Tears of Pele – Lava Drone Film from Hawaii


It has been a dream for three years. To finally return to a volcanic eruption. To get back there with proper gear, proper experience and courage. And drones. Ever since the Holuhraun eruption I fought with myself – back in the days I was not prepared. I did not have the right gear (yes, sometimes gear matters), I did not have the right experience. My old Phantom 2 was just not on top of things to capture this event adequately and I was not courageous enough to risk it all.

But not this time. For three years I trained for this moment. For 3 years I practiced, failed and learned. And when our guide Erik told us that the flows in Kilauea will be outside the Volcano National Park boundaries (which is a drone no-fly zone) I was thrilled.

When we hiked to the Pali and the hill came close we could see the red glowing lava in the distance. As we arrived at the foot of the hill suddenly flows started all over the place. Branching into arms, recombining and branching again.

It was the one and only film that made me have tears in my eyes when editing. At this moment I think that the last shot is the best drone shot I ever captured. And I cannot imagine what I could capture on this planet, in this life, that would be on top of this shot.

October 7th, 2017. Kilauea volcano, Big Island, Hawaii. Shot during the trip with my friend @erez
Guide: Kilauea Eco Guides
Gear: Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon 70-200 2.8, DJI Phantom 4 Pro, DJI Mavic Pro

Legal Note: These drone shots were captured outside the Hawaiʻi-Volcanoes National Park NFZ and within FAA drone regulations (line of sight, 400ft, not operated near manned aircraft).

– Daniel Hausmann


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