Quilotoa lagoon & crater

Quilotoa lagoon and crater - Ecuador

Nikon D800E – 22 mm – F8 – 1/20 – ISO 200   –   © Henri Leduc

I woke up at 5:20 AM … and the sky was fully covered with menacing thick black clouds. At this hour in the morning, in the Andes at 3950 m of altitude it’s freezing cold. Not really good conditions to convince me to get out of my warm bed, Anyway I was here, I was awake, I decided to give it a try. And after a while a little piece of the clouds broke up. And gradually the sun made his way through the clouds. After a one hour shoot I was able to get what I wanted. This is a blend of 3 images. One for the sky, one for the lagoon and one with my finger hiding the sun to avoid flares and to get the lighted foreground.

This beautiful lake is located at the bottom of an ancient volcanic caldera. 440 meters separate it from the edge of the crater.
The 3.15 km wide caldera was formed about 800 years ago by the collapse of the volcano due to a huge VEI-6 eruption. Water is very cold, full of minerals and salt. Fumaroles are found on the lake floor and bubbles in the water can be observed from some points of the shore. Hot springs are also present on the eastern flank of the volcano. Two events pointing out that this volcano is still active.