Mauna Loa, the Earth’s largest shield volcano, and its neighboring dormant volcano, Mauna Kea, command Hawaii’s Big Island landscape. Since my arrival in Hawai’i, their captivating presence has stirred my curiosity. Both volcanoes hold sacred significance, are deeply embedded in Hawaiian culture, legends and its history.
Since 2019, I have embarked on numerous flights to the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea capturing the mystical landscapes that bear traces of the island’s ancient origins and their past eruptions. Historically, Mauna Loa has erupted only 33 times since 1843, with the last eruption occurring in 1984. Upon receiving news of its awakening and eruption, a moment I had eagerly anticipated since my initial flight to the summits, I felt compelled to document this historic event. These are only a few images of many that were captured just five days before the eruption ended. It was an incredible and profound moment witnessing the 12-mile lava flow down its flank.