Strokkur ~ Iceland

A shot of a huge bubble just seconds before the Strokkur geyser explodes in Iceland


I know this is just a bubble shot but it’s not any kind of bubble!

It is captured a few milliseconds before it erupted into a tower of water and steam about 30 meters (~ 100 feet) up in the air.

This is one of the most famous geysers located in a geothermic area east of Reykjavik, Iceland. This geyser named Strokkur (meaning churn in Icelandic) erupts every 4-8 minutes, as opposing to the famous Geysir (the word geyser comes from it by the way) which is now dormant due to clogged conduit.

Strokkur started first erupting in 1789 when an earthquake opened the conduit of the geyser. Another quake later blocked it again in 1896 and in 1963, locals cleaned up the plumbing system and the geyser has been regularly erupting since.

Trivia: Do you know why geysers erupt?

The deeper we go inside the conduit, the hotter it gets and the water is above boiling temperature. But it doesn’t actually boil because of the pressure from above.

Due to underground movements, this extremely hot water is forced up in the conduit which produces a chain reaction. The pressure decreases (less water pushing from above), water starts to gradually boil and reaches the top with high velocity which makes it burst into a tower of water and steam that smells like sulfur (or rotten eggs if you prefer). This shot is right before the bubble pops.

In case you are curious, yes I did get wet and smelled like sulfur for the rest of the day.


Quick Tips:

Since our eyes are usually trained to look for details, it can be harder to see blocks of color or shapes. The trick is to squint a bit: Details will blur and you will see things as masses.


Are you interested in improving your photography? Would you like to have an honest opinion about your work? I have launched a new feature on Canvas of Light: FREE PHOTO CRITIQUES! Just go to this Photo Critique Page, follow the procedure and I’ll gladly share my knowledge with you and help you improve as much as I can. Enjoy!


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Gary Arndt

That is pretty cool. Note to self: when shooting bubbling water, use a fast shutter speed.


[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Photo Of The Day, Daniel Nahabedian. Daniel Nahabedian said: New #Photo: Strokkur, one of the most famous geysers in Iceland. Enjoy! #travel #photography […]

Dmitriy Dzema

Wow, perfect timing :)

@Gary and use continuous shooting mode too


Nice!! Love the science behind it too. :)