One of my favorite spots to shoot waves is Marine St. in La Jolla CA. With the right swell angle it can provide some massive shorebreak. Some of the kind that one does not want to paddle out into without fins. The the strong undertow will suck you out and leave you floating in the middle of the ocean looking around wondering how in the world your going to get back to shore. This photo is a good example of what an oncoming, overhead glassy wave at Marine st looks like. Right before it breaks it sucks all of the water off the beach and up into the face of the wave. It can be quite exhilarating.
I call this photo “Looking out, Looking in”. I dont typically share photos that have any seaweed in them, because I think seaweed is disgusting. It ruins a photo and simply distracts the viewer from enjoying the image. The only exception is when the wave is so big that it masks the seaweed. This photo is a perfect example of such a situation. This massive shorebreaking wave is full of seaweed and life.
Glassy reflections are the result of many factors simultaneously happening at the same time. This wave sucked so much water off the beach that it turned the surface of the water into an almost glass like surface. This accompanied with an extremely fast shutter speed on my camera (1/4000th of a sec) can capture and freeze the reflection as it bends up into the wave.
This was by far the biggest and meanest wave that came in this particular day. It originally broke out deeper than Ive ever seen a wave break at this spot. Everyone in the water was hooting and hollering at each other to start swimming. This isn’t the kind of wave you want to take on the head. It would hurt you!I paddled and paddled as hard as I could for the horizon not expecting to be anywhere near in position to capture this wave when it broke. Miraculously it jacked up right in my face and threw the most massive barrel of the day. I lifted my camera and prayed that no water was on the lens to ruin it. When I got home and saw the results I couldnt be more stoked…. If you look close you can see a guy caught on the inside about to take this massive wave on the head, it also provides a bit of perspective of the size of this wave.