Not many 45-year-olds get to travel around the world’s volcano hotspots, from Northern Hemisphere to South, in the pursuit of Earth’s greatest geological spectacles.

Martin Rietze is part of a select group of volcano-chasers who do just that, seeking the moment when the exploding phenomena provide a perfect photo opprtunity. Oh, and also braving huge electric storms and boiling lava flows in the pursuit of getting the perfect shot.

Sakurajima volcano in Japan

Photo above shows Sakurajima volcano in south Japan, taken by Rietze in January 2010. The volcano ejected lava bombs and created spectacular forks of lightning.