Several New Albany-Plain Local students went globe-trotting last week during a presentation from National Geographic underwater photographer David Doubilet.

Several New Albany-Plain Local students went globe-trotting last week during a presentation from National Geographic underwater photographer David Doubilet.

The 62-year-old photographer was scheduled to speak at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts Thursday night, and spent the morning with New Albany seventh- and eighth-grade students and a few high school students in photography and science classes.

Doubilet has published seven books about the ocean.

Before Doubilet's talk, eighth-grade science teacher Sandra Willmore spoke briefly about Doubilet's experience and work.

"May his photography inspire you to learn more about the world we live in," she said.

Doubilet entertained students with photos from Japan, Indonesia, the Florida Keys, Galapagos Islands and more. Photos ranged from seals and sharks to plankton and penguins, but almost all drew gasps from the audience.

While Doubilet exhibited his wide knowledge of fish, he also spoke on conservation, telling students about shark fin harvesting that goes on in Japan to produce shark fin soup.

The photographer also described the ecosystems of the sea and reefs, as well as new creatures being discovered constantly.

"The sea is a place without borders and without geometry," he said. "But there's always surprises."

After Doubilet's presentation, students had a chance to ask questions, which ranged from scuba experiences, clown fish and other topics.

After seeing photos of jellyfish, sharks and other dangerous-looking sea creatures, one student asked if Doubilet has ever been hurt.

"I've been bitten by a moray eel on the hand," he said. "The most dangerous experience was an experience with a boat backing up."

Doubilet said he was almost hit by the propeller while he and another photographer were trying to board the boat.

With each dive, he said, comes the possibility of getting hurt.

"There's always a danger when diving of nitrogen narcosis," which can disorient divers and affect their vision, he said.

Other questions included Doubilet's inspiration and his favorite photo.

"A photographer's favorite picture is always the picture he's about to take," he told students.

jnoblit@thisweeknews.com