VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK, BIG ISLAND, HAWAII
For several nights in a row, I revisited Volcano National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii looking for the shots that I always thought I would get: spewing lava, rivers of molten gold, fantastic pictures. The reality is that Volcano National Park is mostly cool on the surface and hot underground. The beauty for the photographer (in 2012 at least) remains the black formations on miles and miles of lava crust. It is beautiful. For now, the red stuff is limited to drippings that plop into the ocean on the southeast part of the island, accessible only by a long drive to the south out of the park and then walking about 1/2 of a mile to a disappointingly far distance from the spot. You can also hire a boat to take you much closer. The other option is, of course, the glow from the Kilauea Volcano, seen here. The name evidently means “spewing” or “much spreading” and shows that the volcano is still under “Watch” status by the USGS at the time of this writing. The tripod is a must for this late evening shot, as the shutter will need to be open for at least a few seconds, depending on your apertures. I chose a long exposure by stopping down a bit, extending the shutter speed to 30 seconds…enough to blend the light reflecting from the smoke that continues to spew from the cone of the volcano.