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Fakarava Pickup

Corey Wilson


Behind the Shot

According to Corey, the Fakarava atoll in Tahiti has the most beautiful landscape in the area. Uniquely rectangular in shape, the atoll is 37 miles long and 13 miles wide. While the encircled lagoon is 429 square miles, the dry-land mass is only 9 square miles. Just over 830 inhabitants call the atoll home, most living in the main village of Rotoava.

Like most of the islands and atolls in the area, Fakarava is a member of the French Polynesia Collectivity, and along with 80 other islands and atolls is part of the Tuamotus Island group.

A benefit of the atoll’s shape: There are only two passes in and out of the area. Passe Garuae, in the northwestern end, is the largest pass in French Polynesia. The southern pass is called Tetamanu. Also known as Tumakohua, Tetamanu is home to a narrow underwater valley known as Shark’s Hole, where divers encounter whitecap, lemon and hammerhead sharks.

Corey recalls the events of the day: “We were here on a shoot. We’d wrapped for the day, and the girls were waiting for the boat to come pick them up here on the edge of the atoll to go for a surf. I like the clean, minimal look of the photo. I love the minimal feeling, so the viewer can focus on the shapes and textures.”