Stunning Images of Waves by Surf Photographer Clark Little [Gallery]

Photographer Clark Little, known for his beautiful pictures captured inside breaking waves, has celebrated his recognition in a prestigious competition by releasing new photos.

  • The view looking out of a wave tube toward an empty beach on the island of Maui. Photo: Clark LittleThe view looking out of a wave tube toward an empty beach on the island of Maui. Photo: Clark Little
  • Photo: Clark LittlePhoto: Clark Little
  • Shot underwater and from behind a breaking wave, a beach on the island of Maui is seen through the transparent wave, attesting to the water clarity in the island of Maui. Photo: Clark LittleShot underwater and from behind a breaking wave, a beach on the island of Maui is seen through the transparent wave, attesting to the water clarity in the island of Maui. Photo: Clark Little
  • An endangered Green Sea Turtle dives through a breaking wave at the perfect moment to avoid getting dragged across the reef in Oahu. Photo: Clark LittleAn endangered Green Sea Turtle dives through a breaking wave at the perfect moment to avoid getting dragged across the reef in Oahu. Photo: Clark Little
  • Photo: Clark LittlePhoto: Clark Little
  • An endangered Green Sea Turtle swims in Oahu. Photo: Clark LittleAn endangered Green Sea Turtle swims in Oahu. Photo: Clark Little
  • Photo: Clark LittlePhoto: Clark Little
  • Clark also enjoys photographing the green turtlse in their home environment. "I catch the turtles in the surf when the waves are not so high," explained Clark. "They swim in an area known as Waimea Bay and even though it is where some of the largest waves in the world break, on quiet days it is called 'Waimea Lake' by some. The turtles swim there because it can be some of the calmest water around the island of Oahu." Photo: Clark LittleClark also enjoys photographing the green turtlse in their home environment. "I catch the turtles in the surf when the waves are not so high," explained Clark. "They swim in an area known as Waimea Bay and even though it is where some of the largest waves in the world break, on quiet days it is called 'Waimea Lake' by some. The turtles swim there because it can be some of the calmest water around the island of Oahu." Photo: Clark Little
  • "Sunrise is my favourite time to shoot since the wind tends to be calm and nobody is around," said Clark. "I swim out in the dark 15 minutes before the first hint of light and start taking pictures. Seeing colours fill in what used to be pitch black is an incredible feeling I never get tired of. Photo: Clark Little"Sunrise is my favourite time to shoot since the wind tends to be calm and nobody is around," said Clark. "I swim out in the dark 15 minutes before the first hint of light and start taking pictures. Seeing colours fill in what used to be pitch black is an incredible feeling I never get tired of. Photo: Clark Little
  • Clark has gained national and international recognition for his colourful photographs. He started photographing waves when his wife asked him take a picture to decorate a bedroom wall. Photo: Clark LittleClark has gained national and international recognition for his colourful photographs. He started photographing waves when his wife asked him take a picture to decorate a bedroom wall. Photo: Clark Little
  • Photo: Clark LittlePhoto: Clark Little

These stunning images capture the power and glory of waves as they are about to crash down onto the shore. They have been taken by surfer-turned-photographer Clark Little who swims in terrifying seas and crouches on shorelines to get the breathtaking images.

“I try to capture the beauty of these monstrous waves from the inside out,” said the father of two. “I’m always in the water before dawn to try to snap that perfect picture as the sun rises.”

Clark Little was recently awarded (May 3) the 2010 Oceans Photography Award by the prestigious Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards in a ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

He was one of 18 category winners selected from a field of over 20,000 images from photographers in 56 countries. Clark was also awarded the Highly Honored Photographer of Endangered Species for his photography of the endangered Hawaiian green sea turtles – making him the only photographer to receive awards in multiple categories.

Winners of each award category and a selection of highly honored images are on exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History from now through September 25, 2011. Clark was selected to exhibit two photos on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii: an underwater picture of a tube and an image of a green sea turtle swimming behind a wave.

Many of the images in the gallery above were taken at Waimea Bay in Hawaii. They show perfect arcs of water and crystal ‘caverns’ which are turned into a kaleidoscope of colour by sand and rays of sunlight. “I enjoy the power and beauty of the huge waves that roll through,” he said.

Clark Little started his career surfing the heaviest shorebreak in the world at Waimea. When he picked up photography, he naturally gravitated toward the impact zone and producing stunning images of the barrel from the shorebreak.

Clark has captured images like none other, with a keen eye for that perfect barrel, backwash, or reef shot. He has expanded his repertoire to include not only crushing pits, but also crystal waves that resemble hand-blown glass and picturesque island moments that reflect the awe-inspiring splendor of the Hawaiian Islands.

Clark Little’s images encapsulate the breathtaking beauty and power of the Hawaiian ocean, and depict a world that few, if any, have had the chance to experience.

Clark says he often risks his life to capture the ‘perfect wave’. He said: “I love the ocean – I am addicted to the waves. Especially places like Waimea Bay. I started surfing there in the 1990s and now I like to photograph it as much as possible.”

He added: “Thanks to experience I can capture some of those heavy moments without getting slammed about myself. Well, most of the time.”

With several camera upgrades, new underwater housings and a compulsion to get that better shot, photography has become his career and the ocean has become his office. [Clark Little Photography via The Telegraph (UK) and Digital Slr Photo]

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