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Lights, cables, and teeth
The ocean’s endangered predator as never seen before
Michael Muller has carved a career out of impressive encounters. Famed for his portraits of the world’s most elite actors, musicians, and sports stars, he has in the last ten years built up one of the most spectacular portfolios of underwater shark photography.
Muller’s quest is to document sharks with an unprecedented proximity and precision, bringing the Hollywood portrait session to the ocean predator. In ocean depths around the world, he approaches the sharks with a patented seven-bulb, 1200-watt plexi-encased strobe lighting rig, developed with NASA engineering, and no cage.
This unprecedented collection of Muller’s images, including the first-known photograph of Great White breaching at night, is a catalog of adrenalin and awe. Arranged geographically, it follows Muller's ocean adventures from Black Tip and Sand Tiger sharks in South Africa to Great Hammerheads in the Bahamas, with thrilling narratives from each trip documenting the challenges and near-misses along the way.
To compliment Muller’s work for advocacy organizations such as WildAid and EarthEcho, the images are contextualised with essays from Philippe Cousteau, Jr. and marine biologist Alison Kock, who discuss exploration and conservation of our oceanic kingdom. Culture writer Arty Nelson adds an overview of Muller’s work, while a technical section explains the precise equipment behind these spectacular shots. Together, these insightful texts and awesome images offer a record of breathtaking photographic feats, a tribute to the beauty and might of the shark, and a rallying cry for its fragile future.
Los Angeles–based photographer Michael Muller has circled the globe shooting celebrities, rock stars, outlaw bikers, super heroes and elite athletes for such publications as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, and Harper's Bazaar. Ten years ago he turned his lens underwater and began photographing sharks as they’ve never been seen before.
The contributing authors:
Philippe Cousteau is a prominent leader in the environmental movement. An award-winning television host, producer, author, speaker, philanthropist and social entrepreneur Philippe is the son of Philippe Cousteau Sr. and grandson of Jacques Cousteau.
Dr. Alison Kock is a marine biologist and the research manager for the City of Cape Town’s acclaimed Shark Spotters Program. She is a member of the South African Acoustic Tracking Array Platform, is a project leader for the Save Our Seas Foundation, and scientific advisor for the South African Shark Conservancy.
Arty Nelson has written essays for monographs and artist catalogs on Wes Lang, Chris Johanson, Ed Templeton and the critically acclaimed Beautiful Losers show.