Hot off the press! My latest photo essay for Nature.

I traveled to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to photograph Dr. Richie Robertson, the renowned expert in Caribbean volcanology. Richie’s research focuses on St. Vincent’s La Soufriere, a massive volcano that creates its own weather and looms over St. Vincent.

It was a great, sweaty shoot that involved hiking to a seismic station.

I was a tad celebrity struck and will get to that later.

During the hours I spent photographing Richie’s research, we climbed about halfway up the volcano to check the station. We lucked out with clear skies and a rain-free morning. Everything was in order and he flew his drone to do some further volcanic examination.

Afterwards, we hiked down and went to his office overlooking La Soufriere a few miles from the volcano’s base.

Many of you know I live mostly in Barbados, about 120-miles east of St. Vincent. In 2021 Soufriere erupted. The eruption sent a plume of ash eastward. The ash inundated Barbados and further paralyzed the COVID-stricken island.

We were already living with COVID restrictions that limited movement and the ability to go outside. Adding the eruption onto that made life so much worse. The world was grey and skies dim. Everything – trees, roads, cars, even our shared pool – was filled with or covered in ash. It took days before it was safe to emerge (wearing an N95 mask to avoid inhaling volcanic particulates).

During this episode, I remember watching Richie on TV calmly explaining the volcanic situation to global news outlets. Here I was a few months later hiking up the volcano that had profoundly disrupted my life with the celebrity scientist who guided me through those challenging weeks.

The images came out great. I hope you thinks so to.

Below is how the story appeared in Nature’s print edition. And here is the photo essay on Nature’s Instagram feed.

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