WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2011

Creative Visions

Laurence Norton, USA

Ocean abstraction

A storm was heading for Kauai's north shore in Hawaii, and the coastguard warning was of dangerously high waves. For Laurence, it was the news he had been waiting for. 'For my entire life, I've been mesmerized by the ocean . . . and I went to Hawaii specifically to photograph the winter storm waves.' Under a bright midday sun, Laurence set up his tripod on dunes overlooking a beach where high surf was expected. As the storm approached and the waves slammed onto the beach, 'I could feel the impact in my chest,' he says. Using a long lens to achieve a compression of the space between the waves and the ocean behind, a slow speed to soften the motion and filters to adjust the light and colour, he achieved his objective: to create an abstraction of the contrast between the power of ocean waves and the serenity of the ocean itself.

Technical specification

Nikon D3X + 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 lens + two-stop circular polarizer + three-stop ND filter; 0.6 sec at f20; ISO 50.


Tunnels Beach, Kaua’i, Hawaii, USA: latitude 22.223095, longitude -159.56021 Tunnels Beach, Kaua’i, Hawaii, USA: latitude 22.223095, longitude -159.56021

Tunnels Beach, Kaua’i, Hawaii, USA

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Laurence Norton, USA