Photographers Venture Inside an Active Volcano

active volcano tolbachik

Andrew and Luda, a pair of Kyrgyzstan photographers collaborate frequently, and they run a shared journal where they post their photographs of assorted wildlife and outdoor scenery. One of the most recent activities embarked on this year was trip to the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia where the pair photographed violent Tolbachik, a volcanic complex.

lava flow captured tolbachik

Tolbachik is comprised of not one, but two volcanoes, Plosky (flat) Tolbachik (3,085 m) and Ostry (sharp) Tolbachik (3,682 m). The latter, Ostry is the volcanoes highest point, and the mountain is often referred to as Ostry Tolbachik. The latest recorded eruption was late in 2012 which started from two fissures that lasted for over a month. The molten lava flowed up to as far as 12 miles from a line of fissures on the volcano’s south side.

 tolbachik lava reflection water

Andrew and Luda were able to capture some of this volcanic activity when they went right at the heart of the event. The dangerous trek produced some absolutely spectacular images straight out of a Science fiction novel such as Jules Vernes’ 1864 classic, A Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

lava flow tolbachik

molten lava flowing tolbachik volcanic activity

The audacious photo shoot shows various craters with smoldering, molten lava, looking as if they could extend to the deepest recesses of the earth. There is one image of a gaping hole, full of liquefied lava, almost belying its deadliness.It is also easy to visualize a landscape such as this during pre-historic eras when the earth was still taking shape.

 tolbachik lava flow

One would think that anyone willing to brave such temperamental volcanic activity is insane, but then again without the daring and nerve of an Andrew and Luda, we would not have a front row seat to some of the most spectacular shows the earth can stage. It is also a humbling reminder of the awesome might the planet can let loose at any given time it wishes. Earth’s power unleashed, is and always will be, something to behold with wonder and humility. Dozens of the photographs taken can be viewed here.

lava flow captured tolbachik

lava against snowy mountain backdrop

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.