This image of Santa Maria Volcano and its small neighbour Santiaguito near Retalhuleu, Guatemala reminds me very much of my pre-Peter Jackson impression of Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings. The volcano is currently active and pops its top about once every 30 minutes or so, sending up a large plume of ash from the smaller of the two cones (Santiaguito) on the left of this image.
More info on this volcano and its eruptions can be found here.
This was an image I had originally written off as unusable. I was about 10 miles from the volcano and there was significant haze so the contrast was really terrible. After a fair bit of massaging in Photomatix followed by even more massaging in Photoshop, however, I'm quite happy with this almost-monochrome version.
Buy prints of this image at ImageKind. All proceeds benefit programs in Guatemala.
If you like my photos, your vote in the 2009 Photoblog Awards would be greatly appreciated - thanks!