Monday, April 4, 2011

First Lava Tube

       Aloha this is our first blog and it isn't even going to be written by myself or Nick. I am new to blogging and am just now setting up a blog for Lava Light Galleries to let our fans and supporters around the world know what we are up to. In fact this blog is about photos that we took a year ago and never got around to writing a blog about. So thanks to my good friend Chris for showing me how to set up and use blogger and in the process writing this blog for us.

       On May 9th 2010 CJ Kale and Nick Selway made history by being the first photographic artist to ever capture a view of the lava hitting the sea from the surf. Taking on extreme risks to life and limb they entered the water a mer 20 feet from where the lava meets the sea. The water was extremely hot and varied quickly in temperature depending on their distance from the lava flow. CJ Kale and Nick Selway had waited over five years to get the conditions to get this shot. The conditions needed for these shots are very rare and need many variables to all come together all at once. First of all the lava needs to hit the sea on an established beach. An established beach because the small beaches that form at the end of newly created lava benches are very unstable and rarely have a bottom structure that will create surf that is rideable. There are very few established beaches in the area that the lava flows into the sea, as these beaches take years to form and most of the coast is lined in shear cliff left from collapsing lava benches. The second thing that is needed is the proper volume of lava hitting the sea. If the volume is too high the water temperature will be too hot to get close enough to get the shot. If the volume is too low it will not be dramatic enough in the frame. Finally when the lava hits the sea lava bombs are created as waves knock lose chunks of molten rock. In turn these rocks are still too hot to sink as the outside cools but the inside remains molten. They float around in the surf until they are cool enough to sink. If there are too many of them in the surf it is impossible to enter the surf without sustaining major injury. As it was they did have to turn back on one morning do to a high concentration of lava bombs in the surf.

      Cj and Nick got three days in the water with the lava bringing to the world what they call Lava Surf Photography. They are truly willing to risk it all for their art, doing what ever it takes to elevate their unique photography to the top. When asked why they would take such a risk just to get a shot. They both answer almost as one," to be unique". In a world full of photographic artist who spend their lives copying each other CJ Kale and Nick Selway choose to use their skill and teamwork to bring new and unique images to the world.  Most of the extreme photography that these artists do is only possible because they choose not to compete but to work together, watching out for each other. In their working together they find a small bit of safety in a dangerous environment.  Here is a short video to show what they had to do to get these historic shots.

         The water was extremely hot in fact as you see in the video so hot it was turning their skin red. Just a mer 20 ft in front of them the water was boiling. They would have to wait in the warm water for a wave then when they had their chance they would venture into the scalding water just for a moment to get the shot then retreat back to the cooler waters behind them. During their three days in the water they captured many great one of a kind images that might not ever be repeated again. Here are just a few.

            Once again thanks to Chris for the help getting us set up on blogger. And just to add a few things to what he wrote. In the last image shown there is a small rainbow. It was just the beautiful end to this experience as this image was from our last day in the water with the flow. The next day we went out but the lava flow had increased in volume, it was about 50 yards wide and over took the beach. Obviously we did not enter on this day. Doing so would have probably caused our immediate deaths. But I did get this final photo to conclude the series, of Nick out on the edge photographing the beaches last moments. 

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to say that I am the proud owner of print #1 of the first lava tube photo. My husband and I walked into the Lava Light Gallery later the same day that this photo was taken. CJ was resting in the back after getting the shot early that morning. He said "can I show you what I shot this morning?" He took us to the back room and showed us this photo still on his camera. We were captured by the photo and the story of this long awaited shot. We are thrilled to own the very first print of this photo and we love to tell the story to anyone who steps foot into our home.