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Photographers & Their Cameras - “A Sudden, Terrific Volcanic Explosion at the Crater of Asama-Yasma”; Japan. 1903

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Photographers and their Cameras3 of 10Stereoview of a Photographer with Stereo Camera on a Donkey. 1890sPhotographers & Their Cameras - Captions Wanted #2!
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    Posted 7 years ago

    rniederman
    (325 items)

    Presented here is an iconic stereoview published by Underwood & Underwood; it shows a photographer and his assistant unexpectedly in the midst of a huge volcanic explosion. This is a well known image and an amazing testament to early journalistic photography.

    Anyhow ... the back of the steroview says it all:

    *****************
    You are up on the summit of the largest volcano in Japan, close by the circular brink of the crater which is about three-quarters of a mile in circumference. The man at the left is an English friend of the photographer – the other is a Japanese coolie who accompanied the party to carry extra luggage. That ladder strapped on his back is one frequently used in order to hold the camera higher than the surrounding level.

    The sight you see now is what the photographer’s camera recorded on a summer day in 1903. He says of this very experience: - “While we were at the summit a terrible explosion occurred and thousands of tons of rocks were ejected many hundreds of feet into the air far above us. Mr. H.’s hat was blown off by the sudden explosion – indeed we narrowly escaped with our lives, for rocks, many of them weighing half a ton or more, fell all around us. After the explosion a great column of thick, black smoke rose probably three miles into the air, - I ran after and caught my camera coolie who was fleeing for his life, and made these negatives. You are looking north from the south side of the crater’s edge. - After hastily making these negatives we had to leave, for the volcano was evidently in a very angry mood.” (Extract from a report to the publishers).

    That coolie might well be forgiven for being frightened in the face of such a frightful outburst from the mysterious, fiery depths under his feet. Look at the stones - fragments rent from the interior of the rock-lined chimney as these masses of sulphurous vapor tore their way up through to reach open space.

    *****************
    It’s another one of my favorite images but unfortunately I've been unable to identify the camera held by the photographer.

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    Comments

    1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      What AMAZING SHOTS !!!!
    2. racer4four racer4four, 7 years ago
      Fantastic. As you say, early and excellent photo journalism.
    3. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks!
      vetraio50
      Ben
    4. slotman slotman, 7 years ago
      wow wow wow one of those life experiences you never forget....thanks for sharing.
    5. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks!
      Scott
      racer4four
      Roycroftbooksfromme1
    6. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 7 years ago
      Absolutely astounding! I love old photos--and this takes the cake for excitement. BRAVO for showing this!!!!!
    7. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks!
      fortapache
      slotman
      aghcollect
    8. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks!
      David
      PostCardCollector
      GeodeJem
      kyratango
    9. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks!
      robin56
      Radegunder
      Hunter
      ho2cultcha
    10. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      AMAZING HISTORY!!!!!! WONDERFUL PHOTOS!!!
    11. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks!
      kkpraft
      Alan2310
      whitman75
      blunderbuss2
    12. shareurpassion shareurpassion, 7 years ago
      Wow! With the size of that, it's amazing they got out of there with such great film, let alone their lives!
    13. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks!
      Sean
      Roycroftbooksfromme1
      RonM
      pw-collector
    14. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks!
      surfdub66
      shareurpassion
      Michael
    15. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, Perry!
    16. martika martika, 5 years ago
      Awesome picture!!!
    17. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
      Thanks!
      aura
      martika
      ttomtucker
      Thomas
      Potterymad
    18. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
      Thanks, ho2cultcha!
    19. rniederman rniederman, 8 months ago
      Thanks!
      jscott0363
      Brunswick
      LazyBoy
    20. scottvez scottvez, 8 months ago
      Nice image-- missed it YEARS ago!

      scott
    21. rniederman rniederman, 8 months ago
      Thanks, Scott!

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