Without an H

Photography from south-east Asia by Jon Sanwell

Posts tagged ‘indonesia’

Odds & ends | Pasar Beringharjo (IV)

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This is the final set of pictures from my trip to Indonesia earlier this year. The trip actually ended about four months ago, but it’s taken me a long time to sort through, process and publish the pictures. In my defence, I’ve had other things to think about, like packing up my life and moving to a new country. The month-long trip began in the megacity of Jakarta, on the island of Java, after which I went on to the much more laid-back cities of Jogja and Solo, taking in the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan along the way, before heading on to Bromo and Ijen in the volcanic east. Finally, I spent a relaxing week in and around Ubud, on the island of Bali. Despite all this travelling, there’s so much of Indonesia that I didn’t see; I would have liked to have visited the Gili Islands and Borneo, but even with a month to spend, there just wan’t enough time. But I don’t really have any regrets about not getting everywhere. I tend to travel quite slowly. My thinking is always that I’d rather spend more time in fewer places than travel through lots of places in a rush. Even with my relatively limited itinerary of just Java and Bali, I experienced a huge variety of sights, landscapes, cultures, food, architecture and sensations.

Although I visited Jogja near the beginning of the trip, I saved these pictures until last, as it was one of my favourite places. While the volcanoes of Bromo and Ijen were quite challenging locations for me as a photographer, Jogja offered me plenty of chances to do what I like best, photograph people in their everyday lives, on the streets and in the markets. It’s good to step outside of your comfort zone sometimes, and I’m certainly glad to have visited those volcanic areas in east Java, but there’s also something to be said for sticking to what you’re good at (and hopefully getting better at it). So here are a dozen more pictures from Pasar Beringharjo, Jogja’s central market.

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Nuts & things | Pasar Beringharjo (III)

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My trip to Indonesia included visits to live volcanoes and ancient temples, but I think I took more pictures in this market in Jogja than anywhere else. In this series, you will find fruit, nuts, chillies and curious-looking sweets (at least I think they’re sweets in the last few pictures; someone please correct me if I’m wrong).

[On another note, I’ve now been living in Yangon for just over three weeks. It’s been a busy time, what with starting work, finding a place to live and generally getting my bearings. I’ll no doubt write a lot more about Yangon at a later date, but for now, I’ll just say that life here here is shaping up nicely, and the whole settling in process has gone remarkably smoothly. I’ve been taking a lot of pictures too, in between teaching and apartment-hunting, but I’m not going to post any here just yet, as I still have a bit of a backlog to clear from earlier in the year; these Indonesia pictures were taken back in May and June. I’m not even allowing myself to look at the pictures I’ve taken in Yangon yet; they’re hidden away in a dark corner of my hard drive, away from my Lightroom library. But if you’re interested in a visual comparison of Yangon and Hanoi, the homepage of this site is currently showing a slideshow of pictures from the two cities. These are the photographs that were included in the Hanoi/Yangon exhibition I had this time last year (Hanoi is in black and white, Yangon in colour).]

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Fabric | Pasar Beringharjo (II)

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Pasar Beringharjo – in Jogja, Java – is one of those big, sprawling south-east Asian urban markets that seem to sell almost everything. This post focuses on the ladies – and occasional rogue gentleman – selling fabric, dresses, shirts, bags and headscarves.

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Onions & garlic | Pasar Beringharjo

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There’s something about markets in south-east Asia. I just love taking photographs in them. Pasar Beringharjo, the central market in Jogja, on the island of Java, is now one of my favourites. There’s a lot more available there than just onions and garlic, but the clothes and fruit and veg and nuts and bolts and bits and bobs will just have to wait for later posts.

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Streets of Jogja

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Yogyakarta, Jogja to its friends, was a breath of fresh air – literally – after Jakarta. While Indonesia’s capital, as previously noted, is a massive, incomprehensible metropolis, Jogja is a friendly, laid-back city, more notable for its atmosphere than its sights, but easy to walk around and with an unhurried, familial vibe that I really liked. My visit coincided with the Ramadan fasting month, so the streets were perhaps less busy during the day than they would be normally, but there was still plenty going on and lots of pictures to take.

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Going Solo

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There’s no shortage of spectacular sights in Indonesia: live volcanoes, ancient temples, endless rice terraces. I enjoyed visiting and photographing all of those places, but some of my best memories and – I think – some of my best pictures came from wandering the streets of the towns and cities, and experiencing the everyday life of the country. People, markets, street food, patterns and details: these are some of the things I most enjoy photographing.

Solo, also known as Surakarta, in central Java is my kind of town. It’s a fairly unassuming place, full of warm, friendly people going about their business in no great hurry, and I hope that these pictures capture some of that mood.

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Lazy days in Ubud

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Like Hoi An in central Vietnam and Luang Prabang in Laos, Ubud in Bali is a town that has wholeheartedly embraced Western tourism; the streets are lined with hotels, souvenir shops and restaurants. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Yes, it’s heavily commercialised and a little contrived, but there’s still something very appealing about Ubud and the surrounding countryside. Hindu shrines and temples are squeezed into every available space. The streets are strewn with carefully packaged offering of petals, fruit and rice. Taxi drivers politely offer “transport” to passing pedestrians. Ancient statues are draped with silk or garlanded with flowers.┬áIt’s all very conducive to doing not very much at all, a welcome change of pace and scene after the (quite literal) fire and brimstone of east Java.

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A Javanese sunset

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I don’t take many sunset pictures, but I like this image of the fisherman wading through the shallow waters back to dry land. It was taken at the end of a long day in East Java, which began with a climb up a volcano, Mount Bromo, and ended with a stroll around the nearby port town of Probolinggo.