Monday, 29 November 2010

Is this the face of Pele?

Image by Danielle Lancaster

Kīlauea, the youngest and most south-eastern volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, is the home of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess.

Kīlauea’s magma-plumbing system extends to the surface from more than 60km deep in the earth. This week I have had the fortune to photograph this massive volcano that has been erupting constantly since 3rd January 1983 though this is not when she started her fiery fury.

In fact, yesterday while on the volcano, more than 100 earthquakes were recorded. Hawaiian chants and oral traditions tell in veiled form of many eruptions fomented by an angry Pele before the first European, the missionary Rev. William Ellis, saw the summit in 1823. The caldera was the site of nearly continuous activity during the 19th century and the early part of this century. Since 1952 there have been 34 eruptions.

Kīlauea ranks among the world's most active and accessible volcanoes with many saying she tops the list. Lives and houses have been lost and this is a site where you can truly see the landscape change before your eyes.

Fast Facts about Kīlauea
The Hawaiian name "Kīlauea" means "spewing" or "much spreading".
Type: A Shield volcano
Elevation: 1,277 m
Area: 1,430 km2 and growing.
Located around 48km southwest of Hilo in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Currently produces 250,000-650,000 cubic yards of lava per day! That’s enough to resurface a 32km, two-lane road daily.
By January 1994, 491 acres of new land have been created on Hawaii's Big Island – much more than that now.
Image by Danielle Lancaster
Where we stayed:
Kilauea Lodge, located in the quiet village of Volcano around 2.5km from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The Lodge was originally built as a YMCA camp in 1938. Owned and operated by chef Albert and his wife Lorna Jeyte it also has a great restaurant and hot tub! Their cats, Meatloaf and Lamb Chop, patrol the grounds and during your stay you are sure to meet them.

Rooms were nice and clean. Ours had a fabulous fire place which kept us very warm as the cool night air came in. All rooms decorated with art works and feature stained glass windows. Rooms start from $170.00 US and include a full breakfast. We got our room for $120.00 through\

Free Wi-fi available. Common room with DVD’s, games and books. Beautiful gardens.

Our rating: 8/10 and we’d stay here again.


Image by Danielle Lancaster

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Tips for photographing lava fields

Do a search on the internet for ‘why use a polariser filter’ and you’ll get great tips on this fantastic filter that should be in everyone’s camera bag. There is information on why to use it for landscapes, reflections and colour saturation. However there is one landscape that does not get any mention – lava landscapes! I found a circular polariser invaluable during my shoot this week at the most active volcano on Earth – Kilauea – and its expansive lava fields.

Lava contains high levels of silicone and silicone reflects light. So my advice: when visiting lava fields be sure to use a polariser.

The Mauna Ulu Lava Flow of 1974 from Kilauea with a polariser filter.

The Mauna Ulu Lava Flow of 1974 from Kilauea without a polariser filter.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Fun in Photography with Apps

Sick of blown out skies or dark foregrounds when taking photos on your iPhone? Well they are a thing of the pasts tells gadget girl Anita, with the App Pro HDR!
With a simple tap on your screen your iPhone will take two images, one exposed for the highlights and one for the shadows and quickly merge the two images to create an evenly exposed image.

One of the great things with this is App is it allows you have the choice to let the camera decide what part of the image is the brightest and darkest or you can switch to Manual mode and select those parts of the image yourself. Once merged you have the option to move sliders and adjust Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Warmth and Tint. After you use this app for the first time you'll be hooked - even if you're not a fan of HDR images in general you'll love the effect you get, in camera from this application. A great App that is certainly well worth the $'s
(Works on iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4 & iPod Touch 4th Gen)
Pro HDR - $2.49

Guest blog by Anita Bromley
Anita Bromley is a photographer and tutor with Bluedog Photography. Her main passion is low light/night photography, however she is happy simply to have the camera in her hands and the opportunity to click away.

Images by Anita Bromley

Friday, 12 November 2010

Hasselblad and the Masters

The night before last I won a copy of the Hasselblad Masters Volume 2 Emotions. Just another photography book? Not likely.

Back in June this year I keenly clung to Hasselblad’s new H4D-60 camera, the only one bought into the country for ‘showing’, yet I would call it teasing. This week we saw the official launch here in Australia of this state of the art camera.

It bought back memories: the feel of a good quality medium format digital in your hands is something not to be taken lightly and as a fan of the medium format this little box excited me greatly.

The rep, keen I didn’t snap too many frames and wind up the shutter count, I think, breathed a sigh of relief when I finally took the camera away from my eye. This baby boasts a 60 megapixel 40 x 54mm sensor and with it sets new industry standards.

The unprecedented resolution delivers an ultimate level of image detail, making it ideal for commercial shooters who demand ultimate image resolution or for any extremely discerning photographer who demands both creative flexibility and ultimate image quality and this is where I see Hasselbald’s audience growing. 

Back to the book................

“The Hasselblad Masters represent photography at its finest; at its most inspired, most communicative, most beautiful. They are young, old, western, eastern, classical, experimental, traditional, modern, and futuristic. They have perhaps but one thing in common: they are masters at conveying an instant, an emotion, with images. Masters of the art and craft that is photography.”

In commoner terms, it’s a mighty impressive ‘read’ or should we say viewing. 

Nice work Hasselbald on both the book and the camera (the camera is on top of my Santa list), that can really deliver what we want from in-camera so perfectly. Now that has to keep loads of us happy!
My favourite quote from the book:
“Emotion is the electoral current that flows through an image”. Joao Carlos
Image by Hasselbald Master Chinese Bang Peng is the winner of this year’s Hasselblad’s Landscape and Nature award. A series of his from his western region of Sichuan Province in China captures the culture and colour of a maybe barren environment.
Image by Hasselbald Master, Mark Holthusen, USA