Cornwall LivingIssue #120

Wave power

Mike Lacey is the master of capturing surf on camera and is taking wave photography to new heights.

Growing up in Windermere, Mike Lacey had a Cornish dream. As soon as he could drive, the Duchy and its world-class surf and reef breaks were his first stop. What started as a hobby, riding and capturing waves for fun, became more than just a pastime for Mike when he opened his gallery in the harbour town of Porthleven, just yards from the ocean. He now spends his days chasing the swells around Cornwall, looking for the ultimate in wave photography.

“Capturing a wave in its most beautiful and critical form before it breaks is such an amazing feeling,” says Mike. “Those moments are there for just a split second and gone the next, but they are so breathtaking when caught in a still photo.” Mike is able to print and display these moments to almost life-size proportions for everyone to enjoy. This allows the viewer to be transported back to the very moment the photo was taken, invoking all kinds of different feelings. 

Mike explains further: “The way my images bring out people’s imaginations is another reason I continue to take them and ‘Cornish Dreams’ is a prime example of this. The turquoise blues of the ocean and perfect summer skies filling the frame are simply stunning, leaving many people speechless as to its real location – the dream of a tropical island destination not being so far away.”

Mike’s images are available as prints and limited editions as well as splashbacks, which really add the wow-factor to any kitchen. Mike has also recently published a book, Cornish Waves: Chasing Perfection, which documents not only his best work to date but also his own ocean adventures, such as the ambitious paddle board to the Isles of Scilly in aid of Surfers Against Sewage. The book has already received much acclaim, winning the prestigious 2021 Gorsedh Kernow Holyer an Gof Publisher’s Award for Leisure and Lifestyle in the non-fiction category.

For Mike, being able to capture the beautiful coastline of Cornwall brings him so much joy, and hearing people’s reactions to his photographs when they walk into the gallery is just incredible.
“I really am living the Cornish dream!”


Waves Gallery