Jul2017012017 / Jul / 01
Panorama photograph of the milky way from the slopes of Mauna Kea.
Three images were stitched together to create this panoramic image of the milky way as it spans across the night sky connecting Mauna Kea to Mauna Loa. The lights along the landscape are from Hilo on the left, the lava glow of Kilauea in the distance, and cars driving down Mauna Kea through the fog. Seeing this night sky on a moonless night was simply breathtaking. I hiked a hill just down from the visitors center in order to get this view point.
Hiking was an adventure. I couldn’t find the start of the path since it was so dark. I stumbled upon a couple laying under a blanket and out of courtesy I turned off my light and passed by only to trip over a rock and and completely fall down on my side. I continued up the slope embarrassed and aching, but super excited to shoot the night sky. I stopped to shoot a tree on the slope only to be lit up by another photographer which I then felt compelled to look for another location out of their way. I finally found the location that I shot this series from… out of breath. While shooting an exposure I started to notice my knee was throbbing. I reached down to notice a large tear in my pants and a lot of blood. “Bummer” These were my good pants. Then just as I was getting into shooting I got a call from my wife, waiting in the car, that she and the girls were ready to go.
© Christopher Johnson
Aug2016102016 / Aug / 10
A photography trip to the Kamomuna lava flow and Halemaumau Crater
A last minute decision to see the lava flow from the Kalapana side made a lot of amazing memories. My wife an I were amazed to see the island expanding right before our eyes and inches from our feet.
A 4.5 mile trip, I would recommend riding a bike, will get you to the flow that covered the gravel emergency access road. Where you park there are a lot of people renting bikes, selling food, water, and artwork. Bring as much water as you can pack. They park service recommends 1 gallon for each person. This is not a leisure activity. The trek is long and hot.
It took us about 45 minutes to make the bike ride to the lava flow at a mild pace. The sun was setting as we arrived and we decided to venture up the hills of lava to see the lava flowing over the earth. Immediately I was in total amazement as I witnessed the lava slowly pouring down the hillside amongst a crowd of people. It was amazing to feel how hot the lava was. Like opening an oven door. I stepped up close to get a few close shots, but had to step back quickly to cool down.
After about 20min we retreated down to the ocean entry where the cliffside was outlined with spectators. Watching the waves battle against the hot molten lava. The energy explodes and lets off smoke and steam which is highlighted by a red glow as it blows over the landscape. We sat until we ached from sitting on the hard ground and then decided to venture back up to the lava flow again.
The masses of people continued to populate the area, so we decided to leave and check out the Volcano National Park.
It was an amazing adventure that hooked me on volcanic photography.
© Christopher Johnson
Check out my new image of the Halemaumau Crater – http://www.fromhereonin.com/halemaumau-crater