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The Samoan Way

Corey Wilson


Behind the Shot

Surfing Samoa can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, the surf is amazing, with consistent 2- to 10-foot waves, warm water, and few crowds. But on the other hand, most of the breaks are over jagged coral reefs, most surfing locations are hard to get to—either on private property or offshore and accessible only by boat—and Samoa closes on Sundays. Seriously. Most of Samoa observes the traditional Sabbath. In fact, it’s disrespectful to Samoans to participate in activities that are not Sunday-approved, and surfing is not on that list.

Corey’s time in Samoa made him contemplative. “I was alone in the water and took the time to get the feeling of the day in this shot. Everyone paddled in, and I stayed out. The beach was perfect, the sunset was perfect, and everything worked out. I’ve been trying to capture the last light of the day from the surfer’s perspective, but in a unique way. I love shooting slow shutter stuff, showing time passing and movement. Anything that moves fast looks unique at a slow shutter speed. This was the sunset that I really wanted. I’ve worked to get a shot like this for a while.”