Epic Pictures of the Sakurajima Volcano Erupting in Japan


The Sakurajima volcano in southern Japan has been quite active so far in 2013, and photographer Martin Rietze recently traveled to the site to document the eruptions through photographs. His images capture smoke billowing out of the crater, lava exploding in trails of orange light, and lightning flashing back and forth inside the dark ash cloud.

By using longer exposure times, Rietze was able to turn the “lava bombs” into light trails, similar in appearance to how fireworks are often photographed.














You can find the entire set of photos Rietze captured over a period of five days here. Rietze is a nature photographer who has photographed quite a few volcanoes all around the world. You can see more of his volcano images (along with photos of auroras, geysers, landscapes, and the heavens) over on his website.

(via APOD via Colossal)

Image credits: Photographs by Martin Rietze and used with permission

  • Adi Marwan

    definitely EPIC! wow! just wondering though, for the close up shots (2nd and 3rd), how did he managed to capture it without damaging the camera? i’m guessing that he put it into tripod and leave…but the camera…..survived..?

  • T

    The 3rd is just a crop of the 1st. Probably similar for the 2nd

  • Mike

    Yea insane. He probably used a looong ass lens I imagine.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    “If your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough”
    – Robert Capa

  • Daniel Thomassin


  • wideangle123

    That (cropped) third picture is just insane. Could easily seeing it winning some sort of NatGeo-style competition.

  • Mike

    EXIF says 200mm.

  • Leonardo Abreu

    Damn you nature!! :)

  • iowapipe

    After looking at his site and a search: I can’t find a source for buying prints of his photos. Just a few posters and calendars. Off the top of ‘your’ head, does anyone happen to know (other than emailing him) where he sells prints… if at all ?

  • tertius_decimus

    Just WOW.

  • Caitlin Leeann Turner

    Gorgeous photo’s.

  • Zos Xavius

    agreed! Wow is all I can manage. :)

  • Zos Xavius

    Closer than I think I would want to be. :)

  • Niels Bo Nielsen

    WOW love these photos. One day i hope to be able to travel to a volcano – shoot and live to tell the tale.

  • brandon

    it truly looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. lava, ash plumes and lighting, what? looks awesome!

  • Chris Brown

    Absolutely wild.

  • disqus_bNAZEcz6P9

    …”But those are less likely to affect image quality.” LOL. You sir, win the internet.

  • Charlie

    We’re is Gandalf when you need him.

  • Hugo Cuellar Rodriguez

    Yu scarry!

  • Hugo Cuellar Rodriguez

    Damn nature, you scary.

  • Ralph Hightower

    Volcano induced lightning is awesome!

  • Green Global Travel

    Epic might be an understatement. These are incredible!