• This bit of light is really interesting. Looks like it must be transmitted through the wave -- awesome! - landESCAPEphotography | jeff lewis
  • Exactly! I love the translucent light coming through.
  • this section right here really makes me feel refreshed! - vevans4
  • 10 - enio2015

Hamoa Beach Shorebreak 1

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USA, Hawaii, Maui, Dramatic shorebreak waves at Hamoa Beach near Hana

Like most photographers, I like to challenge myself to create new images outside of my comfort zone. One of my favorite new shooting styles is photographing breaking shore waves. This style has been made popular in the last few years by Clark Little. I harbor no illusions that I am going to become as well known or specialized as Clark is at photographing waves, but I had a lot of fun trying during my recent visit to Hawaii.

I am fairly competent with an underwater camera housing, and I have done some boogie boarding during my lifetime, but it took a lot of dedication to fling myself into a breaking wave with my large housing in hand. I got thrown through the air and pummeled by waves more than you can imagine. My camera housing turned into a dangerous weapon during the out-of-control punishment inflicted by the larger and more photogenic waves. During one of my more memorable moments, I received a big gash to my right shoulder when my housing hit the bottom while I was cartwheeling through the water. I’m lucky that it did not hit my face. I shot several thousand terrible wave images that were almost immediately deleted. However, this fantastic wave breaking at Hamoa Beach near Hana is the most impressive from all my effort. I really like how I not only captured the breaking tube, but the wave momentarily looks like some type of prehistoric monster. I also like how I framed the entire composition in my normally recognizable wide-angle style. There is no doubt that I if I want to improve that I will need a camera that is capable of 10-12fps, rather than my 5DmkII’s inadequate 4fps. I also stressed myself out so much doing this, that I suffered 2 back-to-back migraine headaches. In spite of all the challenges, photographing waves is very addictive and I can not wait to do it again. I created this image with my Canon 5DmkII and 17-40mm f4 lens inside my Aquatech 5DmkII housing with a Aquatech LP-VWZ flat port. This image is a single-exposure which required a minimal amount of processing using Aperture 3, but I had to clone out a few water spots that were on my flat port using Photoshop CS5.

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Denis Collette...!!!, DADED2, and 838 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. New Mrs. Bentlee 35 months ago | reply

    Stunning. Instinctively gasped a breath really feeling for an instant I was about to go under. No wave photo has ever had that effect on me. Exhilarating!

  2. RubyRed06 33 months ago | reply

    Amazing shot!

  3. Ben Treasures 33 months ago | reply

    Hey, you’ve got some great clicks. I am doing a 1-question poll on the popularity of online photography contests. Click bit.ly/P4j1w1 to vote and see what photographers such as yourself think about contests. Thanks

  4. THe_MjM 32 months ago | reply


  5. domi walts 32 months ago | reply

    fantastic close-up

  6. Roma5646 32 months ago | reply


  7. philipleemiller 30 months ago | reply

    In special recognition of fine art
    we would be most honored to include this image
    in our gallery quality group

    Apollo and Dionysus

    Seen in your Explore set. ( ?² )

  8. N+C Photo 30 months ago | reply

    This quality photograph embodies the spirit of travel and adventure!
    Adventure + Photography Post 1 Comment 3

  9. TowardsTheEnd 28 months ago | reply

    You are invited to add this truly amazing photo to
    The Elite Gallery!
    Vintage Beauty

    A group for the best of the best.

  10. j5k 20 months ago | reply

    How on earth?! You must have been wet after this shot. Great great great!!!

  11. Ted Harinishi 17 months ago | reply

    Awesome shot!!!

  12. LBtino 14 months ago | reply

    You got pay off, Jon. Beautiful moment.

  13. tumm2012 12 months ago | reply

    very beuateful

  14. Vinyonga 5 months ago | reply

    The ice-blue of the water is stunning...
    How big was the wave? I love getting hit by waves...but none of the ones I've experienced have been over my chest.

  15. carogray1 2 months ago | reply

    fabulous.. so well captured.. love the wave here.. and what a color.. love your description as well.. I love capturing waves but not quite as brave as you although have been wanted to get a housing.. great !

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