This Photographer Defied Death to Capture Images of Iceland’s Most Fearsome Volcanoes

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Image: Skarphedinn Thrainsson
Photographer Skarphedinn Thrainsson aptly named this shot of Eyjafjallajökull’s first 2010 eruption “Dancing with the Devil.”

Lumps of ash fall from the fearsome volcano, landing perilously near to the man on the ground. Meanwhile, lightning flashes through the murky clouds thrown up by the deadly natural phenomenon, adding another layer of danger to an already fearful experience. And yet the man remains rooted to the spot, aiming his camera and shooting through the tremendous heat, the roaring noise and the boiling lava that streams worryingly close to his feet. Photographer Skarphedinn Thrainsson, after all, is a man on a mission: to be as near as possible to one of the world’s most active volcanoes and capture its awesome power on film.

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Image: Skarphedinn Thrainsson
Not many people would dare to walk on fresh lava, as this man photographed by Thrainsson did in April 2010.

Forgoing thoughts of his own personal safety while in search of the perfect shot, the photographer was up close and personal with the famous Icelandic Eyjafjallajökull volcano during an astonishingly volatile and dangerous eruption in 2010. And thanks to Thrainsson’s passion, others can now experience the thrill and beauty of nature at its most deadly with his incredible pictures of erupting volcanoes like Eyjafjallajökull – some of which can be seen here.

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Image: Skarphedinn Thrainsson
Getting this close to an erupting volcano is only for the truly fearless.

And Eyjafjallajökull is certainly a volcano of great power. In April 2010, for example, the volcano made headlines across the world when it vented a huge cloud of ash seven miles into the air. This alarming event caused around 20 countries to shut down their fly zones either partially or entirely over a period of several days.

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