Taking pictures of lava has become a special niche for photographers around the world, especially in Hawaii where Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting for decades. It is a risky endeavor that often puts them within arm’s reach of Madame Pele, the Hawaiian fire goddess.
Ask any of these professionals, and they’ll quickly tell you that the risk is well worth that perfect shot. Ask them for tips on lava photography, and they will warn against it completely.
That’s because of lava’s unpredictable nature – more specifically, the lava fields. The fields are not exactly the rolling, green ones you might be familiar with. Instead, these fields are hardened lava that have turned black in color. People often walk across these fields, attempting to get as close to “fresh” lava as possible. By that, they venture toward the ocean, where lava slowly seeps into the water.
What many do not realize, is just how dangerous this area is. There are dozens of hot lava tubes beneath the surface. Standing above them could potentially cause the ground to crumble. This is what a Hawaii Island photographer witnessed while taking pictures from his boat near the lava shoreline.
According to a Hawaii News Now report, the photographer saw four people posing for pictures on top of a hot lava tube. As soon as they walked away, the ground collapsed. Luckily, no one was hurt; however, there have been four deaths on Kilauea related to ocean-entry hazards.
Please use common sense and avoid getting too close to Madame Pele. Leave it to the professionals and instead, capture her beauty from afar.