Ryan describes the beauty of Teahupo’o, the world-famous beach on the southwest coast of Tahiti Iti (“small Tahiti”), in the southern half of the French Polynesian island. “Teahupo'o is one of those places that holds a very special atmosphere, from the mountains in the background and the smell of saltwater to the sound ripping the air as a perfectly sculpted wave of electric blue water comes crashing onto the reef.”
The waves of Teahupo’o can be as dangerous as they are beautiful. Loosely translated, Teahupo’o means “to sever the head” or “place of skulls.” Recognized by Transworld Surf as one of the Top 10 Deadliest Waves in the world, the waves that break near the Tahitian village of Teahupo’o are fast, heavy and unforgiving.
“Being able to capture this beauty and feel its power has always been one of my dreams. This image represents the raw power of nature. It shows that nature can be beautiful, but you need to stay humble and respectful in front of its power. It was shot with a telephoto lens from a small dinghy right before I put the camera in the housing to shoot some more from the water.”