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Volcano Calbuco erupted on April 22, 2015, for the first time in four decades. Located close to the cities of Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt in southern Chile. We spend the prior couple of days on the neighboring volcano Osorno (~20km linear distance) shooting timelapses. After an amazing night under the nightsky we took the cable car downwards after a delay caused by repairs. Already late we headed south to catch the ferry on Routa 7 down to Patagonia. After 10min on the ferry we noticed a massive, almost nuclear looking cloud boiling upwards just were 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 using Kingston HyperX SSDs. We filled almost all of our memory cards in the prior night so I had to do backups while shooting all this stuff.
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.

In Your Element! The Chemistry of Fireworks

The art of using mixtures of chemicals to produce explosives is an ancient one to say the least. Black powder - a mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur - was being used in China well before 1000 AD and is also used in military explosives, construction blasting and, of course, fireworks. Years and years ago fireworks just used to be basically rockets and loud bangs and the colours such as orange and yellow came from charcoal and iron fillings. However, great advances in chemistry in the 19th century had new compounds finding their way into fireworks. Salts of copper, strontium, and barium added some brilliant colours. Magnesium and aluminum metals gave a dazzling white light.

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If Nature Were Directed By Michael Bay

Nature shows are filled with mortal drama, but never the kind involving death rays – until now.

YouTube user Blackhawk uploaded a version of a BBC2 documentary about Australian wildlife that added lasers, explosions and sound effects from the video game Halo 4, tempering the brutal battle between bats and crocodiles with cartoon violence. (The narration in the mashup is from the original documentary.)