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Call of the Blue

Call of the Blue


The 300 spectacular photographs in Call of the Blue are the culmination of a five-year project by photographer and ocean conservationist Philip Hamilton to witness and photograph marine life around the world. This groundbreaking and inspirational book showcases contributions from acclaimed scientists and notable ocean ‘guardians’ who share their lives, passions and exploits on, in or under the ocean and reveal what drove them to answer the call of the blue.


Watching and recording the gradual dismantling of life, beauty and diversity in our oceans is a torturous experience for scientists. Our oceans function as earth’s organs and our survival depends on their health. Yet in the last fifty years half of coral reefs have disappeared, only 10% of large fish remain and many species are at the brink of collapse. Unsustainable fishing practices, pollution – including 20 million tonnes of plastic entering the oceans yearly – and rising temperatures are continued threats. Even as the sense of urgency to save our oceans continues to grow, at the time we publish this book, an estimate of only 2% of all global philanthropic and charitable donations go to protecting the environment. Of this, only a tiny fraction go toward supporting and safeguarding our oceans. 


Brimming with spectacular, full-page photography of underwater scenes from the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern and Arctic oceans and many seas, Call of the Blue tells the stories of positive, focused people who are working to save our oceans. The first book of its kind, Call of the Blue unites more than 100 modern-day explorers, sailors, free divers, film-makers, lawmakers and conservationists who talk about their lives, passions and exploits on, in or under the water. Call of the Blue demonstrates how the efforts of individuals and communities can inspire and drive change. 


Notable contributors include United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse; BBC presenter and explorer Paul Rose; Danish environmentalist and Director General of the IUCN Inger Andersen; French photojournalist and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Yann Arthus-Bertrand; Australian coral reef biologist J.E.N ‘Charlie’ Veron; American cetacean scientist and conservationist Roger Payne (who first recorded and analysed humpback whale song); and American scientist and founder of the Wild Dolphin Project Denise Herzing (to name only a few).


Alongside these passionate and necessary voices, Philip Hamilton’s mesmerising images – of reefs, blue whales, saltwater crocodiles, manatees, sea lions, sailfish, penguin, mantas, jellyfish, turtles, sharks, pygmy sea horses and more – provide readers a glimpse of some of the world’s most stunning underwater locations, bringing into sharp focus all we are at risk to lose.

  • Philip Hamilton

    Text in collaboration with Marine Biologist Tom Hooper


    19 NOVEMBER 2018 

    Hardback, 285 x 380 mm

    344 pages, 300 colour illus.

    ISBN: 978-1-911300-51-9

  • In the press

    "Teeming with images of spectacular underwater scenes from around the world." –Guardian 


    "A beautiful, otherworldly compendium of underwater photographs." —GQ


    “In Call of the Blue there are pin-sharp close-ups of a hawksbill turtle and a great white shark – and of a tiny xeno crab and a strange group of Lambert’s worm sea cucumbers. There are also great splashes of colourful reefs and gaudy anemones, and a silvery view into the mouth of a whale shark, the largest fish in the world. Coursing through this visual warmth is an icy current: essays and interviews with scientists, photographers and “ocean guardians” – people who are devoted to protecting the oceans. Though they are clearly fascinated by all things oceanic, the stories they tell are more terrifying than any tiger shark. The waters are warming; as a result, corals are bleaching and dying, leaving creatures of all types homeless and vulnerable. We are catching too many fish and filling the oceans with plastic … This magnificent book is [Hamilton’s] call to arms. Let’s hope it works.” –1843/The Economist 


    "Philip Hamilton’s camera captures underwater splendors ... Call of the Blue takes the viewer on a journey through ocean ecosystems we rarely observe." –Sierra Magazine 


    "Contains over three hundred of Hamilton’s photographs of underwater life around the globe, accompanied by a range of testimonials from marine experts." —Literary Review  


    "Breath-taking book [that] aims to bear witness to the fragility of the ocean." —Chinadiaglouge Ocean

  • Ocean Souls

    Discover the remarkable lives and fragile underwater world of cetaceans in a dramatic new documentary directed by Philip Hamilton.

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