Long exposure wave photography by David Orias

All photos: David Orias

In this stunning series, surf photographer David Orias captures the surreal, colorful reflections found in the waves of the Pacific Ocean as they roll along the shores of southern California. The dramatic quality of his images is achieved by timing shoots with sunrises, sunsets and even wildfires, which can produce unusual colors as smoke filters sunlight.

Based in Santa Barbara, Orias began his foray into long-exposure photography after discovering how competitive surfing photography can get. In hopes of making his photos stand out from the rest, he started experimenting with dragging the shutter and panning techniques. It wasn't long before he noticed that the wave photos that didn't feature surfers were becoming increasingly popular in their own right.

"Each wave is unique and I am always trying to document something new or different whether its a pelican or pelicans flying by or dolphins playing in the waves," Orias tells MNN. "I don't feel I have completely exhausted the subject yet, but it does get harder to get something more unique."

Continue below for more of these long-exposure waves, or find Orias on 500px.

Psychedelic long exposure wave
Long exposure wave cresting
Long exposure sunset wave and bird
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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.