Cody Evans Captures Face in Port Stanley, Ontario, Wave

Inspired by the work of Dave Sandford, Evans took thousands of images over the course of several years to get the shot he wanted. 

A crashing wave takes the form of a man's face.

It took two years and thousands of photos, but Ontario photographer Cody Evans finally got the shot.

Taken just a few days ago in Port Stanley, Ontario, the photo is of a wave that took the form of a man’s face, complete with pursed lips, a stern jaw and a head of hair that would make anyone jealous.

“I was there for two days and took over 10,000 photos,” says Evans, who lives about 40 miles away in Ingersoll, Ontario. “I usually go to the lake on windy days for that purpose and have been trying for a few years now.”

Evans, 40, says he’s been inspired by the work of local photographers Dave Sandford and Trevor Pottleberg. And they’re all boosted by the help of the Port Stanley Beach pier, which is uniquely configured in a way that creates the biggest waves on the north shore.

“If you have a southwest wind, the water all surges into the pier,” he explains. “Then it surges back out and collides with incoming waves.”

Sanford received worldwide attention in 2016 when he captured what looked like a skull on the same Ontario beach.

Evans captured his photo with a Nikon Z9, using a 200-500 millimeter lens. It was not only cold out, but the same fierce wind that shaped his photo made him miserable.

“I forgot my gloves,” he says. “I want back to my car and literally wanted to cry. I thought I had frostbite.”

Evans claims getting his shot was a matter of luck as “the waves do their own thing,” but he also concedes that he laid the groundwork by showing up — over and over again.

“I’ve definitely put in my time,” he says, “and froze my butt off for a lot of hours.”

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