Braving the frigid waters of Lake Erie to capture liquid landscapes with a Canon 1DX


posted Monday, December 14, 2015 at 4:37 PM EST


Professional photographer Dave Sandford has created a series of photos of waves during wind storms on Lake Erie, near his home in Ontario, that are simply breathtaking. And the conditions in which he shoots likely robs the breath a great deal already!

The series of images showcase the violent drama of waves and look more like abstract images of landscapes than traditional images of water. Sandford has been a professional sports photographer for almost twenty years, but after a trip to Australia earlier this year, his passion for the water was "supercharged." He began to formulate a plan to capture Lake Erie this autumn, which typically produces vicious storms and massive waves.

Rather than stay on the beach (although he can do that when the conditions are too dangerous with his Canon 400mm f/2.8 lens), Sandford ventures into the water with his Canon 1Dx DSLR and Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 USM II lens equipped safely in Aquatech Delphin 1Dx housing

Sandford's project was very reliant on the weather, so he was vigilant about keeping an eye on the forecast and determining when the time was right to head into the lake. Ideal conditions include low, dark clouds and fierce winds. According to Sandford, waves on the lake form quicker and more erratically than ocean waves and "move something inside" of him when he's out there.

Weather is only part of the equation for Sandford making a good image, he also needs the right light to capture the desired mood and aesthetics. Dark clouds and low light can make for moodier images, but warm, golden hour light at the beginning and end of the day can bring out a lot of the detail and depth of the waves.

To see more of Dave Sandford's work, visit his website. For more of his thoughts on photographing the waves of Lake Erie, check out the full article and interview over at Fstoppers. 

(Seen via Fstoppers. Index image)