Volcán Pacaya is an active volcano in the Escuintla department of Guatemala nearby Antigua and Guatemala City. Though the volcano had been dormant for over a century, it erupted in 1965 and hasn't stopped since. As recently as 2006, increased eruptions resulted in the formation of a lava river as you will see in this short film. When capturing the footage, the heat was so intense that I could only hold out for brief shots, needing to turn away regularly to avoid getting scorched. Rather than covering those reactions, I have retained them in editing, as harsh cuts at once stylized and truthful (or comical, if the idea of getting sizzled makes you giggle).

What you see, anywise, is a great example of the virtues that "flow" from ultra-portable/run-and-gun film equipment like the Sony DSC-HX5V that I used to shoot all this footage. I decided to post this online, in fact, because numerous visitors to other YouTube test footage of mine asked for daylight examples using the highest bitrate available in the camera. So here it is, shot in AVCHD 1920x1080 at 60 fps interlaced (interpolated here to 30 fps progressive) at a 17 Mbps bitrate. For dramatic effect, my one post-production process that throws off otherwise reference results is the use of Red Giant Magic Bullet Looks, a suite of color saturation/contrast/diffusion/gradient effects that make the footage look more "cinematic."

A complete record of this hiking expedition was recorded via Android My Tracks at the following link:

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