Okay. I guess I could have used a more original title for this post or maybe said it in French to make it look more interesting.

I decided to do this post after getting a response to a forum post I made. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this.

Inadvertently the person brought up something that I may have overlooked. How they and the casual visitor views my website and blog. They said that I have way too many similar images of the lava flows and in particular used the 3-06-11 Kamoamoa Fissure eruption as an example. Which was perfect since that’s what I used to explain Why.

So, now I will try to explain my website and what I do and how its way more than just another photography website. (My new website will better explain this)

My adventures at the lava flows are now into their third decade. Basically along with my attempts at fine art photography I have documented the lava flow activity at Kilauea volcano too. Take notice of my folders, galleries and images file names. All are by date other than very old slide shots and galleries prior to 2008. Those are separated by types of flows and or locations but, most have the date as the files name. While these images might seem repetitious they do tell an ongoing story of Kilauea’s activity.

My site brings in many types of followers and all are equally important. There are the ones that simply find the images to be beautiful. Then there are the ones who are fascinated by the volcano. There are also the professionals like scientists and educators IE; professors. The latter ones appreciate the extensive coverage as many times what might be a simple outing at an eruption site to most, to them there are very important events being captured. Minute by minute sequences tell a much-needed story. So, I do have quite a story to tell. For now my photos do it. Someday I will in text.

When I’ve made a very long and difficult hike to an eruption area and I’m there for 6,8, 10 or more hours, most times 5-10 photos aren’t going to cover what I’m experiencing. To the general observer its plenty but, to the scientist that’s tracking Kilauea’s activity minute by minute observations mean a lot.

This is where the Kamoamoa eruption makes a great example. I could have posted way more images from that experience. I was the only person in the world out there during a time that the fissures advanced and new ones opened. This information proved to be important. I won’t get into how and why as it’s not for me to say at this time. The digital files are embedded with times so, this makes it easier to document the activity. I have had situations like this many times over the years. Kamoamoa eruption blog post. This eruption also had a series of smaller eruption events I captured entirely. So, what might look like too many similar images is in reality are entire micro events within the larger eruption event . (That’s okay, I had to read it twice too and I wrote it.)

Not to be too sarcastic but, my website is called lavapix.com for a reason 🙂 (Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m very sarcastic. That took loads of effort restraining myself.)

So, if images from the 1990’s look much like images from 2012, it’s because in general the flows do look similar. But, the time and date tell an ongoing story of Kilauea’s growth.

My website content can be broken down into a few categories starting from the smaller percentage to the larger.

Fine Art, stock for licensing and documentation.

Not to say that I don’t on occasion post a few too many similar shots. Its tough at times to cut some shots I get. Had I listened to others and removed some I would have missed out on great licensing deals. You just never know what a publisher is looking for. I also shoot sequences of small breakouts when nothing much is going on. They tell a short story.

This post isn’t to assume any of my visitors are complete idiots. Well, some might be and some might think I’m one too 🙂

Most of you probably already understood my websites content but, to the casual observer it probably wasn’t so obvious. Thus the reason for this blog post.

Now to my infamous “Don’t try to do what I do” warning. With a twist.

Never ever use the word idiot on your blog posts unless you can handle the possible negative feedback. It can be brutal and extreme. I have years of training from many past foot in mouth comments. I can handle it. Don’t put yourself in this situation. It’s no place for the inexperienced!! The learning curve is brutal!!

I’m definitely interested to hear your comments on this blog post. Many times I can’t publicly display them due to the nature but, if you keep it child friendly I can make them public.

Disclaimer; The idiot thing is a joke……….There are no dumb questions so ask away………


Bryan Lowry

All text and images are copyright protected ©Bryan Lowry/lavapix.com. Use without my permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.


16 thoughts on “Why?

  1. Why? It would be a shame to hike for hours and hours in harsh lava/forest terrain and only to come back with 10 pictures. For some, lava looks like lava and cant see the difference. For others, they can see whole lot of difference whether its focus, f-stops, exposures, brightness, timing, color, type of lava, porous, composition of lava, speed of lava and etc. I’ve taken many pictures of one area and people will not choose the same picture. What works for one will not work for the other. But everyone has that opportunity to choose when you have a lot of pictures. Documenting everything with your camera is important….well, to some of us. It tells a story and very useful information. For example, the Waikupanaha ocean entry. At different times, the littoral explosions would be at its peak as compared to other times. I would use the deformation tilt chart, tide charts, surf reports, weather reports and the time the picture was taken. It will give you an idea of when its best to be there. I have pictures where other photographers was on Waikupanaha mound. If they were there the day before, they would have all gotten wipe out and gone. It is in that one split second that one picture may make all the difference from the other and will stand out. If one would compare pictures from the past, present or at different sequential times, they would either see that the terrain had expanded or deflated. I see this in my time lapse pictures. Pictures tell a story. Keep on doing what you are doing…..it works and thanks…. Aloha….Errol

  2. I think your post proves you’ve been in them there hills too long and are just full of HOT AIR!

    Your cuz

  3. Oh!!! I thought you took one pic for the metal thing and one for the paper thing and one for the other thing you print them on.

  4. Oh man. Too many similar shots?! Geez. I guess I view that as weird thinking. It’s weird because isn’t everyone that follows your blog and looks at your pictures a lava fanatic like me…us? I LOVE looking at lava, and looking at lava pictures. Errol rightly points out that there are many differences between shots, too. And I can appreciate the documentation aspect as well. So fooey – I’d pay such comments no mind. Aloha from Aiea…

  5. Hey Jeremy,

    Thanks for the comment. In this one particular persons defense it wasn’t anything arrogant at all. Also it was someone responding to me posting a link to new images that really isn’t familiar with what I do. It was great they commented because it made me realize that many might not really understand. I’m sure us lava lovers are a weird bunch to many who have never seen it or had a chance to understand it. As you know I shoot during a time of day where light changes by the second. I like to show this in a series of shots. There may also be several different angles to show. That’s the most common reason. The other of course is something extraordinary going on over a period of several hours.

  6. I used to hike out to the sea entry when it was close and try to get the same shots but the bubbles kept changing.

  7. @Ron That’s so annoying when it does that :-)I try and shoot less then 50 photos total while out. Usually I shoot about 25. But, it takes great restraint to do so. If its some epic multi day event like when we were at Hwy 137 in July 2010, then its do I have enough cards and batteries……..Shoot now edit later because so much is going on. You need 2 or 3 cameras in those situations. Nice heavy rains there today.

  8. I dumped 1″ out of the guage this morning and it is still coming down. I will be on your side Fri & Sat and would take you to lunch if you are free. Maybe dinner would be better ???? I have no plans other than try to get two pic the same. I may just stand in the sun. How do you like the GO Pro now that it is old hat.

  9. @Ron Give me a call when your here. Whatever is best for you as to lunch or dinner. Lets hope its sunny on this side when your here…..

  10. Bryan – Aloha. You are patient and conscienctious for taking the time to explain what you are attempting to do with your many treks to the eruption sites and the outstanding and very comprehensive picture libraies of same. Keep up the great work and some day on my next visit to the Big Island, I’ll have to buy you a cold one! Mahalo from Michigan. REP

  11. Thank you REP. Very much appreciated. I don’t drink but, I’ll take you up on a nice smoothie. Enjoy the heat in MI……….Unreal lately…..

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