Saturday, March 29, 2008

Before and after pictures of Kilauea's crater prior to its violent eruption

Kilauea volcano is still putting on a show as thousands of people make the trek to watch the lava flow into the ocean. At the top of the mountain geologists are keeping an eye on Halemaumau Crater.

That is where earlier this week a volcanic explosion blew rocks over a 75-acre area.

Scientists said it could explode again so some of the roads and lookouts remain closed.

Photographer Charlene Meyers was one of the last people to view the crater before the explosion early Wednesday morning. She took an extraordinary picture as the mountain neared the breaking point.

"I want everyone to know, it has not been doctored. It has not been touched period. It is exactly the way I shot it," Meyers told KGMB9.

Meyers is a volunteer at Hawaii Volcanos National Park and an avid photographer.

It was dark out when she snapped the photo of the crater, but she was able capture enough light by leaving the lens of her camera open for 72 seconds and by taking advantage of bright moon light.
"The crater can be seen. You can pick out the detail in the crater. The red glow, even though it's very bright, did not get totally blown out, meaning so bright that you lose everything about it. And then of course the stars came out. So to get those three ... and then the plume is beautiful," Meyers said.

Meyers has taken thousands of shots of lava. Some of them are so nice people have asked if they can buy them. So meyers, a confessed lava junkie, opened a
web site featuring some of her best stills.

"It's just exciting. You are watching new land being built for starters. You can stand there and the next thing you know, there's what we call a break out where lava has just opened up out of a crevasse and started to pour," she told KGMB9.

An active volcano provides opportunity for lots of quality shots, and now the Halemaumau Crater shot joins Meyers list of favorites.

For a look at more of Meyers pictures, watch the video version of this story, or visit her
web site.

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