From time to time people ask me about volcano photography, especially about Hawaii, I provide my practical tips as follows:
- you should use a camera with metal chassis and good weather sealing
- you should prefer telephoto lenses of higher quality (important: high lens speed) and take a big variety along
- use max aperture during the blue hour
- at night I do prefer using ISO 100 and aperture 8 to 10 to avoid blooming.
- when being completely dark I avoid taking pictures due to missing details in landscape, at least there should be some moonlight!
- taking a very robust tripod is important especially for telephoto lenses: you could carry your rucksack with it and increase the tripods stability by the weight of the rucksack while walking
- use a long-distance trigger: a self-timer is also possible, but it will not allow you to control the exact trigger-moment
- if the time of exposure is quite long, then you should operate the rustle suppressor and turn off the picture-stabilization at the telephoto lenses
- snap your pictures in the RAW-size: it is amazing how much of details are still there especially with the night-time-photographs
- take some gloves with you, e.g. from the shopping centre for garden- or construction-materials, because especially lava is very sharp-edged
- always protect your camera from any impact of all kinds of volcanic gas, because it destroys every electronic equipment extremely quickly
- use blue hour to take pictures so you’ll still get enough details in the darker parts of the landscape
I wish you much pleasure in volcano photography!