Photographer Ray Collins is known for his striking portraits of waves, some of which I’ve featured on previous occasions. Collins is colorblind, so he focuses heavily on shape and texture in the wave, which produces some stunningly dramatic views of moving water frozen in time. There’s great power and beauty in breaking waves, and researchers are still actively learning just how significant they are to our planet’s cycles. 

Note the spray blurring the edges of every wave here; these are some of the largest droplets the wave will make. As it crashes forward, the wave traps pockets of air, and, as those bubbles burst, they will create a spray of tinier droplets that carry moisture and salt into the atmosphere to seed clouds and, eventually, rain.

Collins’ work reminds us both of the ocean’s power and its fragility as it undergoes rapid changes due to humanity’s influence. For more photos as well as a great interview with Collins, check out My Modern Met. (Image credit: R. Collins; via My Modern Met and James H.)