‘Dazzled:’ Ingersoll, Ont., Photographer Captures More Than Just a Storm in ‘Perfect’ Photo

Most people avoid the beach on stormy days. Not Cody Evans.

Howling winds and rushing waters are what regularly draw the photographer from Ingersoll, Ontario to Lake Erie on a mission to capture the perfect shot – and last Friday was his lucky day.

Of more than 10,000 photos he took, one looked like a face.

Evans said he thought it looked like the face of Poseidon, the ancient Greek god of the sea and storms.

Cody Evans is a photographer from Ingersoll, Ontario, south of London. (Submitted by Cody Evans)

“I was a bit blown away,” he said. “You see a lot of things like that in the waves and in the clouds, but it was just unreal. This photo stood out from all the rest.”

Since 2020, Evans has used his Nikon Z9 camera to capture wave action on the lake, but it was an image he never expected to see, he said.

“It was just crazy, it felt like the perfect day. I’ve been going there for three years, trying to get some good shots and it was by far the best day I’ve had there,” said said Evans.

So what was in the air that caused this phenomenon?

Strong winds and heavy waves

According to Environment Canada meteorologist Daniel Liota, the short answer is “November gales,” strong winds over marine areas that go faster than 64 kilometers per hour.

“The lakes at this time of year are relatively warm compared to the air above them, especially with the cold air mass that entered the Great Lakes last weekend,” said Liota said. “So that resulted in very high winds over the water.”

wave action
One of many photos Cody Evans has taken of Lake Erie waves. (Submitted by Cody Evans)

Gales are especially common between the fall and winter seasons, Liota said. In this case, the southwest winds traveled a long distance over the lake and formed these waves over the water, he added.

Evans admits windy days can be tough on the beach, especially with the cold weather and blowing sand, but he made sure to wait until after the snowfall to see the waves crash.

“The waves were crashing pretty well because the pier pushes the water back into the lake, so when the water is pushed back the waves collide and cause these spikes,” he said.

This was due to the cold air that prevailed in the Great Lakes region crossing behind a cold front, creating unstable conditions causing lake effect snow.

“We typically have an active storm track moving across the lake at this time of year, especially following these stronger systems bringing in cold air masses,” Liota said.

High winds causing strong winds and reinforced waves at Lake Erie in Port Stanley, Ontario. (Submitted by Cody Evans)

“So we get the high instability on the waters which results in a long period of strong and gusty winds on the large lakes, hence the gales.

Liota says that there is not much peculiarity behind these kind of waves and they happen every year.

But Evans is determined to continue his series of stills in Port Stanley. “I will have a camera in my hands until I can’t hold one anymore honestly I love it,” he said.


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