Lately I’ve been interested in wave photography. I’m still a beginner when it comes to this photography medium, but I’m hoping to hone my skills to produce some interesting images.
Speaking of honing my skills, I thought it would be helpful for me to delve into the world of waves for a bit. What exactly are waves? How are they generated? Why do they always knock us down at the worst times? These are basic concepts that I knew a bit about, but a refresher was definitely in order.
The majority of the waves we see in the ocean are wind-generated, and they are caused by the wind blowing across the ocean’s surface. There are three major factors that determine a wave’s size: 1) how long the wind blows, 2) how strong the wind blows, and 3) how far the wind blows (called fetch). The highest part of a wave is the crest, lowest part is the trough. The wave height is the distance from the trough to the crest.
A particularly cool fact about waves is that water does not travel through the ocean via waves. Energy is what does the traveling.
Here are some other facts about waves.
-The tallest wave ever measured was 1719 feet (523m) at Lituya Bay, Alaska.
-The tallest wave recorded in the open ocean was 95 feet (29m) during a storm near Scotland.
-Other causes of waves aside from wind are – gravitational pull (tides), earthquakes, volcano eruptions and landslides.
-A tsunami wave can travel 500 mph (804kph) in deep water.
If you know a thing or two about photographing waves, care to share any tips?