Lucas Murnaghan goes into the deep end for his Toronto Pride photo exhibit

We may still be quarantined in fundamental ways–no bars or crowded restaurants that are staples of gay life quite yet–but chlorinated water has been deemed safe, so people are diving back in, while still at a safe distance. GayCities unearthed this interview and photo montage from last year to remind us of the liquid pleasures ahead as the nation haltingly (and, hopefully carefully) opens up again.

Silver fox Lucas Murnaghan, 42, is an orthopedic surgeon and entrepreneur. And that’s just for starters.

He is also the photographer of the 10×10 Photography Project in Toronto.

Lucas also gave GayCities a preview of his underwater work.

Here’s Lucas’ rundown all things Pride Toronto.

Tell us about the exhibit?
The 10×10 Photography Project is an annual event and publication that celebrates Queer Canadians in the arts. Each year, 10 Queer Canadian Photographers are chosen and each select 10 Queer Canadian Artists that they will portray and celebrate. The resultant 100 portraits are exhibited at the iconic Gladstone Hotel.I was honoured to be asked and thrilled that I had the freedom to shoot my images in my signature underwater style. I am super excited for the opening and to share my images of the ten incredible artists that I worked with.

(Photo used by permission / @lucasmurnaghan)

Tell us about your underwater photography. What inspired it?

I’ve always been a bit of a water baby and have loved taking pictures since I was a kid. I started in surf photography a while back, and always preferred the physical and technical challenge of shooting from the water. My surf photography has taken me on some pretty incredible adventures around the world, as well as the opportunity to capture a growing surf scene right here on the Great Lakes. A couple years ago, I found myself wanting to shoot more than my travel schedule (and budget!) would allow, so I started to brainstorm other ways to use the skills that I had developed. Once I slipped beneath the surface, I realized that there was another world waiting for me to explore – I was hooked!

You’re also a doctor? What kind?

I’m an orthopaedic surgeon. I specialize in the care of pediatric and adolescent athletic injuries. Most of my operations are done arthroscopically which means I perform the surgery through a minimally invasive approach and use a camera within the fluid filled joint (shoulder, knee, hip etc) to perform reconstructive procedures. So I’m behind the camera and underwater even at my day job!

Tell us about your hobbies when you’re not doctoring or photographing.

Water does seem to be a recurring theme doesn’t it! I love to travel with my partner, get out surfing or stand-up paddleboarding and am a glutton for punishment through long-distance triathlons. I’ve completed a couple Ironman races and would love to take on another adventure race soon.

(Photo used by permission / @lucasmurnaghan)

What are the challenges of underwater photography?

I guess the two biggest challenges are physical and technical. I do all of my underwater shoots without the aid of SCUBA so that I can maintain an intimate connection with my subject. This poses the physical challenge of breath-holding as well as body control. In addition to being physically able to do the shoots – there is a variety of equipment that is required to get this kind of shot. I’ve been accumulating it over the years – but it certainly isn’t an inexpensive hobby!

(Photo used by permission / @lucasmurnaghan)

Visit Lucas on Instagram for more info on the upcoming exhibit, 10×10 Photography Project.