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  •   ADVENTURE TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY


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GUATEMALA IS SYNOMYMOUS WITH VOLCANOES...
VOLCANO FUEGO HAS JUST EXPLODED - UNANNOUNCED, AGAIN. HUNDREDS ARE
DEAD AND MISSING... I CAREFULLY CATALOGUE 125,000 DIGITAL IMAGES - TO DRAW UPON AT MOMENTS JUST LIKE THIS. YOU SHOULD DO THE SAME...




READ BELOW 
...BUT ONLY IF YOU'RE SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY !
 


ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA - WITH CURRENTLY ERUPTING VOLCANO FUEGO LOOMING IN THE BACKGROUND(LEFT PHOTO). WHEN NEARBY VOLCANO PACAYA SUDDENLY ERUPTED OUT OF CORNFIELDS, I HOT-FOOTED IT TO THE SMOKING SUMMIT - WITH VOLCANOLOGISTS - TO GRAB THESE PHOTOS - LOOKING INTO THE CRAW OF A NEW VOLCANO. WHOA! I HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN THAT PALPITATING MOMENT....


 

ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA I'M JUST RETURNED DAYS AGO FROM A MONTH EXPLORING BALI AND LOMBOK - JUST TWO OF INDONESIA'S 17,000 ISLANDS, HALF POPULATED. INDONESIA AND GUATEMALA HAVE SOMETHING UNUSUAL IN COMMON: BOTH ARE HOME TO HIGHLY ACTIVE VOLCANOES WHICH CAN - AND DO - EXPLODE WITH LITTLE OR NO WARNING. VOLCANO FUEGO IS A GLOBAL NEWS STORY RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IT BLEW ITS CORK - AND HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE ARE DEAD, THOUSANDS OF OTHERS HOMELESS OR LIVES RUINED. VOLCANOES ARE DANGEROUS SUMSOFBITCHES - EVEN WHEN THEY POSE ELEGANTLY FOR YOUR SUNSET TOURIST SELFIE...

I WAS A YOUNG PUNK ON A WINTER-LONG PEREGRINATION THROUGH CENTRAL AMERICA. IN GUATEMALA CITY, ALL ANYONE COULD TALK ABOUT WAS THE STEAM VENT THAT HAD JUST RIPPED OPEN UP IN A CORNFIELD SOUTHEAST OF THE CAPITOL. A BRAND NEW "BABY"VOLCANO WAS FORMING AND THE SMOKE AND GRIT WAS WAFTING OVER THE CITY. NO ONE WAS AMUSED. AIRPORTS HAVE ZERO TOLERANCE FOR ERUPTING VOLCANOES - JET ENGINES CAN'T HANDLE THE POLLUTION SO AIRPORTS SHUT DOWN. THIS HAPPENED AT BALI'S DEMPASAR AIRPORT IN JANUARY WHEN VOLCANO AGUNG ROARED TO LIFE (IT WAS STILL SMOKING, INTERMITTANTLY, WHEN I JUST VISITED.)
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN LOST TOURISM REVENUE WAS AMONG THE HUMAN COST...

THERE WAS A SMALL PROBLEM WITH MY BURNING DESIRE TO PHOTOGRAPH THE NEW "BABY" ON GUATEMALA'S
VOLCANO BLOCK; THERE WAS NO TRANSPORT TO VISIT THE HISSING CINDER CONE. SO I HOPPED ON A LOCAL COMPESINO BUS AND GOT OFF WHEN IT PASSED AS CLOSE TO THE SPEWING INFERNO AS SEEMED POSSIBLE. THEN I STARTED WALKING. AND WALKING. EVENTUALLY, I COULD SEE THREE TINY PEOPLE SPECKS STANDING ON TOP OF THE 100 METRE HIGH VOLCANO - SO I DID THE UNTHINKABLE. I HIKED UP TO THE TOP BY MYSELF... YES! HOW STUPID WAS THAT?

THE TRIO TURNED OUT TO BE VOLCANLOGISTS - AND THEY EMPLOYED ME TO BE A SPOTTER. AS CINDER "BOMBS" BLEW OUT OF THE CRATER'S THROAT AND DESCENDED TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT, I BARKED "MOVE 
LEFT, MOVE RIGHT OR "HEADS UP!" - IF LIVES WERE IN IMMINENT DANGER. AND I SNEAKED IN MORE THAN A FEW PHOTOS - INCLUDING THE TOP RIGHT ONE IN THE COLLAGE. 

HONESTLY, I FIND VOLCANOES A BIT ADDICTIVE - AND I CLIMBED VOLCANO BATUR LAST MONTH ON BALI - TO SUMMIT WITH A SPECTACULAR SUNRISE. H-M-M-M, I GUESS WE ALL GET TO PICK OUR POISON...

ALWAYS KEEP YOUR CAMERA READY, INCLUDING NECESSARY ADJUSTMENTS TO YOUR ISO SPEED SETTINGS. GREAT PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES OFTEN EXIST - FOR JUST A HEARTBEAT!
 






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