What It Was Like To Photograph 7 Volcanic Vortexes At Once

Jan 6, 2015

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer and content strategist based in Hawi, Hawaii. Her work has been shared by top publications like The New York Times, Adobe, and others.

What It Was Like To Photograph 7 Volcanic Vortexes At Once

Jan 6, 2015

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer and content strategist based in Hawi, Hawaii. Her work has been shared by top publications like The New York Times, Adobe, and others.

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Volcanic Vortex by Brice Omori
Volcanic Vortexes by Bruce Omori

Hawaii really is a photographer’s paradise. It’s filled with beautiful people, dramatic landscapes, brilliant night skies, and enough varieties of sea life to keep an underwater photographer busy for a lifetime. Given the diversity of Hawaii’s climate zones (there’s 8 of the world’s 13 climate zones on Big Island alone), we also get some pretty wicked weather.

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting the Extreme Exposures Fine Art Gallery in Hilo, Hawaii where two photographers, Tom Kuali’i and Bruce Omori, display their work. Of course, all of the work gracing the walls of the gallery were eye-catching, and one photo in particular really stood out. The award winning photo has made its rounds on the internet and has even made its way into the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Seeing Bruce Omori’s “Volcanic Vortexes” in person (and beautifully printed on metal to boot) was even grander than one can imagine.

bruce omori1
Omori getting the shot (Photo by Tom Kuali’i)

In an interview with the Hawaii Reporter, Omori described the experience saying:

“On an early morning shoot at the Waikupanaha ocean entry, lava from the Kilauea volcano poured into the sea. This created a huge escape of steam, and as it rose, multiple vortices began spinning off of the huge plume. A vortex or two is a pretty rare sight—but when one after another kept forming, my fumbling with the lenses turned into a panicked rush to switch my telephoto to wide angle lens to capture this awesome scene of seven vortices in a row.”

As one might expect from the name of their gallery, Omori and Kuali’i are often pushing the boundaries to capture the magnificent (and sometimes fierce) beauty Hawaii has to offer. Both are veteran lava and nature photographers who, besides selling their artwork, also offer photography tours just in case you ever find yourself on Big Island with a camera and don’t know where to start.

[ Bruce Omori via Hawaii Reporter ]

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Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer and content strategist based in Hawi, Hawaii. Her work has been shared by top publications like The New York Times, Adobe, and others.

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2 responses to “What It Was Like To Photograph 7 Volcanic Vortexes At Once”

  1. Jazzy Elizabeth Avatar
    Jazzy Elizabeth

    Insane and amazing

  2. MAMPHL Avatar
    MAMPHL

    Check out the Sun sometime (helioviewer.org) and you will realize that this phenomenon is no as rare as one might think.