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When Rietze travelled to Sakurajima to capture these images in February 2013, the volcano had been venting smoke and ash for 14 hours, before a 30 second eruption occurred, spewing lava bombs and lightning. Rietze was around four kilometers away from Sakurajima when he captured these images, using a full-frame DSLR with a focal length of 90-200mm.
“If fitted with a proper gas mask, helmet and protective clothing, you can stand a few dozen feet away from boiling lava lakes”, he say. But he cautioned: “When you get this close the camera equipment ages instantly. Sulphuric gasses and acids can destroy the electronics and lens coatings very quickly.”
Rietze has been photographing volcanoes for ten years, publishing his work on an online gallery Alien Landscapes on Planet Earth. He has loved watching volcanoes ever since he saw Mount Etna erupt in Sicily as a young boy, and has no plans to give up his risky career.
Sources: Daily Mail, Wired