A Muddy Business at Pacu Jawi, Tanah Datar

“The journey itself is my home” ~ Lembah Anai waterfall, Jalur Padang

Pacu jawi or bull race is a popular photography event among photographers here. Pacu means the race speed and Jawi means cow.

When I told my (photographer) friend that I haven’t been to Pacu Jawi before they were puzzled. Every serious photographer that I know have been to Pacu Jawi in Tanah Datar, Pariangan, West Sumatera, Indonesia for at least once.

I need a quick short break from my routine life and rekindle with my traveling spirit lol … so, I signed up for the bull race event. I need to experience the adrenaline rush while shooting the bulls and the thrill of pressing the shutter button while on burst mode.

The subject is the same … the same group of jockey, the same bulls, the same location and the same ambience. They’ve shown me their photo version of Pacu Jawi , which by the way … look all the same to me 😛 … I can’t help but wondering on how am I to create my own unique version of Pacu Jawi photos … lol?

And … here are my version of Pacu Jawi bull race. Not bad huh … for a first timer

A muddy business in Pacu Jawi, Tanah Datar
Bull Racing
And, this is the thrill … to capture the Jockey while he was bitting the bull’s tail

Wow … the feeling of shooting fast-moving Pacu Jawi or bull race is sensational. The bulls will run along the muddy paddy field while the jockey will do some tricks to excite the bulls, like bitting the bull’s tail or smacking the bull’s backside. Surprisingly the bull remained calm and composed, not going berserk over the crowd excitement.

And I ended up with hundreds and hundreds frame of the jockey and their bulls, I run amok with my shutter button 😛 … don’t ask me why, I got carried away by the thrilling moment.

Pacu Jawi with its audience as a background
A real muddy business here … yaiks!
Mud splattered all around the place
Side view of the muddy business

After all the running and chasing between the jockeys, the bulls and us the photographers lol, the bulls were treated with a cold shower under the sun.

Bulls getting their cold shower under the sun
Yaik … a pushy shower time moment
Massage and tender loving time 😛 after the shower
More shower time
I’m loving it …
Play time …

The main event for this trip was to shoot the famous Pacu Jawi and Indonesia has never failed to surprise me with its gems. The landscapes, the people, the food and the ambience has never failed to excite me. There would always be something for my curious eyes.

We started our journey at Padang, drove further up and spent a few nights in Bukit Tinggi before we proceed to Tanah Datar, Peranginan for the Pacu Jawi event. The weather when I was there was not that great for a landscaper. Occasional rain here and there created a gloomy ambience around Bukit Tinggi. I am just glad that I am a ‘rojak’ photographer … I will shoot anything that pleased my eyes … and the gloomy sky would never be a hindrance to me.

Despite the dingy mood, we had a great moment exploring Puncak Lawang, Malinjau, Bukit Tinggi while being surrounded by a thick mist … a mysterious and haunted thick mist hu hu hu.

Misty landscape at Puncak Lawang Maninjau, Bukit Tinggi
The afternoon light is sneaking behind the thick mist at Puncak Lawang
I was mesmerized by the mist, lost in my own thought
Wefie on top of Puncak Lawang

Here are some of my photos of lakes surrounding Agam, Kamang Magek, Bukit Tinggi during a cloudy and rainy afternoon.

A buffalo looking up at me as I was enjoying my landscape
A calm morning at the lake … my heart is at ease alhamdullilah
Fishing activity around the lake
Activities around the lake
Afternoon light before the rain

And lastly, here is my video for the Pacu Jawi trip. I made this video for the fun of it … and I noticed that a good short video could be a great story-teller for my audience. I am currently learning on how to take a good video and to edit it to perfection. so, enjoy yeah …

Bye for now ….





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Be yourself - everyone else is already taken! - Oscar Wilde

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