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Finally. Finally, I got to experience an eruption and how?! Words fall short to describe how amazing this weekend has been. The wild ride started Friday evening when I arrived in Snæfellsnes, ready for a night of northern lights. While prepping my gear in front of Kirkjufell, I get a message telling me an eruption has started. I was totally caught off-guard as I had given up hope it was going to happen. I jumped into the car, checked out of the guesthouse I had planned on staying at and drove back to Reykjavík.

On Saturday, when it was clear how you could approach the eruption, I packed up my gear and drove to the nearest parking spot. After that, I hiked for 4 hours over very rough terrain in the rain. The hike took me over loose solidified lava, thick moss and extremely uneven terrain. The whole hike ended in a steep climb up a mountain, over loose rock and thick mud. But, when I finally got on top of the mountain and saw the eruption appear in front of me, the struggle had been all worth it. My mind was blown. I had been wanting to see this for such a long time, it felt like I had achieved a milestone, like I could finally offload all this desire cropped up inside of me. I stayed about 3,5 hours at the eruption site and ended up hiking back to my car in the dark. The adrenaline and the sense of accomplishment kept me going even though I was exhausted.

There are no words that can fully describe what I felt after this experience (and still feel while I’m writing this). Þetta var magnað!

Below are a few images I have selected so far out of roughly 2500 photographs I took in those 3,5 hours next to the eruption.

This article was also posted on my Behance profile.

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Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove

Jeroen is an award-winning Belgian photographer based in Iceland. The past years, he dedicated his photography to the Central Highlands & volcanic eruptions. Most recently, he received international attention for his work at the Fagradalsfjall volcano.


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Support Jeroen’s Work

As an independent photographer, Jeroen partially relies on your support to keep producing worthwhile content. Supporting his work is possible by buying his books, calendars or prints.

Additionally, you can sign up to the newsletter & photo workshop waitlist. Signing up grants you 10% off in the shop.