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G. Brad Lewis ~ 'Volcano Man'


Lava flows cover a coconut grove and black sand beach at Kamoamoa.  

-Lava flows surge through a coconut grove and onto Kamoamoa Beach after destroying a Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Visitors Center and countless archaeological sites. Kamoamoa was one of the most significant cultural sites within the Park.  Heiau's (Hawaiian temples), petroglyphs,  and ancient stone canoe sheds were also covered by lava flows. The grassy area in the background of this image, was a meeting place for many people. Modern Hawaiian cultural festivals used to be held here. I made my first nose flute here in 1984. It was with sadness that I watched it being buried, but also with the knowing that what Pele creates, she also can take away, so it is best not to be too attached.

One morning I got a phone call from a Volcanologist at Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory telling me of a new spatter cone on the side of Pu'u O'o Vent, the site of the current eruption on Kilauea Volcano. The spatter cone was less than a day old when I helicoptered into the eruption site, with camping gear, two camera systems,  and a hundred rolls of film. Newly formed spatter cones are one of my favorite features on Kilauea, the most active volcano on the planet. When I arrived at the scene, there was no volcanic activity going on. The eruption had stopped. I could tell it had been awesome hours before. I wondered if I had just wasted a thousand dollars on the helicopter? It didn't really matter. This is the chance I  take every time I go to the eruption site. I sat down upon the warm lava and waited, absorbing the awesome and raw beauty around me. My patience paid off. Towards evening, lava started to gurgle, then explode out of the center of the cone. Every few seconds another massive burst of lava would spew from the growing cone. I was fortunate to press the shutter at the exact moment that this particular burst of lava (30 feet in diameter) happened to be in the shape of a heart. A true gift from Pele, the volcano goddess. I stayed there for a couple of days, monitoring the area for any new activity. Within a week, this cone was gone. In its place was a giant pit crater. Another chapter over, in the book of Kilauea. 
Photograph | Metal Print  | Open Edition
Metal Open Edition  | 12" x 18" | 16" x 24" | 20" x 30" | 24" x 36" | 30" x 40" 
Signed Photograph on metal. 

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