In 2007, Clark discovered his ability and passion to capture the extraordinary beauty of the shorebreak when his wife asked him for a picture of the ocean to decorate a bedroom wall. With the confidence of an experienced surfer, Clark jumped in the ocean, and started snapping away, recording the beauty and power of Hawaiian waves. “Clark’s view” is a unique and often dangerous perspective of waves from the inside out, captured in photos for all to enjoy from the safety of dry land.
In 4 years Clark Little has gone to capture the hearts and minds of surfers world wide and has just received the 2010 Oceans Photography Award at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.
Clark’s work has been published with National Geographic, Paris Match, Sierra Magazine, Stern-View, Geo, Geo International, Nature’s Best Photography, Nikon World, Rangefinder, Photo Life, Surfer’s Path, Surfer’s Journal, Surfer Magazine,Hana Hou (Hawaiian Airlines) among others.
Luckily Clark’s a real nice guy and he gave up some of his time to answer a few questions:
S.S) What got you in to photographing waves ?
C.L) My wife Sandy, wanted a picture to decorate a wall in our bedroom. She was going to buy a picture of the ocean, but I convinced her I could do better. So I went out and bought a simple and cheap point shoot camera and cheap housing. After going out a few times, I was hooked and excited with the results I was getting. I then upgraded to better equipment and haven’t looked back. This was 4 1/2 years ago.
S.S) If you could share a few simple steps for budding wave photographers what would they be ?
C.L) For a budding photographers, I would say develop and nurture your own PASSION. Find what you love doing and do it as much as you possibly can. You can learn about equipment and technique and read about settings, but it is passion that will keep you out in the water for hours and the same passion will have you waking up in the dark to capture the early morning sunrises or swimming around in pitch black nights in the ocean with a flash.
S.S) Who are your influences with regards for wave photography
C.L)No person in particular has been an influence with regards to wave photography. Brian Bielmann helped me out at the very beginning with settings. He was a great help and saved me part of the equipment learning curve. If anything, there are certain pictures that I grew up with and looked at a lot, so my influences come from particular images rather than from a specific photographer.
S.S) Do you have any particular images that you favor.
C.L) I really like some of my first great shots like Sand Monster, King Kamehameha, Marlin and Mohawk. Marlin appeared as a spread in last year’s National Geographic so it has a special place. Some of my recent shots which are right now exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum in DC are also at the top of my list – “Flying Honu” and “Twister”.
S.S) Tell us a little about your book ‘The Shore Break Art of Clark Little’
C.L) The 12”x12” hardcover book is 180 pages and includes over 75 two-page spreads. The book has a few sections that have pictures from when I was a kid and the start of the photography including some of my earliest images. The pictures in the book are my classics and my favorites. Jack Johnson and Kelly Slater wrote forwards to the book. The price is $100.
We also sell a Collector’s Edition that goes for $350 and comes with two 8×10 images which are only included with this special edition. There are only 500 of these books available. Each of the Collector Edition books are signed by Jack, Kelly and myself. We all met at my house after the book was published and had a signing party.
S.S) Where can people grab a copy if they don’t already own it.
C.L) The book can be purchased on my website http://www.ClarkLittlePhotography.com or at either of my two galleries; Clark Little Gallery Laguna Beach (California) and Clark Little Gallery Haleiwa (Hawaii).
S.S) What are your plans for the next year?
C.L) I will be receiving an award at the beginning of May at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. 2010 Oceans Photography Award by Nature’s Best Photography: Windland Smith Rice International Awards. I will also have two large format images displayed at the Smithsonian Museum through September 25, 2011. It will be exciting to go see this and receive and award.
I also just recently opened my second gallery which is just minutes from my house in Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. This is the first gallery in Hawaii so it is a very exciting project to put energy into. Getting the gallery running smoothly and expanding will be a big part of my upcoming year. I will also be going to Japan for a series of events at the end of May. I will then be in California and North Carolina this summer for events. And if all goes smoothly, I would also like to visit New Jersey, New York, San Francisco and some cool spot in Florida. We get a lot of requests to do events in these places, so I can get something going.
Clark it’s been a great pleasure, good luck with everything and we look forward to chatting more soon
Make sure to visit Clark’s site here: http://www.ClarkLittlePhotography.com