In 2010, Iceland experienced an epic volcanic eruption that captured the attention of people worldwide. Eyjafjallajökull spewed ash into the air as experts warned that the tiny particles of rock, glass and sand contained in the ash cloud was sufficient to jam aircraft engines. European air traffic was at a standstill for weeks.
While most saw the natural disaster as a huge inconvenience, Swedish landscape and aerial photographer Hans Strand saw it as an opportunity. Though it took him seven attempts before he found a way to fly to Iceland, his persistence paid off as he shot the volcano within 600 meters flying in a Cessna 172. Strand was one of the few who was able to witness, first-hand, the “continuous explosions and huge bursts of lava shooting into the sky.” He also shot from the ground, photographing the ash cloud’s dramatic background against the tranquil Icelandic landscape.