First of a two-part series about my visit to Fagradalsfjall
On August 13 2022, I was fortunate enough to view something that might be a once in a lifetime opportunity: an active volcano! On August 3 2022, Fagradalsfjall volcano on Reykjanes peninsula erupted, which would last for 19 days.
On that day, my traveling companion, George Fellner, and I, accompanied by two other photographers in our tour group, took on the hike to the active volcano. The initial trek in was pretty smooth, as there was a reasonable path in; volunteers had worked tirelessly to improve access to this amazing attraction. Soon the landscape became more dramatic…
Boulder fields, such as in this image, were common place and required a bit more careful traversal. As we picked our path through this terrain, we encountered evidence of great lava flows…
The lava flows were still a significant distance from the volcano, but they helped keep us inspired to keep moving forward to our goal. As we crossed more ridges, our hope kept rising with each of them…
With each cresting of a ridge, we expected to be treated to the view that we were after! In the above location, we were still about 25 minutes away from our target, but we were getting closer…
At last, we can see smoke rising in the distance: the volcano is near (about 15 more minutes). More immense lava flows are encountered in our path…
These older lava flows give a good sense of the awesome volume of lava that was spewed forth by the volcano. This field is truly immense. And then, one last ridge…
It was a truly inspiring moment to crest the final ridge and reach the crater; after 2-1/2 hours of hiking, we had reached out goal!
The first part that struck me was the sound of the lava: it reminded me of heavy waves crashing on the shore with much more of a bass note; I could feel the impact of the lava waves throughout my entire body, and was awestruck by the sense of earthly power in that moment.
In the next post, I will share more of the photos of the volcano, which were shot with my EOS R5. These trekking photos were all captured with an iPhone 13 Pro Max, as the rather heavy backpack had all the serious gear stowed in it.
A Fresh Perspective
Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment.
Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael.
My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals.
My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation.
This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections.
Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client.
And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!
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7 thoughts on “Visit to a Volcano (part 1)”
Wow, what an incredible experience! I love the moody skies in your photos too, it really adds to the drama.
Thank you! The experience was amazing and it was an excellent workout 😎
What an amazing experience, Frank, and beautifully captured!
Susan, it was awe inspiring! Thank you!
Our earth is an amazing thing.
Indeed it is. She stunned me!