Cryptocurrency is part of the quest to preserve the great white shark.
It seems like a highly unlikely combination. But the advent of blockchain technology is serving a new purpose. It’s playing a part in documenting these creatures. Understanding them. Educating others about them. And most critically, preserving them.
Award-winning celebrity and advertising photographer Michael Muller is behind this unlikely initiative. Nearly a decade ago, Muller went on his first great white dive. He brought his camera and turned his lens towards his biggest fear. It altered the entire trajectory of his life.
It altered the entire trajectory of his life.
Muller embarked on a creative journey to document sharks. He explored various mediums, beginning with photography, to virtual reality, and eventually, blockchain technology. In each case, Muller understands the incredible power of the image to shape culture.
Muller has carved out a career of taking images of impressive encounters. From shooting Kobe to Brad Pitt, the Hollywood-based fashion and commercial photographer has made quite the mark. But it wasn’t until the shark dive that Muller’s conservationist alter-ego was born and his entire photography career shifted.
For the following decade, Muller has dedicated himself to capturing these sharks on camera as they’d never been seen before. He set out to capture sharks with the same kind of boldness and dynamic flair he brings to a Hollywood promotional shoot.
To capture the essence of these creatures, Muller had to create an underwater studio. He patented a light bulb, a 1,200-watt plexi-encased strobe lighting rig developed with the help of NASA engineering. This allowed him to picture the sharks with new levels of precision and proximity, bringing the Hollywood portrait session to the ocean’s apex predator.
Opting out of the traditional cage, Muller has swum alongside hammerheads, tiger sharks, and great whites. What originally began as a personal conquest of a pervasive fear evolved into a life-long commitment to learning about these complex animals.
When Muller found out nearly 100 million sharks are killed a year, his mission shifted. His art now represented a larger purpose. The mission behind these aquatic portraits was to raise awareness and erase the shark’s malevolent reputation. For people to look at the images and feel awe rather than the dread.
Yet two-dimensional photography is nothing like being immersed underwater and meeting a shark’s gaze. This is why Muller pivoted once he realized the birth of a new medium, VR, could bring a completely different simulated experience.
To recreate the experience of deep-sea diving in virtual reality, Muller created the world’s first underwater stereoscopic camera. He then partnered with Stanford University, where he and his team crisscrossed the planet documenting the luminal ecosystem within our oceans.
The result of this collective effort is the docuseries Into the Now, a 9-film immersive experience. Into the Now submerges the viewer in some of the most impressive dives on our planet, from the coasts of South Africa, to the oceans of the Bahamas, and the archipelago of Guadeloupe.
Muller’s goal is for viewers to watch Into the Now in VR and change the way they look — and think — about sharks forever. For people to get an entirely novel perspective on our oceans.
This is where Muller’s NFT collection comes into play. Partnering with NFT marketplace Obtainable, Muller plans on launching a collection featuring 10 intimate underwater images that serve as a tribute to the beauty and might of the shark. Michael Muller’s strikingly mesmerizing & rare shots of the animals will now have a home on the blockchain! Our intention for each piece is to bring both awareness and resources to the shark’s fragile future.
Great White Dive — Win a prize few would claim.
Change the way you see — and think — about the ocean’s top predator by meeting them face to face from the safety of a cage. An experience guaranteed to fill you with adrenaline and awe, you’ll dive into the waters of Guadalupe island off of Mexico to meet great white sharks in person. These waters have the best visuality to see great whites in the entire planet. An experience not for the faint of heart — but something that is once in a lifetime.
Win any digital 1-of-1 NFT auction to redeem a ticket for the Great White Dive. You will come face to face with great white sharks from the safety of a cage in the beautiful waters off the coast of Guadalupe Island, Mexico. Your ticket also includes a signed and numbered copy of Muller’s book with Taschen, Sharks, and a physical print of your NFT.
Taschen Book: Michael Muller. Sharks — A catalogue of adrenaline and awe, this Collector’s Edition of Michael Muller’s epic shark photography comes signed by the photographer and with its own metal shark cage. A tribute to the beauty, might, and fragility of the ocean predator, the volume includes the first known image of a great white breaching at night and an essay from Philippe Cousteau Jr.
- 4–5 day trip.
- No scuba certification or equipment necessary.
- Buyer is responsible for coordinating travel to San Diego. From there, everything will be taken care of.
One of a Kind Painted VR Headset
The single highest bidder from the five 1-of-1 auctions will also take home a one-of-a-kind Oculus Quest VR headset, hand-painted by artist Sage Vaugn. The headset will be pre-loaded with Michael’s nine Into the Now films so you can continue to submerge yourself in the aquatic underworld after your Great White Dive.THE PIECES: