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This Photographer Transforms Ocean Waves Into Glorious Mountains

"The water has taught me lessons that will stay with me for life — respect, patience, and harmony were all learned in the sea."

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Aussie photographer Ray Collins has a special bond with the ocean, using his pictures to capture what he describes as the "moods" of this powerful and enigmatic natural force.

In his new book Found at Sea, Ray brings together over 180 pages of these mesmerizing ocean wave — frozen in time by his camera and rendered as beautiful mountain landscapes.

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Ray spoke with BuzzFeed about his stunning photos:

"The ocean has been the one single constant in my life. It's where my earliest memories were made and it's where I go to center myself each day."

"More than that, the ocean has taught me lessons that will stay with me for life — respect, patience, and harmony were all learned in the sea."

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"Im not sure if I can adequately describe the pictures I make, but I can explain my intentions though...I want to capture the moods of the ocean."

"The dark and stormy, the raging anger and the quiet whisper. I try and treat it as though I'm taking a portrait of a living, breathing thing."

"But imagine as a photographer that your studio is thrashing you around, pulling you under the surface, and pushing you into the path of these mountains."

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"I've had a few instances where I've been concerned for my well-being and general safety. Just miscalculating and underestimating the power of a wave."

"I've had my fins ripped off my feet, had my water-housing split my head open, been rag-dolled across volcanic rock and coral, had hundreds of sea urchin spines go into my feet — through the webbing of my toes too!"

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"These waves break on barnacle-covered reefs that are like cheese graters...once, I swam into a freshly attacked half-eaten seal still hemorrhaging blood."

"Any activity where there are elements that are out of your control will always carry a risk; you just have to make sure the reward is worth it."

"But there are moments that it all comes together, and they are the moments that propel me."

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"It's not for everyone, but I'm glad that I have the ability to share it. A thousand words explaining a picture? I've heard a saying about that!"

"But on a personal level — I just want to be a better person, because at the end of the day, these are just images."

To see more of Ray's work and to pick up your copy of Found at Sea, check out his website at raycollinsphoto.com.

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