Yogyakarta – photo trip

One of the many advantages of living in Kuala Lumpur is the Air Asia hub, it gives cheap & quick connections to many exotic locations. My first ‘longed for’ trip was to Yogyakarta, Indonesia – city of ancient temples, art & vibrant life ! So, last week we set off for a few days in Yogyakarta.



  •   Fujifilm X-M1 + kit XC 16-50mm f/3.5
  •   Fujinon 14mm f2.4
  •   Fujinon 23mm f1.4


I got the X-M1 in Nov 2013, my first ‘proper camera’, I probably bought the wrong camera (limitations of no viewfinder are becoming apparent) – more on that in a later post. I got the 23mm in April 2014, it’s my go to lens, I love the perspective and sharpness. I got the 14mm just 3 days before the trip to Yogyakarta, I figured that I could capture some of that stunning Javanese landscape through that wide-angle.

Unforeseen difficulties.

Shooting in & around Yogyakarta was much more difficult than expected. Despite the nice gear & the cool location I didn’t just miraculously morph into an amazing landscape photographer, nor street-photographer. I came across a number of ‘unforeseen’ difficulties, the most limiting of which was my naiveté.

Light & movement.

Malio_blogI don’t often shoot at night, but when I do I am generally stationary, and so are my subjects. In Yogyakarta one of the best ways to see (& shoot) the city is by taking a cyclo. The most obvious things to shoot are other cyclo’s (which are also moving). My skills were just not up to capturing the moving colours of a highly contrasty Malioboro St.



Lines, Perspective & scope.

boro_blogI fulfilled a long time aim to go to Borobodur (a magnificent 9th century Buddhist Temple). The temple consists of 6 steep platforms on which sit 500 Buddha statues and 70 stupas. It was a truly awesome place to experience. However, shooting it was very hard. It was difficult to find the lines to give depth of perspective, and near impossible to find a place to give the wide angles (so needed by that new 14mm sat in my camera bag).



Inopportune Weather.

Merapi_blog_jI eagerly headed up to Mount Merapi, one of the most active volcanoes in the region. On arrival I found it shrouded in clouds & mist, which can make for atmospheric shots, but didn’t allow for any of the form of the volcano to be seen. I guess that to get a great landscape shot I needed to stay in Yogya and wait for the weather to change. Just not practical this time, but maybe in the future…,

So, I come away from Yogyakarta knowing that I need to get in a lot more practise. I need to not only plan ahead but to be much more responsive to the unexpected possibilities that open up suddenly. I also come away with even greater excitement about getting out there and making images.

As in photo-making, such is the possibility of life.

The images posted here are “SOOC mistakes”. I will post my ‘better’ images on:




enjoy your travels & image making !



About danieltrump

breathing and sensing human. Learning to observe, learning to write, exploring ideas and thinking. www.danieltrump.wordpress.com


  1. Wonderful to click click click away …!

  2. What about Prambanan Temple? It is a hindu temple and I didn’t see it here. It’s just a few kilometres away from the city of Jogjakarta and they have cultural show over there (not often), just check it out if you’re going next time.


    • Prambanan is definitely on my list for next time. I guess that this visit was just an introductory taster, I can’t wait to go back ! thanks for dropping by, and commenting.

  3. the mistakes are cool. 🙂

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