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I was hoping they were wrong…

..but its true what they say, the Big Island is well…boring.  That sounds horrible though.  I’m sure anybody would be thrilled to go to Hawaii, and I’m grateful to be fortunate enough to have visited multiple islands to be able to make a comparison.  But with that said I didn’t really get the new landscapes I sought out to capture.  I probably set myself up to be let down though, I mean all I could think about was Peter Lik’s image Pele’s Whisper when thinking of the Big Island and the photo opportunities it would offer!

In fact, we were headed to Kalapana where that same image was captured. Despite a 3 hour drive from our resort in Kona and another visitor telling us the lava flows stopped in January, I still listened to the month old recording from the National Park hotline saying lava viewing was possible.  I was determined to capture flowing lava! Well I did capture lava, a LOT of it, just not any of the flowing type.

Kalapana is a small town that was completely over run with lava in the 90s, and still the current site for any new flows entering the ocean. All we saw when we got there was hardened lava for miles and miles.  The sun was setting fast and I tried desperately to reach the coast where the flows are although unbeknownst to me, that other visitor was right and the flows had stopped in January. My wife sitting next to me looked around and recognized the light was almost all gone and asked if I wanted to stop to take a picture.  She was right, I was so consumed with trying to capture flowing lava that I was missing all the beauty that was already around me.  I stopped the car, popped the trunk, grabbed my camera and tripod and ran out into the field to capture whatever I could in the rapidly diminishing light.  I was lucky, the lava surface was still reflecting the setting sky.  I framed the picture and included the rental car to provide a sense of scale and the open trunk conveys the spontaneity.  I guess sometimes it’s good to take your eyes off the prize.