An ode to the ocean An ode to waves: Morgan Maassen plunges under the water with his high-contrast, slow-motion camera to show us the world, the waves, and the sea from a new perspective. WATER II is Maassen‘s visual declaration of love for his muse, the sea.
With his photography, the young filmmaker Morgan Maassen evokes an instant longing for the ocean. For Maassen, who grew up by the sea, the big blue has become both his workplace and his muse.
Do you recall the first time you saw the ocean and what it felt like?
My parents raised me at the beach, so my earliest memories were by the sea. I’ll never forget when my dad pushed me into my first wave, at the age of 7. I felt like the whole world stood still for a moment, as the profoundness of sliding across the water was so surreal and enthralling.
In your film WATER II the ocean seems to be a blue universe onto itself, a blue void. Do you ever feel like an ocean dweller or do you sometimes wish you were one (in that case, which)?
I find all of my inspiration in the sea, and aspire to spend as much time in it as possible, so I think it’s safe to say I am a sea dweller. While I love the mountains and cities, I always gravitate back towards the ocean.
You’re travelling the world and have undoubtedly seen many of the most beautiful ocean shores. What changes have you seen over the last years, above the surface and beneath?
I’ve seen some amazing changes, both good and bad. It’s been incredibly frustrating to see the amount of pollution entering the ocean and its global health decline, but the flip side is that I have never observed more people opening their eyes through education and effort to help save it. Plastic pollution is a major issue, and I hope we can collectively take strides to solve the issue before it is too late.
One of your previous short films is about your father’s passion, hunting for sea urchins. Did you get your passion for the ocean from him?
Absolutely! My whole family is crazy about the ocean, between my dad and his work and my mother loving spending her time there equally as much. We’ve spent so much time at sea, at the beach, traveling, and exploring the ocean as much as possible. They have always instilled how much it means to them in me, and I’m elated to share their same passion for it.
How do you recover from shooting an entire day in the ocean? I exercise regularly to be in the best shape when I enter the ocean, whether it is for surfing or shooting in big waves. at the end of a long day in the ocean, whether for fun or for shooting, i always make sure to relax, and get excited for the next day.