Iceland- Bowels of the Earth

Iceland- Bowels of the Earth

We are in the process of moving my studio to larger quarters right now, so I decided to take a break from packing (yucch!) and lifting (even worse!!). With only a few minutes between those chores and two assignments, I quickly looked through some my September Iceland trip.

What pops out for me are the elemental forces that are still shaping the Iceland of today. There are few places on this planet where you can walk along steaming vents, the result of roiling volcanic forces just under your feet.

I took these two images in an area not far from the Keflavik international airport, all with a hand-held Nikon D800 with 24-70 Nikkor lens. The smell of sulphur hangs heavy in the air, strong and pungent, forcing me to take shallow breaths, a good thing since the air is laced with caustic sulphuric acid. Yet the feeling I get is overwhelming awe at the creative powers of Mother Nature. Despite the chill outside, the heated earth underfoot keeps us comfortably warm.

Photographically, it is incredible staring down into rocky crevices that seep heated water from hundreds of feet below us. The dried sulphur forms yellow and orange concretions along the ridges near these cracks in the earth’s crust. It’s easy to imagine the conditions that prevailed on the early barren Earth, rich organic bubbling brews that simmered for eons and produced the very first living organisms. If that isn’t awesome, then I’m not sure what else is.

Here is a link to a short iPhone video I took while at a different vent field where the heated water mixes with organic compounds to create a constantly bubbling stew. Enjoy!