Etna’s River of Fire

Luciano Gaudenzio's Image

Lava flowed from a great opening on the side of the volcano, running along a huge tunnel and re-emerging further down the slope as an incandescent red river. In order to witness the scene, Luciano trekked up the volcano’s north face for several hours. He set the hot flow against the blue gaseous mist to capture, what he describes as, ‘the perfect moment’.

Mount Etna, the most active volcano in Europe, has been erupting continuously for almost 30 years and threatens around 900,000 people. Phenomena like lava flows and lava fountains are common, with ash plumes less frequent. This is just the most recent phase in 15,000 years of volcanic activity – and a stark reminder of Etna’s power.

Behind the lens

Luciano Gaudenzio

Luciano Gaudenzio


Luciano is a long-time professional photographer and filmmaker. His images appear in major Italian and foreign magazines and he is the author of several photographic books. He has won awards in some of the sector's most important photographic competitions, has been the subject of solo exhibitions in Italy and abroad, and is the founder and photographer of the photo agency PHOTOFVG.

Image details

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • 24mm f3.5 lens
  • 1 sec at f16  •   ISO 320  •   Leofoto tripod + ball head
  • Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy
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