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Hilo Gallery Owner, Photographer Earns National Recognition

November 16, 2015, 9:40 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 6:03 PM
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Bruce Omori, Big Island photographer and co-owner of Hilo’s Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery, was recently nationally recognized by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History for his lava photo, “Ribbons in the Sky.”

The photograph, which was selected from nearly 20,000 submissions, won the Windland Smith Rice International Award. “Ribbons in the Sky” is being displayed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in a gallery that opened on Oct. 24.

Omori was presented the award in Washington, D.C. during a formal ceremony alongside other award winners.

“It’s such a tremendous honor to receive this award again, as many previous WSR winners are the very photographers who have been my source of inspiration over the years,” Omori said. “I’m truly grateful for the work they’ve done and continue to do, and humbled to share this experience with so many other talented photographers in this competition as well.”

Omori says the early morning light gave balance to the image shot of ribbons of lava against its contrasting background.


“Ribbons in the Sky” was the winning entry in the Art in Nature category.


“Lava bubbles are definitely one of my favorite aspects of volcanic activity, as its infrequent and unpredictable nature make it difficult, yet exhilarating to shoot,” Omori said. “The bursts are so spontaneous, there is no way to plan for a precise composition, and this 50 to 60 foot wide bubble was no exception.

“I’m just so thoroughly blessed to have the opportunity to witness, let alone photograph, this incredible living and breathing planet we dwell on, from this perspective…at home, here in Hawai’i!”

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