The word is out. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is quickly becoming a household name, thanks to a pretty intense beginning to 2017. Starting on New Year’s Eve, the Kīlauea Volcano’s Kamokuna ocean entry was shooting a heavy stream of lava into the ocean. Usually, the lava would cool, and the amazing show would be over within a day or two. But, the lava didn’t cool, and the massive flow of lava kept coming. And coming. And coming. Photographers got word, and before I knew it, many photographers that I follow on my Facebook were posting incredible captures, some even with the Milky Way and moon looming in the background.
Of course, the Pattiz brother’s behind “More Than Just Parks“ was there as well, but their content was a welcome difference from what I had been seeing. While they did focus on the fiery lava, the team wasn’t limited to just photographing it and they traveled throughout the park, showing us that Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is much more than just lava.
Having been in awe of this National Park for quite a while, I wanted to get more information from Jim about his experience of creating the latest film for “More Than Just Parks.”
It was a nice change of pace to see you explore the entire National Park, showing us there is so much more to this park than just the lava flow. Was it hard forcing yourself to branch off into different locations knowing that awesome lava flow was still going hard?
Yes it was definitely difficult pulling ourselves away from that incredible lava flow. Although to be completely honest we were forced out of there each time by clouds of hazardous gas spewing from the lava as it hit the ocean.
Have you ever worked in an environment where the park’s conditions change so rapidly and can even be dangerous?
No it’s safe to say we have never worked in such rapidly changing and dangerous conditions. It’s important to watch the winds and follow the recommendations and requirements of the park. Lava is a serious thing, and it’s awesome to see, but it can also be very dangerous.
If the lava stopped flowing, would you recommend visiting the park for everything else that it has to offer?
Great question! Yes without a doubt I would recommend it regardless of the lava flow. There’s so much to see. The Thurston Lava Tube is really cool and set back in a rainforest where you can find rare birds and a respite from the harsh volcanic landscape. There’s also an area along the coast with over 23,000 petroglyphs that are incredibly fascinating to look at and explore.
Ok, we are sold. Volcanos, rain forests and tropical weather? You won’t have to twist our arms.