Iceland’s Dramatic Volcano Eruption Captured in Amazing Drone Footage

Iceland’s recent volcanic eruption stunned and amazed the country’s residents but also citizens around the globe.  That’s because recreational drone fliers were able to film the eruption in real time, and to post their videos online.  Coast Guard helicopters circled the volcano and filmed its massive lava flows but stayed at a safe and respectful distance, fearful of the threat from lava spikes that can shoot upward at heights of 100 feet or more.  But not the intrepid drone hobbyists, at least one of whom got close enough to see their FPV drones melted by the lava’s extreme heat, but not before capturing rare close-up images of an exploding volcano.

Tik Tok user “Jedeye” posted a 35-second clip of his dazzling voyage into the heart of the flow which prompted praise and awe from the 630,000 people that viewed it last week.  Jedeye circled around the edge of the crater before flying directly over top and then directly into the spewing lava spikes before the video abruptly ends.   “National Geographic shot, what a beauty!” commented one viewer.  Another lamented: “Rest in peace, drone.”

Thor Olafarson, a local flier from the town of Grindavik, near where the volcano erupted, decided to fly close to the crater, but not so close as to risk his drone’s safety.  Interviewed on YouTube, he expressed amazement at the size and intensity of the eruption, the first in the area in nearly 13 years.  “Being able to fly the drone from literally 10 meters away is an amazing feeling,” he said.

In fact, it’s not necessary to get so close to a volcano to come away with dazzling images of its majestic “fire fountains,” as the lava spikes are known.  A drone’s  high-powered zoom cameras have more than enough capacity to film an erupting volcano from nearly any distance and with thermal imaging can film at night. But many fliers and residents apparently couldn’t resist.

Professional photographer Michael Shainblum posted a video comparing images shot with his mounted photo lens camera from a distance of several thousand feet with those taken by his drone.  His single shot and time lapse photos were impressive but as he noted, aerial drone photography offers far more compositional options than even the most sophisticated ground- based photography can afford.  “These top down image perspectives were a dream to capture,” he noted in his voiceover.

His footage from several hundred  feet above seemed to depict not a lava flow but an intricate red-colored mosaic pattern that only the Gods could have fashioned.  Some of the snapshots taken from his video footage seemed to depict ghostly skulls or totemic figures from ancient times – including a magnificent “lava dragon” – transporting the viewer to unseen realms.  Shainblum also used a series of filters to capture the lava images against a stark black background, setting them off in sharper eerie relief.

From a distance, an aerial drone’s camera can offer a much more intricate texture to lava flow images and can take in the entire surrounding landscape – mountains, clouds and a setting sun, for example  – which gives the eruption a context missing from most ground-based photography.

Shainblum recommends using a DJI Mavic 2 for volcano filming and suggests switching out the camera cards to ensure that your images are preserved in the event of a drone crash or the ever-present threat of heat damage that can occur even at a substantial distance from the lava flows..

“I will remember these images for the rest of my life,” Shainblum says.

ABOUT US: is a Nationwide Media Company specializing in custom Drone Videos for real estate, commercial, farms, construction, golf courses, roof inspections and more. All of our Drone Operators are fully licensed and insured. When you purchase a Drone Video Package from us, you will receive a video professionally edited, color corrected and presented to you on an SEO-Friendly webpage that you can easily share online and on Social Media with a click of a button. Click here to get started.
Start Your Order
We Offer a Variety of Drone Video Packages
to Fit Your Needs and Budget