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.
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.
I 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.
I 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).
I 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 !