My name is Dave Sandford. I have been a professional photographer for 18 years. Shooting professional sports have paid the bills, but I’ve been the most passionate about anything to do with water.
Oceans and lakes beckon me. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved to be on, in or around water. I’m fascinated by the sheer raw power and force of it, captivated by the graceful movement of a wave and mesmerized by light dancing across it.
Recently, I have felt drawn to the lakes that are virtually in the backyard of my hometown of London, Ont., Canada. Specifically, the awe-inspiring Great Lakes. Lake Erie, the 4th largest of the Great Lakes caught my attention for this photographic essay.
I chose to focus on Erie at a time of year (mid-October through December) when the Great Lakes can act more like oceans than lakes.
With warm sunny beach days behind us, it is some of Autumn’s dark, cold and windy days that transform the Great Lakes into wickedly wild and treacherous bodies of water.
Lake Erie is 388km in length and approximately 92km across. It is also the shallowest of the Great Lakes, with an average depth of 62’ and the maximum depth of 210’.
Lake Erie’s name originates from a native tribe who called the lake “Erige” (“cat”) due to the unpredictable and at times dangerously violent nature.
Because of the shallowness of the lake, conditions can change dramatically in just a matter of minutes, with fierce waves springing up unexpectedly.
Lake Erie’s unpredictable and violent nature has laid claim to some 1800-8000 shipwrecks dating back to the 17th century, most of which have never been found.