Art in the Danger Zone
Clark Little’s choice of a studio is a little iffy. Sure, it’s in a tropical climate, the water’s warm, and just feet away there are vacationers relaxing on the sand. But trust me, you don’t want his job.
Little, a distinguished big wave surfer and waterman (that’s Hawaiian for oceanic badass), makes his art – and a living – in the powerful shore break at the famed Waimea Bay. What’s shore break? It’s that place at any beach with waves where you definitely never want to get caught. That’s especially the case at this beach. It attracts some of the biggest rideable waves in the world, and the shore break is where those waves collide with the beach. There, they turn into Little’s subject matter of choice for his photographs: near vertical, man-sized, churning, gurgling walls of foam, sand, and water.
It’s hard to understand why Little works in such an environment until you see his photos. Then, it’s clear that he’s found a unique part of the world to document, without much crowd or competition. All the elements pounding together yield some outrageous colors, and armed with a waterproof camera housing and a skillfully employed flash, Little knows how to bring out the best in something that most of us would otherwise find terrifying.
It’s hard to fully appreciate his method without watching the man himself at work. Thanks to this great video, you can do just that.
If you love the ocean and enjoy water images of all kinds, shop Zatista’s selection of great original works. We’re sure you’ll find something that will perfectly suit your summer mood!
- Five Things That Changed the Art World (zatista.com)
- Rip Currents at a glance (scsurfbutler.wordpress.com)
- O.C. surfer wins $50,000 for big wave (beach.orangecounty.com)
- Big-wave surfer enters record books by riding 78-foot “monster” (reuters.com)