The Geldingardalir eruption resulted in more than unique experiences for hikers and tourists, it also piqued the creativity of photographers who ventured to capture the blazing hot moment in time. Luckily for those who didn’t make it out to the eruption in person — and those who did, but want another way to remember the experience than the pics they snapped on their iPhone, a handful of amazing photography books have been published with Geldingardalir as the star.
Our so-called fire photographers range from the little-known to household names and distinguishes geologists. Here are their books we’re loving right now.
Ari Trausti Guðmundsson is a household name in Iceland. Not only is he one of the country’s most distinguished geologists, he’s also a former member of parliament and he ran for president a few years ago, although, without luck. He is also the brother of Erró, one of the most renowned visual artists Iceland has ever produced. Ari Trausti has written dozens of books, ranging from fiction to science. In this book he combined his geological talents with those of one of Iceland’s best photographers, Ragnar Th. Ragnar received international attention when he captured the brutality of the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull in 2011. Ragnar and Ari Trausti are regular collaborators, having produced four books connected to Icelandic nature that spans from Vatnajökull glacier to the northern lights. This latest publication is a safe bet for those wanting beautiful imagery of the volcano, a depth history of the area and an understanding of the eruption.
The volcano photographer
British photographer Max Milligan is perhaps not a household name in Iceland—yet— but he’s a regular visitor to Iceland, photographing everything from landscapes to the world’s first female president, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. He published his book, ‘Birth of a Volcano’, last year after making the difficult hike to the eruption with 11 kilos (24 lbs) of equipment on his back every time. Max also made it into Icelandic news when he captured the eruption under the northern lights—a very rare shot, considering the months over which the volcano erupted. Over the past two decades, Max has photographed Etna, Vesuvius and Stromboli in Italy as well as Bromo in Indonesia, making him probably one of the most experienced volcano photographers on this list.
We can’t stress enough how much we like Sigurgeir Sigurjónsson’s photography. His unique eye for Icelandic nature even teaches Icelanders a thing or two about the beauty and complexity of the country. He has published books that are as important for the Icelandic souls as the old sagas (check out ‘Lost in Iceland’ and ‘Small World Iceland’, for example). But this list is about fire, not ice. Sigurgeir’s book, ‘Volcano Island’, is mainly focused on the incredible eruption of Eyjafjallajökull and its impact on the surrounding area. It was a dramatic event, not only in Iceland but for the world, when this small volcanic island stopped air traffic between North America and Europe for almost a whole week.
Up close and personal
Belgian photographer Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove is perhaps the least known name on this list, but he also offers an intriguing insight into the volcano in his book, ‘New Earth: A Photographic Journey of the Geldingadalir Eruption’. He shot the volcano from a more intimate perspective over the course of his 44 hikes spanning the life of the eruption.
The book is Jeroen’s attempt to share his own experiences with the volcano with the reader, with text written in the style of a personal diary from his many visits. Check this one out for a more personal approach to a massive natural event.
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