Cornwall LivingIssue #88
Staring down the barrel
We catch up with Mike Lacey and discover his drive to immerse himself, camera in hand, into Cornwall’s most powerful waves.
Working in the waves for a living, according Mike Lacey, founder of Waves Surf Art Gallery, is a strange concept and not one that’s easy to explain, “but throwing on a wetsuit, grabbing the camera and swimming out, there are scarce few things that can make me feel more at home.” Not only does being out in the surf excite Mike; the images he’s yet to capture – the search for that next piece of water magic – makes it all doubly exhilarating.
“It’s fair to say that there’s nothing quite like seeing it go from my camera to the wall in the gallery; the life size impact you get from it is just incredible”
“That’s what keeps me motivated to get out there.” During the winter months, Mike immerses himself in the biggest waves. “The adrenaline gets going and the nerves kick in, but that’s when I start to break down the shots and concentrate on how I can portray it in an image, how I can convey the danger and excitement.”
Most of the time, Mike tells us, he just has to get stuck in, getting into the critical parts of the wave itself. “Just to get the perspective and element of danger, sometimes I have to take the risk and get as close to the tube as possible, take the hit and just hope I don’t get taken with it when it breaks!”
It’s fair to say that there’s nothing quite like seeing it go from my camera to the wall in the gallery; the life size impact you get from it is just incredible. “I can relive that very moment,” Mike reflects, “just as if I was back there taking it, another piece of an ocean jigsaw that I’m always trying
Sharing these moments with everyone is an amazing feeling for Mike, and he loves telling gallery visitors about them. “People have a genuine interest in how it’s achieved and always ask about my cameras and techniques, and where’s next. I have my favourite beaches to shoot at, but to be honest, I feel spoilt here in Cornwall. All of the beaches are just so stunning and having the opportunity to capture their beauty is a real honour and privilege.” He finishes: “Thank you Cornwall.”
Waves Surf Art Gallery
01326 368369 – Porthleven
01637 818065 – Falmouth
"It’s fair to say that there’s nothing quite like seeing it go from my camera to the wall in the gallery; the life size impact you get from it is just incredible"