Michaela’s photos are a portal to a dreamy underworld. Dark tones swirl across her images with colour a subtle exclamation. Dive into her world.
When you chat to quietly-spoken photographer Michaela Skovranova, it’s hard to imagine her sliding into the icy waters of Antarctica, freediving around vast icebergs. Or documenting the undiscovered reefs of the Great Australian Bite, her shark-attack tourniquet training at the back of her mind.
Documenting humans, creatures and vast landscapes, Michaela captures the magic and mood of each moment in her photographs. Her style highlights the incredible places she works, but also ties into her ethos of finding the beauty wherever you are, whether that’s the frozen landscapes of Antarctica, the wild mountains of Japan, or suburban Sydney.
We spoke to Michaela about her style, her gear, and her passion for capturing the magic around us every day.
Alice: What do you hope people get out of your photos?
Michaela: I wish for people to find their own connection to nature – to ignite curiosity, love and respect for our natural environment and each other.
How would you describe your style?
Quiet, with a glimmer of light.
What equipment do you use, and why?
I use a range of equipment depending on the job requirements. I love documenting everyday moments using my phone.
For specialist jobs I use an Olympus camera and an Olympus housing. What it comes down to for me is the versatility of the equipment in the environment I’m creating, and the quality of the output.
Do you plan the shots you want to capture, or just see what nature provides?
It depends on the project and whether it’s personal work or a commissioned project, however both require a certain amount of prep work.
Planning includes equipment choices and takes into consideration variables such as weather, location, time of the year, migration patterns, access, permits.
You also have to consult with experts in the field and the Traditional Owners of the lands and seas.
Where’s your favourite place to shoot in Australia?
I love exploring the Great Southern Reef – it covers 71,000 square kilometres and is one of the most biodiverse areas in Australia.
These reefs are wild, pristine and some of the most unexplored regions in this country.
85 – 90% of all marine plants and animals found in the region are found nowhere else in the world. I couldn’t in my wildest dreams imagine the colours and eclectic mix of life that thrived in these waters.
What was your most magical wildlife encounter?
I have had so many wonderful moments in the ocean. One special experience, which divers and snorkelers have the ability to experience, is diving during the full moon.
After dark the reef explodes with life and the moon illuminates the night seas. I felt like I was floating through the universe.
When you’re not taking epic photos, what else do you like to do?
I love immersing myself in nature. I’m an obsessive walker and will happily explore and walk kilometres a day if I get the chance.
I love learning and gaining inspiration from various artistic forms. I enjoy learning from creatives in different fields, especially art installations, music, performance art and science.
My favourite is the cross-section of art and scientific research – there’s so much magic to be explored.
If you had any advice for readers looking to step up their photography game, what would it be?
Practice, walk a lot and look around. Listen to nature and enjoy the light.
Follow Michaela on Instagram at @mishkusk