Keith Ellenbogen

Using ultra high-speed cameras to showcase underwater worlds in exquisite detail.

About

Keith Ellenbogen is an acclaimed underwater photographer and videographer who focuses on environmental conservation. Ellenbogen documents marine life to showcase its beauty and to elicit an emotional connection to the underwater world. He aims to inspire social change and action toward protecting the marine environment.  Over the past few years, Ellenbogen has developed a close collaboration with MIT theoretical physicist Allan Adams focused on the intersection of art, science and cutting-edge technology.  During his residency, Ellenbogen will work with Adams and Edgerton Center Associate Director Jim Bales to explore new high-speed photography and other underwater imaging techniques.  As part of this residency, Ellenbogen and Adams have developed an ‘Underwater Conservation Photography’ class to be taught at MIT during IAP 2016.  This class will challenge students to push technical and aesthetic boundaries in the pursuit of compelling images for/of marine conservation.

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Past Events

8.S10 Underwater Conservation Photography Student Exhibition
Opening Reception
Monday, March 7, 2016 / 5pm
MIT Wiesner Student Art Gallery
Second Floor, MIT Student Center, Building W20

Free and open to the public.

In collaboration with MIT theoretical physicist Allan Adams, Ellenbogen developed and co-taught an innovative Underwater Conservation Photography Course for IAP in January 2016. This one-month course challenged students to learn the art of underwater conservation photography, with a goal of marine environmental conservation and positive social change. The final week of the course was spent putting these skills and devices to use at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Glover’s Reef Research Station in Belize.

Presenting the photography and conservation stories from a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students at MIT who participated in the 8.S10 Underwater Conservation Photography course.

Past Events

September 15, 2015 / 5:00 PM
Keith Ellenbogen, MIT CAST Visiting Artist Exhibition Opening
CTP (Center for Theoretical Physics), 4th Floor, Building 6

MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) Visiting Artist Keith Ellenbogen is an acclaimed underwater photographer and videographer who focuses on environmental conservation. Ellenbogen documents marine life to showcase its beauty and to elicit an emotional connection to the underwater world. He aims to inspire social change and action toward protecting the marine environment. 

In collaboration with MIT theoretical physicist Allan Adams, Ellenbogen will develop high-speed and long-duration camera systems to create images of nature in exquisite (and previously unseen) detail. As part of his residency, Adams and Ellenbogen developed an Underwater Conservation Photography Course at MIT that will challenge students to push technical and aesthetic boundaries, with a goal of marine environmental conservation and positive social change.  Ellenbogen’s residency will feature a public seminar series on underwater photography throughout fall 2015, culminating in the in-depth Course to be offered during IAP 2016.

Visualizing Marine Conservation
Panel Discussion and Presentations: Caleb McClennen, Executive Director, Marine Conservation Wildlife Conservation Society, Merry Camhi, Director New York Seascape Program, Wildlife Conservation Society and Keith Ellenbogen

September 30, 2015 / 5:00 PM
MIT Center for Theoretical Physics, Cosman Seminar Room 6C-442

Free and open to the public

The Art of Underwater Photography
Presentation by Keith Ellenbogen

October 7, 2015 / 5:00 PM
MIT Center for Theoretical Physics, Cosman Seminar Room 6C-442

Free and open to the public

A Window into the Underwater World: Framing Fish at the New England Aquarium
Presentation and Discussion: Steve Bailey, Curator of Fishes at the New England Aquarium, and Keith Ellenbogen

October 21, 2015 / 5:00 PM
MIT Center for Theoretical Physics, Cosman Seminar Room 6C-442

Free and open to the public

 

The White Sharks of Cape Cod: Science, Art and the Public Imagination
Panel Discussion and Presentations: Dr. Greg Skomal, Senior Marine Fisheries Scientist, MA Marine Fisheries, Great White Shark Researcher and TV Personality (Shark Week) and Keith Ellenbogen

November 18, 2015 / 5:00 PM
MIT Center for Theoretical Physics, Cosman Seminar Room 6C-442

Free and open to the public

 

Seeing the Invisible Ocean — Art at Technology’s Cutting Edge
Presentation and Discussion: Keith Ellenbogen and Allan Adams, Associate Professor of Physics

December 9, 2015 / 5:00 PM
MIT Center for Theoretical Physics, Cosman Seminar Room 6C-442

Free and open to the public

Schedule

Underwater Conservation Photography [8.S10]

IAP 2016, January 4-29

Sponsors: MIT Department of Physics, Edgerton Center

Instructors: Keith Ellenbogen and Allan Adams, MIT Department of Physics

This intensive crash course in underwater photography will cover everything from underwater optics to hacking simple ROVs to building custom imaging devices to the ecology of coral reef ecosystems and the behavior of their inhabitants.  These topics will be covered in lectures, in lab work, on local field trips, and in team design and construction projects.  The final week will be spent putting these skills and devices to use at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Glover’s Reef Research Station (GRRS) off the coast of Belize.  Students from the University of Belize will be invited to join by Skype in Cambridge and in person on Glover’s Reef.  Video and still images from this expedition will be collected into a traveling exhibition to be shown at the Bronx Zoo, the MIT Museum, the Boston Planetarium, SUNY/FIT, and beyond.

Most class expenses, including travel to the field station and costs while in Belize, plus camera equipment, ROVs, UAVs, etc, will be covered by the class.  The only costs to accepted students would be for scuba certification if not previously obtained, and either renting or bringing dive gear (wetsuit, fins, mask, BCD, reg, etc).  If those costs present a barrier to any student to join the class, Allan and Keith would work with accepted students to find a way to cover the costs.  Money should not be a barrier to anyone interested in participating.

Enrollment: Up to 24 students on-campus, 16 of whom may travel to the field station.  Targeted at undergraduates, open to anyone at MIT subject to availability.  Scuba certification required; dive classes available from MIT Recreation.

 

Hours: 8 units (2-5-1): 7 hours daily on campus, full time onsite at GRRS

Apply: Online application and more info: http://turbulent.lns.mit.edu/IAP16

Applications due by December 4; early applications prioritized.

 

In the Media

The Boston Globe: A Photographer and a Physicist Team Up

Photo District News: How I Got That Grant: Keith Ellenbogen’s High-Speed Photography Adventure at M.I.T.

National Geographic Voices: Global Coral Reef Expedition: Palau 

BBC Earth: The Struggle to Save Caribbean Huge Barrier Reef

Oceans @ MIT: Lights, Camera, Action: Revealing the Ocean’s Invisible Beauty

The Boston Globe: Aquarium Unveils TV Ads (Keith Ellenbogen and Allan Adams shoot television campaign for the New England Aquarium)  

 

Collaborators

Allan Adams, Associate Professor of Physics, MIT

Jim Bales, Assistant Director, Edgerton Center, MIT

Wildlife Conservation Society

Duggal Visual Solutions

Phase One

About our Research and Collaboration:

Our world is full of invisible art, balletic behaviors and magical dynamics that are too fast, or too rare, to be seen with the naked eye. In an extraordinary collaboration, underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen and MIT theoretical physicist Allan Adams are exploring high-speed and ultra high-speed cameras (capable of ten million frames per second) to showcase awe-inspiring images of extreme moments found in nature in exquisite, luxuriant detail as never seen before. Their visual experiments earned crucial support from the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science and from Jim Bales, Assistant Director of the MIT Edgerton Center for High-Speed Imaging and guru of the high-speed photography community. Their initial images of sharks, cuttlefish, and sparks of lightning reveal both an dramatic visual experiences as well as scientific insights that may increase our understanding of the world around us.

As part of a commitment to education, Allan and Keith have developed an Underwater Conservation Photography Course at MIT that will challenge students to push the boundaries technically and aesthetically with a goal of marine environmental conservation and positive social change.

Over the years the two have become good friends and enjoy a sense of adventure, discovery and passion for creative expression.

Documentation

CAST Blog: Bursts of Light: Exploring the Multi-Strobe

MIT News: Capturing an Underwater World

MIT News: Q&A: Visiting Artist Keith Ellenbogen