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Photo Montage - Breaking Waves


by Photographer Gabriel Harding

It’s Spring time in the Dominican Republic and that means BIG waves! We’ve already gotten some pretty big swell so far and it’s only the beginning. To greet the season I figured it was only right to have a photo essay solely with beautiful wave pictures. Most people have seen a wave, few have ridden them but even less have know how they’re formed, so before we get to the pictures here’s a little filler.

How exactly are waves formed? Well, the first factor is wind. If you have an oncoming storm in the middle of the ocean and the wind is blowing 100 mph there’s a huge amount of energy being pushed into the ocean through friction. This alone creates what are called swell lines. For the actual wave to form though, there needs to be something changing on the ocean floor. That can be a reef or simply the sand coming up to shore. Once all of that energy and water moving forward hits this change in the ocean floor, it needs to go somewhere, so it goes up.

One cool fact about waves is that the water isn’t actually moving up and down (yes when the wave crashes the water does move) but when you see the swell lines in the ocean that’s the energy being pushed forward through the water molecules which act like a conveyor belt.

waves, formed, how

Surface tension does a pretty good job at holding the water together but there comes a point where the weight of the water is simply too much and it crashes over, creating a wave. Depending on how strong the wind is, how drastic the ocean floor changes and some other factors, you get a waves of a certain size and length.

It’s a little more complicated than just wind making waves so for full details on how waves are formed check out Surfer Today’s post on the matter. If you just want to see some beautiful wave pictures, keep scrolling and enjoy! Also, I threw in a video of some people surfing wiping out on some massive waves, if you’re into that kind of stuff =).

 

As you can see from the video above, waves can get pretty massive. Also, those are big waves, but they aren’t the biggest recorded or even surfed.

 

waves, wave, ocean, water, crashing wave

waves, wave, ocean, water, crashing wave

waves, wave, ocean, water, crashing wave

waves, wave, ocean, water, crashing wave

waves, crashing, breaking, water, ocean, beach, blue, photography

This next part of the series was shot during the sunrise. Instead of the light enriching the blues of the ocean, it gives the wave a pretty cool greyish tint.

wave, breaking wave, waves, ocean, water

waves, wave, ocean, water, crashing wave

waves, wave, ocean, water, crashing wave  waves, wave, ocean, water, crashing wave

waves, wave, ocean, water, crashing wave

So far these have all been waves that you can see right on the shore so they’re actually pretty small in comparison to what the swell is actually bringing.

waves, wave, ocean, water, crashing wave

waves, wave, ocean, water, crashing wave

waves, dr, surfing, wave, photorgraphy

As above so below. The underwater world is an entirely different universe. Things move much slower and the fact that you’re floating gives an extra out-of-this-world feeling.

waves, wave, ocean, water, crashing wave

waves, wave, ocean, water, crashing wave

Remember, big wave season JUST arrived, so I’ll be taking many many many many many more wave pictures and will be updating this photo essay as I get some massive waves on camera. For now though I hope you enjoyed the pictures and have a beautiful day =).