Continued from Part 1.
Following the photographs are three short videos, the last of which reveals the unbelievable colours coating the inner wall of the crater.
The elevator platform looked well-engineered and deploys the safety braking mechanism found in all cable elevators. (Thank you, Elisha Otis.) Sound safety procedures were followed including securing us to the platform via the harness.
The first batch of four was gently lowered into the crater, the descent to the floor 120 metres below taking around 10 minutes. On the way down it got very dark very quickly, and this combined with platform shake was not conducive to still photography.
On the floor of the magma chamber I quickly put my tripod to work. These colours are the handiwork of Nature, not the Photoshop Saturation slider.
I played with the last image, obliterating its local contrast (Clarity slider set to minimum in Lightroom).
We spent around 45 minutes on the floor of the chamber. Back at the base station we were offered coffee and a light meal with a choice of traditional Icelandic lamb soup (Kjötsúpa) and a hot vegetarian item that was inscrutable but delicious nevertheless.
Before our trek back I chanced upon Árni Stefánsson, the man behind the Inside the Volcano enterprise. “This is a world heritage site,” he intoned. I wanted to tell him that the whole of Iceland (minus the unsightly jumble that is Reykjavík) is a world heritage site.
The videos were shot with Canon 5D Mark III and the Zeiss ZE 50mm f/2 Makro Planar lens. The first and the third cuts were taken handheld on the moving elevator platform, and it was a struggle having to constantly adjust focus, deal with shake, and fight fogged glasses.
Börkur Hrólfsson dispenses pearls of wisdom on balancing techniques on uneven ground.
Colours on the crater walls.