INDONESIA

 

Indonesia is a stunning country of contrasts.  From misty forests to looming volcanos there's an incredible diversity of landscapes, and the people there are among the friendliest we've ever me.  We spent a month travelling across Java and Bali and felt that we only just scratched the surface of this wonderful country.  We caught the train from Jakarta to the incredible  Bromo Tengger Semeru national park where we watched volcanos belching sulphuric smoke into the sky and the stars wheel overhead.  We caught the ferry to Bali with its endlessly fascinating deep spirituality which dominates everyday life and spent time in the cool hills of Munduk, the crystal clear waters of Pemuteran and the bustling town of Ubud whee the cultural heritage is everywhere you look.

 

My Indonesia travel blogs are here


BALI


Tirta Empul

People travel from all over Bali to bathe and sanctify themselves in the spiritual waters of Tirta Empul.  According to legend, the God Indra pierced the earth to create a fountain of healing waters after the land had been poisoned. People bathe and leave offerings on top of each fountain as they work there way down the pool.   It’s a wonderful place to spend a few hours in the morning. I had to put on a sarong and get into the water to get this shot.

Pemuteran Mangrove

On a walk along the beach of Pemuteran in northern Bali I spotted this lone mangrove on the reef at the tide’s edge, and luckily while I was there we were blessed with a great sunset combining with high tide.

Munduk Waterfall

Laangan waterfalls in the Munduk hills of central Bali, Indonesia

The Wedding Couple

We headed up to Lake Tamblingan in the central mountains of Bali to photograph sunrise across the lake but didn’t expect to be sharing the location with a couple who were doing the pre-wedding shots there. The photographer had them rowed out to a platform and left them there while he and his assistant circled them in a dugout canoe. I’ve done quite a few pre-wedding shoots myself but I’ve never had a location like this with mist rising off the lake and the sun's first rays painting the waters golden

Tamblingan

Dugout canoes at Tamblingan lake at dawn, Central Bali.

Bali Coast

The southern Bali coast at sunset. We headed to the coast to shoot one of the beaches next to Tanah Lot but the tide made it impossible to access so we walked away from the temple, crossing several beaches until I found this location to photograph. I was hoping for a more interesting sky, but at least the light was wonderful. I used Lee filters to to control the brightness of the sky and lengthen the exposure time.

Pemuteran Sunset

A long exposure at sunset of a mangrove on the edge of the Bali Sea in Pemuteran

Legong

We visited a Balinese Legong performance at Ubud temple for a full moon performance. The skill of the dancers, and the costumes was amazing.


JAVA


Bromo Mist

Mist fills the crater of the Tengger volcano at dawn at Cemoro Lawang, East Java

Stars Above Bromo

We arrived on the edge of the crater overlooking the caldera at around 3am and the sky was full of really bright stars. This image uses the intervalometer on the Fuji X-T1 to show the stars movement across the sky for a little over an hour as the sky went from complete darkness to pale pre-dawn light. If you notice on the edge of the crater to the right of centre there’s a red/orange glow which was visible even in complete darkness. There are a couple of very active volcanos in this image, so I assume it’s some kind of lava glow from a crater

Cemoro Lawang

The village and trees on the edge of the crater rim at Mount Bromo in early morning mist

 

East Java Sunrise

Looking east from Penanjakan on the Bromo crater as the sun rises across the volcanos of eastern Java. The small peak surrounded by cloud is the Gunung Lembongan and behind that and to the left is the 3000m Gunung Argapura. Behind that is the smoking Gunung Raung, the volcano that disrupted so many flights to and from Bali in August and September 2015. It's about 120km away from where we were standing.

Borobudur

The incredible temple of Borobudur at sunrise. Central Java.


PORTRAITS


Red Sunglasses

One of my favourite portraits from Indonesia, this old man was sitting at a counter where they gave people sarongs to wear inside the temple of Tirta Empul in Bali. I spotted him and his incredibly colourful clothes as I was leaving and asked if I could take his photo.

Man at a Cock Fight

While we were out walking through the fields and small villages surrounding Ubud in Bali we came across a cockfight, something which is legal in Indonesia. This is a portrait of one of the men there with his bird.

 

The Puppet Maker

A man makes shadow puppets for wayang kulit performance at the palace of Yogyakarta, Java.

Ubud

A balinese boy in traditional costume at a temple celebration in Ubud.