On Friday night, local photographer Martin Hazine's debuted his underwater photography series, In Depth, in the basement of Downtown arts venue, The Icehouse.
The space was chosen for its claustrophobic atmosphere, says Hazine, with ceilings low enough to touch that echo foot traffic from the gallery above.
"It's the feeling of pressing down on you, and I kind of liked it. Like when you're under water and you don't know which way is up and which is down," says Hazine.
|Photographer Martin Hazine|
Delving into the world of underwater imagery, Hazine says he's enamored by the dreamlike effect, but doesn't allow himself to be weighed down by much else than a basic vision.
"It is an initial emotion," says Hazine. "I've never gone too detailed with a theme ... For me, it always seems to work out better just to capture a feeling. When I do go under water, it feels like another world. Very etherial."
Hazine approaches shooting underwater in a very basic way; No fancy gear is taken down with him.
He jumps in shortly before the model, equipped with nothing but a weight belt around his swim trunks and a point-and-shoot camera. He relies on natural light as well as the model's natural body movements. They then resurface, review and dive back in.
Hazine switches back and forth between shooting his female models nude and in clothing, but says he prefers the latter. Aside from keeping with the mood of simplicity, shooting the models nude isn't nearly as challenging when fabrics aren't incorporated--despite the added elegance they can sometimes add.
And although Hazine says he enjoys underwater photography for the challenges of it--as well as having it be an excuse to escape the brutal Phoenix summer heat -- he hasn't had many mishaps on set. (Well, that's if you don't count a model provoking some serious rage in a wife after flirting with the woman's husband on set.)
Hazine, born in Kuwait, visited the States frequently with his family before moving to Michigan. He's been living in Phoenix for the past 8 years. But he's itching to take a road trip and is looking forward to the next project. What that next project is exactly, he has yet to figure out, but he doesn't see himself completely finished with this series.
"Pretty much as long as there's a hot summer, I'll be shooting [underwater]," says Hazine.
429 W. Jackson St., Phoenix, AZ