A photographer has captured incredible images and footage of Iceland’s most recent volcanic eruption.
Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove, a Belgian photographer who has been living in Iceland for the last six years, tells PetaPixel that he hiked for one and a half hours on rough terrain and carried a gas mask to film the latest eruption at Fagradalsfjall volcano.
In March last year, Van Nieuwenhove photographed a volcanic eruption for the first time, taking stunning images of Geldingadalir volcano’s eruption, which is in the same Fagradalsfjall volcanic system. He visited the volcano 44 times to photograph the eruption from every possible angle.
Since then, Van Nieuwenhove had been expecting Fagradalsfjall volcano to erupt again. Van Nieuwenhove was always on top of the volcanic activity in the days leading up to the eruption and kept his equipment ready for whatever happened.
“I hadn’t been actively waiting for it to erupt again but it was always on the back of my mind,” says Van Nieuwenhove. “But just a few days before the eruption began, seismic activity increased very quickly. It was obvious that the eruption would occur.”
“I have been closely monitoring all seismic data available in Iceland since the beginning of seismic activity. I also kept my photography gear ready to go,” he adds.
As soon as he ascertained where the eruption was taking place, Van Nieuwenhove began the arduous journey by foot to the volcano.
“Once I had determined the exact location of the eruption, I drove to the place where I could begin hiking,” Van Nieuwenhove says.
The hike was about an hour long and very difficult. The terrain is very rough.”
Van Nieuwenhove used two Canon R6s together with a 14-35mm RF and a 100-500mm RF lens and a DJI Air 2S drone to capture the dramatic shots of Fagradalsfjall volcano. To capture the dramatic shots of Fagradalsfjall volcano, he knew he needed to take as many photos as possible.
“Once I got there, I kind of just used what I learned last year and jumped in,” says Van Nieuwenhove. “One thing that became very clear last year was that it was best to use your camera most of the time early on. Because you can still see quite closely. The eruption was very rapid so I used my telephoto lens to capture the day There’s always danger when approaching an active volcano,” he says. “Even though this eruption is again rather small, there’s always the danger of toxic gases and new cracks opening up. I always carry a gas mask on me in case the wind shifts, for example.”
Van Nieuwenhove says that he has a deep fascination for volcanos and eruptions — a subject which he explored in his first book New Earth which was published in December last year.
Capturing a volcano eruption is amazing. It’s not only a cool light show. He explains that it goes far beyond this. “You’re essentially seeing a new landscape being born in front of your eyes. Every time you visit, the area has changed. No photo is ever the same.”
For more from Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove make sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel and follow him on Instagram and Behance.