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Fakarava Palm Tree

Kelsey Williamson


Behind the Shot

Fakarava means “beautiful” or “making things superb.” It’s also an atoll in the Tuamoto archipelago in French Polynesia, home to an immense lagoon, marine life and plentiful coconut trees. The small island and its neighbors are classified as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO—a truly otherworldly collection of atolls that center around a large lagoon. It’s a wonderful place for a modern explorer like photographer Kelsey Williamson.

Wiliamson was in Fakarava visiting friends when she captured this palm tree leaning against the backdrop of sunny skies. The photo is zoomed in from a wide shot that showcases the entire scene. Kelsey thought that the simple palm tree leaning over the ocean would be a more impactful image, so she cropped it to focus solely on the tree swaying in the Tahitian breeze.

This image of Fakarava certainly lives up to the island’s name.