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Blue hour breakout - Mount Kilauea volcano Hawaii



Published by National Geographic. Please vote for one of my new Hawaii lava photos just published in National Geographic Daily Dozen Link below. Spread the word...
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Published by National Geographic. Please vote for one of my new Hawaii lava photos just published in National Geographic Daily Dozen Link below. Spread the word! Voting only open until midnight EDT USA.
http:--yourshot.nationalgeographic.com-daily-dozen-2017-09-29-?utm_source=NatGeocom&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=DailyDozenNotification&utm_campaign=Membership#daily-dozen-11032904
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Celebrating Earth Day Photo Contest 2019
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Celebrating Earth Day Photo Contest 2019Top 10 class
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Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class
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Curves In Nature Photo ContestTop 30 class
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 26Top 20 class week 1

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4 Comments | Report
marcbaechtold
 
marcbaechtold May 13, 2018
nice work! Some nice colors and good contrast, keep shooting!
Joshb25
 
Joshb25 January 31, 2019
the earth awakens
Thesaltyselkie
 
Thesaltyselkie February 19, 2019
This is so fantastic! Volcanoes are so amazing! I’m a weirdo that actually finds them fascinating. Beautiful capture!
Millydog90
 
Millydog90 April 21, 2019
Great photo

Behind The Lens

Location
This image was taken on the slopes of the Pali downstream from the now defunct Pu’U’O’o crater of mount Kilauea volcano on the Big Island Hawai’i. Captured in 2017 It was a breakout during the then ongoing 61g flow which ended abruptly after the following historic 2018 eruption which beheaded the 61g flow.
Time
It was shot after sunset. The aim was to make the long hike up the Pali in the early afternoon despite the intense hot weather, in order to look for surface breakouts of lava Around evening during blue hour
Lighting
Specifically timed for optimal colour saturation of lava images. This is at its most vibrant during blue hour and also to juxtapose that cooler blue with the hot reds and oranges of the lava.
Equipment
Nikon D800E with 24-70 lens on a tripod. My tripod feet started to melt as the lava approached and I had to rescue my equipment from certain destruction very soon after getting this shot!
Inspiration
I had been determined to capture images of the Kilauea volcano and arranged a trip specifically with this in mind. Photographing lava and creation on earth is a compelling and mesmerising experience. Raw nature at its most humbling.
Editing
Simple raw processing to include contrast and texture adjustments to bring out the rock textures and details are mainly what I concentrated on in post processing.
In my camera bag
It really depends what kind of shoot I am on and whether filming or doing stills photography. My Nikon D850 is my work horse closely followed by a Z6 as first choice for video but I use both for video. I have a range of Nikon lenses 14-24mm, 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 400mm prime, 50mm prime and two teleconverters. Cable release and two tripods. ND and graduated ND filters (Lee filter system). Plus lots of accessories and cleaning equipment.
Feedback
It’s hard to find active flowing lava anywhere right now and there is no more active lava anywhere on the Big Island now since the end of the monumental and historic 2018 eruption which I went back and documented extensively over 3 months about 8 months after I captured this image! I would recommend thinking of safety first! Heat is an issue. Equipment and shoes can melt underfoot! Have lots more water with you than you think especially if the weather is also hot as the active lava and black rock make the heat much higher than you would otherwise experience especially when getting closer to the lava. The heat gradient rises shockingly exponentially once within a few feet of it. Be really really careful and plan your escape routes. Blue hour is the best time to photograph lava. It’s actually only a few minutes within blue hour when the light and colours are optimal. Also the dynamic range is huge so have the best camera sensor and lenses you can afford. Try to find angles that avoid the inevitable heat shimmer that occurs (unless you want that in the image for creative effect) because otherwise the images will appear blurry. Ideally use a cable release or timer to set the camera and move away from the heat but be nearby to rescue things if the lava gets too close! When I noticed my long exposure on another shot blur I realised the camera was moving and it was because the ground underneath my tripod was beginning to melt!

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