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Denis and the Volcano

An Eye For Creation

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ong before he was a doting father and family man, Denis Kelly was known for taking more than his share of risks in the pursuit of his photography.

Take the time he nearly found himself at ground zero during a volcanic eruption.

"I've never been so scared in my life," Kelly says of the time he and several companions climbed the very active Volcan Pacaya, hoping to get a close-up view of the volcano's crater. As the group reached the summit, the volcano began spewing smoke and dust into the air above them-a warning of an imminent eruption. Kelly took his photos and and he and his friends high-tailed it down the mountain.

The next week they were climbing another crater, Volcan de Agua, when they heard an angry growl from about twenty miles in the distance. It was Volcan Pacaya. The mountain burst into full eruption, and the rim of the crater where they had stood the previous week was blown into ashes.