Chilean landscape photographer Francisco Negroni is known for his incredible images showing extreme weather conditions. His work grabbed international attention when his photographs of the Cordón Caulle eruption went viral and earned him several awards.
What do you get when you marry two of Earth’s most dramatic natural events, lightning and volcanoes? The answer is a “dirty storm,” an infernal melange of lightning, magmatic fire and ash that surpasses even the wildest Hollywood disaster movie effects. The phenomenon is caused by the collision of ash, rock, and ejecta, which produces static electricity. That creates an electrostatic potential in the lower portion of the ash that eventually causes lightning to discharge into the cloud or air, often in the opposite direction of regular lightning.
Negroni admits that the image is special. “The photograph with which I obtained second place in the Pano Awards was taken during the violent eruption of the Volcán Calbuco, located in the south of Chile,” he told Engadget via email. “The technique was simple: long exposure, tripod and a 80-200mm lens. Approximately 10 minutes to achieve that incredible image that, without a doubt, is my best photograph of an eruption and I think the best taken in the world.”
“When I go outside to take photographs, I try to leave with the images in my mind: I imagine what I am going or want to achieve that day in that place… Although many times I don’t get what I imagined or thought would be a good photograph, and I get others that I couldn’t have imagined and they are much better, it’s strange. But almost always I work in a direct documentation, with an idea in base, but trying to always obtain an understanding of something more difficult for the spectator,” Negroni states.