Monday, December 12, 2016

Kīlauea Iki Walk

It only took me two and half months, but I finally got around to sorting out my photos and videos from my Labor Day trip to Volcanoes National Park with some friends. I took my old phone along and shot some video footage with it, which I've edited down into a short video showing some of the things we saw along the way. I switched a lot between photos and videos throughout the hike, so I don't really have full coverage with either. It was kind of an experiment.

We decided to hike the Kīlauea Iki trail, which I've hiked twice before, in the opposite direction from the past times I've done it. In the past we'd gone around the rim first, then down the far end, across the crater floor, and back up the steep trail to get back to the trail head at the end. This time we did the opposite, and I enjoyed it a lot more: we went down the steepest part of the trail first, instead of up it at the end of a four-mile walk. It's interesting how much it changes the feel of the trail, and I enjoyed it a lot more (though that may also have had something to do with the weather, which was absolutely amazing).

This picture comes from the crater floor, just after reaching it from the steep trail that switchbacks down the eastern crater wall. It looks across the crater floor, showing the trail we would soon follow in order to ascend the other end of the crater.

This picture shows the main Kīlauea caldera, with the Halemaʻumaʻu crater releasing gasses in it. I should mention that I'm experimenting with a new program called Raw Therapee for processing the raw images from my DSLR, so the color balance on some of these photos may be a little off as I play around with various settings. I'm pretty sure I don't remember those gasses being quite so bright blue, for instance (though I suppose the blue must've been there for Raw Therapee to bring out). This picture was taken after climbing out of Kīlauea Iki crater, and taking a short hike off the trail we were primarily following over to the rim of the main Kīlauea caldera. (“Iki,” by the way, means “small” in Hawaiian.)

After that, we started hiking back along the rim of Kīlauea Iki crater, which has a lot of excellent points for looking out over it. This picture shows Puʻu Puaʻi (“gushing hill”), created by the lava fountains of Kīlauea Iki's 1959 eruption.

We walked up close to the base of Puʻu Puaʻi, near the center of the image, on our way across the crater floor, where I got the following image:

I made a small vertical panorama showing the view from near the base of the hill, and caught my friend Graham in the foreground for scale. It's very imposing standing in the hollow there, with the mass of the hill looming over your head, acutely aware that the lava involved in this eruption emerged from right around where you are.

As mentioned, here's a short video I put together from various bits of footage I had. I took more at the beginning, and it's not very consistent, and the first half or so is only in 420p, and I apologize for the shakiness, but I thought it had some neat moments, such as watching the shadows of clouds race across the crater floor. As I said, it's kind of an experiment. Hope you enjoy it. A hui hou!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing that video. Those are sights I'll probably never see. The video gives them a dimension that the stills can't. Not that I want to discourage you from posting stills! :)

    1. You're welcome! And thanks for the kind words. I agree there are certain things that just work better in motion, and I'm finally starting to get the capability to better show them that way. I intend to keep working in both mediums in the future. :)


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