Nov. 12, 2021
Best of the Week — First Winner
Under the volcano: Stunning photos of ‘slow motion annihilation’ on the island of La Palma
The volcano on La Palma has been active for months — and so have any number of news agencies, documenting with day-to-day images, most often from a distance after authorities declared much of the Spanish island off-limits.
That was the challenge for Madrid-based chief photographer Emilio Morenatti, who wanted a fresh angle. Leaning on contacts, Morenatti gained access inside the exclusion zone. There, while providing daily images for the AP wire, he poured his creative energy into a series of still life photos that cross over into the art world, showing what he describes as “annihilation in slow motion.”
His images show neighborhoods, yards, houses and all the possessions therein buried in volcanic ash. One colleague called the work “shocking and beautiful at the same time.”
The package that was well-received by international clients and Morenatti was interviewed by Spanish television. Even competitor photographers took to social media to praise his work.
For combining determination, access, timing and talent to produce remarkable images that take viewers to the heart of an unfolding catastrophe, Morenatti is this week’s Best of the Week — First Winner.