Dawn at the Edge of the Region

26mm, 0.6s, f/8, ISO640

I may be colourblind, but I still love colourful photography. I have many close-ups from Mt Nyiragongo, and I’m sure I’ll share several of them with you, but this is probably my favourite photograph from the top. Taken just before dawn, it required a tripod, but I kept the shutter speed short enough to not ruin the patterns on the surface of the lava lake — 0.6 seconds.

The timing for images like this one is crucial. Fifteen minutes earlier, the sky and rock would have appeared close to pitch black, too dark compared to the red hot lava. (Alternatively, exposed for the sky, the lava would have appeared bright white.) Fifteen minutes later, the sky would have been too bright, making the glow of the lava all but disappear. In fact, five minutes in either direction would probably have been enough to prevent the photograph from working.

Don’t miss our extensive interview with Marcus and head to his website for even more.


  1. You casually open with something quite interesting when talking about photographers… Could you tell us more?

    1. The color blindness? Funnily enough, I spent quite a lot of time today discussing it with my guide here in South Africa. He’s also a photographer and wanted to know exactly how it works – what I see and what I don’t see. I think my main issue is red and green. But the human brain is an interesting piece of work, so most of the time I don’t get confused. I know that grass is green and strawberries are red, so if I am photographing a strawberry on some grass I can tell the difference very easily. However, when Jess (my wife) and I were looking for a field of bright red poppies during a walk in Portugal last year. Jess saw it from over 100 meters away. I couldn’t see anything except green until we were close enough to see the shape of the flowers; but then, suddenly, I could see red flowers everywhere. It’s all very strange.

      1. Wow that’s interesting. And then when you can distinguish them as different colors, let’s say a red strawberry on a green grass, do they look like red and green to you (as I would see it) or different colors? PS. Great pictures from the crater!!

        1. Yes, they do, but I still don’t find that red and green are very strongly contrasted from each other (unlike, say, blue and yellow). 🙂

  2. Fantastična fotografija. Da ima pa avtor težave s prepoznavanjem barv, je še toliko bolj presenetljivo in vredno občudovanja. Očitno ima človek lastnost, da še iz tako težke situacije najde izhod, če le hoče. Hotenje in trma sta tu odločilna faktorja,

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