A tragic story out of Cannon Beach, Oregon this weekend as a father and his two children swept out to sea, with one child dead and the other missing. died, should remind us all that there can be real danger in photographing near the ocean.
There are lots of ways to get yourself in danger from fast rising tides to sneaker waves. Sneaker waves are usually large waves that suddenly appear out of no where, and can put you into life of death situations. They are rare, but they do happen, and it’s scary to see a wave twice the height of the normal sets appear out of nowhere.
The ocean, particularly the rugged Pacific coast, is a very wild area that demand your respect and tests your knowledge. Even with long hours spent observing and learning the conditions, you can still put yourself in danger. I know of several close calls with photographer friends, and the tragedy this weekend is a sobering reminder of what can happen.
High surf days are incredible to behold, and very photogenic, but never turn your back on the ocean. Make sure you gain the knowledge you need to stay safe. No photo is worth your life.