Charles Mazel

Charles Mazel is a scuba diver/scientist/engineer/entrepreneur living in Bedford, MA. His photography started as a means to document his exploration of fluorescence underwater, especially on coral reefs. A simple question – “What happens when you swim around underwater at night with an ultraviolet light – does anything glow and can you photograph it?” – led unexpectedly to a scientific career researching fluorescence underwater and developing equipment to measure, observe, and document it. That underlying interest has expanded to an exploration of fluorescence wherever it may occur in the world around us, and he is now exploring this hidden dimension of light as a medium for art.

Mazel’s underwater fluorescence images were featured in a solo show in MIT’s Strobe Alley in Cambridge, MA, and in a two-person show at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. He has had individual images, from both below and above water, in a curated show at the Joyce Goldstein gallery in SoHo and in juried exhibitions at the Griffin Museum for Photography, the Bedford Free Public Library, and the Providence Center for the Photographic Arts.

The Light Within: Fluorescence in the World around Us

I explore fluorescence, a richly colored spectral dimension that is hidden in plain sight, submerged in the sea of white light in which we spend our lives. Some of that light can be absorbed and re-emitted at new wavelengths, a kind of optical alchemy that produces unexpected colors and patterns in seemingly familiar subjects. Fluorescence is around us all the time but it is weak, so we pass unaware of its presence. I work in the dark to unlock this hidden dimension with special lights and filters, then use photography to record what I find. What you see in the images is not a trick of digital processing – it is a record of what you can see with your own eyes when you explore the magic of this spectral world.

To view more of Charles Mazel’s work please visit his website.