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Carsten Peter on the Right Split Seconds

“It’s not like I’m actively looking for danger. I want to show people the wonders of nature.” —Carsten Peter

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Massive beams of selenite dwarf human explorers in Mexico’s Cave of Crystals, deep below the Chihuahuan Desert. From the story “Crystal Giants” in the November 2008 issue.

The first time Carsten Peter tried to photograph an active volcano, he was too busy running away from flying volcanic rock to remember to click the shutter. But now, the seasoned German adventure photographer spends his National Geographic assignments climbing into active volcanoes, chasing and being chased by tornadoes, and rappelling into deep ice caves.

Peter claims that he does not go looking for danger, though it often follows him as he searches for untouched places to show the world. He has won a World Press award for his photographs of tornadoes in Western United States, as well as an Emmy Award for his video filmed inside an active volcano in the South Pacific. —Kathryn Carlson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

View more of Carsten Peter’s work on his website.

This video portrait was produced by National Geographic magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It is part of an ongoing series of conversations with the photographers of the magazine, exploring the power of photography and why this life of imagemaking suits them so well. Learn more about the making of the series and watch the full trailer here.

Video Production Credits
Photographer: Carsten Peter
Producers: Pamela Chen, NGM
Chad A. Stevens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Associate Producer: Elyse Lipman, NGM
Editor: Kathryn Carlson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Camera and Sound: Spencer Millsap, NGM, Shannon Sanders, NGM


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