Bioluminescence Series


The Wider Project:

Joseph Michael’s Bioluminescence series is a spectacular photographic and multimedia project that follows Joseph’s search for bioluminesce in various destinations around the world. The objective of the wider project is to capture this magically luminescent part of nature as never before, utilising new camera technologies. Joseph is planning a variety of expeditions that will capture different species of bioluminescence as it interacts with its environment in stunning fashion such as: dolphins swimming through phosphorus in Central America, fireflies in Japan, sharks diving through phosphorus in South Africa and glowworms in New Zealand (long exposure).

The artistic endeavour also has a scientific dimension. There is significant academic research in the area of bioluminescence and Joseph along with a select group of leading scientists are developing a project that could contribute to an improved understanding of dolphins outer layers / flow fields. This is because flow-induced bioluminescence provides a unique opportunity for visualizing the flow field around a swimming dolphins. Importantly, camera technology (specifically camera shutter speeds) is now approaching a level whereby the images may be sufficiently detailed to provide what could be groundbreaking new insight into this area, it also provides an opportunity to capture breathtaking images of this spectacle in a level of detail never before possible.

Once the series is developed, Joseph will stage an immersive exhibition to showcase the images and multimedia footage. Enter a world in which you are surrounded by the natural phenomena of bioluminescence. You engage with images that respond to your touch in stunning detail. The photographic content is not digital animation but real world elements captured using photography. It is a  unique experience only made possible by recent advancements in photographic technology.

Proposed Bioluminescence Projects

Building off the success of his glowworms piece entitled Luminosity (see next page), the commencement of Joseph’s next bioluminesce project will be around mid-2016 when he will travel to one of the proposed locations to capture photographic and multimedia footage of a variety of bioluminesce. With the specific details of each projects still in development, sponsors have a unique opportunity to contribute to the creative narrative of each project.

The individual projects in the series that are being considered are:

  • New Zealand - Glow-worms

  • New Zealand, Marlborough Sounds - dinoflagellate bioluminescence

  • North West Australia - Game fishing - dinoflagellate bioluminescence

  • Puerto Rico (Mosquito Bay) - Dolphins & dinoflagellate bioluminescence

  • Maldives (eastern Islands) Mudhdoo, Vaadhoo and Rangali.

  • Indonesia - various locations

  • Mauritius - various locations

  • Madagascar - various locations

  • Southern Africa (shark diving & seals through dinoflagellate bioluminescence)

  • Japan & USA - fireflies

During each project a library of stunning multi-media content will be captured and developed. This will be shown in public exhibitions in New Zealand and Australia and shared internationally on social and mainstream media. The content will be available to project partners and sponsors, while a behind the scenes documentary will also be created to document Joseph's adventure and the process of creating the work.

The Artist

Joseph Michael embodies a magical balance between fine artistry and forward-thinking technical knowledge. With a passion for the philosophical at the core of his practice, Michael seeks out the rare and sublime in the natural world and represents it with a winning combination of dynamic vision and cutting-edge multimedia technology.

In 2014 Michael was a finalist in the Moving Image category of the esteemed International Photography Awards (IPA) in the USA, with four works in the top 30. Closer to home, he has participated in Image Nation and Auckland Festival of Photography. In 2013, Michael was a guest speaker at TEDxAuckand where he shared his hard-won knowledge of the processes involved in creating epic 24-hour time-lapse photography for the exhibition dark cloud / white light, an event that attracted over 130k visitors.

Recently, Michael came to global attention with the release of his Luminosity series. These images have featured in over 150 media platforms (including print and online publications), with more than 100,000 shares via Facebook. The online engagement with this series has impacted the global trend of Google searches for the term “glowworm”, reaching a peak twice as high as that of any year in the past decade.

Sponsorship: Why Canon?

Michael grew up using Canon equipment, the Bioluminescence projects are particularly suited to the new Canon technology; it is an opportunity to collaborate. Limitations in camera technology have meant that some of the most amazing images of nature and bioluminescence have yet be captured on film. The requirement for high ISO sensitivity to capture the light of these lifeforms in the dark is only just beginning to be possible. Canon, at the forefront of this revolution, partnered with Joseph Michael, an artist at the vanguard of creativity, will exemplify the extraordinary potential of Canon’s newest cameras.


How can Canon collaborate?

Canon fits in with the story and ambition of Bioluminescence as it leads the world with its range of cameras and equipment. Ideally, Canon would be a partner for the entire Bioluminescence series. This might involve providing financial support for the projects, including camera and equipment requirements - at an approximate value of NZ$50k.

Equipment requirements may including:

  • Canon ME20F-SH kit

  • Canon 5D-SR / 1D-X kit

  • Behind the scenes camera equipment

Michael has a proven ability to leverage sponsorship

Michael has a well developed network of followers in the international photographic community, online and mainstream media (both locally and internationally), as well as the general public. His work has genuine appeal that has translated into hundreds of thousands of people attending his exhibitions and a similar volume of individuals sharing his content online.

The release of the Luminosity images is a perfect example of the potency of his artistic talent and media savvy. Luminosity was a trial project developed to test the impact that a wider bioluminosity project might have. The result was a firm affirmation of the significant appetite for this type of content both online and in traditional media (see previous page for details).

In addition to the release of the images, Joseph plans to record a behind the scenes documentary on each project (of which Canon could have access). These will be developed as webisodes to be exhibited online and will build ongoing interest in the story of adventure behind the work. Finally, once Joseph has completed the Bioluminescence series he will stage a multimedia installation that will tour both nationally and internationally, appealing to people across all spectrums (see page one for details).

In addition, Joseph regularly participates in a variety of speaking engagements, including TedxAuckland, Pecha Kucha etc, in which the story of Bioluminescence and its partners will be discussed in front of live audience and then online.

Possible Other Sponsors:

The Bioluminescence project lends itself to a multitude of possible sponsors, that would be interested in associating their organisations with the Bioluminesce journey by helping tell the story behind the project.

We have listed some possible other sponsors below:

  • Creative NZ

  • Nat Geographic (Channels)

  • Discovery (Channels)

  • Scientific community / research

  • Automobile industry

  • Nautical industry

  • Red Bull