Living Sea Images Marine Life Photography

Upcoming Author Events, Image Shows, and Lectures

The Felton Branch of the
Santa Cruz Public Library
Saturday, January 13 1:30pm

As a scuba diver, Marc Shargel has been watching ecological shifts in the Central California Pacific since the 1970s. Recently, he has used his camera to document stunning changes to California’s kelp forests. On Saturday, January 13, he’ll share a lifetime of photographic images and marine observations with guests at the Felton Library. Shargel will highlight the most extreme, recent changes seen from Big Sur to Mendocino, and explain what science has revealed about recent declines in our kelp forests.

Kelp growing in sun
Shargel observed slow but continuous decreases in marine life during scuba dives from 1978 to 2013. Then, suddenly California’s kelp began to disappear, and with it over 1,000 species that live in kelp forests. 

Since 1997 he has been a champion for marine reserves, which are no-take areas that function as refuges and nurseries for life in our ocean. He played an integral part in drawing the boundaries for new marine reserves along the Central Coast. Renowned marine biologist Sylvia Earle calls them “hope spots.” But in 2013, just six years after the new reserves went into effect, stunning changes in marine life presented a new threat. Shargel will reveal a photographic chronicle of the beautiful but now-threatened kelp forests found just beyond local shores.

Shargel’s photos of California marine life were a unique contribution to the debate about creating marine reserves in Central California. After 2007, as processes to create “parks in the ocean” moved to other parts of the state, he created larger photo essays for each region. These became a series of three lavishly printed coffee-table volumes, his Wonders of the Sea books. Following that, he authored the soft cover Yesterday’s Ocean: A History of Marine Life on California’s Central Coast. The January 13 event highlights an exhibit of Shargel’s photography, which will be on view from January 2 to March 29, 2024 at the Felton Library, open to the public 10 to 6 every day except Sundays (10 to 5 on Fridays and Saturdays). 

This event is sponsored by the Felton Library Friends.

Watch This Space

Return here for additional details about planned events and announcements of future events.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea:
An Underwater View of
Life in California's Ocean

If you missed Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, when it was presented May 8, 2020, don't fret! You can see the complete video at this link:

Take a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, be carried on the words and pictures of California marine explorer and conservationist Marc Shargel. Join him for underwater adventures along the California Coast, from Oregon to Mexico, from Humboldt and Mendocino Counties to the Channel Islands, including remote dive sites in Big Sur. Marc's talk will conclude in Monterey Bay, using dive sites in Shargel’s backyard to show how the recent proliferation of sea urchins has caused a major ecosystem shift in kelp forests from Monterey to Mendocino.

Chelsea Prindle, manager of the The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center was the evening's moderator.

00:00 to 04:30 - Introduction
04:30 to 28:00 - California underwater, Oregon to Mexico
28:00 to 44:30 - The disappearance of kelp forests from Monterey, and what to do about it.
to 1:15:30 - Q & A

Marc Shargel is a vocal advocate for marine conservation. From 2000 to 2007 he participated in the effort that created new marine protected areas (like underwater parks) along the Central Coast and throughout California, bringing his images and under-water insight into the political arena. Since then, Marc Shargel has presented at dive clubs, civic groups, schools and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center, offering education about MPAs and sharing the beauty of the underwater world.

Video Voyages

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, an online presentation featuring photographs and commentary by Marc Shargel:
Voyage Video

00:00 to 04:30 - Introduction
04:30 to 28:00 - California underwater, Oregon to Mexico
28:00 to 44:30 - The disappearance of kelp forests from Monterey, and what to do about it.
to 1:15:30 - Q & A

In the autumn of 2016 we created two short videos, and you don't have to travel or even wait a moment to see them! Just click below.

Video from Marc Shargel's Galápagos expedition:Link to Galapagos Video


Video from Central California, Fiji and British Columbia, 2012-2016:
Link to California Video

We Take Requests!

If you'd like to have Marc speak to your group, send an email here. If you're wondering whether our presentations are a good match for your group or event, have a look at the events we've done in the past.

Marc Shargel has been a frequent presenter at clubs and civic groups all over Northern and Central California. More than a dozen clubs, as well as civic and volunteer groups, have seen his talks "Islands of the Eastern Pacific" and "An Underwater Swim Across the Pacific." In 2001 he presented images of endangered Manatees from West Florida. In 2002 his presentations featured images from the South Pacific Islands of Palau, Yap, and Bali.

Current and Upcoming Shows of Fine-Art Photography

The Felton Branch of the
Santa Cruz Public Library
Now through
the end of March, 2024

Harbor seal in reflected color.View Marc Shargel’s photos of California marine life, visions of solar and lunar eclipses, and the great landscapes of the American West.

In the Community Room, and the adjacent hallway, are images created underwater. Most of these are from the California coast, especially its now-threatened kelp forests. A few come from far-flung destinations
like Indonesia, Palau and the Galápagos. Several of the photos feature nudibranchs (NOO-di-branks) or sea slugs. These remarkable little animals, rarely as large
as a little finger, appropriate toxins from their food sources, without being poisoned themselves. They acquire the poisonous qualities of what they eat, and thus have chemical defenses. Their relatives, the snails, use hardened, heavy shells for defense. Several other photos feature jellies (“jellyfish” is an archaic and inaccurate name, these animals aren’t fish at all). Central California is visited by several species of jellies, most often in late summer and fall. But jellies are found world-wide, and one of the ones on display was photographed in a salt water lake in Palau, in the south Pacific.

Sunlit Kelp Forest
In the alcove, near the front entrance, you’ll see evidence of Shargel’s wider interest in nature photography. There are two digitally-created composite images of total eclipses of the sun and moon. Near those are four more recent images of iconic western landscapes: two photos from a 13-day float through the Grand Canyon, and two images created during hikes in federally-managed park land in Utah. His exploration of National Parks in Utah and Arizona have produced several more images of famous American landscapes. They are available to view at Shargel’s photo shows, and 24/7 on his website.

The library building is at 6121 Gushee Street, Felton, CA 95018 phone 831-427-7708. The library is open to the public 10 to 6 every day except Sundays (10 to 5 on Fridays and Saturdays).  For holiday hours (please check before visiting) and more information, see the library website.

Watch This Space

Watch here for information about future shows.

Website Open 24/7

Our website is "open for business" any time. Our books and mini prints make lovely and inexpensive holiday gifts. Our larger prints are a way to give something beautiful to someone special.

Need some guidance or advice? Email anytime or phone us at 831-335-4849 between 9:30am and 5:30pm, California time.

If you manage a venue or know of one that would like to host a show, please contact us. Thank you!

Email or phone us at 831-335-4849 for additional information on any of our events.

If you'd like to receive an email notification of the date of our next show, please join our newsletter list.


Our Thanks to all the organizations who have
hosted our presentations:

Felton Library Friends
Community of Digital Artists, Scotts Valley
Pro Scuba Dive Center of Scotts Valley
TEDx Monterey
Northern California Dive & Travel Expo
Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39, San Francisco, CA
Gatsby Books, Long Beach, CA
The Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, CA
The Environmental Nature Center, Newport Beach, CA
Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Martha's Bookstore
Alacosta Divers dive club
Orchard School
The Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Aquarius Aquarium Institute, Fresno, CA
The Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Monterey Bay Kayaks
Amigos del Mar
The San Jose Flipper Dippers
The Explorers Club of Northern California
Soquel High School
Kelp Klimbers of Monterey
Adventure Sports
Monterey Peninsula Underwater Photographers
Northern California Underwater Photographic Society
Vaqueros del Mar
Tandem Dive Club
San Francisco Reef Divers
Northern California Rainbow Divers
Seniors Council of Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties
Bargetto Winery
The Monterey Shootout
Rotary Club of San Lorenzo Valley

Our Thanks to all the organizations
who have sponsored our shows:

Edward Jones Investments
Outback Trading Company, Felton
Peace United Church
Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Felton Branch
The Satellite Workplaces, Felton and Scotts Valley locations
San Francisco Reef Divers

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Arts Council Santa Cruz County
The Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
The Otter Project
Capitola Art & Wine Festival
Bay Photo Lab
Aldo's Italian Bakery
Bargetto Winery
Elegant Earth Gallery
County of Santa Cruz





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Copyright 2012 Living Sea Images, Lumigenic Media, and Marc Shargel