This was one scary place in a storm. I can’t overstate that. The whole place felt alien and ancient… there was hardly anyone at this remote temple, and then pretty much everyone left when the storm hit. Between squalls, I took some quick shots as the sun went down, using a rainsleeve over my camera to try to keep it as dry as possible.
I have been working on a new batch of shots from Indonesia which will be coming up soon, but in the meantime I was looking at how dramatically the light changed on one day I was there in particular. These two shots below are from different parts of the country… One was taken around 3 PM and the second was taken around 7 PM.
The morning in Indonesia seemed to change every 5 minutes from blue to pink to purple then back to blue again. I could hardly figure out where to point… Framing these Buddhas in the bells at Borobudur was a fun exercise in composition and patterns.
This girl had traveled from a remote part of Indonesia to visit Borobudur. She had never seen a white guy in person before… I told her that I might be kind of a disappointment since I am a fairly average white guy. She saw the freckles on my arm and asked if I had a disease…
The density of the homes was remarkable, everyone right on top of the next. We walked down through the little houses and got a hundred good shots… each one was brightly and individually painted and festooned.
Sujatmi’s dream is that her grandkids grow up to be brave and smart.
She is currently sitting in a makeshift annex area in a bustling riverside community in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. Dozens of tiny thatched and improvised houses are cobbled together and brightly painted. There are kids running around and other adults running after them, trying to get them to sit still so they can begin school. I’ve accidentally interrupted the whole affair while getting confused in the tiny alleys, no wider than a set of shoulders. She’s thrilled by the excitement as she looks on, nodding at me and the kids.
If you are into this portrait series (not all readers are… I think most like the landscapes!), then you can see more by clicking here.
Usually a fine layer of mist indicates as that one area is cooler than another area. In this case, even in the early morning light, that could not have been the cause of the mist since it was burning hot with every single step. There was some sort of steamy condensation, but most of it was wrapping itself around my sweaty body. A tiny bit of breeze might have been nice, but maybe that would have blown away the mist!
The light changed every few minutes through the morning. As the low clouds rolled across the jungle below Borobudur, you could see the nearby volcanoes poking through into the sunrise.
All of these SE Asian temples are oriented against the poles of the earth and the solar system so you can often get these symmetric shots, although I normally don’t do that sort of thing. This was shot from the top of Borobudur when the sun was burning down at about 100 degrees of hot waves of humid heat. Scaling my way up there through the jungle gloom was tough enough without the added burning factor!