Omori receives award from Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

‘Volcanic Vortices’ – Bruce Omori


Bruce Omori, owner of Extreme Exposures Fine Art Gallery in Hilo, has received the Windland Smith Rice International Award for his lava photo titled “Volcanic Vortices.”

His winning photograph was selected from almost 20,000 submissions from photographers in 46 countries. It will be displayed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s annual exhibition in June.

“I’m humbled by this experience, to stand with so many other great photographers is an honor,” Omori said. “I love what I do and to be recognized in this way leaves me a little speechless.”

“Volcanic Vortices” won the top honor in the Power of Nature category. Finalists from each of the 15 categories will be featured in the Fall/Winter edition of Nature’s Best Photography Magazine.

“On an early morning shoot at the Waikupanaha ocean entry, lava from the Kilauea volcano poured into the sea. This created a huge escape of steam, and as it rose, multiple vortices began spinning off of the huge plume,” Omori described in his photo submission description.

“A vortex or two is a pretty rare sight — but when one after another kept forming, my fumbling with the lenses turned into a panicked rush to switch my telephoto to wide angle lens to capture this awesome scene of seven vortices in a row,” he said.

Hawaii Island’s premier master photographers, Bruce Omori and Tom Kualii, are the owners of Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery in Hilo. They are photographers that live on the edge and go to extremes to create magnificent fine art pieces. They also lead exclusive private photography tours and workshops on Hawaii Island.

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