Terrifying tempests don’t only strike on the open sea. On Lake Erie, one of the largest lakes in the world, photographer Dave Sandford has captured gravity-defying waves of incredible size and power.
Gales driving across the surface of the water can create massive storms on North America’s Great Lakes, with swells several stories high. “I was unprepared for the fury and unpredictable nature of Lake Erie,” Stanford tells Quartz, who shot the terrifying images below in November. “When you add the elements of wind, blowing sand, and surf in the cold fall temperatures just above the freezing mark both for air and water, the challenge becomes more complex. I left every day cold, wet, sore and with irritated dry, scratchy eyes from the sand ripping across the beach.”