Aurora Borealis Swirls Above Fire and Ice, Eyjafjallajokull Volcano, Iceland, 2010

Photographing for our Iceland book, we took our mobile home from Denmark to Iceland in April 2010. Just two days after arrival we were informed about a major volcanic eruption under the Eyjafjallajökull ice cap, which proved to be one of the last century’s most spectacular volcanic event in Iceland — perfect timing for our upcoming book.
Ash cloud rising 10 km high up into the sky caused serious trouble for air traffic, with many flights cancelled in Europe, where strong westerly winds carried the ash to. We parked our car nearby the foot of the Eyjafjall mountain, but we were shortly evacuated from the area as large amount of water was expected to be released from the glacier above the volcano. We were actually escorted from the area by a blinking police car. The day after we returned and saw that parts of the road were washed away by the flood the night before…

It was fascinating to follow the eruption in such close distance, seeing how it changes character from one day to the other. After one week we glimpsed lava appearing in the ash plume. It was a clear night and we noticed some weak northern lights appearing above the volcano. I quickly set up my camera equipment and just had enough time to take this image when the aurora borealis was the strongest above the volcano. This magic light show was over in a couple of minutes — a short but unforgettable encounter with two of the most spectacular natural phenomena that can be experienced on Planet Earth.

Location: Eyjafjallajokull Volcano, Iceland, 2010
Photograph Date: 2010
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200


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