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lava shooter

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m one of those nature photographers that normally abhors people.  Oh, I like them well enough to talk to, sit next to, and sometimes even to go out to dinner with–particularly if they pick up the tab!–but I usually don’t like them “contaminating” my outdoor images.  I didn’t come all the way to this lava flow to photograph people…I could’ve stayed home and done that.

But, one of the times that even diehard nature photographers will tolerate people in their images, and sometimes even put them there deliberately, is “to lend a sense of scale.”  That advice is given so often in photography brochures and classes that it’s become a cliché.  But a cliché becomes a cliché because it’s so often true:  sometimes it CAN be hard for someone looking at an image to tell just how big that rock/sequoia/wave is without a climber/hiker/surfer nearby.  People become handy little measuring devices.  Take the image above:  knowing the average man is about 6′ tall, you can guesstimate the height of the cliff he’s standing on to be about 35′-40’…

Which begs the next question:  why is he standing on the edge of a cliff next to molten lava and risking a likely fatal fall onto the jagged rocks or into the pounding surf below?

For the photo-op, silly!  Now if only that flowing lava would stop for a moment, he could get a good shot…



  1. As usual, ipmressive!

  2. I love the textures of the solidified rock, one can detect the long past movement of the lava. Very nice.

    • Thanks SJPC,

      The textures are way cool, and tell the story of how and where the lava flowed. I saw a huge variety as I was hiking the lava fields, and an even greater variety on the cliff face (where gravity has a more pronounced affect). Something else that’s fun to photograph…

      RPRT Photo

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