For nearly a decade, Australian photographer Ray Collins has dedicated his craft to documenting the ocean. Specializing in photographs of waves, his visuals highlight the power, elegance, and majesty of our oceans. His continued dedication to showing the artistry of waves is evident in a new series of images taken in Hawaii, Portugal, and Australia.
Collins flew in helicopters, walked along cliffs, and swam with his camera, all in an endeavor to get these dynamic shots. His work seems effortless, even if tremendous skill is needed to execute these images. Attention to detail is essential, with Collins carefully examining the light and the shape of each wave before pressing the shutter.
“It’s pretty self-explanatory, but without light, there is no photo, just a black rectangle,” Collins tells My Modern Met. “Water can present itself in so many ways. I love to convey a sense of anticipation with my work—the moment before the moment. It asks the viewer to imagine what happens next.”
Through his work, Collins asks the viewer to re-evaluate their appreciation for water. While this element is something that we shouldn't take for granted, it is something that many, unfortunately, do not appreciate. Collins' wave photography highlights the color, shape, and power of water in a way that elevates it to high art. And in doing so, he hopes that people will invest more in preserving this vital part of the planet.
“My aim is to show the ocean as a living, breathing thing; to document it in all its intimidating strengths, and bring awareness to its quiet fragility,” Collins shares.
“My worst nightmare would be to see the sea turned into a vast floating rubbish patch, with our grandchildren unable to appreciate the beauty we often take for granted. Through my work photographing the portentous ocean waves, I, therefore, hope that the viewer will be inspired to put the value of nature over the convenience and practicality of using single-use plastics so that we can keep our oceans alive and as pristine as possible for future generations.”