I usually like to take photo’s during the golden hours of the day which is the hours either side of sunrise and sunset. During this time I am looking for the light to do something extraordinary. Now one thing I have learnt is that the sky is stubborn and doesn’t always do something what you want it to.

Sometimes it can be weeks between fiery colourful skies, or interesting cloud structures. However, this just makes the magic moments more rewarding.

When the opportunity arrives, I want to capture the scene as accurately as possible. Now if you have used a camera before I am sure you realise that capturing what your eyes can see is no easy task. Sometimes it’s like the camera has a mind of its own and just doesn’t do the scene justice. This is where practice, patience and perseverance pays off.

But despite all this, a photograph will always be second best. Nothing beats being at the scene of the shot.

I captured the image below several weeks ago. I am happy with how the shot came out, but in reality, the moment itself was so much more powerful than what the image displays.

Light rays breaking through cloud on to a wave at sunrise.

Not long after sunrise, I noticed the swell was particularly big so I decided to check out this spot. Not intending to shoot, I wanted to just watch a few waves roll in.

As I stepped out of my vehicle I looked far into the distance. Seconds later I felt my pulse double in speed as I witnessed a large mother whale with its calf both jump out of the water before crashing back down simultaneously.

As you can imagine I grabbed my camera bag and literally ran down to the vantage point for this wave.

I couldn’t get a decent shot of the whales but what happened in the next 10 minutes will forever be a treasured memory. As you can see in the photo, because of the cloud structure the sky began to open just as I had hoped. Waves began rolling in one after the other causing a thunderous noise with every break.

Far in the distance, mother and calf made their way south, breaching the water’s surface and soaking themselves in the sun’s rays before crashing back to the sea. I literally laughed out loud at the situation, and shook my head in disbelief.

I looked across the rocks and saw a few young surfers admiring the scene. Another guy with a camera looked my way and without speaking any words, the look on both our faces said it all.

Nothing beats getting out and experiencing life through all our senses. Far from money, fame, or any material possessions, these small moments are life’s true treasures.

A breaking wave at sunrise