Good Things Come To Those Who Wait. An Interview with Ellen Muller.

Pictured from left: Male Jawfish with eggs, Ellen Muller, and Gaudy Clown Crab.

Take one look at Ellen Muller’s website and instantly your jaw will drop from the beautiful images displayed on the screen. Your jaw will then drop a little farther when you discover how she achieves these images.(might be as wide as that male Jawfish at the end!) To get an idea of who Ellen is and what motivates her, we started at the beginning.

Ellen Muller moved from the US to Bonaire in 1980. With the purchase of her first underwater camera in 2001, she became instantly hooked on underwater photography. She explains that being able to dive almost daily provides many opportunities to document the amazing diversity of marine life in Bonaire’s waters. Her passion is being able to share with others, through underwater photography, some of the incredible underwater creatures she is fortunate enough to encounter on a regular basis.

Ellen absolutely loves night diving as well as late afternoon/sunset dives. She uses a Canon G16 camera in a Canon underwater housing with an add on macro lenses. Ellen always carries a magnifying glass with her when she dives to get a better look at the tiny creatures.  At night, she uses a red light to photograph and observe crustaceans, octopus and other nocturnal creatures that are highly sensitive to white light. This allows her to observe and photograph them without too much stress on the animals. Ellen’s favourite behaviour to photograph is spawning. Coral spawning, invertebrates spawning, fish spawning, any kind of spawning!

(Pictured from left: Lobed Star Coral Spawning, Pillar Coral Spawning, and Frogfish spawning)

Ellen has photographed many unusual, rare and unique creatures, and recorded previously unknown behaviors. In the process of looking for the strange she has discovered 2 new species! The latest made world headlines: The Candy Striped Hermit Crab named after her granddaughter with the hope that she will be inspired to protect the wonderful marine park that surrounds her home island.

Ellen hopes that she has made an invaluable contribution to our knowledge of the fascinating underwater world. Coral reefs around the world are under extreme stress. Programs like Bonaire’s Junior Rangers give hope that the younger generation will learn to cherish and care for the island’s natural treasures both on land and underwater.

Ellen’s explanation of how she handles herself underwater, approaches underwater imaging, and her respect for the underwater world has given me a whole new perspective. I can personally say that her photographs and skills are the envy of myself and many other dive professionals.