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Week 24 Winner

The winner of Week 24 of our #52weeksofnature photo contest is Ehitu Keeling. From pure beauty to absolute destruction, nothing is more impressive than the raw power of Mother Nature. Ehitu has won a $100 gift code to hippytree.com and we are donating $100 to the Surfrider Foundation on his behalf. Learn more about Ehitu below.

Where was the image shot?
The town of Pahoa on Hawaii's Big Island. I captured it right before the lava took out my cousin's house. That's how I was able to access the area that was restricted to the public.

What camera did you use and what were the settings?
Camera: Canon 5D MK III
Lens: Canon EF 35mm
Shutter Speed: 1/200
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 1000

Was there any special preparation required to capture the photo?
I didn't really have time to prepare as everything was kind of in a hurry. The lava was flowing a lot faster than it looked. This is a handheld shot; there was no time for a tripod. The lava was so bright it provided enough light and allowed me to shoot this handheld without any blur.

How long have you been shooting?
I have been taking photos since I was able to use a disposable camera in 2nd grade. I loved taking pictures at the beach when we went camping. From my dad fishing and bringing in the catch, to the get-togethers around the fire roasting marshmallows and watching sunsets. In 2nd and 3rd grade I won Kodak awards from my elementary school.

What’s your favorite subject matter to shoot?
My absolute favorite thing to shoot is lava, then surf, and last but not least astrophotography.

Do you shoot with a crew or shoot solo?
It depends. I like to have someone with me when shooting lava because it’s unpredictable and I want someone watching out for me. When it comes to surf photography I like to be solo because I don't like disclosing my secret spots. When out at night shooting astrophotography I like to have friends or other photographers with me to talk story.

What excites you about photography?
Living in Hawaii! We live in the most photogenic place in the world and I love every part of it.

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