Spirit of the volcano
In the end, Francisco had just five minutes to photograph the flowering bugloss with the Milky Way in the position he wanted it. But he was prepared. He had spent several days walking among the spiky larva environment of Tenerife’s volcanic Teide National Park (the largest and oldest of the Canary Islands’ four national parks) searching for the perfect red bugloss flower spikes. He needed them growing in a position that would allow him to photograph them relative to the movement of the Milky Way. For Francisco, the red bugloss represents the soul of the island. Like many Canary Island plants and animals, which have been isolated from southern Europe and North Africa for millions of years, it is adapted to specific soil and climatic conditions, in this case to the volcanic slopes of Tenerife. Francisco used a long exposure for the stars, a flash to bring out the colour of the flowers and a ground-level viewpoint to emphasise the height of the plants (nearly three metres) against the dramatic night sky.
Nikon D3S + 14-24mm f2.8 lens; 65.4 sec at f5; ISO 1600; two Speedlight SB-900 flashes.
Parque Nacional del Teide, Tenerife
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Francisco Mingorance, Spain
Francisco has worked as a photojournalist for more than 30 years, and has published over 100 articles on nature in titles such as National Geographic, International Wildlife, Terre Sauvage, BBC Wildlife Magazine and Geo. His images have been used to illustrate more than 20 books, and he has won over 200 international photography awards.