Sharks: face to face with the ocean's endangered predator.

Sharks: face to face with the ocean's endangered predator. Michael Muller.
Sharks: face to face with the ocean's endangered predator.

Koln: Taschen, 2016. Quarto, dustwrapper, colour photographs.

Famed for his portraits of the world’s most elite actors, musicians, and sports stars, Michael Muller has in the last ten years built up one of the most spectacular portfolios of underwater shark photography. 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 catalogue 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.

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