Sharks, Up Close and Fabulous

The ocean’s fiercest predators have an unlikely paparazzo.
  1. For decades, Michael Muller took pictures of people. On land.
    As a celebrity photographer, he frequently stalked red carpets around the world.
  2. But when his wife booked him a trip to Guadalupe Island in Mexico, he finally met his dream subjects: sharks.
  3. “The first time I locked eyes with that first great white, I was hooked,” Muller said.
  4. But he didn’t want to photograph sharks in the usual way, with natural lighting or a couple strobes.
  5. 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.
  6. The 1,200 watt waterproof studio strobe lights were connected to the boat by 140-foot-long cables.
  7. 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.
  8. Now, he feels relaxed around them (even the great whites) — so relaxed, in fact, that he scorns the “safety” of a protective cage.
  9. “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.”
  10. His book, “Michael Muller: Sharks, Face –to-Face with the Ocean’s Endangered Predator,” was published by Taschen in March.