On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens, one of 160 active volcanoes in the United States’ Pacific Ring of Fire, blew its top—right after triggering a massive 5.1-level earthquake that caused the largest known debris avalanche in history. The eruption was catastrophic, killing 57 people, severely damaging or destroying over 15 miles of railway, 185 miles of highway, and over 200 homes in Washington state, and blanketing the entire Pacific Northwest in ash.
Now, more than thirty years after the disaster, the volcano still vents and shifts crankily, foreshadowing future tantrums to come. By contrast, however, the valleys and foothills around the mountain have regained much of their former majesty and tranquility. Landscape photographer Miles Morgan captures the beauty of it all beneath a blanket of stars in his image, “Heaven Can Wait”:
Morgan created the photograph with his Canon EOS 5D Mark II at 16mm, 1/30, f/2.8, and ISO 1600. From his home base in Portland, Oregon, Morgan works as an airline pilot and travels to make landscape photos during his free time. Despite having only been shooting landscapes since 2009, he has already created a truly beautiful portfolio, one that is well worth exploring.
“The greatest gift that photography has given me is the return to nature that I was definitely missing in my life,” Morgan writes on his website. “I have seen enough stunning scenes during my brief stint as a landscape photographer to last a lifetime.”
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