Ijen Volcano Sulphur Miners, Indonesia
A set of photographs from the extraordinary Ijen crater in eastern Java, Indonesia. Inside the crater of this live volcano is a bright blue acidic lake and some vents out of which oozes sulphur. This is 'mined' by a group of miners some of whom I followed into the belly of the volcano to photograph them as they worked. It was the toughest environment I have ever been in and even with three face masks on everytime the sulphur clouds enveloped me my eyes would stream and I’d start retching! Most of the miners work with nothing more than a cloth over their face. The cloud was so noxious that in the space of a couple of hours it had literally corroded away and destroyed one camera lens and one flash unit! When a BBC film crew went there to film the Human Planet series they said it was the toughest place they’d ever filmed!

All photos copyright S.Butler and not be used without permission.
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