Books about volcanoes in Iceland

The eruption of Geldingardalir resulted in more than unique experiences for hikers and tourists, it also piqued the creativity of photographers who ventured to capture the scorching moment in time. Lucky for those who haven’t witnessed the rash in person – and those who have, but want another way to remember the experience than the photos they took on their iPhone, a handful of amazing photography books have been published with Geldingardalir as the star.

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Our so called fire photographers range from little known to familiar names and set geologists apart. Here are their books that we love right now.

Thorough history

Ari Trausti Guðmundsson is a household name in Iceland. Not only is he one of the foremost geologists in the country, he is also a former member of Parliament and he ran for President a few years ago, but to no avail. He is also the brother of Erró, one of the most renowned visual artists Iceland has ever produced. Ari Trausti has written dozens of books, ranging from fiction to science. In this book, he combined his talents as a geologist with those of one of Iceland’s finest photographers, Ragnar Th. Ragnar gained international attention when he captured the brutality of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2011. Ragnar and Ari Trausti are regular contributors, having produced four books related to Icelandic nature that stretch from the Vatnajökull Glacier to the Northern Lights. This latest post is a safe bet for those who want beautiful images of the volcano, an in-depth history of the area, and an understanding of the eruption.

The volcano photographer

British photographer Max Milligan may not yet be known in Iceland, but he’s a regular visitor to Iceland, photographing everything from landscapes to the world’s first female president, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. He published his book, “Birth of a Volcano,” last year after trekking the arduous hike to the eruption with 11 kilograms (24 lbs) of gear on his back each time. Max also made headlines in Icelandic when he captured the eruption under the Northern Lights, a very rare snapshot, considering the months in which the volcano erupted. Over the past two decades, Max has photographed Mount Etna, Vesuvius and Stromboli in Italy as well as Bromo in Indonesia, making him arguably one of the most experienced volcanoes photographers on this list.

Also Eyjafjallajökull

We cannot stress enough how much we love Sigurgeir Sigurjónsson’s photography. His unique eye for Icelandic nature even teaches Icelanders a thing or two about the beauty and complexity of the country. He has published books as important to Icelandic souls as the old sagas (see for example “Lost in Iceland” and “Small World Iceland”). But this list is about fire, not ice. Sigurgeir’s book, ‘Volcano Island’, focuses primarily on the incredible Eyjafjallajökull eruption and its impact on the surrounding area. It was a dramatic event, not only in Iceland but for the world, when this small volcanic island halted air traffic between North America and Europe for almost a week.

Up close and personal

Belgian photographer Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove is perhaps the least known name on this list, but he also offers an intriguing glimpse of the volcano in his book “New Earth: A Photographic Journey of the Geldingadalir Eruption”. He photographed the volcano from a more intimate perspective during his 44 hikes covering the duration of the eruption.

The book is Jeroen’s attempt to share his own experiences with the volcano with the reader, with diary-style writing of his many visits. Check out this one for a more personal approach to a massive natural event.

Guess what? You can pick up your copy of these books from the Grapevine Store.

About Marcia G. Hussain

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