J. Baylor Roberts and David Doubilet

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National Geographic’s David Doubilet and J. Baylor Roberts are outstanding pioneers in 20th century photography. Doubilet is a living legend who pioneered the art of underwater photography. J. Baylor Roberts was one of the great practitioners of 20th century street photography. This pair of images reveal what Doubilet calls the “myth and mystery of the sea.” He admires how Roberts captured a rare and wonderful “mermaid moment” when the underwater world was “truly that of myth and mystery.”

Roberts was an old school Geographic photographer of a earlier generation who shot any kind of assignment. When Doubilet looks at the elder photographer’s work, he sees a “joyous image in the clear springs” that sustained the sense of magic behind the myths of the sea. Doubilet still feels that much of the oceans are an unexplored mystery, full of suprises. When he discovered the jellyfish lake in Palau, he felt like he discovered an alien universe, “hidden on Earth where you could swim through galaxies of jellyfish pulsating like beating hearts.