|In Los Angeles. Photo: Claudia Christian|
Hi. I'm Shelton Muller and I appreciate you having come to this page. I suppose I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am - for my life and the blessings within it, to those I love and to those who have loved me and for the art and beauty that is photography.
I have loved photography for the better part of my life. I say "the better part" for two reasons. I have been taking photographs as a passion since I was 15 so it has been a long time. And, in many ways, the better parts of my life have been experienced with a camera in hand. While my existence is not defined by my photography, it has certainly been enhanced and enriched beyond my wildest yearnings because of it.
|At 17 with my Minolta XE-1|
I have captured the stars over Lake Tekapo in New Zealand, the drought-ridden rurals of South Australia and the Sphinx of the Giza Plateau. I have seen the sun rise over the Sinai and set over Machu Picchu and the Himalayas, the Rocky Mountains and grand temples like Abu Simbel, Angkor Wat and the Royal Palace of Phnom Penh. I have silently floated over the Grampians of Victoria and the Pushkar Camel Festival in northern India in hot air balloons. I have held the bones of ancient nobles in an Egyptian Tomb and the silent skulls of murdered Cambodians in the Killing Fields. I have visited the sites of human massacre in Vietnam and Egypt and stood in the ornate lounges and inner chambers of long gone lovers of India past. I have watched men and women tango in the streets of Buenos Aires and haggle in the souks and markets of Dubai and Cairo, Turpan and Kashgar. I have walked through lush verdant forests, fields of beautiful flowers and through the unimaginable slime in the slums and streets of filthy cities. I have used the smeared bodies of ants to repel mosquitoes in the in the Amazonian jungle. I have been forced to ignore the heart-wrenching pleas of deformed beggars only metres from the golden temples of rich religions. I have seen the tearful and earnest pleadings of mothers before the deaf and mute uselessness of silent and indifferent idols. I have been washed by the rain, stung by the sand and warmed by the sun. I have laughed with strangers, felt the threat of being a stranger in a strange place and known the incomprehensible hospitality of many whose names I will never know or whose faces I will never see again.
I have breakfasted with orangutans in Singapore and watched goats and sheep bleed and surrender in sacrifice to Hindu gods. I have chased and been chased by wild animals in the Canadian Rockies, woken to the sounds of hungry bears around my tent, eaten gourmet, guinea pigs and garden snails and felt the breathy threats of wild beasts I had no intention of harming. I have crawled through tiny tunnels in pyramids, tied my shoe laces on ancient ruins, snorkelled in the South Pacific and swum in pristine lagoons. I have sung Bob Marley tunes with Egyptian waiters beneath desert stars and alone and acapella in a Vietnamese village festival beneath a 60 watt globe. I have seen the earth below me from helicopters and balloons, zeppelins and doorless airplanes. I have climbed to top of the Empire State Building to see a sprawling metropolis beneath me and to the top of Mt Sinai to witness the silent sunrise. I have seen a mountain burn orange in the alpen glow of a Patagonian sunrise and walked along the Great Wall of China. I have drunk the cool waters of forest streams and stood in awe at the thundering falls of Iguasu and Milford Sound. I have heard the roar of cheering thousands and known the deafening silence of a mountainside where few others have stood. I have galloped an Arab across desert sands and held on for dear life on the back of a Vietnamese motorcycle. I have been transported by camels and elephants, powerful horses and tiny donkeys, in rickshaws and taxis, carriages and tractors. I have watched doctors open a human body to heal it and watched while grieving children publicly cremate the lifeless bodies of their loved ones in Nepal.
|On the Silk Road, Western China|
I have fainted through dehydration in Karnak temple beside the flowing and undrinkable waters of the Nile. I have spent sleepless nights wet and cold on hard mountainous terrain, slept soundly in luxury and decided not sleep when stars and comets danced over the Nile. I have woken to the Islamic Call to Prayer and the promise of a sunrise to photograph. I've danced to Middle Eastern drums and breathlessly with Peruvian villagers in altitudes too high for my own good. I have been rowed through hundreds of Vietnamese junks at sunrise and rowed myself across the Yellow River in a raft made from the dried and bloated carcasses of dead sheep. I have photographed an Indian tiger from the shoulders of an obedient elephant and placed my hands on the architectural perfection of the Taj Mahal. I have photographed models in Los Angeles, natives in the Amazon and local dancers in tiny villages. I have captured in camera both famous and commoner alike with equal passion and enjoyed the honour of many weddings, celebrations and events. I have heard the wind in the sails of ships and a whirring Evinrude on a hurried Zodiac across the waves. I have conversed with holy men and homeless, monks and millionaires, priests and peasants. I have often seen both sides and more.
I have lived in ways I once only imagined possible.
I am grateful for my life, camera in hand.
While my life has been filled with adventure, it has also been filled with love and kindness, blessings and challenges. There are many chapters left in my book and I await each page with a sense of gratitude and awe.