Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Phnom Penh, A Pocket of Cambodia - TeerSheet

(For Travel& Fotografi Mag, July'13)

Situated at the confluence of three rivers, the mighty Mekong, the Bassac and the great Tonle Sap, what was once considered the 'Gem' of Indochina, Phnom Penh or the capital city of Cambodia, like other Asian-City tourist destinations, is in the midst of rapid change. Over the past few years the number of restaurants and hotels have grown considerably and in the last year there had been a huge increase in the number of visitors. Whereas Siem Reap might lay claim to being the "cultural capital" of Cambodia, Phnom Penh still has plenty to offer those wanting to enjoy the city during their stay.

You can't truly say you have been to Phnom Penh until you have checked these " must - see " to do list.

1. The Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda, this royal complex is reminiscent of Bangkok's grand palace on a smaller scale.
2. Wat Phnom, the first Pagoda which the city named after this Wat, set on apprroximately 30m high hill.
3. Killing Fields, known in Khmer as Choeung Ek, one of the places where Pol Pot's folowers slaughtered thousands people and burrying them in shallow mass graves.
4. River Cruises
5. Phsar Thmei ( Central Market), the city's most famous local market with an art deco building.

6. The Russian Market, another shopping must-do with plenty of branded goods on sale. Bargaining skill is required :)
7. Amok Fish, or steamed curried fish, is a traditional dish of Cambodian cuisine. It is fish coated in a thick coconut milk with kroeung, either steamed or baked in a cup made from banana leaves
8. Blue Pumpkin, A very famous restaurant in Cambodia which offer offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, pastries, cakes as well as a wide selection of ice cream.
9. Beer, the best beer in the world are made in here. Angkor Beer,
Anchor Beer, Tiger, Carlsberg, Cambodia Beer, Kingdom Beer, Phnom Penh Beer and many other brands. All made fresh in Cambodia, Everyday.

On my first trip to Phnom Penh last August 2012 , I took a bus from Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam with  the main destination is  Siem Reap.. I change my mind on the way back to HCMC and spend one night at Phnom Penh and  promise my self to comeback again someday.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Lost City of Angkor Wat

I arrived Siem Reap  after dark , on last August 2012. I immediately negotiated with the 'tuk tuk " driver for the following day, and quickly made plans for an early morning to pick me up since i only have 8 hours to explore before continued my short - but we may say long- trip, to Phnom Penh and back to Ho Chi Min City on the next day.

Spend the night at spotlessy clean hotel, Siem Reap Garden Inn with friendly, helpfull staff and owner. For $18 a day i hired a tuk tuk also from this hotel, the driver's name is Mr. Chea is a very kind person. I thought that i was the earliest person when he took me out with his tuk tuk at 04.30am but soon I entered the gate i felt that I am a late person since people already gathered here as early for watching the sunrise comes up. We bought one-day pass worth USD20 at the entrance. They took our picture and printed it in the ticket. ok, what do you expected with the picture since you only slept for 2 hours last night?..

Angkor Wat has become a symbol of Cambodia. in Khmer, The Angkor Wat means City of Temples. Angkor Wat was built as a royal temple dedicated to a Hindu deity but after fell to invader, it continued as Buddhist temple. Located over 192 miles to the North-West of Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh.

For many years, Angkor Wat was totally isolated from the Western World. Large, thick jungles covers the area, and it is located in the center of Cambodia. The "lost city" of Angkor first attracted the interest of Europeans in the 1800s after Cambodia was colonized by the French.The French colonialists were the first westerners to get exposed to Angkor. They heard rumors from the local population about "temples built by gods or by giants.".

Angkor Wat is actually just one of more than a dozen magnificent temples in the vast metropolis of Angkor, the capital of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 15th centuries. The 500-acre site is one of the largest religious monuments in the world and represents the architectural pinnacle of the Khmer Empire. Ta Prohm is one of the most photographed temples, deliberately left mostly unrestored, and tangled and strangled by undergrowth. The perennial favourite, at Angkor Thom, is the Bayon temple, the towers of which are etched with enlightened bodhisattva faces and where enchanting bas-reliefs depict ordinary Khmer life rather than Hindu gods.

No words can describe how i feel after i visit Angkor Wat. On the way back to Phnom Penh, i remembered when i was on Junior High School , read about Angkor Wat on the National Geographic Magazine amazingly and I couldn't believe that i just visit there. I'm not sure how these "lost cities" could ever really be lost. This is really the Secret of  World , either for me and the places as well.

(Published at Sriwijaya InFlight Magazine)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dieng Culture Festival III, 2012

Dieng Culture Festival merupakan agenda wisata tahunan yang diselenggarakan di Kawasan Dataran Tinggi Dieng yang menampilkan berbagai acara seni budaya. Dieng terletak di Kabupaten Banjarnegara, berbatasan dengan Kabupaten Wonosobo yang selama ini lebih dikenal sebagai pintu masuk ke Dataran Tinggi Dieng. Dengan ketinggian 2000 dpl dapat dipastikan suhu udara menggigit tulang, malam hari bisa mencapai 5 derajat C bahkan ketika musim kemarau di bulan Juli – Agustus dapat terjadi pembekuan embun di pagi hari. Mayoritas penduduk Dieng adalah petani dengan komoditas terbesar berupa kentang. Ada pula beberapa jenis tanaman yang hanya bisa dijumpai tumbuh di daerah ini seperti carica (papaya mini) dan purwaceng ( tanaman herbal) yang dipercaya menambah stamina.

Pada DCF III yang berlangsung tgl 30 Juni – 1 July yll, hari pertama diisi dengan rangkaian acara berupa jalan sehat, minum purwaceng bersama, pagelaran pentas seni budaya tradisional Dieng, dan pameran produk unggulan Dieng dan Banjarnegara, pesta kembang api dan wayang kulit hingga tengah malam. ( pic 10 - 25)

Hari kedua merupakan puncak acara yang ditunggu-tunggu yaitu prosesi pemotongan rambut gimbal (ruwatan). Seperti di ketahui di daerah Dieng ada fenomena anak-anak yang berambut gimbal ( gembel). Biasanya diawali dengan gejala panas tinggi dan ketika sembuh rambut mereka menjadi gumpalan, seperti alur tumbuhan kacang panjang atau kusut pada tempat tertentu dalam jangka waktu yang lama. Walaupun rambut tersebut dipotong maka akan tumbuh gumpalan lagi hingga harus diadakan ruwatan dengan mengabulkan permintaan si anak tersebut.

Menurut cerita mbah Naryono, sang pemangku adat Desa Dieng Kulon, rambut gimbal ini berasal dari Ratu Laut Kidul yang di titipkan kepada Tumenggung Kolo Dete yaitu seorang panglima yang mengasingkan diri ke kawasan dieng dan mempunyai keturunan berambut gimbal. Namun hingga waktu usia 7 tahun anak-anak ini biasanya harus sudah diruwat karena pada umumnya mereka berperilaku nakal.

Prosesi ritual pencukuran diawali dengan kirab atau arak-arakan yang dimulai dari rumah sesepuh pemangku adat menuju Sendang Sendayu (Sendang Maerokoco), sementara ke- enam anak yang akan diruwat itu duduk diatas andhong diiringi tari- tarian berkeliling desa

Sendang Sedayu merupakan tempat memandikan sebelum dimulai pencukuran rambut. Ritual ini disebut Jamasan.Terletak di kawasan candi Arjuna, mereka berjalan diiringi musik traditional Gongso

Setelah selesai upacara jamasan, mereka kemudian dibawa menuju tempat pencukuran. Prosesinya dilakukan oleh ketua adat atau tokoh masyarakat

Terakhir rambut gimbal yang telah dipotong itu kemudian akan di larung di kali putih yang mengalir ke sungai serayu sampai ke laut selatan sebagai simbol di kembalikan kepada Ratu Laut Kidul.

well..ada pertanyaan? bagaimana ke dieng? di mana nginepnya? dll..dll...? di coment aja ya soalnya ini udah panjang banget

yang pasti akibat temperatur lag saya ga sempat motret landscapenya Dieng yang aduhai. Boro-boro mau liat sunrise dr puncak Sikunir..jadi siapapun yang ngajak lagi kesana, saya akan mengiyakan..* mureeee*


Monday, May 14, 2012

Plants Photography

I shot about hundreds plants and write its article about it. Go find this link if you interest with plant :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Light the Lantern at Borobudur (Vesak 2556 BE)

Vesak Celebration at Borobudur is one of the religious festival in Indonesia. Just like every year, more than 1000 lanterns were lit and released into the night sky while they're sending a wish.
This year the ceremony coincide with once-a-year cosmic event of the perigee moon,also known as the Supermoon, where the moon is the closest to Earth.

Buddhist people celebrate Vesak Day to honour the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha. The theme of this year's Vesak celebration is to increase loving kindness (Metta) and compassion (Karuna). That night not only for Buddhist, but they who attend also feel the atmosphere of peaceful and togetherness

Thursday, May 10, 2012

From Mendut to Borobudur ( Vesak 2556 BE )

Vesak Day is celebrated on various dates in the spring throughout the world, and each Buddhist culture has its own traditions for the day

Vesak commemorates the three most important events in the life of Siddharta Gautama, known as the Tri Suci Waisak. The processions began with the taking of 10,000 bottles of holy water from the Jumprit spring in Tegalrejo subdistrict, Ngadirejo district, Temanggung regency, Central Java. The water itself symbolizes human humility. The water will be kept in the small Mendut Temple near Borobudur

The following day was to take the flame from the source of the eternal flame of Mrapen in Purwodadi, Central Java. The flame symbolized light that would bring enlightenment to human beings.

Today, during the full moon in May , Buddhists in Indonesia observe Vesak annual ritual by walking from Mendut Temple passing through Pawon temple and ends at Borobudur temple. Both the holy water and the flame will be brought to Borobudur Temple for the Vesak celebration.

Originally, Candi Mendut was part of one huge Borobudur temple-complex. Located in one straight line about three kilometres east from Borobudur. It is a Buddhist temple, built in 824 A.D. by King Indera of Cailendra dynasty.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pindapata 2012, Welcoming Vesak 2556 BE

Pindapata also known as practising alms food-collecting. The sight of a bhikkhu (Buddhist monk) collecting food in the early morning, is a common one in the lands where the teachings of the Lord Buddha have been long established. The alms-gathering ritual must end before lunchtime. Monks or bhikkhus walk throughout the surrounding neighborhoods collecting foods and goods they will use for their daily sustenance. It does not involve begging, since monks are not generally allowed to actually ask for anything.

This procession taken at Old Town ( Kota Tua) Jakarta, aimed to welcome Vesak 2012. The bhikku walked without footwear, brought a bowl and people dropped alms into bowls.

This is the 2nd time for me join the Pindapata. I always have thought about offering the bhikkus to come to my house everyday for having meal so they dont have to walk. But in the other thought, that may broke the tradition from Budha, where the alms round was, for the Buddha, a key feature of the monastic life. And the alms bowl is, for all Buddhists, a symbol of the monastic order.

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa
Honour to the Blessed One, the Exalted One, the fully Enlightened One.

May Buddha bless all of you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Grebeg Maulud

When you get to witness big traditional festival when visiting places, it would be very memorable. Lately i have my own decision for my self that everytime i go travel I have to, at least, got something to memorized of.

Grebeg Maulud known as the birth of Propeth Muhammad SAW. This is a popular social religious also from Kraton Yogyakarta represent philoshopy of handout for eachother. This royal ceremony involving the entire Sultan Palace Kingdom, all royal officials and involving all levels of society. This ceremony become a salvation or a thanksgiving ceremony for the citizens of Yogyakarta.

The Seven “gunungan” ( gunung means mountain) made from resources harvest carried by soldiers and will distributed for people. Gunungan interpreted as a symbol of cultural communication between the Sultan ( as a King) and his people. The Gunungan will contested (grebeg) and they believe they will be blessed or given a fortune from it. “Grebeg” word itself comes from the word “noisy” which means when the people constest make a noisy sound and crowded.

So this is going to be my 100th photo album on this site and i'm glad coz i put this event, the one from my homeland Yogyakarta. it's called Grebeg. please enjoy,,,

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Tawur Agung Kesanga Ceremony

Tawur Agung is hindunese sacred ritual to clean up body and soul one day before meditation in Nyepi. Usually is placed on a big square, like in here at Lapangan Puputan Badung. Tawur Agung Kesanga a ritual performed to vanquish the negative elements and create balance with God, Mankind, and Nature. This ritual is believed to be an effective way to purify the island in order to make a harmonious relation between human being and God, human and human, and human and their environments.

The word “tawur” literally means, “pay” in a sense of a payment to the bhuta kala, personification to negative force, in order to restore the harmony of life. And kesanga is the ninth month in Balinese Caka calendar.

The kesanga is considered the worst month by the Balinese, with troublesome rainy season, and when even the earth is said to be sick and feverish (panes). It is believed that the Lord of Hell, Yama, sweeps Hades of devils, which fall on Bali, making it imperative that the whole of the island be purified.

One Morning After The Silent Day

Silent Day, the religious holiday known as Nyepi, is the traditional Hindhu’s celebration that only happen in Bali. It falls every year according to Hindhu ancient calendar. It is a symbolic act for the winning of good (Dharma) over bad energy (Adharma).

All activities are totally stopped. No TV or Radio, no vehichels on the road, no light, no traveling, all activities are stop operated including the airport. The day of silent starts from 6am to the next morning, 6 am. The whole Hindhu are fasting and meditating during the Nyepi day for self purification.

The day before Nyepi which is well-known as Pengrupukan ( I will post later about it) all Balinese do such a small ceremony to dismiss evil spirit around their compound and also the area they live usually at the junctions.

The day after live gets back to normal again. Found this loyal man near my homestay cleaned the temple on the day after Nyepi.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

7th Years in Making Photo!!

So, after involved in many mass photo exhibition, finally i have my own Photo Exhition..

It was an honour from The Japan Foundation Indonesia to present my documentation photos and video showcase during my visit to Ishinomaki as voluenteer after the Great Earth Tsunami. 

The Galery

Recently I am still doing my photo exhibition at Bibliotheque Centrale FaculteUniversité Catholique de Louvain, Bellgium.
well, fellas..wish me luck they send me free ticket to Brussell ..:D

Friday, February 24, 2012

Light of Lanterns

For the ancient Chinese, the lanterns symbolize prosperity, unity, and blessing. That's why Lanterns always used in many Chinese festivals, such an Imlek (Chinese New Year).

Taken those lanterns pictures during Imlek 2012 at Ketandan, Yogyakarta. Ketandan is kampong which residents mostly are chinese and make a live so the area is known as Chinatown of Jogya.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sight Seeing Bogor

60km south from Jakarta, Bogor has a nickname "the Rain City" (Kota Hujan) because always rains even during the dry season.

Here just - another sight seeing - capturing while joined the Harris Hotel Photo Hunt for Grand Opening its branch.

Which one of those pictures become 60's Best Photo?
Win a lunch with me..XD !

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Let's Play Bokeh

Those who are put a photography as their interest must be familiar with this art aesthetic quality of the blur called “bokeh”. Comes from the Japanese word boke (暈け or ボケ), which means "blur" or "haze".

Bokeh is what happens away from the point of best focus while sharpness is what happens at the point of best focus.
Good bokeh doesn't happen automatically in lens design. Good bokeh is especially important for large-aperture lenses, macro lenses, and long telephoto lenses because they are typically used with a shallow depth of field.

There are two types of Bokeh

> Circular (Hollywood) Style:
( Where the bright highlighted ares become s completely circular in the blurred out background ).
Any lens can deliver Hollywood bokeh, it occurs when the background have bright highlight, it will cause circular bokeh except the subject you are photographing at.

> Creamy Bokeh / Cream Cheese Bokeh
( Where the background of the subject are completely washed and blurred out creating”gradient “effect)

How do we get those bokeh ?
It’s all depend of the distance between your subject and the front element of the lens . The closer you get, more blurry your background gets. Using the highest aperture ( from f/1.4 to f/2.8) will get the better blurry background.

How to See Bokeh In Existing Images ?
If they all blend together nicely, that's nice bokeh. If they are perfect little circles, then that's neutral bokeh. If they are all swimmy and look little little rolled up condoms or donuts, then that's bad bokeh (kenrockwell)

Getting bored with Creamy Style Bokeh? let's play with the Hollywood Style Bokeh using the Xmast light. It's really fun!

7D / (50/f1.4 ; 28/f1.8; 75-300)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Horse Man - (The DSLR & Mobile Phone Photography)

As Ansel Adam says “ we don’t take a photograps, we make a photograps “, there are two choices we have wheter to 'take' or ‘make’ a ‘photo’. We can simply many things in life look fine with ‘take’ a photo of them (sometimes we’ll even take a great photo). To ‘make’ a photo along with the knowledge, you have to gain from practice, preparation and sometimes take a course. That will ‘making’ eye popping images for everyone to enjoy.

The camera phone has become the new point-and shoot – or snapshot camera – of our time. More people have taken up an interest since it’s easily to access. its simplicity and connectivity make people use this device to record their lives. Mobile phone Photography is really change the cellular and photography world in dramatic ways. There are apps out there that allow for brightness, contrast, WB, etc. It wouldn’t be surprised if that continued to expand. It is only a matter of time before phones did like DSLR. For amateurs is about the snapshot , workflow for professional and for me is about fun :D.

Anyway, the rise of mobile phone photography as an art has inspired me to mix up with the DSLR for fun. The more precise control like aperture, shutter speed are still become the highlight of these pics.

Hmmm..I (still) just want to shoot like my eye is the shutter release …

Bromo, December 2011
Picture taken by DSLR
Editing by lots of apps mobile phone photography