Tom Anderson

Former 1st friend, enjoying being retired. Phototaking has been my hobby for 4 years. New mission 2 help others & engage! 😀

791 posts 464,935 followers 774 following

If you’ve been following me for awhile, then you’ve probably noticed I travel a lot! With all that I’ve visited and seen, a helicopter flight over Kauai’s Na Pali Coast still ranks as the best helicopter flight I’ve ever done… ⛰🚁 This is the 4th time I’ve done the same flight! To me, it’s the most beautiful, dynamic mountain range on earth. I’ve boated into its caves, swam at its foot, hiked on its ridges and flown over it… It never disappoints! Any time of the year, any time of the day it’s wonderful, and a different experience. This is the first time I’d flown around mid day… normally, not a great time for landscape photos. But just look at the result! I had the time of my life, with one of my besties @andrew.studer and new friend @ryanbraden - his first helicopter ride! Way to begin your Heli Life!
Kauai is the oldest Hawaiian island and the OG Hawaiians lived in these valleys for centuries. The last Hawaiians moved out in the 1930s. Now you can hike and even camp near the beach with a permit, but very few get to do this. That’s one of the reasons this place has remained so beautiful. The unique look of the valley spire is the result of the weather system created by island itself—tons of rain, and wind and the ocean’s wave have carved out these valleys and kept them green. I’ve never seen anything like it on Earth 🌏 😀


📷: Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2012. What to say about what happened in Vegas? If there’s any good that can come from such a shocking tragedy, maybe it’s that it forces us to appreciate our loved ones more fervently? At any moment, through accident or through evil, you could lose those who gave you life, or those who you live for. That’s something I normally don’t even think about. 😕

This weekend, Vegas is hosting a lantern festival… I’ve wanted to attend as soon as I heard about it last year. It’s an awesome feeling to come together in a public space and enjoy a sense of community… It’s one of the ways we feel “one” with everyone and everything around us.
And now this… Some of my Vegas friends (I have a home in Vegas) are afraid to even go into a public space anymore. I understand… but for me, I don’t want to let negative forces in the world rob me of what’s beautiful. I’ll be attending. I know the ceremony will take on added significance and may even act as a memorial or vigil for those who were hurt by this tragedy.
I'm Hoping for a beautiful experience like I had the last time I went to a lantern festival—taking this photo was so meaningful for me back then. This weekend will probably be even more so. Peace.🌎


Just concluded an amazing trip to the Philippines! I'll definitely be back to explore more. I saw many places like this, I was somewhat stunned! It almost doesn't seem real, but this is shot with my cel phone and just a slight edit! And to think I'd been to the Philippines twice before and never seen the amazing beaches and waterfalls... now I realize I'll be going back again and again! For the those interested this was shot with a google Pixel phone. 😀


Unbelievably beautiful reef, water and limestone in Palawan, Philippines! 🇵🇭That's our boat there, can you see me standing on the bow taking this shot?! ⛵️I was having a blast using my drone in the Philippines until today it went straight into the ocean 😎. I wouldn't mind so much but now I'm way out here with nowhere to get a replacement! Looks like I'll be heading back to Manila a little early ! 😀


Took a lot of photos Bruno time to share them yet -- Philippine waters are magical!


The Chocolate Hills in Bohol 🇵🇭 Philippines ! Tonight I'm flying back to PI--a country I haven't been to since 2012 when I took this photo. I heard there's been earthquake damage at this spot... sad 😭 When I was there last we narrowly escaped a major storm. This time in starting in Palawan and going straight to El Nido but I've done Zero planning. Anyone got any tips? Help your old friend out!! 😀 Hope to post some new shots while I'm out there 😀🌈📷. Need Palawan suggestions!!! 😀😀😀


Ah Iceland! 🇮🇸 I've been several times now; this video shows a glimpse of the last trip this summer! I love Iceland so much I'm going to buy a vacation home there; 🏠I found the perfect spot when flying with @volcanopilot ✈️and adventuring with @thunderhug @retrophone @reybay @ashleybovey @reneeunderthesea @donalboyd @muenchmax @storyofsage @tomjauncey and @jacob! 🚐 Fun times with @celinelisee and videographer first mate @andrew.studer !! Was just planning a trip today and realized I'd forgotten to posts this ! If you want your time chilling with friend to look like an IMAX movie give @andrew.studer a camera!! 🎥 Song: @illeniummusic


This is a historically significant spot on Oahu. ⛰The Pali Lookout is the site of the Battle of Nuuanu, where in 1795 King Kamehameha won the fight that united Oahu under his rule. 🏆Many of his enemies were pushed over the cliff here. When I’m standing in this spot, I don’t think back to the battles or the lives lost. It’s just a place where I love to go and feel the wind and gaze out over the beautiful island that I love so much. You can’t normally go up here at night. It’s closed to visitors… But at the right time of year, you can be up here as darkness falls and just as they’re asking everyone to leave. That’s my boy @vincelimphoto standing there… I had him remove his shirt because it was so windy, it was flapping in the wind and since it’s dark, I had to shoot a longer exposure… Yah yah, just excuses for the beefcake right? I told him I’d never be allowed to share the photo because his girlfriend wouldn’t want all the attention he might receive, but now that he’s engaged, I think he’s safe… Go VINCE + JESSICA haha!!


For sure, this is my favorite photo I’ve ever taken in China. 😍📷The hike up was not so bad, the hike down, in the dark was a little more treacherous. 😱I never said exactly where this place is, but since my photograph was published several years ago, I’ve heard and seen that this has become a regular “photographers” spot. In this case, I don’t think its hurting much. It just a view from a hill, and the community around it won’t be bothered much by a few photographers on their mountain. But I often think about how tourism is affecting the places I love… and the role my photos are having in that ignition of tourism. 🤔 Why am I posting it now? Well, I have a plan… it’s coming together. It looks like I’ll be visiting a place quite near to China. One I’ve wanted to see for a long time, and for many intriguing reasons… I won’t say where it is yet. But I imagine there's landscapes that look like this mystery country I'm talking about. And I think this unnamed, mysterious country (aren't you dying to know now!?) is doing special things to make sure tourism doesn’t negatively impact the culture and land. Stay tuned :) 😀😀😀


Have you been paying attention? TONIGHT, here and now, I announce the next trip winner… The person going to the Big Island of Hawaii, the person who will get to see the lava flowing into the ocean, the person who will see the milky way from the top of Mauna Kea is… DRUM ROLL, please…. TA DA: @carlpernicus Congratulate him! I can’t tell where he lives. Just messaged him! 😀😀😀🏆🏆🏆🏆And here’s a caption for the photo: The Lavafall from the Big Island of Hawaii. I first shot lava pouring into the ocean when I started photography in 2012. I didn't realize how lucky I was to have witnessed this amazing phenomenon -- shortly after seeing it, the lava stopped flowing into the ocean and did not come back until 2016. This was taken in August. I came back to this location 4 or 5 times over several days and each time it would change dramatically. On the bottom of this photo, you can see the glowing ledge I'm standing on. When I  returned to this spot 24 hours later, the lava was flowing directly under me and the ledge was just too hot to stand on. I couldn't even last for 2 or 3 seconds to get a shot off! Truly one of those most awesome inspiring things you could see on this Earth!


Got the Drone out for Kara’s Bday 🌴🌊🌈🎉🌺 - Fun day on the North Shore of Oahu! Swipe right for video of dancing inflatables! 🎥Starring @reybay 🦄@reneeunderthesea 🍕@retrophone 🐚@ashleybovey 🍩 Co-Pilot @thunderhug 🚁 which photo do you like best? 🤔


Continuing with the “SAY WHAT?” Posts!! Haha.. This is the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater in the Big Island’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. 🌈🌺🏝What you’re seeing here is the glow from a lava lake inside the crater. The level of the lava changes over time and in 2015 it actually rose above the rim you see there and spilled out for a bit! So crazy! 😱According to Hawaiian legendthe crater is home to Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes! Normally I'd check star maps ✨and go to a place just at the right time to catch the Milky Way in the right position. This night was just luck--I went to shoot and there it was. 🌌🌋 If you want to go see this for yourself, go back a few posts to my video and enter to win the free trip to the Big Island! 🤙😀


Crazy!! 😍 One thing I like about a shot like this - besides the lava - is that it clearly a singular moment in time. 🕰The water, wave, lava, rocks, fumes will never look like this again; it didn’t even look like this just a few seconds after this photo. Each shot is unique, and it’s amazing to see the literal formation of our Earth. 🌎 Makes ya think, now doesn’t it! 🤔Anyway, Love me some lava! 🔥I went into zen mode at 4am this morning and processed this lava shot from the Big Island, Hawaii. It was quite difficult, but fun to manage the light in this shot—adjusting, dodging and burning so its not too hot in any one area. Lava does not want to be photographed, I’ll tell ya! 📷The dynamic range on a shot like this — from the very bright spots areas to the darkest shadows — is very extreme, and not something the camera can handle easily. It took a bit of wrangling to get it to look like this, but I’m really satisfied with the results. 🤗 Half the fun of photography for me is turning on some music and sitting down with the computer to polish an image like this. Recently I’ve been talking with a friend who’s convinced me to put some of my photos in an art gallery, book and store… It’s just the beginning phases, and I haven’t done the work needed to prepare the photos, but I spent the time and attention on this image with that thought in mind. I’d like to see this one in print :) 📷🌅


Was super excited to visit the Big Island and see the lava again. 🌋Had a great time with friends and met some interesting characters living out on the lava field 👨‍🌾but I did not come back with a photo better than the ones I got last year... so here's a shot from last summer which I have not yet released! 📷This shot was at sunrise and as you can see their are other ways to enjoy the lava -- besides the helicopter 🚁 in the photo, there were also multiple boats that eventually piloted up to the edge of the cliff. I've never tried viewing the lava field from a boat or plane, I've always hiked or biked out there. 🚲Definitely looks like something worth trying! On this morning me and @john_hook road the clunkiest 1 speed bmx bikes along the rock strewn road. Definitely not recommended! Get a good bike if you rent one! In the year since the lava started flowing into the ocean a whole swath of rental companies have set up shop! Make sure to get there before the sun comes up or until after it goes down. The glowing light is something that'll stay with you! 🔥


Hello IG! Sorry I disappeared for a week--and thanks to those who asked where I went! No, I did not fall in the lava! Haha 😂 I just spent an action-packed week in Hawaii: first on the Big Island, then the island of Lanai (first time there!) and finally on my home island of Oahu! I was experimenting with my drone a lot and visiting with friends... I think tomorrow I'll make a story that shows some of what I did during the week! 🤙🏼🌈🌊 Here's a shot of Waikiki and one I think may surprise those who've never been to Oahu. This is part of why Oahu is my personal favorite of the 🌴 Islands--Oahu feels like a major international city with all the benefits (food, people, culture) but it's also just a short drive to the world's best beaches, jaw dropping mountain ranges and scenic hiking trails. Aloha 🌺🏄🏖 Just landed at LAX -- now I'm back in Los Angeles and ready to look through and process some new photos! 📷🙏


Ice cave in Alaska! Did you know you can land a helicopter on a glacier? 🚁 Yah I didn’t know either! 🤓But that’s what we did. We spotted this gaping hole from the sky, and our pilot was able to find a fairly flat spot for us to land nearby. 👍Then we put on the crampons and hiked across a small bit of the glacier and down into the mouth of this cave. 🎿I’m just learning about glaciers and how thick they can be, so I’m not sure how far a cave like this one could go; but we were only near the mouth of it. If you look closely you can see giant boulders stuck in the ice above; this place was not particularly stable or safe, 🙀so we were careful to watch the boulders overhead and did not stay in very long. Just long enough to enjoy something unique and wonderful! I snapped this photo as my explore mates were climbing out! Fun times :) Quite a difference from where I am now… Hawaii :) On the day I arrived I went over to the Big Island to see the lava and now I’m on Lanai for the first time. Lanai has a population of just 3,000! I’d always wanted to visit but never had… Been so busy taking everything in, I haven’t got any photos to share, so I’ll leave that for later. 😀🤙


I took this shot 📷 about a year ago on the Big Island lava field of Hawaii; today I'm on Oahu and tomorrow I'm headed back to the Big Island and seeing how the lava is looking now! 🔥I heard there's been some major changes as huge chunks of the cliff have fallen into the ocean since last year! 🌋Wow it makes me think how much my life has changed in the last year! Good times!! Original caption: "Been waiting 4 years to get to this place! An active volcano in paradise? Only in Hawaii! Yes that's real, you can stand that close. That said, I'm not recommending it :-) I only asked @john_hook to remove his shirt because it was flappin around in the wind #hotlavacake


OK, the time is here! 👻The contest winner shall be announced! 🙀Woah, I was overwhelmed, you people are excited about Iceland, and with good reason! 🤗 It’s truly one of a kind. The winner is… Wait, let me tell you about this photo first. OK, just kidding. 😜 The winner is, drum roll please… @drichede (!!!) 🏆🎗🥇From what I can tell she seems to be an Italian girl who is also a jewelry designer. I would congratulate her by name, but I’m not sure what her name is, I’m going to slide into her DM right now! Haha.. And as for this photo, I posted it a few days ago and all you sharp shooters notice that it was in low-resolution. 📷I felt so ashamed I deleted it and re-uploaded, so here you go a nice clean version! And yes, this is a real waterfall in Iceland and yes the water really is that blue!! Something about the minerals in the river create this color, I forget why… Someone smarter than me can probably tell us all? But it’s truly a site to behold, just like many things in Iceland! I’m thinking of doing another Iceland give away because people were so into it.. Should I, Should I?? 🤔Let me know your thoughts… And I’m about to do another Hawaiian 🏝giveaway as well. This time, for the Big Island - the island with the lava running into the water! 🔥🌋Lava pouring into the ocean is one thing I think everyone should put on their bucket list!! I’m going to the Hawaii tomorrow morning (and will actually meet the winner of the first contest). After a day in Oahu, I’m headed to the Big Island on Friday. Hopefully I will return to Instagram with an amazing lava-entering-the-water shot!! (My fave!!) 😻For now, hope you all enjoy this little peaceful river in Iceland, cause my next photo is gonna bring the fire!! (Or at least I hope… haha) 🤓


Here’s that incredible small canyon in Iceland 🇮🇸I mentioned in yesterday’s post. This place was straight out of a fairytale🦄, tucked away in some mountains. 🗻When you approach, you see a little stream at the base… It’s hard to guess what’s inside. There were trees 🌲at the mouth of the canyon and every little twist and turn was a delight. There’s mist rising all over the place from the spray 💦and the light shining in from the top gives it a cathedral like, ethereal quality. We only went there at once in the afternoon, but I’m sure it looks different at different times of the day with the light 🌤 hitting different walls! Not to mention how it looks in the winter with the final waterfall freezing up… ☃️ So cool! And, as I mentioned, not one other person in site the entire 2 hours we spent exploring it! 🚶🏻Tomorrow I’m going to post a video 🎥with some shots from this canyon… Hope you enjoy this as much as I do. 😀😀


Another amazing place in Iceland 🇮🇸 !! I camped ⛺️up here one night back in the summer of 2015. Yes you can camp in Iceland in the summer, it’s really not that cold! ☃️The amazing thing is not the warm temperature (did you know NYC is often colder than Iceland?), but that me and my friend were the only ones up there! 💑 There’s so many stunning landscapes in Iceland that there’s room to go around :) Haha. If you’re looking for a little solitude, all it takes is going just slightly off the beaten path. It’s incredible to think places like this even exist, let alone that there’s no one there looking at them but you and the sheep! On my last trip, we drove just a few miles away from Seljalandsfoss (a waterfall that can be packed with tourists) and we discovered the most incredible canyon. We spent hours in it, and before going there I’d never seen a single photograph from it… It was basically like being in a mini version of Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge and not one person was there but us! I’ll post a shot from that tomorrow :)


I love this photo!! Lol 😀 I've been doing photography for about 5 years now and it's rare for me to love shots anymore--the bar always gets a little higher and it's hard to be satisfied. But this one, I love! 😍 I've been helicoptering around Alaska for about a week trying to shoot the incredible glaciers and mountains from the sky and the weather has been a challenge, to say the least! This moment was just that-- gone in an instant--the fog cleared to reveal the peak of the mountain for just a few seconds and after a week of trying, I finally got something! I love it so much I want to invite everyone over to see it on the big screen!! 😇😍😃 Not sure if this scene translates so well to the small size of instagram, but this is a giant waterfall coming off this melting glacier and we are high up in the sky. The bottom of the waterfall you see here is still several thousand feet up the mountain. Yay 😊 satisfied! 🤙🏼


Kayaking yesterday brought my mind back to where I was just a few weeks ago in beautiful Montana! 🚣‍♀️ This was a super cool spot with lots different viewpoints to explore... 🌤 It was such a fun trip with @John_hook and @andrew.studer showing the beauty of the place for @visitmontana ! Thanks @jadeladeaux for bringing us there 😀 I hope to come back soon, especially as I work on my drone photography and video! There's a lot of open land where drones are still allowed in Montana--something becoming more rare everyday! 🤙🏼😀👍🏼#montanamoment


This is my favorite Ice Cave in Iceland - such an amazing experience! You feel like you’re entering another world when you go in a cave like this. If you get the chance to go alone or with your own small group, it’s almost like you’re in a temple or cathedral. :) Not to be missed! Love me some Iceland! In other news, I’m in Alaska right now! And I’m just about to go searching for more ice caves like this! Very little cel reception here, so hope all is well in the world. Wish me luck. I’ve got my bear spray :)


Ice cave adventure in Iceland!! I visited three different caves while in Iceland last winter! 🇮🇸 It's stunning how blue and thick the ice is underground 😀 On this trip, we went to yet another Ice Cave — very rare to do during the summer! I would definitely count ice caves as a must see in your lifetime! In a few days I’ll be posting a video with some scenes from inside… Some of you may have seen some shots from it already on my IG story a few days ago. If you want to see it still, I upload all the old stories to YouTube. Link in BIO, yo! haha


Here's one of Iceland's more regular Geysers under the stars and green glow of the Northern Lights! 🌠The thing is, I didn't know it was so regular and was only dimly aware it was there as I walked into this area at night. You can imagine my surprise when this thing went off in the dark. 🌌I heard it and felt it before I saw it. I love experiencing surprises like this, it was one of the highlights of my time there :-) This was from my winter trip! You can win the Iceland trip I'm giving away, remember to enter on the contest video I posted a few day ago 😀🇮🇸


Gotta love it when you're set up shooting and a rainbow 🌈appears out of nowhere! Said rainbow only lasted for a few minutes, despite my jumping up and down to encourage it :) Sometimes waking up for sunrise is worth it! Go back two posts to the Iceland 🇮🇸 video for your chance to win a trip to Iceland and experience this waterfall for yourself 😀😀😃


Northern Lights, Iceland. I think there’s three or four things everyone should experience in nature: northern lights, ice caves, and lava, I think I forgot one. Oh my memory! I’ll update this post if I remember. Haha. This shot was taken on an earlier Iceland trip, not the one I just completed. (Yes, I flew home to LA today!) But this photo got me thinking: whoever wins the Iceland giveaway I announced yesterday should choose to go in the winter, then they can see two of my top 3 in nature. Maybe even 3 if some Iceland volcano acts up soon :) Northern Lights are truly crazy to behold… Its different every time, and the strength and visibility can vary widely. I’ve even seen it strong enough for the lights to appear before its fully dark. So bright I captured it on my cel phone! (But then I lost the cel phone with the pics on it a few days later.. doh!) Anyway… Northern Lights are not to be missed! And Iceland is an awesome place to see them!


Fireworks in Hawaii!! 🤙🏼🌅Hope everyone is having a blast tonight. I’m not actually in the USA, I’m in Iceland. But for those paying attention, you’ll remember that July 4 was the day I promised to announce the next winner of Hawaii giveaway number 4! Thanks to everyone who entered: I really enjoy doing this, and I’m not stopping. The next Hawaii giveaway will be for the Big Island! But before we do another Hawaii one, I’m doing an Iceland giveaway… Yes, I'm going trip giveaway crazy! I’ve been having such a good time here, I wanted to make Iceland the next prize. You will be able to enter to win the Iceland trip giveaway tomorrow… Then after that, we’ll do the Big Island. So YAH, TOM, WHO IS THE WINNER?!? It is: @kel0cean !! Please congratulate Kelsea Richmond! Help me get her attention ! Haha Congrats! I have not reached out to her yet. I will do so right now… If she’s awake, maybe we’ll get a response from her. But I think she lives on the East Coast of the US and its pretty late over there. About to upload my story/day in Iceland over here… Signing off for now. Happy 4th of July!! 🇺🇸


Thorsmork, Iceland - a subregion in Middle Earth? 🇮🇸 I was channeling my friend’s old copy of Lord of the Rings for this shot. 🔆I remember the illustration / painting on the cover of his book and tried to go for that feel here in the processing. This is my third trip to Iceland and it just gets better every time! Yesterday we hiked through this area; today we took a classic Cessna 170 ✈️and flew over it! This shot was taken from the sky. I’m having the best time and have met so many cool people on this trip—including my new friend @donalboyd who took us on a hike of the region, and my longtime Insta-only-and-now-in-person friend @volcanopilot who took us into the sky to capture this shot! Remember the Hawaiian trip giveaway ends tomorrow — keep entering, I’m not picking the winner until midnite July 5th. 🏆And speaking of contests, I’m loving Iceland so much I think it be best that I be givin away an Iceland trip! Does that excite anyone? Any of you out there interested in Iceland?


Fun filled day 2 in Iceland 🇮🇸! We visited the black sand beach near Vik in the morning, went to the Beibs canyon later in the afternoon, and then went for a nightime swim in a glacier lagoon (watch my story)! Here's @celinelisee just one of 8 Hawaiians on this trip. Do I get to count as half Hawaiian? Iceland should be visited at least twice by everyone: once in the summer and once in the winter. I'm amazed how green and lush places are that I'd formerly seen covered in snow! I'm tired. It's 4am here.. gotta go sleep now! Hope you enjoy!