Medium Format in the Sky: Eric Crosland's Aerial Photos of the Icelandic Eruption

Medium Format in the Sky: Eric Crosland's Aerial Photos of the Icelandic Eruption

Eric Crosland is the director of Sherpa Cinema, a collective of artists who produce some pretty amazing stuff. Crosland recently went to some rather remote parts of Iceland with Dave Mossop and John Trapman working on capturing some landscapes, something for which Iceland is a mecca. While there, the Icelandic eruption occurred and Crosland was ready with a Phase One.

As an example of what Sherpa Cinema produces, check out this excellent commercial for Dodge Ram:

Crosland and his team were in Iceland on a landscape photography adventure. "We were shooting a free ride mountain bike expedition into some of the most remote parts of Iceland. Freeriding bikes in terrain that had never been ridden before... it was a very explorative mission. In mountain biking, the landscape really is a character so we knew Iceland would be spectacular.

"What you don't read on the post card is that it has the worst weather in the world. I've been a lot of places and Im not joking its windy wet and cold everyday. Close to the end of trip when we had the cineflex and helicopter, we made the decision to try and get the erupting valcano called Bardarbunga."

"The first day we got shut down due to weather. The second day was looking much the same, but then the radar showed a little break in the storm near the end of the day. So we pushed all our chips into the middle of table and went for it." 

Up in a helicopter, Dave and John where running the cineflex v14 shooting video and Crosland was shooting the Phase. "As we started our long mission into the area,  across a huge lifeless black dessert. The pilot tried to convince us to turn around and abort the mission due to large sand storm going on near the volcano. We said 'no way keep flying we've spent to much time and money to turn around!'" The large glaciers right beside the volcano had created a huge wind transfer from the cold glacier to the hot eruption site. I honestly thought the heli was going to get blown out of the sky several times."

"At some points, it felt as if it was blowing us backwards. You can see the sand storm in a lot of the images and it really added to the drama of the landscape. We shot the site for 45 minutes exclusively from the air because it was illegal to land due to poisons gas leaking from the earth. We all felt the gas in the helicopter, and left with headaches and a large heli bill." Well, that and some stellar photos. 

To hear more from Eric Crosland and how he creates his images and videos, make sure to check him out in San Francisco at Stand Out! Photography Forums hosted by Phase One. Want free admission? Just use promo code FSTOPPERS to land a free seat. 

Jaron Schneider's picture

Jaron Schneider is an Fstoppers Contributor and an internationally published writer and cinematographer from San Francisco, California. His clients include Maurice Lacroix, HD Supply, SmugMug, the USAF Thunderbirds and a host of industry professionals.

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Fstoppers should officially announce October as the month of aerial photography.