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Final Editthe image we rescued from the cutting room floor

Todd James Illustrations Editor Todd James describes the photo’s significance and what goes into making final cuts.

Cut It?
“More than one volcano in the article would have been one too many, so we had a difficult choice to make,” says illustrations editor Todd James. “The photograph we ultimately chose for the story is more in line with what we were trying to convey: how this incredible mountain range has shaped the culture that has grown up along it.”

Or Keep It?
“This is a drop-dead gorgeous picture,” James continued. “It’s the one that, at the end of the day, we were most sorry we didn’t get into the story. It is a visually dramatic image, the one you’d want to hang on your wall.”

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Photograph by Pablo Corral Vega To send this image as a postcard click here.

The Andes
Red-hot Luck

Tungurahua was stirring, but clouds had blocked the view of the volcano for weeks. Photographer Pablo Corral Vega had traveled a hundred miles [161 kilometers] south of his home in Quito, Ecuador, to try to get a shot. Perched on a steep outcrop, he waited blindly. Suddenly the sky cleared. As he opened the shutter, glowing rocks and lava erupted with a roar from the blazing crater and rolled down the slopes. Almost simultaneously a thunderbolt backlit one side of the cone. “It was a real gift,” he says. “The clouds covered the volcano again in seconds.”

Some 25,000 people living around Tungurahua were evacuated to safety. But in Quito 1.5 million live under the threat of smoking Guagua Pichincha (page 20, NGM February 2001). To illustrate the volcanic hazards of the Andes for Corral Vega’s story, clear danger won out over beauty.

Explore the feature story this photo was originally taken for.
Pablo Corral Vega Zoom In on more images by Pablo Corral Vega.

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