Beautifully Frozen Ocean Waves

Beautifully Frozen Ocean Waves

Pierre Carreau shot at high speeds to freeze the moving ocean waves, creating sculpturesque photographs of natures powerful movements.

Carreau works intensively on his project "AquaViva", a study of wave shapes. ​"I like the fact that this energy comes from far away to be revealed on our beaches." His facination with the waves started at a young age.

Each wave is different and a single wave offers various beautiful shapes and light reflection  Pierre take hundreds of photos to capture the right moment. In his words, "Digital photography and the best camera and lens are absolutely necessary to create my images. Technology allows me to make it possible".

Pierre has found small waves to be more interesting to him as they show details and transparency that are not visible on huge waves. To see more of the work visit



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Of course I am curious about the process. What's he using, a digital medium format camera? In what lighting conditions does he achieve the best results etc. Anybody have an idea?

My ideas:
- as soon as it's not cropped in Post the ratio is a 2:3 meaning it's a 35mm.
- lighting wise, it looks like some are shot during the golden hour and others are during an overcast day. (Except the last one, look like it's a bit past midday)

......but maybe i'm totally wrong :)

Oliver Oettli's picture

And then some look like he used flash. Which may be one reason why he has such a big depth of field.

Just a quick look on the first image on his website using the FxIF plugin (which nobody should be without):

Camerafabrikant: Canon
Cameramodel: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Lens: EF600mm f/4L IS USM
Afbeeldingsdatum: 2012-12-05 17:11:50 +0000
Focuslengte: 600 mm
Focusafstand: 98.3 m
Diafragma: f/7.1
Belichtingstijd: 0.0004 s (1/2500)
ISO-equivalent: 1600
Belichtingsverstoring: geen
Meetmethode: Matrix
Belichting: Sluiterprioriteit (Semi-automatisch)
Witbalans: Automatisch
Geflitst: Nee (gedwongen)
Oriëntatie: Normaal
Kleurruimte: sRGB
GPS-coördinaat: undefined, undefined
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Macintosh

its nice... unique

Jonathan Menga's picture

I agree- very unique

I love these shots. They really show the huge amount of power the sea has. Here's my own humble attempt at this from a few years ago.

These images are a revelation. Congratulations to this photographer!