Photographer Tom Kualii shoots beautiful images of the divergent colors of lava. Kualii is an imaginative photographer who was born and grew up in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. Kualii spent most of his younger years making drawings using various methods and materials as his medium of expression.
Obviously drawings are not his only skill, seeing these images of lava meeting the ocean in the Big Island of Hawaii. Kualii has always enjoyed expressing his creativity through art, but it was not until after a stint in Iraq that he started a love affair with photography.
While in Iraq he was able to capture the beauty of the country despite the chaos of war. Once back home in Kualii he continued to hone his skills in photography, focusing the passion on what he calls “the theatre that is Kalapana; The vast playground of the Hawaiian Goddess, Pele.” Pele is the goddess of lighting, wind, fire, and volcanoes, from an indigenous Hawaiian religion and is reputed for her profound love and creative passion.
Kualii take pleasure in risky conditions and courting adventure through his examination and exploration of Hawaii.
He also sees a link to his Hawaiian roots in his work, saying,
“The Big Island is a treasury of extremes, ranging from lush windward tropical forests to soaring volcanic peaks, from the plains of Waimea, to the cliff-walled valley of Waipo; from the lunar desolation of Ka’u, to the ancient settlements of Kona, Kohala and Puna, the Big Island covers it all, and I cover the Big Island.”
Journeying over hallowed, dangerous and raw topography during nightfall makes Kualii surrender most of his control to fate. His photography sojourns transcend mere adventure, becoming a mystical experience. He has been making these perilous visits several times a week for six years now, having begun in March of 2008, capturing the glorious lava flows.
See Kualii’s exciting images of molten and cold lava here.