Nature’s wrath: Erupting volcano hit by lightning captured on camera | more lifestyle | Hindustan Times
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Nature’s wrath: Erupting volcano hit by lightning captured on camera

Selected from more than 15,000 entries from participants in more than 30 countries, the photograph by Sergio Tapiro Valesco captures volcanic lightning.

more lifestyle Updated: Aug 03, 2017 10:01 IST
Agence France-Presse
Volcano,Lighting,National Geographic
Titled “The Power of Nature,” the photo was taken 12 km away from the crater of the active volcano. (Sergio Tapiro Valesco)

It could easily be mistaken as a CGI photo, given the stunning improbability of capturing a lightning bolt striking an angry, erupting volcano. But that’s precisely what earned a Mexican photographer the title of 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year.

Selected from more than 15,000 entries from participants in more than 30 countries, the photograph by Sergio Tapiro Valesco captures volcanic lightning -- also known as a dirty thunderstorm -- whereby a flash of lightning is produced within the ash cloud spewing from the volcano.

Titled “The Power of Nature,” the photo was taken 12 km away from the crater of the active volcano on a clear night. Glowing, angry lava, plumes of grey smoke and lightning bolts are set against a starlit night sky, producing visual testimony of nature’s brute force.

For more than a decade, Velasco has been studying and photographing Mexico’s Colima volcano, also known as the “Volcano of Fire.” He had been tracking the increase in activity and closely monitoring the volcano for almost a month, and positioned himself for the shoot, during which he heard an explosive booming noise.

“When I looked on the camera display, all I could do was stare,” Velasco said. “What I was watching was impossible to conceive, the image showed those amazing forces of nature interacting on a volcano, while the lightning brightened the whole scene. It’s an impossible photograph and my once in a lifetime shot that shows the power of nature.”

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First Published: Aug 03, 2017 10:00 IST