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‘Surreal moments’: Alberta photographer captures stunning shots during Iceland volcanic eruption

Being in the right place at the right time helped an Alberta photographer capture some surreal snaps during a volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Kristopher Andres, from Banff, was in Iceland helping run a photography workshop.

Andres, along with another leader and the 12 workshop participants were woken up early in the morning on Feb. 8 when their beds started to shake.

“I was trying to fall back to sleep at 5:30 a.m. and shortly after that, the alarms started sounding.”

The photographers were forced to immediately evacuate the hotel near the Blue Lagoon.

“As we walked out of the hotel, it was just a huge orange glow in the distance,” said Andres. “As soon as we came around the first corner from the hotel, we were met by a big 80-foot, maybe 150-foot lava fountain.”

(Courtesy: Kristopher Andres/@Kristopherandres)

“It was just blistering watching these things. It was just so intense on how big mountains were and when you realize they’re actually about two kilometres away from us, it was even more unrealistic.”

The workshop evacuated to another hotel before they got an opportunity that was not advertised in the trip’s brochure.

“As soon as we got the clear, we shot over to our location that we thought would be best for the photography points and we shot for the next four hours.”

Police and local news crews were also stationed at the group’s location.

The group was aware of the possibility of a volcanic eruption. Two days prior they had heard the sirens being tested for an emergency response.

“When those sirens fired, it’s that unique feeling of, ‘Is this real? Is this really happening?’ So I called out all there and I’m like, ‘… is this for real?’”

(Courtesy: Kristopher Andres/@Kristopherandres)

The photos the group took will be around for a while, and they got an experience that will be hard to beat.

“It was just one of those surreal moments,” he said.

“How do you replicate this? How do you ever get another chance at a moment like this? So you just make the most of it.”

(Courtesy: Kristopher Andres/@Kristopherandres)

Andres had been to Iceland several times and said he figured the timing was going to work out for a volcanic eruption at some point.

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