Indonesia Ijen Crater

At 1am in the morning in Java Indonesia, I climbed down into the Ijen Crater with my guide Pak Im. It is an active volcano that last erupted in 1999. Pak Im had previously been a worker mining sulphur rocks inside the crater. He would bring the rocks down to Paltuding but he learned English so that he could become a local guide and bring tourists to see the blue flames inside the sulphur mine. I walked fast to beat the other tourists so I could get shots of the blue flames without anybody in the picture. My guide kept saying I should slow down or I’d burn out. I didn’t. I climbed those 2,300m so quickly as I was excited to see the flames with my own eyes. We passed many workers who would risk their lives every day to mine the sulphur from the crater, hauling huge rocks down the mountainside. Sadly, sometimes explosions caused damage and fatalities, and contact from the toxic sulphur gases had caused many deaths. It was a very dangerous job and sadly the workers get very little money and risk their health and lives to collect the sulphur.  

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