Call it sheer luck, being at the right place at the right time, or Mother Nature’s gift to a photographer, but no matter what you call it these pictures are stunning. Thomas vdW was recently on a photography trip in Kamchatka, Russia, when he captured the most breathtaking phenomenon on camera. A meteor shower set to the backdrop of an erupting volcano.

Thomas was traveling with a group of equally passionate photographers, all following the lead of the talented Daniel Kordan. When the group arrived in Kamchatka, they learned of visible lava streams in an area they were already set to photograph. With anticipation filling the air, the group hopped aboard a 6-wheel drive Russian Kamaz truck hoping for clear weather conditions and some good shots of the volcano erupting.

Thomas vdW

The photographers set up their cameras about an hour away from the volcano, near a small lake high up on the mountain. This location “would allow us to shoot the volcano with a beautiful reflection as foreground,” said Thomas. He added, “The conditions were great and we managed to get some excellent shots of the glowing lava lighting up.”

Thomas vdW

It was the second night of shooting when things took an unexpectedly exciting turn.

“I had just switched from a wide angle lens to shoot at 35mm (allowing to get an image showing more detail of the volcano and lava) when all of a sudden, a bright streak appeared for a split second. A meteor!”

Thomas vdW

“Luck had it that I was taking a series of 15-second exposures, long enough to capture it. Realizing this is a once in a lifetime event, I feel incredibly fortunate and impressed to have witnessed these forces of nature.”

Thomas vdW

"A meteor aligns perfectly over erupting stratovolcano Klyuchevskaya Sopka. I called this picture 'Volcano magic,' writes Thomas.

Follow Thomas vdW Photography on Instagram

Read More