Editor’s Note: Dane Grady is one of two winners from our “Not Your Typical Hawaii Beach Scene” photo contest. We asked him to share with us his passion for photography and how he took the winning photo.

  • See more finalists from our “Not Your Typical Hawaii Beach Scene” contest here
  • View more of Dane’s work at www.danegrady.com

My love for photography began in surfing magazines I had growing up.

There were a few photographers shooting with such distinct styles that I had become mesmerized. I would rip out the pages and tack them up all over my wall and stare at them forever.

In 2006 I started taking photography seriously. Today I’m extremely driven to capture scenes that impact and shape my life. The ocean is what I revolve around – living and being able to share my experiences through photography is sublime. I look forward to an amazing, life long career.

I took the winning photograph at an unfrequented section of beach near Kauapea on the island of Kauai. A few times out of the year, conditions and waves come together perfectly to create alluring spectacles in the shore break.

That day I got out of bed around 5:30 a.m. – it was freezing outside. I knew it would be nice, the stillness of the dark morning air promised me an epic session. I made my way down the coastline in the dark. I stretched, sealed up my camera, put my fins on and jumped in. I was pleased with forcing myself into the ocean so early, the sunrise was perfect and the fading swell had just enough punch to deliver this winning image. I considered this picture a good candidate for the “Not Your Typical Hawaii Beach Scene” because of its raw strength and irrefutably unique view of the shoreline.