Photographing Sharks with Underwater Studio Lighting

Last Call with Carson Daly did a feature recently on prolific Hollywood photographer Michael Muller, whose recent work has his portraits looking a little bit more savage. In this clip, he takes us underwater to swim with the fishes, where he’s started on a very exhilarating project:

Muller muses about his art, and how he’s gotten where he is – from a sixteen year old snowboard photographer, to his move to Los Angeles and his foray into the world of celebrity portraiture. He developed innovative underwater lighting techniques while shooting professional swimmers, knowledge which he takes with him to the dangerous depths among these bulls and great whites. He discusses the beauty and grandeur of the animals, and the respect that is necessary to give them in order to avoid making enemies.

underwater photography
Occasionally protected by a steel cage, but more often not,  Muller descends into a swarm of the aquatic carnivores. With the help of a lighting assistant or two, he snaps wildly as they circle, often coming within arm’s reach of his lens. Through a bold readiness to face the most dangerous creatures in the sea, his story is a testament to the very nature of fear, and our power to overcome it.

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