I love travelling around Indonesia because not only is it beautiful, its also fairly inexpensive. It felt more so having just come from a road trip around the Philippines where I paid more for a car hire than I am here in Yogyakarta for a car with driver and fuel included.

The city itself didn’t have anything to offer for my photography, its the Borobudur and Prambanan Temples that surround it that brought me here.

I headed straight to Borobudur, I booked a room at the hotel next to the temple so I could shoot at both sunrise and sunset. I bought the special tickets that only allow a few to be on the temple at sunset, which made me happy as I could shoot without having to worry about people in shot. However as the 6pm closing time came the temple guards didn’t tell anyone to leave which drove me nuts, it wasn’t until I told them, did they even care, which was frustrating after spending a lot for the so called special ticket.

Just before the sun dipped below the mountains there were 5 people sat in various parts of my shot, which meant a lot of Photoshop when I got home to paint them out, something I don’t like to do but for this scene I had no choice.

Java Indonesia Sunrise


I also bought the special sunrise ticket, which was also no good as 100 other people had decided to as well, people were everywhere but thankfully sunset was more beautiful anyhow and painting out 5 people id far easier than 20. The temple was just too busy to allow for a nice exploration of the different angles.

Yogyakarta Java Indonesia

After breakfast, I headed towards Prambanan Temple as I wanted to shoot it at sunset, but I had time to kill before so explored some of the smaller temples nearby and found this beautifully lit scene inside of Plaoson Temple.

Java Indonesia

I arrived at Prambanan at 3pm which gave me 3 hours to shoot but also brought a new problem, it was so big it was hard to shoot, and angles further away didn’t fill the panoramic format nicely. Just before sunset, I settled for the composition below, which only just fit into my widest lens. The sun lit up the clouds beautifully as it set and I chose a 15 second exposure to capture some cloud movement in the scene.

Indonesia Java

I had 4 days in Yogyakarta but by the end of day 2 I had seen everything I wanted to and didn’t feel the need to go back to any of the temples to shoot them, so I decided to explore the coast south of the city. My driver took me 3 hours to the west and I visited as many beaches as I could during the day from Wedi Ombo to Parangtritis Beach. It was a nice day shooting the varied scenes. Sadly more exciting for me than the temples.

Crashing waves

indrayanti beach java indonesia

java indonesia

I stayed overnight at Parangtritis Beach in a little hotel so I could get up early and shoot the sunrise. Of course this being a weekend in Indonesia I wasn’t alone, but the people added to the scene perfectly this time as they enjoyed playing in the waves.

java indonesia

java indonesia wave

Most times I leave a places wishing I had a little more time to shoot more, but in Yogyakarta I found I had seen everything I wanted to in only 4 days and can happily say I don’t ever need to come back here. There are too many other amazing places in Indonesia to see and photograph.