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Liquid Mountains: I Captured Lake Erie On The Day It Came Alive And Showed Its True Power
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Nature, Photography6 years ago

Liquid Mountains: I Captured Lake Erie On The Day It Came Alive And Showed Its True Power

My name is Dave Sandford. I have been a professional photographer for 18 years. Shooting professional sports has paid the bills, but I’ve been the most passionate about anything to do with our beautiful nature and especially water. Oceans and lakes beckon me. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved to be on, in or around water. I’m fascinated by the sheer raw power and force of it, captivated by the graceful movement of big waves and mesmerized by light dancing across it.

Recently, I have felt drawn to the lakes that are virtually in the backyard of my hometown of London, Ont., Canada. Specifically, the awe-inspiring Great Lakes. Lake Erie, the 4th largest of the Great Lakes caught my attention for this nature photography essay. I chose to focus on Erie at a time of year (mid-October through December) when the Great Lakes can act more like oceans than lakes. With warm sunny beach days behind us, it is some of Autumn’s dark, cold and windy days that transform the Great Lakes into wickedly wild and treacherous bodies of water, perfect for taking stunning nature photos.

Lake Erie is 388km in length and approximately 92km across. It is also the shallowest of the Great Lakes, with an average depth of 62’ and the maximum depth of 210’. Lake Erie’s name originates from a native tribe called the lake “Erige” (“cat”) due to the unpredictable and at times dangerously violent nature. Because of the shallowness of the lake, conditions can change dramatically in just a matter of minutes, with fierce waves springing up unexpectedly. Lake Erie’s unpredictable and violent nature has laid claim to some 1800-8000 shipwrecks dating back to the 17th century, most of which have never been found.

Over the last 4 weeks for 2-3 days a week, sometimes 6 hours a day, I did the 45 min drive to Lake Erie. The powerful images here were made using my Canon gear, 1Dx body, 400mm & 70-200mm lenses, protected from the elements by my Aquatech sport’s housing and sport’s shield gear. Shot during the month of November on the North shore of Lake Erie, about 500’-600’ off-shore from a small lakeside community called Port Stanley, Ontario. Daily temperatures ranging from -2 up to 14 degrees celsius, sustained wind speeds of 45-50km/ph, gusting 70-100+ km/ph, the average water temperature of 11 celsius, and wave heights reaching 25’. It is days like these that most people stay away from the lake… It’s days like these, when Erie comes alive, showing it’s true power. These are the days I can’t wait to get to the lake and create interesting photos!

More info: davesandfordphotos.com | Facebook | Instagram

Bane of the Great Lakes

Lake of the Cat

The Witch of November

Two Face

Liquid Mountain Top

Eerie Erie

Lake Erie Monster

The Phonograph-Songs of the Deep

November Witch

Freshwater Fury

Black Friday

Creeping Death

The Gales of November

Red Peak

The Sandstorm

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DaveGollihugh
Community Member
6 years ago

I live in a beach house on Lake Erie. The side of my house facing the lake has huge windows and a sliding glass door. As long as the sun is up, I nearly never have the TV on. There is nothing it can show me that can compete with the majestic beauty of that Great Lake. Frozen dunes form in the winter, becoming a surreal landscape from another world. Watching the ice break up in the Spring is mesmerizing. Summertime means blue water with boats and ships of all descriptions, and sunsets of true beauty. Fall ushers in some reminders that Nature still rules, with storm tossed seas that nobody dares contest. The waters can be alive and angry, and will sometimes do things that seem impossible. Your photos have caught some of this... and that is rare. You deserve much credit for your skill and artistry, sir.

BadgerJohnson
Community Member
6 years ago

Dave, where approximately do you live? We had a cabin in 'Geneva-on-the-Lake' in the 50s. Love your comment.

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PriyankaJatan
Community Member
6 years ago

Woah...I especially like eerie eerie- you can see a skeleton forming!!!! Wow-you are really good with your photos. Good hobby to pay bills:)

Community Member
6 years ago

haha thank you very much, it's always amazing to see the shape waves take on that literally last mere hundredths of a second, things you would never see with the naked eye.

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Slyy
Community Member
6 years ago

Gorgeous shots and very fitting names to each photo

Community Member
6 years ago

Thank you very much!!

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DaveGollihugh
Community Member
6 years ago

I live in a beach house on Lake Erie. The side of my house facing the lake has huge windows and a sliding glass door. As long as the sun is up, I nearly never have the TV on. There is nothing it can show me that can compete with the majestic beauty of that Great Lake. Frozen dunes form in the winter, becoming a surreal landscape from another world. Watching the ice break up in the Spring is mesmerizing. Summertime means blue water with boats and ships of all descriptions, and sunsets of true beauty. Fall ushers in some reminders that Nature still rules, with storm tossed seas that nobody dares contest. The waters can be alive and angry, and will sometimes do things that seem impossible. Your photos have caught some of this... and that is rare. You deserve much credit for your skill and artistry, sir.

BadgerJohnson
Community Member
6 years ago

Dave, where approximately do you live? We had a cabin in 'Geneva-on-the-Lake' in the 50s. Love your comment.

Load More Replies...
PriyankaJatan
Community Member
6 years ago

Woah...I especially like eerie eerie- you can see a skeleton forming!!!! Wow-you are really good with your photos. Good hobby to pay bills:)

Community Member
6 years ago

haha thank you very much, it's always amazing to see the shape waves take on that literally last mere hundredths of a second, things you would never see with the naked eye.

Load More Replies...
Slyy
Community Member
6 years ago

Gorgeous shots and very fitting names to each photo

Community Member
6 years ago

Thank you very much!!

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