The surfers remained, which was cool, but the images didn't have the same feel. Capturing the power of waves bearing down and engulfing board-short clad swimmers throughout summer helped convey the helplessness amidst the ocean's authority, whereas when the wetsuits and boards appeared it felt like the surfers were stepping into the ring with horse hooves in their gloves - ready to battle the ocean on a more even playing field.
In the deep of winter we traveled to a remote beach near where I grew up - the water was around 10 degrees - tried to show our dedication to experience the ocean in all elements. Hiding inside thick wetsuits the ocean seemed to welcome us with playful 3-4 foot waves to shoot in, allowed us to casually swim out the back; then hit us with 10-12 foot waves that came unexpectedly.
We managed to link up and capture one image (Deep) that conveys the sheer size and dominance of the ocean before we both got caught in a travelator of whitewater and swept down the beach, slowly crippling us back to shore. Being over an hour 4x4 drive to the nearest form of help made us quit while we were ahead and bail, somewhat symbolic that only one photo from the day made it through to the final edit.
Having played with the waves and lazy swimmers in summer, this winter definitely showed a side I wasn't expecting.