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Clark Little shares 15 years of capturing the beauty and power of the ocean in his new book

Clark Little North Shore wave
Clark Little
The Art of Waves
"Dandelion" by Clark Little captured on the North Shore of Oʻahu.

A local wave photographer with more than two million Instagram followers has compiled his best works in a new book — "The Art of Waves."

Clark Little has been in the ocean for close to 50 years. He started with boogie boards in Waikīkī and has spent the past few years in shore breaks with a camera in hand.

clark little
Clark Little
A selfie by Clark Little.

His wife brought home a photo of a wave — not Little's — to hang on their bedroom wall in 2007. Little had surfed his whole life and he saw the photo as a challenge to go out and get a better shot himself.

Now his new book, "The Art of Waves," features over 150 of his best photos taken over the span of 15 years.

"On a good day, I’ll go out two times, possibly three times. I stretch it out to maybe six hours in the ocean. So we’re talking over 5,000 raw photos — up to I should say sometimes 1,000, 2,000. And I have to go through all those photos and pick out the one.'"

Prior to "The Art of Waves," Little self-published two photography books. This is his first time traditionally publishing with Ten Speed Press and Penguin Random House.

The photography featured in "The Art of Waves" captures different perspectives of the ocean from the inside of a tube to aerial shots where the crashing waves look like dandelion flowers.

One of his most popular works of art, "Rainbow Shave Ice," shows a curling, colorful wave reflecting the sunset and framing the coconut trees in the background.

When asked about his artistic process, Little said, "When I sit down in front of my computer, I don’t wanna push something out or force something that I don’t really feel good about. I wanna be like, 'Oh my gosh this is insane! This is awesome.' I like to kinda get in the zone while I’m editing."

clark little the art of waves
Ten Speed Press / Penguin Random House
Clark Little's new book, "The Art of Waves" features over 150 photos of waves from around the world.

Professional surfer and Little’s childhood friend Kelly Slater wrote the foreword for the book. Slater says the photos in "The Art of Waves" present new perspectives of the ocean — especially for non-surfers.

More information on Clark Little’s new book, "The Art of Waves," can be found at Little will be at the Honolulu Museum of Art for a book signing event on May 20 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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