Once in a lifetime

It’s #TravelTuesday again and I, Dave Williams, am here as always with something from the world of travel photography. This week I want to take you all vicariously out of quarantine for your morning cup of coffee to one of my favourite places on earth. I’m actually still a little sore over the fact that I was meant to be in this place but the flight was cancelled (thanks ‘rona!), however it’s something I’ve enjoyed seeing via social media. Also, I’m not entirely sure of my punctuation combination in that previous sentence, but I’m giving myself a break and letting it slide! Who says you can’t use a comma after an exclamation mark?!

I’d like to begin by introducing two friends – Ása and Dagur. They’re both photographers and travel professionals based in Iceland.

Ása is happiest outdoors and grew up surrounded by rugged, extreme landscapes. She’s established herself with an outstanding Instagram presence and works with many Icelandic brands.

Dagur is a qualified fine art photographer. He specialises in tailored, private tours of the island showing off the dramatic landscapes and dancing northern lights.

So, every now and then we’re presented with a once in a lifetime opporunity. Right now in Iceland there really is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and these two talented legends have both been fortunate enough to be in a position to take that opportunity.

On the Reykjanes peninsula, the south-west point of the fault line that runs all the way through Iceland. It’s the fault line that seperates the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. If you’ve ever been here you’ll know it’s a spectuacular landscape formed by the twisting and splitting of land, filled back in with emerging lava from the earths core. One of the most famous spots to see an example of the two plates is the Bridge Between Continents. Iceland is home to very many volcanoes and, very cleverly, utilises the energy from them to generate power and heat their hot water – geothermally.

We all know of the infamous eruption of Eyjafallajokull in 2010, throwing airspace around the world into chaos because of the ash cloud that came alongside it. But did you know there’s an eruption occuring right now? Right on the Reykjanes peninsula, following weeks of tremours and earthquakes, the magma finally reached the surface just outside the town of Grindavik. It’s all fairly safe, as far as volcanic eruptions can be, and locals have been visiting and exploring the area.

Here’s one of Dagur’s images showing visitors to the site, which I imagine would be starkly different if we weren’t in a global pandemic. Even so , there’s a fair amount of people who have hiked out to see it with their own eyes (and lenses).

Ása has explored by helicopter and drone, as well as on foot. Here’s one of her images from the site of the eruption.

The point fo the post today is to impress upon you all the fact that once in a lifetime opportunities are just that – they’re once in a lifetime. There are very few people who have the opportunity to witness magma oozing from the earth like this. Whenever we’re presented with such a chance, we should take it.

Along with the amazing sights presented with this spectacle, which we can all use our skills to capture in photographs, come other things. In this case the smells of the sulphur and the mesmerising flow of lava must be incredible to experience first hand, and this kind of experience is translatable to many others which we can seize on our journeys as photographers. I implore you to take a moment to look at Ása and Dagurs work, and I will leave you with this line: –

Once in a lifetime as often as you can.

Much love


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