A Perfect Storm

Photo © Bob Krist

The next leg of our trip, called Sacred Places of Asia, began in Java with a visit to the legendary Borobudur Temple.

This was a stop I was really relishing, since I’d never been here before. But after a sunny afternoon arrival and a quick visit to a minor temple, a perfect storm of photographic complications gathered today as we visited the main site.

First, it was dark, stormy, and pouring rain. That might have been enough to do me in, but then it happened that today, thousands of Javanese high school students were to overrun visit the site, swarming all over with their bright colored umbrellas and ponchos.

And as the photographic coup de grace, there was crew on top of the temple cleaning the stupas with high pressure hoses.

Oy! What did I do in a previous life to deserve this now? What must my karma must be to catch such a break?

Well, I did my best to avoid the kids (until I embraced their presence), and then hid the guy with the high pressure hose behind a stupa (those round pointy things) and just got the discharge from his hose. Kind of looks like fog, doesn’t it?

Add a little monochrome sepia treatment with the D90’s Retouch Menu and, damn, the picture is almost presentable!

For a look at more of Java, a batik factory, a couple of other temples and a faux HDR, hit the jump.

Photo © Bob Krist

If you can’t beat them, join them. Below is a favorite frame from a visit to a batik factory. Steam, fog, or high pressure hose runoff, I’ll go for any atmospheric condition to help a picture along.

One thing I would have loved to do at Borobudur is to shoot it in black and white infrared, for my ongoing project shooting the world’s spiritual monuments that way. But even B&W infrared couldn’t help that weather, but it did look good the next day at Prambanan Temple.

Knowing that I’d be moving fast on this itinerary and need to have everything I could possibly need in my camera bag 24/7, I threw in my B&W Infrared modified Coolpix 8400…it’s compact and the image quality isn’t too bad.

I cobbled together two frames below for a handheld pano.

Photo © Bob Krist
Photo © Bob Krist

And finally, below, I tried a faux HDR using Topaz Adjust on that same shot I’ve run in Sepia at the head of the blog.

Once I learn this program, I’m sure I’ll be able to get better results, but on this trip, I’m lucky I can post anything but out of the camera jpegs, let alone artistically manipulated images!

Next stop: Angkor Wat!

Photo © Bob Krist

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Really neat Stuff…you are really a very Lucky person to be doing these things

    1. That’s for sure, Jim. Bob

  2. Hi Bob, as a Javanese I hope you had fun photographing in Java, the best time to capture Borobudur IMHO is at sunrise, that will be around 6-ish in the morning, then normally it’s little be bit quieter and the eerie mist surrounding the temple is very scenic.

    I’m surprised you guys didn’t visit Mount Bromo (or maybe not yet)probably -with Borobodur – the most photographed spot in Java and for a good reason, it’s really stunning.


    1. Hi Fajar: We had a great time there….it’s a beautiful island. I wish we had more time to spend, but the pace of this itinerary is very fast. I always want to linger, but we have to move on. It’s not a photo tour, per se, otherwise we’d go a lot slower. Bob

      1. and also you can shot Borobudur from Punthuk Situmbu, a hill near the temple.. 🙂

  3. Successfully dealing with the given situation and producing excellent photographs is clearly the mark of a “seasoned” pro. By doing so, you offer a challenge to the rest of us to find a creative solution to the problems – and have fun doing it. We do appreciate the time you take to share your photographs and comments. Thanks. Joe

  4. Hi Bob
    Funny that u head down south from Bhutan to Java, only to fly back north again to Cambodia.
    Expect Angkor Wat to be as crowded. I was there 2 years ago and the flow of tourists never seemed to cease from morning till night!

  5. I really dig that IR Pano Bob. Looking forward to your next stop.

    Safe travels!

  6. Well, you’re my brother, so I may be biased, but you definitely made lemonade out of lemons here. It doesn’t hurt that Borobudur and Prambanan are among my favorite places on the globe. The B&W shots are great.

    (See? I DO read your blog.)

    1. Bro: Good to hear from you! We’re in Lijiang…going great. B

  7. Great composition and timing Bob – the extra mist is a fantastic touch.

  8. The most impressive thing is that EVEN WITH all those things conspiring against you, you made it happen.

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