Clark Little photographs waves on the North Shore of Oahu near Haleiwa, Hawaii. (Jerrett Lau via AP)

Clark Little photographs waves on the North Shore of Oahu near Haleiwa, Hawaii. (Jerrett Lau via AP)

In Clark Little’s photo, “Marlin,” two waves collide at sunrise. They create a splash of water that looks like the fin of a marlin. (Clark Little via AP)

In Clark Little’s photo, “Marlin,” two waves collide at sunrise. They create a splash of water that looks like the fin of a marlin. (Clark Little via AP)

In “Close Call,” a Hawaiian green sea turtle swims through a breaking wave. (Clark Little via AP)

In “Close Call,” a Hawaiian green sea turtle swims through a breaking wave. (Clark Little via AP)

“Last Blast” by Clark Little (Clark Little via AP)

“Last Blast” by Clark Little (Clark Little via AP)

“Sun Curl” by Clark Little (Clark Little via AP)

“Sun Curl” by Clark Little (Clark Little via AP)

Catching the Wave

Posted: September 1, 2022

Hawaii photographer Clark Little can show you just how beautiful the ocean is. Vibrant blues, greens, and sandy browns blend together. Frozen-in-time splashes look like glass or pieces of cloud. Mr. Little takes his photos from inside the barrels of powerful and dangerous waves.

Mr. Little has spent the last 15 years snapping pictures of shorebreak waves. Those monster swells roll in from the Pacific. They smash right onto the sand, without being slowed by reefs or shallow water. Mr. Little released a book called The Art of Waves with more than 150 of his favorite photos.

When he was younger, Mr. Little surfed the shorebreak waves, something few people dare to do. But Mr. Little says even he can get into trouble in these conditions.

“Shorebreak is so beautiful and scary at the same time,” Mr. Little says. “It’s my comfort zone. I like sand bottom. I think it has more . . . beautiful colors.”

Laird Hamilton is a big wave surfer. He says Mr. Little’s photography helps him see the beauty and complexity of the ocean in a new way.

“His books capture the things about the ocean that make us believe in higher powers,” Mr. Hamilton says. The writer of Psalm 89 reminds us who the higher power is: “O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord . . . ? You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.” (v. 8-9)

Why? Humans are made in the image of the Creator. Author J.R.R. Tolkien called us sub-creators. God’s beautiful world can inspire our own works of art.