Inside a lava cave

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1200*C - 2000*F is how hot the yellow flowing lava at the back of this cave, and about 800*f in the orange-red parts… Shot with a 24-70mm lens.

I was shooting into the lower end of a large square shaped fissure that had a cave at the back end. Surface lava was flowing from the top down into back end and sides of the cave & fissure; pooling together and moving toward me while rolling and twisting into pahoehoe bands. The fissure walls kept the advancing lava fluid much longer than it would have been across a surface exposed to more air.

Yes it was very difficult and hot to get this image. I took it recently while documenting the continuing lava flows on the south slopes of the Island of Hawaii.

Crick3, Duncan Speight, and 131 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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  1. Chrissie2003 38 months ago | reply

    So amazing to see something like that.

    Some like it hot, eh Leigh?

  2. notnA 37 months ago | reply

    This is amazing. But isn't it also dangerous?

  3. Rex Maximilian 37 months ago | reply

    You must have super lungs! Every time I go to the volcano and get around lava, I come back with a bad chest flu that lasts for a couple of weeks!

    Oh, and friggin' amazing image bruddah!

  4. cirque de lumière 37 months ago | reply

    WOW!! That's very close to the action! : )

    Amazing shot!

  5. Peggy Collins 37 months ago | reply

    Wow, this is just unreal! A spectacular shot. You know, I keep seeing the cave walls as trees and the darker shape at the back makes me think of a sailboat. I'm sure this would look amazing blown up into a big print.

  6. Hoot1 37 months ago | reply

    Awesome shot!

  7. tsubame 36 months ago | reply

    OK, this just takes the cake and eats it! Whoa! I need to see this on a computer monitor and not on my phone screen!

  8. violetflm 36 months ago | reply

    This is so interesting!

  9. Jude's Jewels 36 months ago | reply

    What to say? I'm in awe of what you did to get this mind blowing amazing shot. Wow.... I'm stunned....

  10. jcowboy 35 months ago | reply

    Spectacular! Just don't get yourself killed trying to get one of these shots, Leigh!

  11. steve-jack 35 months ago | reply

    Please cook for 5 minutes + 1 minute per 1kg for a medium rare photgrapher... Great shot!

  12. Sparky2* 35 months ago | reply

    Oh, wow, Leigh ... wait til Zachary sees this one! I wish I'd had a recording of him talking to his friend the other day ... telling him about "this guy my Nana "knows" in Hawaii where the volcanoes are and he gets all these pictures and man, they are sooo awesome - you have to see ...!!!"

  13. SparkyLeigh (Right-click images, open new window) 35 months ago | reply

    Thanks for so many supportive comments you guys!!

    @ Susan, I just printed this shot on canvas at 40x60-inches-- it's amazing~ :)

  14. Sparky2* 35 months ago | reply

    Leigh, you said: "(I recently had that lava cave image enlarged onto canvas at nearly 40x60-inches-- it really looks amazing. I enlarge all my good lava prints for my gallery but this one is hanging on my home wall right next to me :) Thanks :)"

    Well ... that would be the most perfect image for the cover of your next book. You standing next to the huge print of this in your home. Wow. I'm just so thrilled at all your well deserved successes!!

  15. ~MissLilly~ 25 months ago | reply

    wow this is really unique, it's something we don't see everyday, outstanding work!

  16. BlueisCoool 25 months ago | reply

    Very nice capture - congrats!

  17. Sigrid Klop 17 months ago | reply

    how very, very, very, very, and... very special

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