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Ryan Borne


Behind the Shot

Standing on his childhood homeland—the Caribbean island of St Barths—Ryan Borne aimed his camera at Saba, emerging from the sea at sunset. He always admired the rocky outcropping of Saba Island and its Mount Scenery, a dormant volcano soaring 887 meters (2,910 feet) above the lush vegetation below. 

On that day in 2017, the conditions were perfect for Ryan to get it right. No wind, a glassy ocean and such perfect hues that the photograph required almost no color editing.

Beaches aren’t the draw of this 5-square-mile, unspoiled island of the Lesser Antilles chain. Few people even know it exists. So the four main villages and exotic terrain remain unscathed by tourists—other than the occasional hiker. Saba’s dramatic underwater topography beckons divers and snorkelers to experience its peaks, caves and plentiful marine life.

“I feel lucky to have witnessed that special moment,” says Ryan, who has visited Saba once. “This shot takes me into the stillness and calms my soul, like a visual hug. The dreamy scenery offers that meditative, reassuring state we often need. This is still one of my favorite photos.”