When perusing the work of Eliot Lee Hazel, one gets taken aback by the sheer scale of the imagery, whilst simultaneously pulled back in to see the meticulous attention to detail in each image. From his plethora of subject content, one is bound to find a new way of seeing things, stemming from a truly unique eye of expression. We got in touch with Eliot and asked him a few questions about his most recent project shot on Lomography's LomoChrome Purple Film.
Welcome, Eliot! Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Bob otherwise known as Eliot Lee Hazel.
When first observing some of your work, even though the subject matter is fashion there seems to be a compositional undertone on the formal side of the images. Do you specifically look for geometric shapes in your photographs, or how do you sculpt your images to go beyond the clothes?
Using geometric shapes and such is not something I ever planned on doing; it somehow just unfolded. I have always been a fan of using negative space and giving images a feeling of otherworldliness.
Lomography is all about film and experimentation, how much does the choice of photographic medium influence your work?
I love the surprise of using different kinds of film but now I tend to keep things a little more simple as time is often an issue. I had a tendency to go crazy with all sorts of tricks, using expired film, using any kind of yanky-danky camera I could find but now I have too many cameras, too much film and the list goes on.
What was your experience like shooting with the Lomochrome Purple film? Do you have any tips for first time shooting?
At the time I started using the Lomo film I had a great assistant, Heikki Kaski. He is an incredible photographer who has now moved on from assisting, but he knew the ins and outs of about every kind of film so it was pretty simple and straightforward using the Lomography Purple film. As far as advice for 1st time shooting? Aim and shoot and keep ya fingers crossed.
Your portraits of Musician Rodrigo Amarante are some of my favorites, with a bare nature that is very representative of his sound. Looking at some more of your work I sometimes see a similar approach, do you create shoots with a minimalist mindset based on subject? Or do you apply your same photographic style on every kind of personality?
That's funny you mention the image of Rodrigo Amarante as it’s one of my favorite’s also. Do yourself a favor and google “pyhimys pettymys” and see what image pops up, it might have inspired some others too ;-) …in case you’re wondering I can assure you that I was the chicken who laid the 1st egg. Regarding how I approach my subjects, I have a quick chat with them and feel them out but overall I approach each and all with a minimalist mindset.
Are there any other projects you're working on right now that you can tell us about?
Right now I am working on an art video installation called ØDE, it’s a collaboration with creative director Petecia Le Fawnhawk and composer Robot Koch. I approached the work as a moving photograph. It’s turning out to be very special if I may humbly say so, other than that I want to focus on shooting more personal stuff. I recently did a project named “Stump”; I was planning on shooting landscapes and using a moving subject to create motion blur but while at it, my tripod broke so I needed to think of something else. Feel free to take a peek as I just uploaded them to my website, it was shot using medium format random brands expired film, no retouching was needed as the colors came out pretty nice.
What else? Let's see, I just shot the album cover for the band called “London Grammar” which should be coming out in the next few days or weeks; Also, I’ll be teaching a workshop next week so I am kinda shitting my pants as I have never done one before and have no clue what to expect
Where else can we find your work?
With a little luck I’ll be doing a photo exhibition in LA and Berlin, other than that just keep your eyes open :-)