Mount Fagradalsfjall near Reykjavik, Iceland, has been in the news the last several months. After lying dormant for about 800 years, the first fissure appeared in March 2021, and the volcano has been erupting ever since. It’s the longest volcanic eruption in Iceland in more than 50 years.
Photographer Mike Mezeul II specializes in volcanos and headed to Iceland last spring to record the spectacle of Fagradalsfjall. “I documented the eruption via ground and air,” Mezeul tells us, “to show the beauty of this historic eruption as it creates the newest land in Iceland.” He used drones to capture the aerial footage that you see in his incredible short film, “Fagradalsfjall–The Birth of a Volcano.”
Fagradalsfjall is a “tuya” type volcano, an uncommon subglacial volcano formed by eruptions underneath glaciers. The lava is trapped under the ice and cools quickly, forming layers that grow into a steep hill that eventually breaks through the glacial ice.
The variety of shot types that Mezeul used in the film, from grand vistas to close-up details of the lava, transport us to Fagradalsfjall and give us a sense of witnessing this natural wonder in person. They also lend the short film a cinematic refinement, enhanced by the accompanying soundtrack.