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Shadow Play

Corey Wilson


Behind the Shot

The Fakarava atoll, located in the Tuamotu group, is one of 118 islands and atolls that make up French Polynesia. About an hour flight from Tahiti in the southwest, Fakarava is a nearly perfect rectangle-shaped atoll, 37 miles long and 13 miles wide. The lagoon it encircles is 429 square miles, while the entire dry-land mass is only 9 square miles.

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.

Reaching out over the lagoon, Corey found this lone coconut palm stretching out over the water.
“This dreamy palm tree shadow was cast from the only palm tree around. Its shadow was cast perfectly over the water. I was walking down the beach shooting some scenic shots, and this shadow was like nothing else around. It hung perfectly over the crystal blue water. It was a perfect paradise feeling, and it screams ‘vacation.’”