on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Land of the Fire Mountains

A Photographic Adventure in a volcanic landscape

Joe Wright

Joe Wright

Frequently found wandering the woodlands, hills and river banks of the British countryside.

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Unsure as to whether this was going to be an article about a location guide, photographic inspiration or “what’s in my bag”; I decided to make it about all three! Consequently, it’s quite lengthy but I do split it broadly into those areas if you feel like dipping into one aspect first, although I do think it reads better top to bottom. For information, I did write a little about this location previously on my own website blog after I first visited it last year (2013) but, prompted by a return visit again this year (2014) and a spate of recent articles here on On Landscape featuring a certain volcanic destination. I thought I would throw in an alternative somewhat similar destination just to mix things up a little bit.

So then, to start with let’s play a little guessing game - if I ask you to visualise an island with volcanoes, a sparse landscape, solidified lava flows with beaches of black gritty sand sparkling with lumps of ice and, skylines that glow with vivid green where do your thoughts immediately turn? I am going to hazard a guess and predict you were thinking of the current draw of many landscape orientated photographers; Iceland.

But what if I now throw in a constant all year round temperature of +70c, that there are in fact a number of islands not just one and, those lumps of ice are in actuality small cubes cossetted in tumblers cooling cocktails and the green glow is the luminescent aura of neon tubes of a bar?

Featured Comments from:

Adam Pierzchala: Thanks for this article, it was a very enjoyable post-prandial read on a Saturday afternoon! I have also thought about visiting the Canaries off-season and this article has motivated me to consider the idea more seriously and helps to picture what might be achievable. As to the spotmeter, that brought back horrible memories of my brand new meter doing some surfing in Portugal. Also on the first outing! You have some wonderful photos; Calcium Veins is really beautiful as is Waves on a Beach.



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  • Babak

    Thank you Joe.
    Thoroughly enjoyed this article. Not long enough if you ask me..
    And the pictures you have taken are beautiful. It is not always easy to combine a family holiday and photography, but you have inspired me.

    Babak

    • Thank you for your kind words on the article Babak. As you say, combining activities like these can prove challenging but I found having formed a loose brief in my mind helped to make the most of the opportunities I did create…

  • Adam Pierzchala

    Thanks for this article, it was a very enjoyable post-prandial read on a Saturday afternoon! I have also thought about visiting the Canaries off-season and this article has motivated me to consider the idea more seriously and helps to picture what might be achievable. As to the spotmeter, that brought back horrible memories of my brand new meter doing some surfing in Portugal. Also on the first outing!

    You have some wonderful photos; Calcium Veins is really beautiful as is Waves on a Beach.

    • Hi Adam,
      Thanks for the feedback on those images Adam. I noticed from your flickr stream you are partial to the odd bit of abstract rock yourself.

      Of course I am biased from having travelled to the Canaries a few times now but given the diversity of landscapes across the group of island as a whole; there is lot to explore and enjoy.

      Throw in the pleasant climage and it makes for a very comfortable experience.

  • I’ve just returned from Lanzarote where I spent a week ‘getting to grips’ with the Landscape and planning for a return visit in the very near future. I found capturing the wider Landscape a little daunting and the inaccessibility in certain areas quite hard going. I also found myself concentrating more on texture, abstract and the micro landscape but found some fantastic options down around El Golfo, especially on a low tide. Alas I was not blessed with the conditions I wanted so I’ve certainly got unfinished business on the Island.

    • Hi Rich,
      Yes, It can at first seem like a perplexing and alien landscape but I think that’s what make it such an intriguing place to visit and photograph in. The island certainly has lots to offer and the accessibility of neighbouring islands widens the potential somewhat.
      If you do get back there I look forward to seeing your interpretation of the landscape.
      Best… Joe

  • Giles Stokoe

    Soooo glad to see Lanzarote turn up on these pages, though I wonder whether having a cheap lunch and a siesta in the sun will not be hardcore enough for the current crop of location baggers ;-)

    I’ve been a couple of times myself, though a while ago. I remember my second trip especially as it was a wild recce: 5 Canary islands in a week, and all of them radically different. With the emphasis moving away from grand, famous vistas, I think that there is a wealth there to be discovered.

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