Ted Talks to Inspire


Image from 'Mind-blowing magnified portraits of insects' by Levon Biss

TED is one of those inspiring organisations that shares ideas and knowledge to make the world a more engaged and informed place. With thousands of talks available to watch online at ted.com, we’ve picked out some of the best to help widen your thoughts on photography.

Photos from a storm chaser

Camille Seaman
Duration: 3 minutes

Camille Seaman delivers a succinct, informative presentation into photographing America’s great storms – or what she calls ‘lovely monsters’. Alongside a stunning slideshow of pictures Seaman shares how being born into the Shinnecock tribe has nurtured her respect for the land. 


Glow-in-the-dark sharks and other stunning sea creatures

David Gruber
Duration: 14 minutes

Bright, vivid colours don’t exist underwater, or at least to our naked eye. It’s a dim, monochromatic environment, but marine biologist and explorer photographer for National Geographic, David Gruber, shows us something incredible: how some sharks, seahorses, sea turtles and coral have evolved to take in blue light and give off biofluorescent colours, making the depths of the ocean a beautiful light show. 


Photos of Africa, taken from a flying lawn chair

George Steinmetz
Duration: 11 minutes

American photographer George Steinmetz shows us Africa from above and the fascinating ecological, sociopolitical and historical patterns he witnessed while travelling across the continent in the world’s lightest – and slowest – aircraft: a motorised paraglider.


Mind-blowing magnified portraits of insects

Levon Biss
Duration: 8 minutes

Around 10,000 individual shots go into each of Levon Biss’ incredible photographs of insects. Depicting each subject in amazing microscopic detail, Biss shares his lengthy, rigorous method here in just under 10 minutes, to reveal how he made art and science combine to dazzling effect. 

Explore more inspiring TED talks in the photography, nature and animal categories.