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Hawaii Island Photographer Captures Volcanic Vortices

Have you ever seen volcanic vortices?

Most likely not because the natural phenomenon is a pretty rare sight to come by; even seeing just one is unusual, but a Hawaii Island photographer managed to capture seven vortices in a photo he took several years ago. Check out this amazing shot:

The photo, titled “Volcanic Vortices,” will be displayed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s annual exhibition this summer. Photographer Bruce Omori received the Windland Smith Rice International Award after his lava photo was selected out of almost 20,000 submissions.

“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,” Omori described in his photo submission description. “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.”

Those in the photography community know Bruce as a photographer who lives on the edge and goes to extreme measures in order to get the perfect shot. He and fellow Hawaii Island photographer Tom Kualii own Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery in Hilo and offer exclusive private photography tours and workshops on the island.

I have been following Bruce’s work for some time now and am not surprised by his recent recognition. He always captures his lava subject from a unique perspective, utilizing slower shutter speeds and specific apertures to get the winning shot each time. While it’s tempting to go out and get our own winning shot, we have to remember that Bruce and Tom are professionals, who have been doing this for years. So lets leave it to them to bring back the shots, while we sit back and enjoy the show!

Photo Courtesy: Extreme Exposures, Bruce Omori

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on May 21, 2013