Hi everyone! My name is Matt Shiffler and I am a professional photographer in Cleveland. I am a freelance contributor to the Cleveland Plain Dealer where I photograph and sometimes write!
Within the last few years, I made the difficult decision to quit my full time police position and take a chance on myself and my passion for photography. In 2017, I moved to Shenzhen, China and had the best year of my life teaching English and photographing in Southeast Asia. When I returned home, I was fortunate to be hired by some of the best magazines and newspapers in Cleveland and am very grateful for my opportunities.
Please feel free to send me a message with assignments, events or portraiture at firstname.lastname@example.org
As the tourists and I streamed down the crater, dozens of local men climbed back up, carrying heavy wooden boards across their shoulders. On each side of the board sat a bamboo basket filled to the brim with sulfuric rock.
Each day, the workers start at the bottom, working a few feet from the fire, where they wait for the yellow sulfur to cool. Once hardened, they break it up with steel poles before hauling it up the steep crater.
As I neared the crater bottom, next to the acidic lake and flames, the billowing white vapors intensified and I could barely see. A tired miner emerged from the smoke. I spoke with him as he stopped to rest for a cigarette. He offered to let me balance the wooden basket board across my shoulders. I was shocked at the weight when he placed it across my back. It was at least 150 pounds; probably closer to 200, with some miners carrying it up the 60-degree slope multiple times a day.