A history and background of Extreme Exposure Photography on the Big Island of Hawaii

Aloha! E komo mai! As true Big Island natives, we strive to capture the essence and spirit of our island in every image we shoot, from explosive volcanic action to soothing seascapes.

The wonder and beauty of this tropical paradise, the same surroundings that have captivated our ‘ohana for generations, will be sure to leave a lasting impression upon you as well. Welcome to our home, as we share a part of it with you!



Bruce Omori Photographer


About Bruce Omori

Bruce Omori is a photographer based in Hilo, Hawai‘i. Although he has been shooting full-time for just several years, his passion for the craft developed long ago. As a kid, it began as a fascination with the magical ability of film to capture a moment of time, being able to hold it in your hand, slip it in your pocket, and share it with the world… at school.

That fascination is still very much alive today, as Bruce strives to infuse elements of the moment into each frame, such as emotion, energy, and beauty, with the creative use of light and movement. His easy-going, unassuming personality and fondness for the ‘aina are also reflected in his work. From portraits of surfers on the beach to photos of native Hawaiian honeycreepers deep in the rainforest, he captures an integral part of life in Hawai‘i from a local perspective.

After spending 24 years with an engineering firm on Oahu, Bruce kissed life in corporate America goodbye and moved back to his hometown of Hilo with his family to pursue this passion, and continues to artistically interpret his view of our beautiful island home through the lens.

Message from the artist:

“Born and raised on the Big Island, I took a lot for granted, as I was terribly oblivious to much around me… the beauty of our landscape, our extremely exotic native plants and animals, and the wonderful people who call Hawai‘i, home. Only as I moved to “da big city” of Honolulu has my love and appreciation of our islands grown. Sitting in traffic, standing in lines, and surrounded by concrete, my thoughts drift off to a time when life was simple and pure, landscapes clean and uncluttered…

“Through these images I’ve captured, my desire is to share with you, the beauty I see, the Hawai‘i I love. E hui pu i kealapono – Please join me on my journey of rediscovery!”

About Tom Kualiʻi

Island native, born and reared in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. Having an acute interest in nature, I spent much of my earlier years drawing using different materials and techniques to express what I see. I enrolled in a number of art classes at the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Community College, one of which was photography taught by renown artist, Linus chao. It was my first introduction to the professional use of the camera. However it was not until I was deployed to Iraq that I truly discovered the fascinating world of photography.

During my tour in Iraq, I spent my “down time” looking for the beauty amid the chaos of war. Armed with a “Canon” of a different sort, I exposed grand sunsets and fluid waves of endless sand on photo paper. I stilled the movement of animals and insects unfamiliar to a Native Hawaiian. And, I encouraged and captured smiles on faces that otherwise expressed fear and sorrow. Having a lifelong fascination of fighter jets and combat helicopters, I would often take pictures of them. One particular photograph of a row of resting Apache Helicopters nestled among protective barricades on an airfield in Balad won me a grand prize in a photo contest. I was awarded a custom-built Harley Davidson upon my return to Hawaii after my tour was over. That really spiked my interest in photography and has since been intent on developing my talent and creativity.

Back in the Islands, I have become a progressively advancing professional photographer, having focused my lens on athletes of all ages on many courts and fields, including professional athletes in many sports. I have photographed aspiring models, competing hula dancers, singers and musicians, high school graduates, politicians, brides and grooms, and celebrating families and friends.

With an expanded, more acute eye for details, I have captured stunning images of nature as well. My passion is the theatre that is Kalapana; The vast playground of the Hawaiian Goddess, Pele. There I find a connection to my roots as a Hawaiian – even as a descendent of the native kings and warriors of old. Trekking over sacred, treacherous, unpaved landscape in the dark of night, lends to my dependence on a higher power. It becomes a spiritual experience that lays the backdrop for a simply spectacular production of wonder and beauty. I have been making this trek several times a week since march of 2008, capturing the magnificence of it all in my images.

Tom Kuali'i Photographer