Photograph of Hawaii volcanic phenomenon to go on display - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Photograph of Hawaii volcanic phenomenon to go on display

"Volcanic Vortices" by Bruce Omori "Volcanic Vortices" by Bruce Omori
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A spectacular image by a Hilo man who makes a living photographing Madame Pele's work will be recognized at the National Smithsonian.

Bruce Omori took the photo nearly four years ago. He had it all this time, but finally decided to submit the picture for consideration after much coaxing from his friends.

The image, called "Volcanic Vortices", was taken in the early morning hours in July 2009 at the Waikupanaha Ocean Entry.

Vortices are vapor funnel clouds that form off the volcano's steam plume, he says. Seven are visible in this photo, but Omori says he saw about a dozen in the same location just two weeks earlier. He missed out on that shot, but made sure he was ready the next time it happened.

"I started seeing all these vortices start forming again, and this time I didn't hesitate," Omori said. "I scrambled. I had my telephoto on my camera at the time. Scrambling through my bag, I grabbed the wide-angle and got out just in time to snap off a couple of frames."

Omori says that while the images are amazing to look at, his job is very dangerous and the general public should stay on guided tours when hoping to see lava.

"Volcanic Vortices" was selected out of 20,000 other submissions from around the world. It will go on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. in early June.

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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