Saturday, April 8, 2017

Hawaiian lava from above

Early morning takeoff
We just completed a 38-day stay in the beautiful state of Hawaii visiting 3-islands.  Oahu, Hawaii, and Kauai (we returned to Hawaii a second time).

In planning our shooting schedule the months prior all I heard from Don was lava.  Lava this and lava that.  It got to the point that Don was like a kid waiting for Santa Claus to come only he was waiting for his chance to capture lava.

First View
f/2.8 1/1000 ISO 4000 37mm
f/3.5 1/500 ISO 4000 70mm
f/2.8 1/640 ISO 1600 68mm
We chartered the helicopter from Paradise Helicopters in Hilo, HI for a one-hour flight over the lava fields of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  Did I mention the helicopter was wide open as in no doors?  We were cautioned that we’d be traveling in excess of 120 mph and not to let anything past the door frame.  While it was pleasant on the ground it quickly became chilly as we made our way to the lava fields.  Once we began flying over the lava fields it became very warm and our pilot slowed down and began taking directions from Don who was sitting beside him; hover, turn left, right, backup etc. It took close to 10-minutes to reach the lava fields and taking in account the return flight we had at least 40-minutes to photograph.  We went to the furthest point first which is the area the lava flows into the ocean. 
f/3.2 1/640 ISO 1600 70mm
Both of these images were shot at the point the lava flow enters the ocean and we could not fly lower than around 1500 feet.  Notice the other ways to view the flow; boat and by hiking out over land.
I shot with my Sony A7rII and FE 24-70 GM lens.  I began shooting at an ISO of 4000 with a shutter speed as slow as 1/500 and higher.  The camera was set to shutter priority. 
f/4.5 1/640 ISO 800 48mm
In some places we flew lower than 1000 feet and caught very interesting formations of the lava flow.
f/2.8 1/640 ISO 500 70mm
f/2.8 1/640 ISO 320 70mm
And then there’s the smoldering wood about to catch fire….
f/2.8 1/640 ISO 320
And then there are patterns, waves and other beautiful sights to see.
f/2.8 1/500 ISO 200 70mm 
f/2.8 1/500 ISO 200 35mm
All the above lava images are full frame no cropping as it was shot from the Sony Ar7II.  The next is the only image we decided to crop to show the delicate features of what reminds me of a wing.
f/2.8 1/500 ISO 200
This was the first time I rode in a helicopter without doors as well as the first time I shot lava from the air.  Needless to say I was very excited and am now looking forward to my next air adventure.
Don thanking our pilot Pete for a great adventure. Both are veterans, Don from the Viet Nam War and Pete from the Gulf. 
I have more from our Hawaiian adventure so please stay tuned.
We'll be adding a Hawaii gallery to our on-line website shortly and offering sizes, printing methods etc.



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