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The Big Island, Hawaii.
It is 5.50pm. The sun has set about 10 minutes ago and I’m standing close to the summit of Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea is a volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island. My head is pounding. I didn’t acclimatise at all. This morning I was photographing a beach at sea level. Now, I am standing at an altitude of 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) in freezing cold conditions. As soon as the sun sets, temperatures drop in a heartbeat, and my fingers are starting to feel numb.
But there is a spectacle unfolding in front of me. And despite the cold, this spectacle drives me to stay longer. Old, extinguished volcanic cinder cones create a spectacular lunar landscape. The colours of the sky are turning into all kinds of hues. Pink and red are the dominating colours. I can’t believe that I’m actually on planet earth and it definitely doesn’t feel like I’m photographing on the Hawaiian Archipelago. The only thing I can think of is that this is how it must look like on some distant planet in a far away solar system.