Volcanoes are exhilarating to photograph, but challenging places to expose your gear--and yourself. The caustic fumes in the air corrode cameras and lungs alike, and turn rain into diluted battery acid. At the edge of an advancing lava flow, the heat was so intense that I could only expose a few frames at a time before I had to back off again. Modern-day Hawaii with its beaches and tourists was not that far away, but I was witnessing another era. When tongues of molten lava began to spill down a slope and covered solid ground with a new layer of liquid rock, I quickly moved into position to frame the image I was after--a vision of the world the way it was four billion years ago, when the surface of the Earth was still just taking shape. For more images of volcanoes and other scenes from early earth, follow me @FransLanting.
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