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Caelum Mero

Underwater fashion photographer, Caelum Mero of Australia, has developed a unique personal style that is fun, fabulous and poetic. He invites us into an underwater realm of mystery, magic and grace. X-RAY MAG’ s Gunild Symes caught up with him to find out the story behind his inspiration.
Clowning Around. “This image took ages to produce,” said Mero. “It’s actually one clown. I created a seperate layer, horizontally reversed the original image and pasted it down to make it appear like two clowns.”
Published in X-Ray Issue: 38 - Oct 2010
Authored by: Gunild Symes | Photography: Caelum Mero | Translation:
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GS: Tell us about yourself, why you started creative work with the subject matter and medium you have choosen, and what inspired you to become an artist and fashion photographer.

CM: TMy foray into underwater photography began during university where I was studying marine biology and started to really get into diving. Once I was accepted into post graduate research for university, I was no longer able to dive as much as I was used to, and it started to drive me crazy! Luckily, the apartment I was living in had a pool, and so I managed to convince a friend of mine (who happened to be a Swedish model) to pose for me underwater. This was done purely to satisfy my cravings for underwater photography. But soon enough I was hooked on the creative aspect of this new style of photography, and I soon realized that it wasn’t necessarily the diving I was missing but rather it was the photography.

Before long, I was shooting two to three times a week in the pool and constantly practicing and learning new techniques. Getting into fashion photography was just a natural extension of what I was already doing. Fashion photography is brilliant, as it allows you to combine the technical aspects of photography with no hindrance on your own personal creativity.

GS: What was your training and education as an artist and fashion photographer and how did you develope your personal style? Do you have any role models, artistic, cultural or political influences?

CM: My own training and education as a fashion photographer came purely from trial, error and a healthy dose of obsession. I would constantly read and review prominent fashion photographers works and techniques.

My own personal style is still developing and definitely not cemented yet. I’m constantly evolving the way I shoot, and I’m currently working on a new major body of work at the moment.

My photography role model has to be the technically flawless Howard Schatz. His work is always an inspiration to view, and I often find myself checking out his work before a big shoot to help me focus.

From an artistic point of view, I would have to say that I draw a great deal of inspiration from Salvador Dali. I believe that the underwater world can be used to generate some stunning surrealist photography.

GS:Tell us about your artistic method... what is your process, how do you ...

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Two off camera strobes were used to illuminate this model from below. The hardest part was finding a good dress that would suit the image, said Mero.