Raising awareness, one image at a time

We know that beautiful images can move people in profound ways to act on behalf of animals.

National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore is on a mission to inspire people to protect wild animals by taking studio portraits of their kin at zoos and aquariums for his Photo Ark project.

The stark black and white backgrounds equalize the animals’ importance, whether the largest elephant or the smallest insect.

"By isolating animals on black and white backgrounds, we can look them directly in the eye and quickly see that these creatures contain beauty, grace and intelligence. Perhaps some even hold the key to our very salvation," Joel says.

At the Aquarium

We had the honor of hosting Joel recently for two fun and frenetic days as he photographed birds, fish, cephalopods and invertebrates. Joel’s hardworking staff is busy processing thousands of images he shot here and elsewhere, but we’ll soon share more of ours — plus what it’s like to work with Joel, a dozen aquarists, two other photographers and 30 critters parading in and out of one room.

In the meantime please support Joel by liking his Facebook page. To date Joel has documented nearly 4,000 animals for the Photo Ark and won’t stop until he gets them all — and you can help!


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About me

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, perched on the edge of a world-famous coastline, is your window to the wonders of the ocean. It’s located on historic Cannery Row in Monterey and is open daily except Christmas Day.

For more information about our animals and exhibits, and to view our live web cams, please visit www.montereybayaquarium.org.

Hours of operation vary by season. Daily schedules and tickets are available on our website or by calling
(831) 648-4800.