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Noosa Today: Turbo-charged shots from inside

Noosa Today: Clark Little Article

First cut is the deepest

by Phil Jarratt • May 6, 2022

Turbo-charged shots from inside

Over 50 years in the surf media, I’ve met some pretty crazy surf photographers whose antics on land were only slightly more subdued than in the water where they seemed to delight in being unceremoniously dumped over the falls in backbreaking surf for the sake of getting a shot of a surfer deep in a barrel.

The likes of Jack McCoy, Dan Merkel, Jeff Divine, Jeff Hornbaker and the late Peter Crawford spring to mind.

But I never knew any one of them – as bat-crazy as they could be – to stand in the horrendous Waimea shorebreak on huge days and allow it to smash them while they clicked off the money shot.

This is Clark Little’s bread and butter. He goes down the beach and gets pulverised the way other people head off for a day at the office.

Of course I shouldn’t be surprised. His late older brother Brock, whom I knew a little, was one of the most fearless big wave riders on the North Shore of Oahu, specialising in maxed out Waimea Bay. Clark, too, grew up at the Bay and it’s now also his specialty, albeit in a somewhat different way – a way that has given the world Clark’s view.

Clark’s view is attained by placing himself below the wave as it crashes on the shore and pointing the camera upwards to capture a “deceptively peaceful picture”, to quote his publicist.

But don’t get the idea that this guy is a one-trick pony.

His portfolio is as remarkable as it is diverse, and his new book, The Art of Waves, is a joy to behold, with the photos supported by great text from Jamie Brisick and a foreword by family friend Kelly Slater, who doesn’t hold back when describing the antics of the wild kid brother he knew as Turbo.

Clark has published previous limited edition books, but this is his first truly international release, published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, and available in Australia now. 

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