Alexandre Hec, France
When the golden lava flow from Kilauea on Hawaii’s Big Island periodically enters the ocean, the sight is spectacular. Kilauea – meaning ‘much spreading’ – is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and has been in constant eruption since 1983.
As red-hot lava reaching temperatures of more than 1000 degrees Celsius (1832 degrees Farenheit) flows into the sea, vast plumes of steam hiss up, condensing to produce salty, acidic mist or rain.
Alexandre witnessed the action one day and decided to return in an inflatable boat the following evening. There he found that a new crater had already formed close to the shore. Capturing the furious action in a rough sea was no easy task. From 100 metres (328 feet) away, he was blasted with heat and noise “like a jet taking off,” he says.
In a moment of clear visibility his perseverance paid off, with a dramatic image of glowing lava being tossed 30 metres (98 feet) into the air. Nikon D300, Nikon 70–200mm f/2.8 lens, 1/350 sec, f/4, ISO800
© Alexandre Hec / Wildlife Photographer of the Year