Photographing Waves: How One Surfer Gets Perfect Ocean Shots

Clark Little didn’t plan on becoming a wave photographer; it just sort of evolved into a career after he went into the ocean one day with his camera to get a shot for his wife. Already a seasoned surfer, Little was familiar with the waves, but this time he was swapping the surfboard for a camera. He loved it:

Growing up in Waimea, Hawaii, it didn’t take long before Little was hitting the waves on a surfboard. He especially loved shorebreak – surfing the hard, powerful waves just before they crashed into the shore. Years later, he took his experience and used it to create imagery that nobody else was capturing. He strayed from the standard pipe photos and literally dove headfirst into shorebreak photography.

Little’s wave photographs are incredible unique. This is because he’s willing to take a beating to get them. He’s so passionate about his art and so determined to get the perfect shot that he’ll stay in the ocean for hours, battling wave after wave, sometimes to the point of serious danger. He’s been smashed into the sand, tossed up the beach, and sucked over the falls, which is cool surfer lingo for getting caught up in the wave and rolled over in the lip. He says it’s worth it. Agreed.

shorebreak wave

clark little wave photographer

photographing waves

“I guess people feel the passion, I think, in the art, in the waves, the backwashes, the beauty. A hundred and ten percent, six hours a day, that’s my preference.”

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  1. Beautiful work, I’ve been following him on Instagram for a while and now I can put a face to the name, rock on!

  2. Theresa says:

    What kind of camera is he using? Settings? Beautiful photos.

  3. Wendy says:

    How does he not get water droplets all over his lens (or whatever he’s guarding his lens with)?

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