Chile’s Calbuco Volcano Makes My Worst Nightmare Look Magnificent

Martin Heck of Timestorm Films started scrambling to set up every bit of camera gear they had. While traveling on a ferry to Patagonia, they looked up to see an apocalyptic cloud bursting upwards, filling the sky. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The Calbuco volcano in Chile erupted on April 22, 2015 for the first time in four decades.

“This was for sure the most incredible show I’ve ever seen. I think this is a one-in-a-lifetime event, and I am so happy that we were able to capture it in all its glory,” writes the German-based timelapse specialist and cinematographer on his Vimeo page.

The still shots are incredible, but you have to see it in motion. It’s near impossible to get a sense of the magnitude of the billowing smoke and ash, but watching it rolling out into the atmosphere is breathtaking.


Chile’s Calbuco Volcano erupts in absolute magnificence. (Screenshot/Vimeo)


A still from the film, which is a must see force of nature caught with utmost skill and artistry. Good cameras too, of course. (Screenshot/Vimeo)


The thick grey cloud of ash and smoke rolls out of the volcano. Words cannot do justice to the force of nature’s beauty. (Screenshot/Vimeo)


The sky reflects colors of dark red and earthy brown. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

After spending a couple of days on neighboring volcano Osorno shooting timelapses of the night-sky, they were on their way to Patagonia on the Routa 7 ferry when Calbuco started erupting.

“After 10 minutes on the ferry, we noticed a massive, almost nuclear looking cloud boiling upwards just where we left a few hours ago. Frenetically looking for a good outlook, we then rushed to the only non-forested place to get a decent view of the show.

“We quickly put every bit of camera equipment we could find on the constantly growing mushroom cloud. We shot timelapses in 8K and 4K with a Pentax 645Z and Canon 6D. On the A7s, we shot 4K video to the Shogun. We filled almost all of our memory cards in the prior night so I had to do backups while shooting all this stuff.”

Despite wanting to avoid death by volcano, I really wish I could have seen this in person.

Planet Earth is such an incredibly powerful and beautiful speck of dust.


“Culbuco.” (Screenshot/Vimeo)


Timestorm Films captures the April 2015 eruption of Calbuco Volcano in Chile. (Screenshot/Vimeo)


Shafts of sunlight illuminate the gases and ash that are spewed into the air from the depths of the Earth. Screenshot/Vimeo)

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