Nazaré, Europes #1 Big Wave Surfing Destination
Nazaré is a fisher village on the west coast of Portugal. In the ocean in front of the town lays the largest submarine canyon in Europe, reaching depths of about 5,000 meters and a length of about 230 kilometers, producing exceptionally big waves during autumn and winter time. After the American professional big wave surfer Garrett MacNamara was invited to Nazaré in 2011 to “ride the world’s biggest wave”, Nazaré, the biggest and most monstrous wave-producing surf spot in the world took center stage in the surfing big wave community. Since then, the North Beach Praia Do Norte Nazaré – best viewed from the world-renowned lighthouse high up on the cliff in front of the canyon – has established itself as a household name, a major coastal tourist destination in Portugal, a (former) stop on the World Surf League’s “Large Wave World Tour”, and the place where big wave tow-in surfing (towing a surfer into a wave with a jetski) is most-commonly practiced.
This series does not focus on surfing and its athletes. Instead, a wider angle was chosen to depict a unique perspective on the raw aesthetics nature has to offer in this place, while mankind uses it as its playground. All photos were taken with a Leica M11, 60-megapixel full format sensor, and hence are high-end and rich in detail. When printed in big formats, you will see surfers and tow-in jet skis in the pictures and realize how small they are in relation to those giant waves.