HALEIWA, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaiian photographer Clark Little is known for his stunning images shot inside the barrels of some of Earth’s most powerful and dangerous waves.
The North Shore Oahu native has spent the past 15 years documenting shorebreak waves, monster swells that come in from the Pacific and crash directly onto the sand, unobstructed by reefs or shallow water.
Little has just released a book, “The Art of the Waves”, which chronicles his adventures in the ocean. It contains over 150 of his favorite images.
“Shorebreak is so beautiful and scary at the same time,” Little said. “I used to surf the shorebreak, so…that’s my comfort zone. I like the sandy bottom. I think it has more nice aqua colors.
Surfing great Kelly Slater affectionately calls Little ‘Turbo’ – he was known for driving fast and taking risks when the two met decades ago, long before Slater became one of surfing’s most decorated athletes .
“Clark is so connected with what he’s watching. It feels so natural to him,” said Slater, who wrote the foreword to the new book. “It just hit him one day to start capturing it.”
Big wave surfer Laird Hamilton says Little’s photography gives him the chance to examine the beauty and complexity of the ocean in ways he can’t when surfing the chaotic, big seas he loves to be in. .
“His books capture the things about the ocean that make us believe in higher powers,” Hamilton said.
When he was younger, Little surfed the waves of the shorebreak, which few people dared to do. But Little said even he was in trouble under those conditions.
“On a big day and I’m trying to swim to get the shot…then there’s a wave, two waves, three waves,” Little said. “Then I am out of breath and then there are another five more waves. I can not swim. I can’t go out because it pulls. It is enormous. And it’s just, it’s chaos.
People around the world showed respect for the waves on Wednesday in honor of World Oceans Day, an annual event to promote conservation and raise awareness of the human impact on the oceans.