WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Runner-up 2011

Wildscapes

Denis Budkov, Russia

In the Valley of Giants

In December 2009, Kljuchevsky erupted and continued to belch fire for a year. It's the highest active volcano in Eurasia and one of a belt of volcanoes on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, where Denis lives. Indigenous people believe that, when the raven god Kuth created Kamchatka, this was the point where he held it, which is why the mountain remains unsealed. On Denis' arrival, after nightfall, he heard 'a great roaring and saw that there was a massive flame coming out of the crater'. After this, magma spurted out like a gigantic sparkler, flowing down the volcano's flanks as crimson lava. The next day, the sky was thick with clouds of ash up to two kilometres (more than a mile) high. Denis took this image of the thick lava streams glowing in the dusk two days later, with a lenticular cloud hovering overhead. 'To be there during such a big explosion and see the volcano in all its glory was something I will never forget,' he says.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 500D + 18-55mm lens; 20 sec at f8; ISO 100; Manfrotto 190xPROB tripod.


Kamchatka National Park, Russia: latitude 51.383648, longitude 156.8839 Kamchatka National Park, Russia: latitude 51.383648, longitude 156.8839

Kamchatka National Park, Russia

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Denis Budkov, Russia