Swimming amid culture and heritage: Photographer Brian Skerry on NatGeo docuseries ‘SECRETS OF THE WHALES’


Preston Barta // Features Editor

This Earth Day, Disney+ and National Geographic invite audiences to go on an oceanic adventure to learn about the Secrets of the Whales, a four-part documentary series that peers into five species of whales’ private lives to examine their extraordinary communication skills and social structures.

Executive produced by James Cameron and narrated by Sigourney Weaver, Secrets of the Whales gives viewers the opportunity to watch captivating, sometimes never-before-seen footage. Try not to get swept into the beauty of a humpback pod performing a ballet, an orca offering their meal to a human, a family of belugas traveling hundreds of miles for a reunion, a narwhal mother nursing her calf, and a sperm whale diving 3,000 feet below to snack on a giant squid. It’s breathtaking.

Swimming with these majestic creatures is Brian Skerry. The acclaimed National Geographic photographer and explorer has spent four decades underwater, helping raise awareness and promote conservation of the oceans by what he captures within his camera. Filmed over three years in 24 locations, the docuseries features Skerry documenting whale identity’s cultural elements and recognizing what marine life can teach us about ourselves and our planet.

To uncover some of these “secrets,” Fresh Fiction spoke with Skerry via Zoom Video to discuss his experience, maintaining composure in an alien environment, and the most significant takeaways from whale culture.

Watch the video interview below, and gather around Disney+ on Thursday to embark on a heartwarming and insightful four-hour journey!

The three-year project is also featured in the new (and now-available) National Geographic book Secrets of the Whales. You can learn even more about the underwater secrets of whales by purchasing the May issue of National Geographic magazine, The Ocean Issue, which you can buy through nationalgeographic.com.

(All photos are courtesy of National Geographic and Disney.)

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.