I went to see Hokusai’s Great Wave today at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. It’s part of a stunning exhibit of Japanese wood block prints; if you’re in the area I highly recommend you go see it.
Even though there are about a zillion reproductions of Great Wave, I was anxious to see the original. I had been thinking about it a lot in December, when I was on Kauai watching some pretty great waves blow in. The surf was high, thanks to storms in the Pacific, and the wind blew spray from the crests.
I’ve tried taking photos of waves before — mostly on Cape Cod — and haven’t been too thrilled with the results. On Kauai, though, the sun was stronger and I could use a fast shutter speed to freeze the movement of the water so you can really see the shape of the wave.
The first of these was taken early in the morning, the weather a little stormy, with sunlight shining right through the water.
This one was taken on a sunnier day. I was surprised to see the frills of water rising up from the crest of the wave.