9-25-13 Discovery Channel


Well, I was planning on posting this later but, seeing I’m part of the official media release, I guess I can post it now.

In August of this year I was involved in a filming for Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet show. I took one of the hosts Ziya Tong out to the lava flow ocean entry. Yep, she was fortunate enough to spend the night hiking in the rain with a great looking guy. Think back to this when you read the part about sarcasm.

Of course there was the film crew too. They were a good bunch of people and we had a great time. The rainy weather I warned them about made sure not to disappoint. It rained quite often. This slowed us down so, we weren’t able to do everything that was planned but, now it gives Ziya a reason to come back. I think I did well with the filming. There were a few re-takes but, not many as the crew was very good at directing. Plus, having just filmed another show several months earlier, I pretty much knew what to expect. I would have liked to have been more my usual sarcastic self but, with the time crunch we were under I didn’t want to cause delays if they didn’t like what I had to say. Once the show airs I will tell you a few of the things I was about to say but, caught myself and was more cordial.

Overall the activity was subdued compared to what I’m use to but, plenty for the first timers. Don’t want to overwhelm people. Its happened before. We were very fortunate as the lava flow in that area stopped completely several days later and has yet to resume. The crew wasn’t up to my usual 15-20 mile hikes. They shouldn’t feel bad as few people are.

I haven’t seen the final show and most likely won’t until most of you do. Obviously the majority of you reading this don’t live in Canada but, not to worry. I believe it will also air online. Once I have that info I will post a link as an edit to this post.

They have me a part of their “Adrenaline Junkies” week. Now that really doesn’t describe me well because hiking the lava flows isn’t an adrenaline rush for me. Might be for those that on a rare occasion get to hike with me but, its much the opposite as I find the lava flows very relaxing. I guess to some degree there is adrenaline to get myself to drive 5 hours round trip, then many times hike 15-20 miles in the middle of the night and be out for 12-15 hours. Adrenaline and natural green tea certainly help.

I made sure they knew I was very much safety oriented and very well prepared. I’m pretty sure this is how I will be portrayed. ¬†I never want to be portrayed as one of those daredevil photographers at the lava flows. I know what I’m doing. There’s no need to be a daredevil. I’m not out for my 15 minutes of fame. Production companies approach me. If I like what they want to do, we do it. If not, I pass.

Several of my images are featured in the show along with some of my video clips.

I will be watching the segments of the four other guys mentioned in the release. Especially Garrett McNamara. I surf too but, nothing like what he does.

Once its online I will send out another alert. Check out the media release here. Media link might not be working. Show airs Oct 8 at 7 pm (EST).

***Watch online here***And or here too. The hosts talk briefly about the experience on the 2nd link. I’m in the second half of this clip.

Feel free to share a link to this post on your favorite social network.

The image below is Ziya and myself at the ocean entry (credit, Christine Mayall, Producer at Bell Media).

Ziya Tong and Bryan Lowry

Ziya Tong and Bryan Lowry

Aloha, Bryan Lowry lavapix.com All content is copyright protected ©Bryan Lowry/lavapix.com. Use without my permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.

5-05-13 Lava Flow Photos & Video 2-13-13


Yeah, its been a while since I posted anything. I’ve been plenty busy with hikes and all. Finding time to¬†process¬†my work is an issue.

This post relates to a hike back in Feb. A visit to the current ocean entry. It’s basically still in the same general area. The only difference now are the benches (New land) are larger. It was quite windy as always. We had ourselves a very windy winter on the Big Island of Hawaii. Or many now call it Hawaii Island. I also loaded a full HD video to my Vimeo page.

I met a couple of friends at the flow on this outing. It continues to be a nice short walk of maybe 45 minutes at best. Don’t let anyone fool you, its nothing difficult unless you hike from the park side at the end of Chain Of Craters Road. Then its about 14 miles round trip. An easy 3-4 miles on the Kalapana side.

You will see in some of my photos that people are going down onto the new land and to what they¬†perceive¬†as a new black sand beach. (Image posted below) Stay off of these areas. They aren’t even slightly safe. Just because you see others who are supposed lava experts doing it doesn’t mean its safe. That’s not a real beach. Its broken down lava rock on an unstable bench that is undercut and ready to collapse. Just watch in my video when the lava tour boat goes right up to that supposed beach. The waters deep and when the land goes, you go with it. If you understand all of this and still go there, good luck.

There are other hiking adventures I will post about once I’ve accomplished everything I’ve set out to do. This could take weeks or even months. Those posts will be much more detailed as the hikes were much more involved.

Enjoy and pass along this post to your friends.

Gallery link

Video link

People risking it all at Hawaii lava flow

People risking it all at Hawaii lava flow

Aloha, Bryan Lowry lavapix.com

All content is copyright protected ©Bryan Lowry/lavapix.com. Use without my permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.

12-06-12 Hawaii Kilauea Lava Flow Ocean Entry Nikon D800


I made another visit to the new ocean entry.

The entry has moved further east and as of this writing is spreading. For now there isn’t much of a bench being built. It’s not really vigorous enough to build the bench as fast as the ocean breaks it down. Of course this can all change quickly. One part is building more of a vertical bench. It was very windy as usual. Shot way too much video. Some of my images show a progression of two nice breakouts on the western entry. It didn’t last very long but, there were some nice chunks of lava falling down to the ocean.

I brought my big Sigma 120-300 mm 2.8 lens. Haven’t used it in nearly two years. Being that it’s a short hike and not as much water is needed, I decided to bring it along. It weighs 8 lbs. I wasn’t sure if the strong winds were going to lead to slightly blurry images while using such a big lens. All turned out great.

I’m still using my F-Stop Tilopa camera backpack. Also my Lowepro hipster bag on the¬†waist belt¬†for easy access to gear while on the move and for using while set up at a site. They both work well together.

No warnings this posting.

Click on the image below to visit the gallery. Video can be seen here.

In case you missed it, I added video from the previous hike to my volcano video page.


Hawaii Sunrise Lava Flow

Lava flowing over a 40′ sea cliff into the ocean.

Aloha, Bryan Lowry lavapix.com All content is copyright protected ©Bryan Lowry/lavapix.com. Use without my permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.

11-25-12 New Lava Ocean Entry & Nikon D800 DSLR


Well, the lava flow did finally reach the ocean. It’s maybe half a mile west of the old Waikupanaha ocean entry. It’s an easy walk of less than one hour.

Nothing ultra spectacular and in a difficult place for great close up viewing. Still great to see. The coastline is very sloped and can be dangerous. Viewing from further back to the east could be best. You can see this in my new photos. I spent most of my time on the western downwind side. Lots of lens cleaning but, I figured when others started arriving at sunrise none would venture over to that area. It worked out well. The flow was still shallow and plenty hot crossing but, nothing I haven’t done many times before. I also wanted the sunrise sky but, sunrise wasn’t very spectacular. It was nice though.

I didn’t shoot too many images even though I was out there from about 12 am Sunday through sunrise. Shot some nice video that I am starting to edit. The flow is still sluggish like they have been over the past year now. Not sure if this has enough volume to keep going. Get to it while you can. If your unsure of hiking to it yourself, I do on occasion take small tours but, we are out for long periods of time.¬†Information¬†can be found on my “Services” page. If a shorter excursion better suits you, I have references of private parties who live down there. This is an easy hike but, it’s still not for everyone.

For all of you Nikon D800 owners or Nikon/camera people in general, there’s a good chance this is the first time a lava flow ocean entry has been captured with a D800.

What I can tell you is it performs beautifully just as I had expected. I shot several night shots at up to 3200 ISO and they are very clean with only minimal noise reduction applied in Nikon’s Capture NX2. I shot between iso 100 and 3200 with most being in the 500-1000 range. Where the D800 really shines is exposure. I won’t get into exactly what I have the camera settings at. This isn’t a tutorial. I’m just letting you all know the camera is very capable in low light and very harsh contrast conditions. Many were concerned with the 36mp sensor and noise. What I find is it also depends on the lens used an under what lighting conditions.

Much of the night video was shot at very high iso’s up to 5000 and again it did great. No issues with battery life. I do carry 2 and only needed to switch over after sunrise.

When the short video sequences are finished and loaded I will update this post. Unfortunately all through sunrise a helicopter hovered low and right near the flow. So, that’s all one can hear. It wasn’t the usual tours as they arrive at 7:45 am daily. It also wasn’t a production company that I could see in my close up images. Just four people with point and shoot cameras from what I could see. Figured I might as well get photos and video of them as they were doing the same of me and the lava. Maybe Paul Allen’s people? His mega¬†yacht¬†has been in Kona for several days now. It does house two helicopters. Yes, its huge! I was hoping for at least one dinner invite while it’s in town. One of my lava flow metal prints would look good in it. Or it was just a local privately owned tour.

I have added a new lava flow video page on my website. For now a couple of crude time-lapse ones and a short video. All from recent lava hikes. Nothing fancy. I’m not trying to be some famous¬†Hollywood¬†producer.

This leads me to my “Don’t try to do what I do” rant.

Don’t try to be a famous film producer doing what I do unless you have lots of expendable funds and nothing better to do. Oh wait, I just said I’m not trying to be one…This is the type of warning you get from me when the lava flow is easy to get too. Do watch the HVNP lava safety video I posted on my website. Pay close attention to what they say about new land. Also know as benches or deltas.

Links to points of interest from this post.

11-25-12 Lava Ocean Entry Nikon D800 I noted the iso used on a few images in the caption information for you D800 users.

Volcano video page Update РVideo from this hike has been loaded to the page.

Lava viewing safety video


Hawaii adventure hiking

Hawaii lava flow entering the ocean after cascading over a 30′ sea cliff


Bryan Lowry lavapix.com

All content is copyright protected ©Bryan Lowry/lavapix.com. Use without my permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.

June 2009 Lava Flow Images

Aloha Everyone,

I’m happy to say that after numerous delays I have finally posted new photos from my last four lava flow adventures. Part of the delay was being out at the lava flows so often along with the need for a new PC set up to process all of the images. A big thanks to Akamai computers for their expert service.

Images marked with an x are generally my favorite picks. When I remember to do so.

Click on the links below after reading the brief intro to each gallery.

6-05-09 Waikupanaha

This was one of those rare beautiful nights weather wise out at the flows. The lava bench was very active with surface flows and dozens of lava cascades and lava spigots flowing over a small sea cliff. Even though constant surf pounded the lava, I had numerous opportunities to capture the flows. I’ve included a series of sequential shots to show the ever changing conditions. Take note of the nice depth in the photos even with all of the steam.

6-08-09-09 Waikupanaha

This visit included a brief stop at the summit eruption late in the evening on the 8th. It was extremely clear with a waning full moon. No wind or rain either. The great weather continued down at the Waikupanaha ocean entry. On this visit the ocean entry was explosive all night long and well into the morning. I’ve included a large number of images in this gallery to once again show the ever changing sights the lava offers. It was a beautiful sunrise with some explosive activity. Some small lava bubble explosions too.

6-18-09 Royal Gardens Lava

This by far was the most exciting adventure of the month. New flows had been active high on the pali for days and I was tracking them to the few remaining streets in what was left of eastern Royal Gardens subdivision. After a long hike I arrived at the intersection of King Ave and Paradise St just as the large Pahoehoe flow was arriving. Most of Paradise was gone to the east, including the Queen Ave intersection. The flow was moving fast and extremely hot over there so, I stayed on King Ave. The flow was clearing out the forest with a frenzy creating a large forest fire. High swirling winds made it all the more interesting. My respirator was the only reason I was able to stay and witness the event. I did forget my goggles so, I had to shut my eyes often. The burning toxic asphalt covered me and my gear with a thick black coating by sunrise. It also did a number on my camera. A big thanks to Lighthaus camera in Kona for the great job getting my sensor clean again. It was a mess. One of the times I was changing my lens the wind shifted sending hot amber’s deep into the camera. Many of the latter images in the gallery required tireless spot removal in photoshop. The fiery winds would engulf me throughout the night into the morning. Soon after sunrise I retreated back down to Orchid St and over to the Queen Ave and then up what was left of Queen to the eastern side of the active lava flow. I made my way up to what used to be Paradise St. It was now a huge inflating Pahoehoe flow that was way to hot to cross over. The flow was making it’s way towards Queen Ave. It took me nearly three hours to clean up from that hike. You’ll know why when you see my self portraits.

6-21-09 Royal Gardens Lava

This was a return visit to the Royal Gardens flow to see the aftermath and destruction. Queen Ave was gone and only a small section of Orchid St remained. King Ave was also gone. Several night lava flow shots along with a sequential series at sunrise. Also, lava covering the Queen and Orchid intersection. It rained most of the night and morning on this hike.

On a serious note, don’t venture into these areas! I have more experience then most anyone in these conditions and my knowledge of the areas is extreme. There are real dangers out there for the inexperienced. Besides, everything is now gone so, there’s nothing left to see.

Don’t forget to visit the galleries to see some of the new images as prints. Along with many other favorites. Trudy’s Island Arts in the Kona International Market and Krazy About Kona in the Kona Inn ¬†shopping village in town. Also, Kona Mountain Coffee across from Pine Trees on the Hwy. I’ll be at the Kona Stroll this Sunday the 26th too. I hope to have some new prints there.

Feel free to comment on my images either on this blog or my website. Good or bad, I can take it ūüôā

Bryan Lowry

All text and images are copyright protected ©Bryan Lowry/lavapix.com. Use without my permission is prohibited.
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5-17-09 Lava and 4-15-09 Kua Bay


It took me a while but, I’m slowly catching up on my photos. This update has images from my 5-17-09 active lava flow hike.

5-17-09 Waikupanaha

I went out with exploration in mind. The Kupapau ocean entry was subdued and the pali was dark so, I returned to the Waikupanaha ocean entry. The person in several of the images was filming with a high end Sony HD video camera. The footage was for a future National Geographic show. There were continous surface flows on the new land that poured into the ocean. Sunrise was colorful and the activity carried past sunrise. Waves were breaking on the newly formed black sand beach.

More updated lava images will follow in the coming weeks.

4-15-09 Kua Bay Kekaha Kai state park

It was a nice quiet day at the beach. I decided to do several slow shutter speed shots for some blured motion to the ocean.

Thank you to all who purchased prints from me at the two Art Fairs on the weekend of June 13-14 2009!

Bryan Lowry

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