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Above the Tiger Shark

Ryan Borne


Behind the Shot

From space, the beautiful islands of Tikehau, a small circular atoll about 200 miles from Tahiti, appear to be a near-perfect unbroken ring. Made up of pink and white sand beaches and covered in coconut palms, Tikehau’s islets surround a brilliant blue-green lagoon determined by Jacques Cousteau to hold a higher concentration of fish than any other area of French Polynesia. The atoll, only about 16 miles across, and the lagoon, at its deepest, less than 100 feet deep, is legendary for diving and snorkeling. Reef sharks, rays and an incomprehensible abundance of fish including tuna, snapper, barracuda, lionfish and clownfish, can be found.

From above, the tiger shark is a marvel. Described by Ryan, “The hypnotic patterns and flawless hydrodynamics paired with a strong spirit. You can feel their presence and energy when they're around. They impose respect and humility. I will always remember the first time I saw those stripes. I couldn’t take my eyes off them, peacefully gliding through the crystal clear water of the lagoon.”