Going deep for his art

Artist and photographer Wayne Martin Belger treated visitors to the Birch Aquarium to an unusual sight when he entered the facility’s 70,000-gallon kelp tank on Saturday, July 12, for a series of shots with his hand-built pinhole camera.

The underwater photo shoot, along with a session on Sunday, July 13, was part of a project Belger is currently working on. Over the next several months, the Tucson-based artist will visit 17 aquariums across the country to collect a series of photographs for his upcoming book release, “Deep Worlds.”

Instead of shooting through a lens, pinhole cameras allow light to enter through a tiny hole, embedding the image onto film or photographic paper inside the box.

Such cameras can be constructed of virtually any material, an attractive concept to Belger. He began designing cameras that related to the subject matter he later recorded with the device.

Some of Belger’s pinhole cameras have been constructed from aluminum, copper, steed, wood, glass, human skulls and HIV+ blood.

“It’s a bridge between me and the subject,” Belger said.

Unlike most photographers, who Belger described as voyeurs, being a part of the organic process is deeply important to him.

“I’ve always connected visually,” he said. “Symbolism makes sense as far as communication.”

Belger is participating in Device Gallery’s opening reception, being held July 19 from 6 to 9 p.m at 7881 Drury Lane. The show will feature photographs collected at Birch Aquarium. For more information about the artwork of Wayne Martin Belger, visit