Photographing Beautiful and Monstrous Waves

I've lived on the shores of Lake Erie my entire life and can readily attest that it can a very unkind body of water. Photographer Dave Sandford takes advantage of this by wading into the tumultuous waves to capture and showcase their beauty.

We've featured Sandford's amazing work before, and it's great to hear him talk about his process and the ups and downs (or should I say "crests and troughs") of standing in freezing cold water to capture those "liquid mountains that literally last all of a second." Sandford uses a Canon 1D X with an Aquatech housing and 70-200mm lens when he's in the water, switching to a 400mm lens to photograph from the shore on days when the near-hurricane-force winds make the lake a bit too dangerous to venture into. 

I particularly appreciate Sandford's comments on the patience it takes to get these shots. Despite the near constant onslaught of waves, the cold, and the rip currents, capturing the beautiful violence takes a certain confluence of factors and timing. The results are well worth the effort, though.

Be sure to check out Sandford's site and follow him on Facebook and Instagram!

[via ISO 1200]

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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