At the request of University of California Observatories and W. M. Keck Observatory, I was honored to make two photographic expeditions to the Island of Hawaiʻi in 2007. Most of that time was spent not on the beach but rather on the slopes and summit of the Island's highest volcano.
I wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. My assistant and I were most fortunate to have had the opportunity to photograph on the mountain.
Mahalo nui loa to all Mauna Kea Observatories for their encouragement and support of my photographic endeavors, and for allowing their facilities to appear in these images. Sincere gratitude is extended to W. M. Keck Observatory and University of California Observatories astronomers and staff, as well as Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station (VIS) Rangers and staff for their generous and invaluable assistance in producing these images.Mauna Kea holds profound religious and cultural significance for Native Hawaiians. It embodies their divine ancestral origins and connection to Creation. At 13,796 feet / 4,205 meters in elevation on the Island of Hawaiʻi, it last erupted about 4400 years ago. The now-dormant volcano is only 120 feet higher than its active neighbor Mauna Loa 27 miles to the south. Seen from below and framed by palm trees and azure waters, the snow-cloaked summit of Mauna Kea inspires awe and veneration—its Hawaiian name means "White Mountain". The star-filled sky above offers unsurpassed clarity for some of the world's most advanced telescopes as they unravel mysteries of the universe. Upon its flanks are hallowed Hawaiian sites, ancient paths, rare plants and animals, and a unique and fragile ecosystem. Please walk gently and respectfully on Mauna O Wākea, the Sacred Mountain of Hawaiʻi.
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