We've been following SmugMug Films' ongoing behind-the-lens series which provide a look at people who follow their passions in photography. The latest installment features Hawaii-based duo CJ Kale and Nick Selway, who have spent the last ten years photographing volcanic lava flows in their home state.
We asked the pair a few question about how they got started and how they stay out of harm's way in their line of work. Here's what they said.
How did each of you get started as photographers?
CJ: I started photographing when I was a kid with a camera my mom gave me to get started. It was an Olympus that used a 1/2 wind, great for learning exposure on film. I fell in love with photography and did it as a hobby for years, later I pursued it as a career. Photographing the lava and off of boats where I later met Nick Selway and we opened or first gallery together about 10 years ago.
Nick: I always had a love for the outdoors. Later in college I took some photography classes and learned that I had a natural eye. I needed to learn the camera and the technical aspects of photography, and school did that for me.
You work in some precarious, often dangerous settings. How do you choose what gear you take with you?
We will choose gear that is need to capture the particular shot or shots that we are going for. Unfortunately due to weight we can't always carry all the safety gear we would like to have. Water is important but sometimes first aid is miles away. Camera gear takes precedence
|Photo by CJ Kale and Nick Selway - Lava Light Galleries|
What gear do you shoot with most frequently?
Due to the cost of film we shoot mostly digital but when conditions are right we love to shoot off a few frames of 4x5 film for the resolution.
What kinds of precautions do you take when shooting near active volcanos?
First we bring water as it is easy to get dehydrated out there. Next, a mask for the fumes. Good shoes are important, and then the most important thing is knowledge of the volcano and its dangers, which can only be learned over time from someone who has learned it before you.
|Photo by CJ Kale and Nick Selway - Lava Light Galleries|
Have you ever set up a shot and decided 'no this is too dangerous'?
In our line of work we come across many images that we would like to capture but the conditions just do not allow for. Knowing these conditions can be the difference between life or death out there.
What tips would you give a beginner interested in photographing volcanoes?
The best tip is to go with a knowledgeable guide that will keep you safe. After that, our best advice is to bring a good tripod to allow you to be creative with your exposures. Always keep a keen eye on changes in the landscape that occur constantly and adapt to them.
How do you stay inspired as photographers and artists?
With mother nature there is never a lack of inspiration - there is just not enough time in this life to capture all we have been inspired by.
How do you define success?
Capturing an image that gives someone the feeling of the area that we were at and conveys the beauty and spirit of the landscape to its viewer.
Check out the latest video above and subscribe to the SmugMug Films YouTube channel and get first access to each new episode. SmugMug plans to release a new clip once a month.
May 26, 2017
May 25, 2017
May 23, 2017
May 23, 2017
QuickStories is integrated into the latest version of the GoPro app and automatically creates 'stories' using the video clips you've shot during a day.
Journalists photographing a protest in the US Capitol building claim they were told by Capitol Police to delete photos and videos of arrests.
The Meizu Pro 7 Plus secondary display can be used for music playback, date and weather-related information, or as viewfinder when taking selfies with the rear cameras.
Nikon is marking its 100th anniversary in many ways, including the creation of a new scholarship program for 'future visual creators' in the USA and Canada.
Take one Digital ELPH (or IXUS), rotate it vertically, add a fully articulating LCD and a lens with a camcorder-like focal length, and what do you get? Why, the Canon PowerShot TX1, of course. In this week's Throwback Thursday we revisit Canon's one-of-a-kind hybrid stills/video camera.
Just in case there was any doubt in your mind, here's the definitive video proof that yes, a $50,000 cinema camera beats the pants off a $50 camcorder in a side-by-side test.
Photographers who fly frequently in the US may want to finally invest in that TSA Pre-check status: in standard security lines, cameras and all other electronics larger than a smartphone will need to be placed in a separate bin for screening.
Images have appeared which claim to show Nikon's forthcoming D850 DSLR, the development of which was announced this week. If genuine, the pictures indicate that the D850 will offer illuminated controls and a tilting LCD screen, but no built-in flash.
To celebrate the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 lens' successful Kickstarter campaign, Lomography has announced a chrome-plated version of the lens in Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts.
Nikon just released four new firmware updates, adding features and fixing bugs in the D600, D610, D750 and the KeyMission 80.
It probably hasn't made your landscape photography bucket list just yet, but there's a good reason to visit Idaho. Here are 9 must-visit locations in this beautiful state.
Oops... Adobe accidentally leaked their unfinished Lightroom-powered cloud-based photo editor 'Project Nimbus' to some Creative Cloud users yesterday.
Storm chaser and award-winning photographer Mike Oblinski just released his latest time-lapse, and it is absolutely stunning.
Looking to level up your video capture capabilities without buying a whole new camera? Blackmagic's Video Assist 4K is well worth considering, despite a few flaws and its lack of 4K/60p support.
We're big fans of Fujifilm's fast-growing GFX system, and the GF 110mm F2 lens is no exception. Positioned as the system's classic portrait lens, its optics are just as impressive with non-human subjects as well.
Nikon turns 100 years old today, and the company is celebrating with a wacky music video, some tributes to its history, and a new vision presented by president Kazuo Ushida.
Phottix just released the Premio Parabolic Umbrellas series, replacing their Para-Pro line with a stronger, deeper and better made set of parabolic umbrellas.
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.
Popular YouTube channel TastyTuts has put together this 33-video Beginner's Guide to Adobe Photoshop—a godsend for anybody who wants to learn Photoshop from scratch.
The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290/$300 when it goes on sale in mid-August.
A new iOS app called Explorest wants to help you find new locations to shoot. It's limited to Singapore for now, but the app is packed full of useful location scouting features.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
Nikon has announced the development of the long-awaited replacement to its full-frame D810: the D850. Nikon says that the D850 will build on the strengths of its predecessor and offer 'new technologies, features and performance enhancements.'
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.