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Numerous tents are seen during the 2013 International Camping Festival on Mount Wugongshan in Pingxiang, Jiangxi province, China. The event attracted more than 15,000 campers from all over the world, according to Xinhua News Agency.

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Nathan Ingraham

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James Turrell is known in the art world for creating pieces that can be both spectacularly innovative and highly disorienting. Take his Perceptual Cells — a large sphere where a person can lay down and be bombarded by lights so bright you can see the biological structure of your own eye. The New York Times has just published an in-depth look at Turrell's career as the artist prepares for three huge exhibitions planned to launch simultaneously in New York, Los Angeles, and Houston. The extensive profile digs deep into Turrell's polarizing art, and the author is even invited to visit Roden Crater — an extinct volcano on his on massive ranch in Arizona. Turrell has spent decades excavating it in an effort to turn it into a massive art...

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Before the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, which grounded air traffic in Europe for weeks, few people were probably aware that Iceland averages an eruption once every four years. But while the spewing of hot lava is a frequent event, that doesn’t mean it’s a common one. “When we have eruptions, it’s all over the news,” photographer Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson tells TIME. “Most Icelanders try and go and see the eruptions. We are very excited about it.”

The cover of Magma: Icelandic Volcanoes (2012)
© Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson—Arctic Images

Sigurdsson has spent much of his career photographing Iceland’s volcanic eruptions. As he explained to TIME in 2011, within minutes of an eruption, he’s in a plane to photograph the event from above. “If there would be an eruption right now, I would immediately jump into an airplane to get pictures,” he says. “Then I would go take my trusted Jeep and drive up there with my tripod and stay there. I like much better taking pictures on the ground than in the air. They are more powerful and more exciting.”

After years of recording Iceland’s volcanoes up close, Sigurdsson undertook his latest project, to collect and preserve as many photographs of Icelandic volcanoes as he could find. Along with geophysicist Ari Trausti Gudmundsson, his friend for 25 years, Sigurdsson pored over archives, scanning and preserving hundreds of photos of eruptions on the small Nordic island. They are collected in the recently published book Magma: Icelandic Volcanoes.

Many of the photos in the collection are exactly what you think a volcano should look like: searing reds and oranges spewing from the ground; black soot careening into the sky. But the book also includes old black and white photos that are equally powerful, classic depictions of geologic explosions that can pack as much power as an atomic bomb. “I’m quite fond of black and white myself,” Sigurdsson says. “Black and white volcano pictures are, maybe not all the time as powerful as the orange ones. If you have a lot of orange and blue colors, it’s a great contrast, the scenes and strong colors.”

Now that he has preserved the history of Iceland’s volcanoes, Sigurdsson is readying for the next eruption. When photographing a volcano, “you have to make decisions on the fly when you have the scene in front of you,” he says. Do you need slow shutter speed, long exposures, or do you need to freeze the action or all of the above? “You have to try everything and use all your knowledge—the key to success is you’re never done,” he says. “I was done when all of my batteries were dead. And I can’t wait for the next eruption.” Given the frequency of the country’s volcanoes, he might not have to wait long to try it out.

Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson has worked as a photographer since age 16. His work is available through Arctic Images. MAGMA: Icelandic Volcanoes is available directly from the publisher.

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There are few things quite as tense as watching one volcanologist mutter, "Oh my god. He's crazy. He's crazy," while watching another volcanologist scramble around the edge of a caldera.

It only gets more tense when you realize that the volcano in question is Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo—which has some of the fastest-moving lava flows ever recorded. The key feature of Nyiragongo is that lake of lava in the center of the crater that you see in the video. In January 1977, the lava lake was 2000 feet deep. When the volcano erupted later that month, the lake emptied dry in less than an hour. Lava was clocked at 40 mph.

Video clip from the BBC's "Journey to the Center of the Planet"

More about the program this came from.

Via EstudandoGeologia and Chris Rowan

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Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes around the world, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava. In 2011, active volcanoes included Chile's Puyehue, Japan's Shinmoedake, Indonesia's Lokon, Iceland's Grímsvötn, Italy's Etna, and recently Nyamulagira in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Hawaii, Kilauea continues to send lava flowing toward the sea, and the ocean floor has been erupting near the Canary Islands. Collected below are scenes from the wide variety of volcanic activity on Earth over the past year. [36 photos]

A cloud of ash billowing from Puyehue volcano near Osorno in southern Chile, 870 km south of Santiago, on June 5, 2011. Puyehue volcano erupted for the first time in half a century on June 4, 2011, prompting evacuations as it sent up a cloud of ash that circled the globe. (Claudio Santana/AFP/Getty Images)

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Jim Seida writes

Ships and aircraft have been ordered to stay away from the bubbling waters around La Restinga, and the Port's 600 residents have been evacuated.  Read more here...

Spanish government handout / AFP - Getty Images

This image released Nov. 3, shows green and brown stains at sea off the coast of the Spanish Canary Island of El Hierro. A series of quakes including one measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale shook Hierro island in Spain's Canaries, three weeks after a nearby undersea volcanic eruption. The 4.0-magnitude quake struck at 0755 GMT in the Atlantic about five kilometres (three miles) northwest of the town of Frontera, population 4,000, said a report by the National Geographical Institute.

Spanish Institute of Oceanograph / EPA

This computer-genereated image shows the underwater volcano in the southern area of El Hierro Island, in the Canary Islands, Spain, on Oct. 31.

Canary Regional Goverment handout / EPA

This image made available on Nov. 4 shows volcanic activity on Nov. 3 from underwater volcano at El Hierro island coast, Canary Islands, Spain. The volcano has being erupting and causing the ground to shake several times a day since July 2011.

 Follow the volcano's activity blow-by-blow on Earthquake Report

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The eruption of the Puyehue volcano in the Andes mountains of southern Chile last weekend provided some spectacular images of the force of nature. Ash covers the landscape and thousands of people were evacuated from the surrounding rural communities. The volcano, which hasn't been active since 1960 when it erupted after an earthquake, sent its plume of ash 6 miles high across Argentina and toward the Atlantic Ocean. -- Lloyd Young (33 photos total)
A plume of ash, estimated six miles (10km) high and three mile wide is seen after a volcano erupted in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain, about 575 miles (920 km) south of the capital, Santiago June 4. (Ivan Alvarado/Reuters)

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ROLLER COASTER RESCUE
ROLLER COASTER RESCUE: Firefighters practiced rescuing people from a stuck roller coaster in Leipzig, Germany, Tuesday. (Jan Woitas/Zuma Press)

LOOKING FOR VOTERS
LOOKING FOR VOTERS: Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, second from right, leaned to avoid tree branches as his truck drove down a street during a campaign for his Democrat Party in Bangkok Tuesday. Thailand’s general election is July 3. (Sakchai Lalit/Associated Press)

GETTING HELP
GETTING HELP: An Afghan girl named Persia was transported on a medical helicopter by U.S. forces to a military hospital outside Sangin, Afghanistan, Tuesday. She suffered head injuries after falling of a truck, and her father brought her to U.S. troops for medical treatment. (Anja Niedringhaus/Associated Press)

GROUNDED
GROUNDED: A plane covered in volcanic ash sat parked at an airport in southern Argentina Tuesday. Winds had carried the ash from the erupting Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic complex, a ridge between two craters just west of the Chilean-Argentine border that began erupting Saturday. (Alfredo Leiva/Associated Press)

A LINEUP
A LINEUP: A vendor displayed stuffed animals for sale along a roadside as he waited for customers on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)

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The Grimsvotn volcano began erupting on Saturday, sending clouds of ash high into the air. The amount of ash spewing from the volcano tapered off dramatically on Tuesday, however, said Elin Jonasdottir, a forecaster at Iceland’s meteorological office. She added that because the plume has decreased in height – it’s now at about 5,000 meters (16,000 feet) – the ash won’t travel far and will most likely fall to the ground near its source. (AP)

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In this photo taken on Saturday, May 21, 2011, smoke plumes from the Grimsvotn volcano, which lies under the Vatnajokull glacier, about 120 miles, (200 kilometers) east of the capital, Rejkjavik, which began erupting Saturday for the first time since 2004. Iceland closed its main international airport and canceled domestic flights Sunday as a powerful volcanic eruption sent a plume of ash, smoke and steam 12 miles (20 kilometers) into the air. (AP Photo/Jon Gustafsson) #

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A cloud of smoke and ash is seen over the Grimsvoetn volcano on Iceland on May 21, 2011. The cloud rising up from Grimsvoetn as a result of the eruption was seen first time around 1900 GMT and in less than an hour it had reached an altitude of 11 kilometres (6.8 miles)," according to the Icellandic meterological institute. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A deserted check-in area is seen at Keflavik airport, Keflavik, Iceland Sunday May 22, 2011 as Iceland closed its main international airport and canceled domestic flights as a powerful volcanic eruption sent a plume of ash, smoke and steam 12 miles (20 kilometers) into the air. The eruption was far larger than one a year ago that caused international travel chaos _ but scientists said it was unlikely to have the same widespread effect. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti) #

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Anna Hardadottir, a farmer of Horgsland, leads a horse, through the ash pouring out of the erupting Grimsvoetn volcano on May 22, 2011. Ash deposits were sprinkled over the capital Reykjavik, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) to the west of the volcano, which has spewed an ash cloud about 20 kilometres into the sky. Less than 24 hours after the eruption began late Saturday, experts and authorities in Iceland said the volcanic activity had begun to decline. (Vilhelm Gunnarsson/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Sheep farmers try to round up a flock as they walk through a cloud of ash pouring out of the erupting Grimsvoetn volcano in Mulakot on May 22, 2011. Ash deposits were sprinkled over the capital Reykjavik, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) to the west of the volcano, which has spewed an ash cloud about 20 kilometres into the sky. Less than 24 hours after the eruption began late Saturday, experts and authorities in Iceland said the volcanic activity had begun to decline. (Vilhelm Gunnarsson/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Tourists leave the Islandia Hotel in Nupur as ash continue to pour out of the erupting Grimsvoetn volcano on May 22, 2011. Ash deposits were sprinkled over the capital Reykjavik, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) to the west of the volcano, which has spewed an ash cloud about 20 kilometres into the sky. Less than 24 hours after the eruption began late Saturday, experts and authorities in Iceland said the volcanic activity had begun to decline. (Vilhelm Gunnarsson/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Vehicles are covered in ash near to Kirkjubaearklaustur, approx. 260 km from Reykjavik, Iceland, Monday, May 23, 2011. A dense cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano was being blown toward Scotland Monday, forcing two airlines to cancel their flights, U.S. President Barack Obama to cut short his visit to Ireland and carriers across Europe to fear a repeat of the huge disruptions that stranded millions of passengers a year ago. (AP Photo / Brynjar Gauti) #

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Farmers Thormar Eller and Henny Hrund go to check their livestock as an ash cloud is seen in background, near Kirkjubaearklaustur, approx. 260 km from Reykjavik, Iceland, Monday, May 23, 2011. A dense cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano was being blown toward Scotland Monday, forcing two airlines to cancel their flights, U.S. President Barack Obama to cut short his visit to Ireland and carriers across Europe to fear a repeat of the huge disruptions that stranded millions of passengers a year ago. (AP Photo / Brynjar Gauti) #

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In this photo taken on Saturday, May 21, 2011, smoke plumes from the Grimsvotn volcano, which lies under the Vatnajokull glacier, about 120 miles, (200 kilometers) east of the capital, Rejkjavik, which began erupting Saturday for the first time since 2004. Iceland closed its main international airport and canceled domestic flights Sunday as a powerful volcanic eruption sent a plume of ash, smoke and steam 12 miles (20 kilometers) into the air. (AP Photo, Jon Gustafsson) #

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A bird is lit by a vehicle's headlights in the middle of the day, as it sits on the road in an ash cloud, near to Kirkjubaearklaustur, approx. 260 km from Reykjavik, Iceland, Monday, May 23, 2011. A dense cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano was being blown toward Scotland Monday, forcing two airlines to cancel their flights, U.S. President Barack Obama to cut short his visit to Ireland and carriers across Europe to fear a repeat of the huge disruptions that stranded millions of passengers a year ago. (AP Photo / Brynjar Gauti) #

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A rescue team is seen near to Kirkjubaearklaustur, approx. 260 km from Reykjavik, Iceland, Monday, May 23, 2011. A dense cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano was being blown toward Scotland Monday, forcing two airlines to cancel their flights, U.S. President Barack Obama to cut short his visit to Ireland and carriers across Europe to fear a repeat of the huge disruptions that stranded millions of passengers a year ago. (AP Photo / Brynjar Gauti) #

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A departures board shows canceled flights as the airport remains open with limited flights at Edinburgh Airport in Edinburgh, Scotland Tuesday, May 24, 2011. A dense ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano blew toward Scotland, causing airlines to cancel Tuesday flights and raising fears of a repeat of last year's huge travel disruptions in Europe that stranded millions of passengers. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell) #

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Farmers drive to check on their animals near Kirkjubaearklaustur 260 km (162 miles) from Reykjavík, Iceland Tuesday May 24 2011 after the Grimsvotn volcano began erupting on Saturday, sending clouds of ash high into the air that have then been carried toward the European continent on the wind. Experts say that particles in the ash could stall jet engines and sandblast planes' windows. The ash cloud forced US President Barack Obama to shorten a visit to Ireland on Monday, and has raised fears of a repeat of huge travel disruptions in Europe last year when emissions from another of Iceland's volcanos, Eyjafjalljokull, stranded millions of passengers.(AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti ) #

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Rescue workers talk to a farmer near Kirkjubaearklaustur 260 km (162 miles) from Reykjavík, Iceland Tuesday May 24 2011 after the Grimsvotn volcano began erupting on Saturday, sending clouds of ash high into the air that have then been carried toward the European continent on the wind. Experts say that particles in the ash could stall jet engines and sandblast planes' windows. The ash cloud forced US President Barack Obama to shorten a visit to Ireland on Monday, and has raised fears of a repeat of huge travel disruptions in Europe last year when emissions from another of Iceland's volcanos, Eyjafjalljokull, stranded millions of passengers.(AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti ) #

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A dead lamb lies covered in ash near Kirkjubaearklaustur 260 km (162 miles) from Reykjavík, Iceland Tuesday May 24 2011 after the Grimsvotn volcano began erupting on Saturday, sending clouds of ash high into the air that have then been carried toward the European continent on the wind. Experts say that particles in the ash could stall jet engines and sandblast planes' windows. The ash cloud forced US President Barack Obama to shorten a visit to Ireland on Monday, and has raised fears of a repeat of huge travel disruptions in Europe last year when emissions from another of Iceland's volcanos, Eyjafjalljokull, stranded millions of passengers. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti ) #

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Sheep raise an ash cloud as they run in a field near Kirkjubaearklaustur 260 km (162 miles) from Reykjavík, Iceland Tuesday May 24 2011 after the Grimsvotn volcano began erupting on Saturday, sending clouds of ash high into the air that have then been carried toward the European continent on the wind. Experts say that particles in the ash could stall jet engines and sandblast planes' windows. The ash cloud forced US President Barack Obama to shorten a visit to Ireland on Monday, and has raised fears of a repeat of huge travel disruptions in Europe last year when emissions from another of Iceland's volcanos, Eyjafjalljokull, stranded millions of passengers. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti) #

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A cloud of ash decends on the settlement of Vik near the Grimsvoetn volcano on Iceland on May 23, 2011. Activity at Iceland's erupting volcano has slowed significantly and its flight-halting ash plume has dropped to a quarter of its peak of 20 kilometres (12 miles), experts in Iceland said on May 24, 2011. "There is less activity... A lot less of the ash is going into the atmosphere," Petur Matthiasson, a spokesman for Iceland's Civil Protection and Emrgency Management Administration, told AFP. (Vilheldm Gunnarsson/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A man clears the windshield of his car during daylight hours in Kirkjbaejarklaustur, near the Grimsvoetn volcano, on May 23, 2011. Activity at Iceland's erupting volcano has slowed significantly and its flight-halting ash plume has dropped to a quarter of its peak of 20 kilometres (12 miles), experts in Iceland said on May 24, 2011. "There is less activity... A lot less of the ash is going into the atmosphere," Petur Matthiasson, a spokesman for Iceland's Civil Protection and Emrgency Management Administration, told AFP. (Vilheldm Gunnarsson/AFP/Getty Images) #

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In this handout satellite image provided by NASA/GSFC, shows Grimsvotn volcano emmiting ash plume on May 21, 2011 in Grimsvotn, Iceland. The cloud has forced the closure of Icelandic airspace and spread fears of a repeat of the global travel chaos that was caused by last year's Icelandic eruption, although authorities inisist that this Grimsvotn poses a lesser threat. (Photo by NASA/GSFC via Getty Images) #

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A member of a rescue team checks on a farmer near to Kirkjubaearklaustur, approx. 260 km from Reykjavik, Iceland, Monday, May 23, 2011. A dense cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano was being blown toward Scotland Monday, forcing two airlines to cancel their flights, U.S. President Barack Obama to cut short his visit to Ireland and carriers across Europe to fear a repeat of the huge disruptions that stranded millions of passengers a year ago. (AP Photo / Brynjar Gauti) #

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Passengers rest on the floor as their flights have been canceled at Edinburgh Airport in Edinburgh, Scotland Tuesday, May 24, 2011. A dense ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano blew toward Scotland, causing airlines to cancel Tuesday flights and raising fears of a repeat of last year's huge travel disruptions in Europe that stranded millions of passengers. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell) #

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A man walks over a field in the settlement of Vik near the Grimsvoetn volcano on Iceland on May 23, 2011. Activity at Iceland's erupting volcano has slowed significantly and its flight-halting ash plume has dropped to a quarter of its peak of 20 kilometres (12 miles), experts in Iceland said on May 24. "There is less activity... A lot less of the ash is going into the atmosphere," Petur Matthiasson, a spokesman for Iceland's Civil Protection and Emrgency Management Administration, told AFP. (Thorvaldur Kristmundsson/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Passengers wait for information about their flights from Landvetter Airport in Goteborg on May 24, 2011. The ash cloud from the volcano Grimsvotn reached Sweden and hampered air traffic late Monday evening. At 2000 hours 10 flights from Landvetter airport were cancelled. (ADAM IHSE/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Horses are gathered to be taken into the stables at Geirland Farm in Kirkjubaejarklaustur, East Iceland on May 24, 2011, as the ash from the erupting Grimsvoetn volcano fills the sky. The ongoing eruption has shown the most violent start ever registered at Grimsvoetn, at the heart of the Vatnajoekull glacier, and the peak of its plume towered at around twice the height of the column spewed out last year by Eyjafjoell. (AGNES VALDIMARSDOTTIR/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Abandoned vehicles sit in a field covered in volcanic ash from the Grimsvotn volcano in the village of Vik, in Myraldur, Iceland, on Monday, May 23, 2011. British Airways, Air France-KLM Group and a dozen other carriers canceled more than 250 flights and U.S. President Barack Obama curtailed his visit to Ireland after ash from an Icelandic volcano drifted over the northern U.K. Photographer: Ragnar Axelsson/Bloomberg #

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A cloud of volcanic ash from Grimsvotn volcano obscures houses in the village of Vik, in Myraldur, Iceland, on Monday, May 23, 2011. British Airways, Air France-KLM Group and a dozen other carriers canceled more than 250 flights and U.S. President Barack Obama curtailed his visit to Ireland after ash from an Icelandic volcano drifted over the northern U.K. Photographer: Ragnar Axelsson/Bloomberg #

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