Alexandre Socci specializes in thrill-seeking photography. These aren't just your regular, adrenaline pumping LED wakeboarders or arctic scuba divers.Oh no, Socci recently photographed professional kayakers Pedro Oliva, Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic as they paddled around an active volcano in Hawaii.
So in addition to the turbulent ocean, these guys were dealing with the unpredictable nature of spewing lava. Socci describes the process:
"We got out of bed at 3:30 AM to be in the harbor at 4 AM and get there at 5:45 AM, before sunrise, to get the best light to see the lava and the kayaks on water. We got there and for the first 20 minutes we were just looking at everything and trying to figure out what to do... then Pedro decided to get on his kayak and go for it.... We didn't expect that. As a water photographer myself I was trying to get into the water but it was impossible, the water was about 90 degrees Celsius and there were lots of lava particles floating that could burn anything in seconds... even the kayaks came out of the water with some 'scars' from the floating lava!!!"
Team leader Olivia was fully aware of the risks involved in this photo expedition and even caught his oar on fire at one point.
"I hope people don't see these images and think that it is safe to paddle so close to the lava because really it's not safe at all," recalls Olivia.
But, they did it anyway and the results are incredible.
(All images by Alexandre Socci.)