Sharks, Up Close and Fabulous
The ocean’s fiercest predators have an unlikely paparazzo. http://slate.me/28glFHn
- •For decades, Michael Muller took pictures of people. On land.As a celebrity photographer, he frequently stalked red carpets around the world.
- •But when his wife booked him a trip to Guadalupe Island in Mexico, he finally met his dream subjects: sharks.
- •“The first time I locked eyes with that first great white, I was hooked,” Muller said.
- •But he didn’t want to photograph sharks in the usual way, with natural lighting or a couple strobes.
- •Muller thought sharks deserved the full glamour-shot treatment.So the next time he went out, he brought the most powerful underwater lighting rig ever built.
- •The 1,200 watt waterproof studio strobe lights were connected to the boat by 140-foot-long cables.
- •With his crew of 15, Muller sailed more than 1,200 miles to get the perfect shots.He dove four times a day amidst hundreds of sharks.
- •Now, he feels relaxed around them (even the great whites) — so relaxed, in fact, that he scorns the “safety” of a protective cage.
- •“We’re not really on their menu,” says Mueller. “Once you see them, you quickly realize they’re not these killing machines we’re so programmed to think [they] are. They’re more scared of us than we are of them.”
- •His book, “Michael Muller: Sharks, Face –to-Face with the Ocean’s Endangered Predator,” was published by Taschen in March.