This is from an awesome monument in Indonesia called Borobudur. There are about five ways to spell this temple, at least when I spell it. But, you get the general idea.
I’ve re-mastered this one by using the textures from the Textures Tutorial. This one is actually featured in the video. I have a non-textured version of this which is also interesting… and I think I explain in the video that the use of these textures doesn’t necessarily make something “better”, but what it does do is make something else that is equally satisfying in a different way. So then, at the end, you have two photos, rather than one, each one different and nice in its own way (if that makes sense!).
The morning fog coming off the top of the jungle trees was not like anything I had seen before. There was just enough morning light to give everything a twilight blue and paint the mountains in the distance a deeper color.
I tried something a little bit different with this photo. I was holding two flashlights to help me climb the temple in the morning. I think I got there about 5:30 AM when it was still pitch black, so the flashlights helped me find the right footholds and whatnot. Anyway, this was an extremely long exposure, so I used some of that time to “paint” the inside of the bell cages with the beams of my flashlights. Each of those bell cages held a solitary outward-facing Buddha. I’m glad I was there alone, because I’m sure I looked like a loon running around shining the flashlights in patterns to illuminate the Buddhas inside.
So, many of you know that I am represented by Getty and also do a lot of direct licensing. Because my work is Creative Commons (means you can use it for free for personal use on blogs/wallpaper, as long as it is not for commercial purposes), it gets spread all over the diaspora of the Internet, and companies contact us on a regular basis to license photos commercially for one use or another. Even in a bad economy, this is doing very very well. In fact, every month continues to get better, even as traditional travel magazines like Conde Nast are losing advertising revenue. Although, I am sure this is not a surprise to any of us that use the internet so much to get info nowadays!
One thing we always ask for, as part of the deal, is for the companies to send us a copy of the final product. So we get several of these kinds of things a week, and it is always cool! I get excited and giddy to see my work used in creative ways across many mediums. Here is one we recently got of a poetry book that used on of my Indonesian pics on the cover. I put the orig below, along with a few other shots from that temple.
I end up throwing all of this stuff into these giant boxes in my office. I don’t know what I will do with them! They just kinda pile up… I should have a giveaway some day!
I arrived at the temple of Borobudur a little after 4 AM. I had a tiny disposable flashlight, and, other than my driver idling about a mile away, I was the only person here. In fact, it was my second day in a row to do this, since I had so much fun the first. I was there with my friend Will, and he decided to sleep in the second day… but I had a few shots in mind I wanted to grab before the sun came up.
There were these strange argon lights around the temple to light up areas of excavation. They cast a gloomy and surreal light on the Buddhist reliefs that make concentric circles up to the top. I was able to get about 45 minutes of nice darkness with unexpected light until the sun started to appear over the nearby volcanoes and jungle mist.
Each of these “bells” is really a stone cage that houses a seated Buddha statue, facing outwards. At this time in the morning, you can take little flashlights and peer inside the cages. It’s all very eerie and fun…
In the distance, you can see a few volcanoes poking through the mist.
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…
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!