Weather Channel Host ‘Goes After Pele’

Peter Lik Captures Three Hawaiian Gods

“Master photographer” Peter Lik has over a dozen fine art galleries across the country, including in Waikiki and Lahaina, plus one in Australia. And starting tomorrow night, he hosts a new original series on The Weather Channel: “From the Edge with Peter Lik.” The show follows Lik as he takes on challenging assignments, and the series premiere brings him to Hawaii.

His objective? Get a photo of Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire and volcanoes. “Peter Lik Captures Three Hawaiian Gods in Photos,” promises the show website, with phrasing that initially made me cringe.

Photographers have said they’ve captured images of Pele in photos for years, some more famous than others. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park even held a contest calling for artists to depict her. But even in that case, many felt the task was an impossible one, or ventured too close to the sacred. For Lik to chase Pele like a paparazzi chases a celebrity would be a bit too much for me.

“Our mission begins with the most notorious of the bunch: Pele,” Lik says in narration from the above clip from the show. “Hawaiian tradition says she lives here in the center of the Kilauea volcano. I know she can be elusive, unpredictable, and moody as hell.”

He continues in the clip above: “I’ve got some amazing shots, but there’s one that still eludes me. Pele, the volcanic goddess. I’ve tried to capture her from the air and on foot, but she just hasn’t been cooperating.”

Ultimately, it seems as if Lik is simply characterizing the well-known challenges of taking photographs of the volcano as a pursuit of Pele, something even local photographers and residents do. I doubt, though, that he’d describe a visit to Jerusalem as a mission to shoot Jesus Christ.

I hope that as Lik moves through Hawaii or other locales, we see him interact with and learn from local experts to add context to the people and places he’s shooting. We’ll see tomorrow night.

I’ll definitely be tuning in to watch, in part to see what images of Pele he captures (as well as of those other two unnamed gods). And frankly, I’m as dazzled by great photos of lava as anyone.

On that point, I found a third video clip from tonight’s episode, featuring Lik’s offshore view of the lava entering the ocean. It was linked from Lik’s website, but doesn’t appear to be hosted by an official Weather Channel account.

A note for curious geeks with iPads: there is a ‘From the Edge’ companion app. It allows you to interact with synced content on your iPad while watching the show, including polls and quizzes, maps, behind-the-scenes videos, and more.

Finally, for photographers, the Weather Channel is running a photo contest on the show’s Facebook page, to win “win an all expenses paid trip to Las Vegas that includes a tour of one of Peter’s famed galleries.”

“Capture the Gods,” the series premiere of “From The Edge,” airs on The Weather Channel on Thursday, March 31. In Honolulu, The Weather Channel is available on Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s digital service on channel 121, and in high definition on channel 1121. The episode will air at 2 p.m., 5 p.m., and 8 p.m. On the mainland, the show premieres at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central.

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