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Hot molten lava explodes upon contact with the sea just before daybreak. New land was forming before my eyes.

Photographing in these lurching seas was akin to riding a bucking bronco. Heat from the lava cascading into the sea was intense plus sulfur gas filled the air while at the back of my mind a little voice prayed the boat’s engines would not conk out.

May 14, 2010

Big Island of Hawaii, USA

Canon 7D, Canon 100-400mm lens, shutter 1/1250, f/4.5, exposure bias 1.33, shutter priority, focal length 105mm, ISO 3200, boat

It is my sincere wish that visitors to my portfolio experience the beauty and wonder of nature. Moreover my hope is that my photographs will inspire viewers to be proactive toward the protection of wildlife and its habitat, those efforts ultimately making a far better world for all beings.

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  • Evelyn Bach
    Evelyn Bachover 3 years ago

    Gina, this is absolutely incredible! What a sight to witness!

  • Thank you, Evelyn. It was quite a sight. Lava was flowing on the Big Island but the only way to view it was from the water or the air. If you ever can see cooperative lava from the water I recommend a dawn outing for a longer period of darkness for viewing plus the sea is much more calm at daybreak. Bring waterproof gear for you and your gear…:-))

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Betty Mackey
    Betty Mackeyover 3 years ago

    What a terrific capture! I am glad you are safe. Too close for comfort!

  • Hi, Betty! Thank you for dropping by for a look. The boat operator was very careful but I still tried not to think of what would happen if the boat engines died. Take care, Gna

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Karen Karl
    Karen Karlover 3 years ago

    Wow, that’s crazy! Awesome shot!!

  • Lava bombs are really beautiful…..if seen from a distance. :-O thanks or stopping by. Gina

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • CJTill
    CJTillover 3 years ago


  • Thanks…i still recall this was like riding a bucking bronco with the boat bouncing around so much. Thank goodness for digital cameras. The shutter was clicking away with abandon while trying to snap at least one decent photo. Best, Gina

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Linda Jackson
    Linda Jacksonover 3 years ago

    Talk about duck and cover! I think I would have been running the other way girlfriend!!!
    Great catch! Take good care! Linda

  • You’re too funny. I actually did his twice, once at dusk and also at dawn but the dawn visit was best for color and length of time spent in the darkness with red hot lava. It’s a bit spooky to be enveloped in the cloak of night with only the light of lava illuminating one’s world. Hugs, G PS I keep pining for the smell of whale breath…:-))

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • David Friederich
    David Friederichover 3 years ago

    OMG, so much more spectacular. What a series!

  • Hi, David. This was fun to experience. Good grief, I saw a few people standing on freshly formed lava ledges while trying to get photos of molten lava at the edge of the sea. Now that’s really dangerous as those fragile ledges often collapse. Cheers! G

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • joycee
    joyceeover 3 years ago

    Stunning capture Gina!

  • Thanks so much! Glad you popped in for a look. Hugs, G

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Adam Bykowski
    Adam Bykowskiover 3 years ago

    Fantastic shot and commend you bravery on being there.

  • Adam, thank you. Naw, I wasn’t brave at all. I just hoped the boat wouldn’t smash on the newly formed lava…:-O if lava is flowing, this is a rewarding excursion to take. Happy Summer to you! Gina

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Martin Smart
    Martin Smartover 3 years ago

    Wow, what an incredible shot Gina, brilliant work, you must have felt a tad shaky after this!!

  • Hi, Martin. Well I admit to being a bit shaky from waves tossing me about but mostly I felt a soggy and sulfurous from the stinging volcanic gasses. It is a zany thing to do but overall the views of volcanic activity were worth the effort. Take care! G

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Ann Warrenton
    Ann Warrentonover 3 years ago

    July 5,2011 Wow!

  • Thank you for this lovely honor! Happy Dancing! Gina

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

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