At first glance these photos by Andre Ermolaev look like twisting abstract paintings, but in reality are aerial photos of rivers flowing through Iceland’s endless beds of volcanic ash. Given its name and stereotypical depiction it’s somewhat surprising to learn that the small country named after ice is home to no less than 30 active volcanic systems. You’ll remember the eruption of the massive Grímsvötn volcano just last year that spewed some 120 million tons of ash in the first 48 hours and snarled air traffic for days. Of his photographs Ermolaev says:
Iceland is a wonderful country; I would even say that it is a true paradise for all the photo shooting-lovers. But what has become a real discovery for me is the bird’s eye view of the rivers flowing along the black volcanic sand. It is an inexpressible combination of colors, lines, and patterns. The photo represents the mouth of the river falling into the ocean. [...] A little bit upstream there is a yellow-colored brook flowing into the river, but yellow currents fail to mix with the main water flow. One can estimate the scale judging by the car tracks that are clearly seen on the black sand. This is just a river, just a volcano, just our planet.