Extraordinary Photos of Holuhraun Eruption in Iceland Prove that Planet Earth is Still a Work in Progress

These phenomenal images were taken at the lava field of Holuhraun in the highlands of Iceland, a hotbed of volcanic activity. Since the start of September fountains of lava have been exploding from newly formed fissures in the landscape, creating the extraordinary scenes you see before you.

The person behind the camera was Helga Kvam, an Icelandic local who visited the scene in a small plane, from which she was able to take the shots.

She said: “It was very safe, the pilot was extremely skilled and professional, there was never any danger. We flew as close as was safe, but I used a variety of lenses that made it look like I was closer than I really was.”

Helga became interested in photography in her teens and for the last 10 years has taken her hobby seriously, usually focusing on Icelandic landscapes. “Normally I would photograph glacial rivers and waterfalls but if there is a chance to photograph landscapes changing and forming I will jump on it! It’s not every day you get to see new land in the making.”

If you’d like to follow in Helga’s footsteps there are plenty of tour operators offering flights to the region. The ground itself is closed due to poisonous gasses. She advises to try and use a plane that offers the option of an open window, and to hold on very tight to your kit!

Of Iceland in general, Helga said: “This country has such diverse and dramatic landscapes and scenery, and everything changes so much with the weather and the seasons, it’s a photographer’s paradise!”

For these shots Helga used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the lenses were Canon 24-70 2.8L, 70-200 4L and 400 5.6L.

If you'd like to see more of Helga's photography check out her Flickr page and her portfolio at www.hkvam.com