Wave by Clark Little

Clark Little ’ 87

Crystal Ball

(Photo above)

A surfer’s view out of a shorebreak wave breaking in the crystal clear water of O‘ahu’s North Shore. Time is frozen, creating an opportunity to inspect up close a unique phenomenon. The wave not only frames the outside world within the opening of the tube, but casts a lens on its surroundings, warping and transforming the environment around it.

My first exposure to photography was at Punahou, where my father, Jim Little, taught photography in the 1970s. I was just an elementary school kid hanging out with my dad in the darkroom after school and on the weekends. At that time, and for the next 30 years, I had no idea this would become my career. I didn’t catch the photography bug until I was in my 40s. My advice is to keep your eyes wide open and pay close attention to everything around you, today and every day. What is happening right now in your life could very well have significant influence on your future.

Rainbow Shave Ice by Clark Little ’87

Rainbow Shave Ice

Shot from inside a North Shore wave, just as a tropical sunset spread its colors across the high clouds. A strobe light, attached to the top of the camera, was inserted into the moving wave, and flashed at this perfect moment, illuminating the water and ocean floor beneath. Colors and shapes from three worlds – land, sky and water – converge together. The difference is stark between a picture of a wave shot from shore, and a picture of the shore shot from inside a wave. My in-water photography tries to capture this uncommon perspective – looking out at the world from inside the ocean. Shooting from the water, not only turns things around, but flips things inside out. Literally.

Clark Little’s photography has been exhibited across the world, including at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., where he won the Ocean Photography Award. His work has been featured in National Geographic and The New York Times, as well as on national television programs. Three books and an awardwinning documentary, “Shorebreak” have documented his career. His work can be viewed at his Hale‘iwa gallery (66-111 Kamehameha Highway) and at ClarkLittle.com.

© Clark Little

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