This Is What A Great Lake Looks Like After All The Vacationers Are Gone

"This can't be a lake, it's got to be an ocean."

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Dave Sandford has always been drawn to the water. "From my early childhood, I've always had a fascination with oceans and lakes, and the creatures that live within them," he told BuzzFeed Canada.

Dave Sandford / Via instagram.com

He recently spent time on Lake Erie shooting the Great Lake's turbulent fall season. From mid-October to mid-November, the longtime professional sports photographer travelled each week to Port Stanley, Ontario, on the edge of Lake Erie to spend hours taking photos.

This series of images shows what this Great Lake looks like after the sunbathers and boaters leave and the weather begins to turn.

1. His goal was to capture the exact moment when lake waves driven by gusting winds collide with a rebound wave that's created when the water hits a pier and collection of boulders on the shore.

2. "The best way I can describe the water is it’s like a washing machine. It’s not like ocean waves, where you have a nice set that’s rolling in. They are really erratic, they go all over the place, and there is a strong undertow there so it can be a very dangerous place."

4. "I’ve had a number of people cotact me that used to live by the Great Lakes .... and they said the photos really stirred something inside them because they grew up there and know what the water can be like."

6. "I'm hearing from other people that are blown away. They say, 'This can’t be a lake, it’s got to be an ocean.' They had no idea that a lake could generate waves of this size and force."

8. "The wave [in this photo] looks sort of like a mountain. I've already had it printed up for my own wall at home. These waves move so fast. It’s insane how fast they form, and then from the time that they form to that nice peak to exploding, it’s a mere second."

9. "I really enjoyed that challenge, when I was out there, of getting it when it’s in that almost perfect peak on both sides before it explodes, so it has that look of a mountain or a volcano."

13. He said his sports photography and his waves series share one important characteristic. "In all the things I’ve made my living doing in photography there are no do-overs no re-dos. You get one shot at it and that’s it, so it really helps you hone your craft."

15. "When you're on a beach you don’t have a studio setting where you can set something or someone up and have multiple opportunities to get it. It's one and done."