Well if you’re looking for true natural fireworks, nothing is going to beat this year’s eruption of Popocatepetl in Mexico. Ever since I studied Spanish in high school I thought that Popocatepetl was such a cool word. This picture by photographer Pablo Spencer for AP/Getty Images taken on the Fourth of July is truly spectacular. It looks like a color plate from some nineteenth century geology book, or perhaps a cover illustration for the latest edition of Susan Sontag’s “The Volcano Lover.”
I’ve got to wonder how exactly this image was taken. Having a dynamic range that goes from stars to lava fire is quite an accomplishment. And note also, that there’s not a hint of star trails, well maybe just a hint. I am thinking that perhaps this was done with high dynamic range (HDR) photography. In any event, the effect is stunning and primordial!