Witness to Katla

[Update: Ólafur Petursson passed away on February 22, 2012. He was 102.]

Among the most feared volcanoes in Iceland, Katla last erupted in 1918. At the time Ólafur Pétursson (b. 1909) was 9 years old, and his wife þórunn Björnsdóttir (b. 1911) was 7. The couple are today the last living witnesses to that cataclysmic event.

Ólafur and þórunn still live on their farm Giljur, in the shadow of Katla. We dropped in unannounced at their house one morning in June 2010. þórunn, now 99, was under the weather. Ólafur, on the other hand, was in good spirits, and with his grandson Ólafur Gunnarson serving as translator, we ended up shooting the breeze…and a few portraits as well.

Ólafur Pétursson (b. 1909)

Ólafur Pétursson (1909-2012)
5D Mark II, 85L II

 
Ólafur Pétursson at his home in Giljur, south Iceland

Ólafur Pétursson at his home at Giljur, south Iceland
5D Mark II, 24-105L

 
Ólafur Pétursson

Ólafur Pétursson
5D Mark II, 24-105L

 
 
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