For these photographers, capturing Mauna Loa’s fiery show is the opportunity of a lifetime

"Seeing earth create new land and just this whole process is just, it's humbling."
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 5:46 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2022 at 10:49 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As soon as Mauna Loa woke up from its near 40-year slumber, veteran volcano videographer Mick Kalber didn’t waste any time getting to the summit for the images of a lifetime.

“Yesterday was really, really good. Today was epic,” Kalber said. “Today was just off the hook.

“The most incredible thing I’ve shot. It’s one of them, right up there.”

Kalber spent Tuesday morning shooting the lava fountains at the northeast rift zone. “The flow had to be five miles long,” Kalber described. “Fissure, just lines of fountains and splatter cones, it’s just nuts.”

Like Kalber, award-winning photographer Bruce Omori flew to Mauna Loa twice in the last two days and said the sight is mesmerizing.

“Shooting out of the ground and just creating these immense rivers of lava flowing down the slope,” Omori said. “It’s mind-blowing.”

Both Kalber and Omori have spent decades tracking the magic of Hawaii’s volcanoes. And for as many helicopter shoots and photos they’ve captured, the moment never gets old and puts a lot into perspective.

“A lot of people say I don’t know why you would want to do that. Why would you want to live in a place where you have a chance of losing your house?” Kalber said.

“But the fact of the matter is, places like this that are volcanic, they’re alive.”

Omori echoed those sentiments and is planning on flying up to Mauna Loa as much as possible while this eruption window is open.

“Seeing Earth create new land and just this whole process is just, it’s humbling,” Omori said. “We’re just temporary beings on this planet.”