Sometimes landscape photography can get hazardous – and this was one of those times.
This was taken while I was perched about 3 feet from the edge of a fairly steep cliff on the edge of Lake Superior. The wind snarled and the waves filled the air with a roar that had to be experienced to be believed.
That’s why I arrived early and carefully watched the spot I wanted to shoot from. I had been there the evening before and the lake was pretty violent even then. In fact, a gale warning had been issued that would last for the next 48 hours.
Although some of the more monstrous waves would attempt to climb the cliff, none made it to the top. I decided to go for it.
As I set up the tripod and looked to my left, I couldn’t help but feel more than a little intimidated as the waves broke and thundered into shore. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that if you got into the water, it was over. There would simply be no way to get back up the slippery cliffs and no one to help (I was the only one crazy enough to be out there).
As if the waves weren’t enough, the wind would occasionally blow in a quick rain shower – you know, just to make things interesting. As such, I had my raincoat in full defensive mode.
Of course, once I started shooting, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing through my viewfinder. The waves were as wild as any I’d ever seen. They took turns crashing into the shore and each other. Then the sun found a hole and the clouds began to light up as the rain pelted the side of my head – I couldn’t snap the shutter fast enough. I tried to time the shots so I could capture a wicked looking set of waves -
It was like someone turned a fire hose on me.
A rogue wave not only made it up the cliff, but managed to go at least as high as my head. Icy water pounded my head and body. I gripped the tripod and braced myself as best I could, but it still nearly knocked me over.
The camera was soaked – and I was worried that it was going to be a photographic casualty but that sucker just kept going! (That’s why I pay the bucks for the pro bodies, LOL ). Glad it survived, because the photo above came AFTER the soaking.
Yup, you read that right – I went straight back to the spot where I got blasted! Fortunately, I got the shot and got out before the next big one hit (and it did about 5 minutes later).