Water-lovers understand the allure of swimming: the weightless underwater, the silence below the surface, the otherworldly qualities of light and slow hovering under water.
Lucas Murnaghan, a 41-year-old surgeon and photo hobbyist living in Toronto, Canada, recently gained a massive Instagram following because of his photo series depicting underwater musclemen in evocative poses.
His pics aren’t your classic pin-ups. They’re beautiful images that capture the solitude and playfulness of water while also demonstrating his artistic mastery.
In a recent interview, Murnaghan said:
“Through my photography, I explore feelings, emotions and memories that we all feel from our childhood that are either unprocessed or suppressed and try to emote them through my subjects in an unexpected yet familiar setting.
“My underwater work poses physical, emotional and conceptual challenges both in the creation and the interpretation. I have personally always found solace in the water, and I try to share that emotion with my audience through the images that I create.”
Here’s a video of Murnaghan shooting some underwater photographs:
He initially began photographing competitive events of Ontario’s LGBT Triggerfish water polo team and the local university swim team, but later began experimenting with more creative compositions.
When you consider the numerous challenges that he and his models had to face just to make each image — pre-planning and re-shooting each pose, exhaling enough to achieve each model’s desired buoyancy, the unpredictable qualities of light and bubbles — it seems all the more astounding that each one turned out so flawlessly.
“Draw a Circle Around Yourself …”
“On the Seventh Day”
“Waiting for the Fall”
“All the World’s a Stage”
“Walk the Line”
“Alone With His Thoughts”
“Soak It All In”
“Going Under Cover”
“Dipping Into the Inkwell”
“Stay On Your Toes”
“No Ordinary Love”
“Fall From Grace”
“Teacher of All Things”
“Can I Kick It?”
“Don’t Dream It, Be It”
“Elevate the Soul”
“Clash of the Tritons”
“Try a Little Tenderness”
“The Struggle is Real”
“Too Big For His Britches”
“The Morning After the Night Before”