largo in 1978 to open a small studio dedicated to UW photo services, primarily renting cameras and processing E-6 slide film, but he soon began to receive assignments to photograph and write articles for the consumer dive publications of the day. He worked as a photojournalist for Skin Diver magazine for 17-years, covering much of the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Florida Keys for the publication. Subsequently he worked as the Director of Photography for Scuba Diving magazine. For the past 10 years Stephen has been the publisher of Alert Diver magazine, a beautiful coffee-table collectible magazine for the members of the Divers Alert Network.

Clients for assignment photography have included Scubapro, Victoria’s Secret, Aqualung, Oceanic, Canon, Nikon, Subgear, Mercury Marine, Jantzen, Alcan Aluminum, R.J. Reynolds, Seaquest, Henderson Aquatics, American Express, Hanes, and Club Med. Rolex Watch Company has also engaged Frink for both personal endorsement and commercial product photography.

Stephen teaches Masters level courses of Stephen Frink School of Underwater Digital Imaging each summer in his home waters off Key Largo, Florida and offers dive excursions emphasizing underwater photography through his travel company, WaterHouse Tours. For many years Stephen served as the North American distributor for Seacam housings and strobes, and remains involved as a brand ambassador.

When off the road, Stephen divides his time between residences in Key Largo, Florida and Rougemont, North Carolina.

For more, visit:


Please contact Jamie Smith,