The power of water is often underestimated, that is until a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tsunami strikes and reminds us how much power water truly holds. Artists have always worked to capture the breathtaking raw power of the sea. Talented photographer Ray Collins has figured out a unique way of doing so.
The Australia-based photographer freezes waves so that they resemble giant mountains, showing just how majestically powerful the push and pull of waves truly is. Collins doesn’t actually ‘freeze’ the waves, but he uses his perfectly timed photography skills to make the waves look as if they are frozen in time, formed into the gargantuan mountains they often collide into, if only momentarily.
Collins feels most at home when he is out floating along the saltwater with his camera in hand. The land has never quite called to him like the ocean. This clearly shines through the quality of his unmatched work.
In an interview with Bored Panda Collins revealed, “I have always lived near the Ocean, and always had a fascination and deep respect for it. I surfed all my life and wanted to show exactly what goes on out there sometimes.”
Collins is an award winning surf sport photographer, but his most unique work is produced when he relies on the sea as both the subject and the leading character of his image.
When Collins isn’t shooting photos of surfers and mega mountain waves, he works at a coal mine. “I actually work in a coal mine, believe it or not. I work there 3 days a week and I shoot for 4.”
“Some of my images take months of planning. Airfares, accommodation, swell forecasting, reading weather maps, talking to locals, getting the right gear for the climate and then patiently waiting for it to unfold.”
Many of his images unfold after complex planning and effort, but not all. “On the other hand, I can walk out of my front door, cross the road onto the beach, swim out and shoot a beautiful image of a wave as the sun rises over the sea. Every image has a different story.”
“I just want to keep improving and keep challenging myself - physically as a human being swimming in the ocean and constantly evolving and pushing my own limits as an image maker.”
“At the moment I’m mainly shooting with a D4 and D810, and the lenses are usually fixed mid length primes from 14mm all the way to 400mm.”
Are you wondering how Collins gets up and close and personal with the water without damaging his high-tech camera gear? The photographer shares, “I also use Aquatech waterhousings to keep my cameras and lenses dry.”