TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY TIP 51: “THE SECRET” TO SHOOTING A LIVE VOLCANO

I knew I’d be shooting a live volcano on my Vanuatu assignment so I thought I’d google the internet and get some technical instruction on how to best shoot molten masses of rock arching towards the heavens.

There were some excellent volcano photographs to be seen (start by searching Yasur Volcano) and some handy advice was shared but there was no actual reference to the best camera settings you needed to get that trail of light exploding from the volcano (I couldn’t help thinking that most photographers who put the time and effort into working it out were happy to take you for the ride but deliberately stopped short of giving you that most vital detail).

Of course, everyone suggested bringing a tripod and staying until dark. There was also mention of the extremes in light (explosive bursts followed by near darkness) which made it difficult to set your camera to, and there was the importance of taking your camera off auto focus to concentrate manually on a point near to the explosion. But again, no mention of depth of field, ISO setting and speed you needed to set your camera at.

Interesting.
Anyway, here’s one of the images (below) I captured on the rim of Yasur volcano……shot at ISO 2000 on F5 at 1/3 sec.

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Shot at ISO 2000 on F5 at 1.3 sec

Shot at ISO 2000 on F5 at 1.3 sec

Next Post: A preview of the best images from the Vanuatu assignment.