Tag Archives: landscape

From courage to freedom, Paramotor

From courage to freedom

From courage to freedom

“Fear is your best friend or your worst enemy. It’s like fire. If you can control it, it can cook for you; it can heat your house.

If you can’t control it, it will burn everything around you and destroy you. If you can control your fear, it makes you more alert, like a deer coming across the lawn” ~ Mike Tyson

I had an ‘adrenaline burst’ moment with my PPG or powered paraglider pilot friends a few weeks back. A cross-country (XC) flight from Kuala Besut to Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu.

The distance from Kuala Besut to Kuala Terengganu is approximately 1 hour 10 minutes drive along the seaside road.

We were on a slow-mo mode that morning as we want to enjoy our morning ride as it is. And up there, on the zero highway route … every direction is our highway. Amazing feeling … fear and survival instinct blend together with the most awesome view. And … the salty air smells FREEDOM.

Sharing some snapshot photos from my gopro videos with all of you.

It was a great pleasure to be able to take part in this mind-blowing adventurous way of exploring the world ;-).

PPG pilot needs to acquire an adequate engine,  glider and thermal handling skill to be able to do cross-country flight here at the Terengganu coastal area.

At 10 am onwards the heat was unbearable. If you are flying closer to the ground/ shore you might experience some turbulence due to thermal heating. Yeah … I know that I am just a passenger to my PPG pilot but after spending hours flying with them I couldn’t help but noticed the character of the wind too.

I used to fly early in the morning and late afternoon when the wind a bit calmer and colder.  Not used to fly at odd hours like this time around , I was a bit shaken by the unpredictable wind and the turbulence caused by the heat or thermal energy.

My advice to you before you decide to try riding with PPG tandem is to know your pilot skill level first (to be able to trust him with your life), study their equipment (engine/ glider) and to TRUST them with their skills. Extreme sport requires great skills to be able to execute each activity safely.

Yes … I do have fear and no, it’s not acrophobia (fear of height) 😉 .

Cheers

MM

P.S – Well … I am scared of the dark 🙂 . I used to have fear of being alone or monophobia but through photography I managed to divert my fear to my advantage. And, I noticed that I am more focus and creative when I am alone … guess that my survival instinct would start to kick-off whenever I feel lonely.

Sharing JanjiFly XC video @besut 091015


A Muddy Business at Pacu Jawi, Tanah Datar

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“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

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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.

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Pacu Jawi with its audience as a background

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A real muddy business here … yaiks!

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Mud splattered all around the place

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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.

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Bulls getting their cold shower under the sun

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Yaik … a pushy shower time moment

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Massage and tender loving time 😛 after the shower

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More shower time

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I’m loving it …

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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.

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Misty landscape at Puncak Lawang Maninjau, Bukit Tinggi

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The afternoon light is sneaking behind the thick mist at Puncak Lawang

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I was mesmerized by the mist, lost in my own thought

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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.

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A buffalo looking up at me as I was enjoying my landscape

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A calm morning at the lake … my heart is at ease alhamdullilah

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Fishing activity around the lake

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Activities around the lake

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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 ….

 

Cheers

MM

 


The sky is my Canvas

 

“The sky is a canvas, so paint your own life”

And … I am painting the sky with my favorite color. I’ll call it my color of FREEDOM.

I was out on the field the other day. Following a group of hardcore paramotoring friends for a fun-flying wedding event at Besut, Terengganu. Told them before hand that I don’t shot wedding … not yet … hmm … maybe I’ll shot wedding one day. Reason being … I sucks at following orders, protocols and guidelines. I am the type that color outside the lines … almost all the time.

Instead of focusing on the bride and the groom, I was more captivated by the sun that day. Due to the unpredictable rain and thunder-storm which had started a few days earlier … the sky during that day was a bit calm and cloudy, excellent for a mid-day paramotoring activities.  And the halo effect circling around the sun was a bonus excuse for me to get lost in my world.

It is weirdly interesting to have the opportunity to hang around among people with different affection than mine. I have followed them a lot these few months … staring at the glaring sun and praying for a ride on the cloud … while watching them indulge themselves with all those technical jargon about engine and flight handling skills. Dreamers like me doesn’t talk about engines or that technical wing setting he he he my brain refused to stay awake during such talk 😛 .

For a street photographer that love to shoot people and face expression … shooting PPG pilot with their genuine face expression is not an easy thing for me. I got bored too while chasing the light. Thank God I have my Gopro to play with … a newly found toy to play with.

Maybe I will get bored one day with the sun 🙂 but for now I plan to stick around for a little longer than I promised. These are a few shoots from our weekend fun-fly around Cyberjaya, WP Kuala Lumpur. I am enjoying it while it last ….

And lastly, I am enjoying my landscape through a different perspective now a days. A personal self achievement each time I came across a brilliant looking landscape while flying … just Subhannallah! gorgeous world if you just stop for a while and stare more. It surely remind me to the Creator … the Al-Mighty …

“Knock, And He’ll open the door. Vanish, And He’ll make you shine. Fall, And He’ll raise you to the heaven. Become nothing, And He’ll turn you into everything.” ~ Rumi

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The sea line and me

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A different way to enjoy my landscape

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My sunset at Besut, Terengganu

 

Bye for now.

 

 

Cheers

MM

 

 

p/s Sharing some videos during our outing activities:

  • Introduction video to JanjiFly @Besut on 01-08-2015

  • Take-Off compilation to JanjiFly @Besut on 01-08-2015

  • JanjiFly FunFly @Besut Pantai Air Tawar, Terengganu

  • JanjiFly FunFly @SSP Cyberjaya on 23-08-2015

 

 

 

 


Strange colors in Sabtang Island

Batanes Island: View from my balcony

Batanes Island: View from my hotel balcony

Ahhh … a fantasy island indeed.

The weather was unpredictable during our stay in Batanes Island, Philippines last week. Strong wind, cloudy sky and scattered rain here and there … had made my hunting (for lights and colors) more challenging than usual but experiencing the “heaven on earth” kinda landscape that surround the island  … has lighten up my heavy heart. The crispy clean air had magically chase away my stubborn Indian cough that had been ‘lovingly’ sticking to my throat for weeks (after completing 2 courses of antibiotic the cough still linger).

The island is so spacious … empty hills and mountains with only green grass field and a few here and there trees. It entice the feeling of flying in me … the wanderer me riding the wind while exploring the hills surrounding the island lol.

More photos of Batanes Island from my D800 will be uploaded to my Zenfolio photo profiles soon.

Spacious Batanes ...

Free flying with just the wind … no glider and no paramotor engine needed here

After a few days being surrounded by the gloomy weather, we decided to take a short boat ride to the nearby  Sabtang Island (30-45 minutes boat ride away). A small island with estimated around 1800 people and they are economically depending on the sea (most are fisherman).  We refused to be at the mercy of the weather. Hunger for light and colors … we were all over the place … exploring the island until there were no more light left on the horizon.

At 2pm: We arrived at the Sabtang port

At 2pm: We arrived at the Sabtang port

At 3:15 pm: San Vicente Ferrer Church (Sabtang)

At 3:15 pm: Some maintenance work at San Vicente Ferrer Church

We spent our afternoon looking for the perfect spot to shot sunset at the not so nearby (about one our ride on an open-style truck) fishing village. The weather at Sabtang Island was not as bad as it was in Batanes Island … so we were expecting a nice sunset that afternoon.

For those who love to shot people or streets, Batanes and Sabtang Island is obviously not for you. As for me, I adore beautiful landscape but I need subjects on my landscape … and these islands are so secluded that you need to be extra creative to be able to capture the gorgeous view with your camera.

Internet connection in Batanes Island is super duper weak … but my life has never been depending much on the wifi connection anyway … so, it was not a big deal to me (how I wish). But it is getting harder for me lately to stay isolated from the internet. This past few months GayaIzzah.com needs more TLC (tender, love and care) from me … I know, I need to get used to working hmmm and less playing.

Being an introvert, staying disconnected from such need towards creating extra noise for attention is always my ultimate goal. So … I think that I am sucks at updating GayaIzzah.com fb and IG status everyday … just to create a scene or a viral so that my lovely GayaIzzah.com would get more and more followers. Hmmm … tough job!

Yup … so I was telling you about the closed to zero internet connection in both Batanes and Sabtang islands (especially in Sabtang) right? It was heaven to me … so quiet and peaceful … I was not complaining at all … but my customer did lol. One of the many reasons why I love traveling … is because it is so quiet when you are out there alone.

At 3:45 pm: Spotted a secluded beach on our way to the fishing village

Another side view of the scluded beach

At 3.47 pm: Still here for a quick shot around the secluded beach

So, we were hanging out at the village enjoying the afternoon breeze, waiting and praying for a colorful sunset. It was kinda cool hanging around with the villagers while watching fishermen unloading their catch of the day to the shore.

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At 4:30 pm: We hang around the fishing village

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At 4.30pm: Fishermen loading up their catch of the day

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At 4:30pm: Hanging around the beach while the fisherman uploading their catch of the day

At 4:30pm: Looking at dried fish at the hanger facing the sea

At 4:30pm: Dried fish at the hanger facing the sea

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At 4:30pm: Still hanging around here waiting for sunset

At 5:30pm: Still walking around the village looking for moment

At 5:00pm: Still walking around the village hunting for moment

Dried fish hanged along the village

At 5:45pm: Enjoying sunset at the village

Sunset at Sabtang Island

At 5:45pm: Sunset at Sabtang Island

I have a few more interesting shots of the sunset in Sabtang that I would probably upload it to my Zenfolio photo profile later. It was a very interesting afternoon indeed.  We were lucky to have a clear sky that night … so, our next target for the night was … hunting for milky way.

At 4:00 am: Practicing my seeking a signal skill

At 4:00 am: Practicing my seeking a signal skill

At 4:00 am: Still practicing my seeking a signal skill

At 4:00 am: Still practicing my seeking a signal skill

At 4:30am: Hunting for the gorgeous milky way

At 4:30am: Hunting for a gorgeous milky way

AT 5:40am: Watching the first morning light

AT 5:40am: Watching the first morning light on the shore

At

At 6:20am: Enjoying morning light

At 6:30am:

At 6:30am: With my warm and lovely friend … an unexpected companion

At 6:45 am:

At 6:45 am: Still here with my companion … i like him! a great companion!

I met all kind of unexpected warm souls while traveling. Souls that warm my heart … and this new companion that I met in Sabtang is one of a kind soul. If I can have a dog of my own … I want this type of dog. He accompanied me during my early morning shot, he followed me everywhere during my sunrise moment, he lead my way around the bushes on the hills, he sat with me on top of the hill and he accompanied me while I was enjoying my golden light moment … darn! my yellow grumpy cat at home doesn’t do that … gosh! I want a dog … I bet if I have a companion dog like him … I can wander alone, confidently around beaches and bushes in Malaysia taking pictures of beautiful local landscape … I need a dog!

But … with Malaysian crime rate hiking up day to day … I think I will need a bulldog as my companion dog 😛

At 5:50am: Trying to catch the morning light behind the cloudy horizon

At 5:50am: Trying to catch the morning light behind the cloudy horizon

Honestly, I felt a bit discontented with this trip … reason being that the unpredictable weather had made it hard for me to experience the true light and the genuine color of Batanes Island. Too bad huh… but who knows one day I might have a chance to visit Batanes again.

I am preparing myself for my next trip to Maiga Island in Semporna, Sabah on Thursday next week. More landscape and milky ways to feed my D800 lol. Wish me luck ….

Cheers

MM

 

p/s Dada Macusi … in case if you are reading this. I will make it a point to call you up next time if I happen to visit Philippines again, there are so many places to explore there …and chasing whales in Babuyan Island sounds so cool 😛 . Take care …


Colors of love in Bromo

 

Cheritera Cinta Kita by Matsuda Mashimaru

Tales of Our Love Story

Me and Mt Mt Bromo

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

Prologue: It all started with me tagging along with two(2) of my childhood friends and we planned to test our friendship by joining a group of Malaysian and Singaporean photographers (total strangers). People said the best way to test the compatibility of your friendship is through surviving a tough trip together and comes out still emotionally intact.

This is my 2nd visit to Mt Bromo and I knew the fact that a photography trip is a tough trip for non photographers. Chasing sunset and sunrise at some odd places for 7 continuos days can really suck off your energy. We woke up as early as 2.30 am and battled for a comfortable sleeping spot inside the cramp van while still hilariously teasing at each other like children.

I am happy to announce that not only the three(3) of us passed the best friend forever (bff) test but … we fall “head over heal” in love with the rest of team too. Now I am part of the “Gang Penghambur Tegar Bromo” team. My lil sister Ruth Agatha wanted a drama  out of our photos during this trip but I want to make it clear that I am a tough girl and lovey dovey drama has never been in my element. But heck … I just give it a try. So, Geng Penghambur … this is session 1 of our “Cheritera Cinta Kita” and session 2 will continue during our Maiga Island trip next year.


 

There are all sort of love in this world. Every each of us seek different kind of love. Some found their true love, some still looking for their soulmate and some being traumatized and judged for the love that they have. We explored love for 7 days and found love among us.

Common Love: The Romeo and Juliet version of love. The lovey dreamy kind of love … yeah right! when we were so naive and immature 🙂 .

But at our adult age now, Romeo almost always seeks for new love and Juliet still seeks for the everlasting love oppps! I better just stick to the script. And, Romeo found his Juliet and they live happily ever after …. the end ZZzzzzZZzzzz.

Common Love

Common Love: This is where they met

And, their love confession looks like this

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And, their cat fight look like this … again and again … repeat this for 1001 times

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at 1002 times they made up again …

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And, they got married … they live happily ever after

Us having our brotherhood moment

And, they got seven(7) hyper active, noisy and chatty children

Us Having our brotherhood moment

Who love to explore the world to the core!!! ….. the End

Freedom to Love: Some seek for greater love … the love for Freedom.

Freedom to love God the Creator,  the ultimate owner of love and this whole universe. And, being able to express the act of devotion and love towards God publicly without being oppressed and judged.

Freedom to love other soul of your choice regardless of who and how they look like.  And, being able to express those love openly between each other without expectation, pride and ego attached.

Freedom to express our love towards ourselves without fear of being labelled. Free to be “IAmWhoIAM” ….

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Freedom to love life

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Freedom to love our creative self

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Freedom to love ‘time’ on our own

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Freedom to love yourself as a unique individual

And, lastly the Patriotic love, endless love for our country. Despite the nasty words thrown by those “toooot’ keyboard warriors, I still can feel the love towards our country in us. We celebrated Malaysian Day together on top of Mt Bromo. We had a few dedicated teachers in our group, they surely knew how to educate and spark the patriotic spirit among us.

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Patriotic Love

Patriotic Love

Patriotic Love

Patriotic Love

Patriotic Love

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Patriotic Love

Patriotic Love

Patriotic Love

Patriotic Love

Patriotic Love

Our love story ended with us yearning for more ‘love’ time together. And, till we meet again next year … stay cool and remain down to earth yeah my travel buddies … “Spread love every where you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier”- Mother Theresa

My childhood buddies

My childhood buddies

 

Cheers,

MM

p/s

  1. ZZZzzzZZzz I can’t believe that I am writing a post about ‘love’. It doesn’t feel right 😉 . Rasa nak muntah pun ada …. but since I already make my promise then I dedicated this post to Ruth Agatha.
  2. I will be in my hibernating mode again until my next trip. Gang Menghambur yang memory card tu corrupted, sabar lah menanti bila-bila I am in the right mood to sort out the photos and upload it to google drive. Sabar itu sebahagian dari iman 😉 and you can’t rush art he he he

 


Golden Hours in Lake Toba

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Hunting for early morning light in Lake Toba

During those days when my traveling mission was just to hunt for beaches, waterfalls or for just another gorgeous camp sites, I had a minimalist dream vacation. It was to have a simple holiday (me and my OJ aka orange juice 😉 ) in a secluded island (maybe around Mauritius, Maldives or Sipadan Island), in a hut located in the middle of an ocean where I can jump straight down to the sea from my hut’s  window and snorkel around the sea bed anytime that I want 24×7.  A total freedom …

I traveled to other places too but I noticed that I can see MORE when I traveled with fellow photographer buddies.  Photography taught me to spot,  stop and appreciate moment better than before. Like when I decided to join them for a weekend photography gateway to Lake Toba, I never thought that I could see more of Indonesia comparing to what I have already seen.

A brief fact about Lake Toba, Indonesia. It is the largest volcanic lake in the world. Located in the middle of Sumatera Island, Indonesia

We did our usual street photography around Lake Toba covering a few villages and markets. But, what struck me the most during this trip was the opportunity to witness and capture a lot of golden hour moments around the lake. It was a ‘priceless moment’ to witness. Sitting on top of the hill surrounded by endless space enjoying magic hours watching the light changes from daylight to night and from night to daylight again … just Subhanallah.

I managed to capture some good moments during that hour. Some I posted here and the rest of it you can view from my Zenfolio Toba Lake gallery (in high resolutions minus those big ugly watermark across my photos). To safe myself from any future headache, pictures posted here in my blog were all in low resolutions and stamped with ugly big watermark across it.

We drove further up from Tongging Village, stopped at the end of the road to nowhere and start trekking up and down a few hills to reach at this beautiful mesmerizing spot.  I don’t enjoy trekking that much especially if I need to carry along my camera equipment … but this spot worth all the efforts.

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Now, tell me who doesn’t want to be here?

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And, here?

Sunset sky around Lake Toba

And, the color of the sky during sunset was mesmerizing

Another side of the Lake during sunset

I didn’t manage to capture the ‘egg yolk’ sunset during that day but the golden yellow light at the end of the horizon was so beautiful … Subhanallah

It was at the end of a raining season when we were there, so we had a few drizzling during the days and some thunderstorm at nights … just perfect for a dramatic sunsets and sunrises.

I was not good at landscape photography then and I am still not mastering it well now. I am not aiming for being a perfectly “mastered” sifu in photography anyway but if through out my journey and experience I become good at it … then why not, it will be a blessed 🙂 alhamdullilah.  I will be joining a different group of photographer tomorrow for a 7 days photography trip to Bromo and Bali, Indonesia. Some of them are hardcore landscape photographers, maybe I can learn a thing or two from them on how to capture the perfect sunset, sunrise and milky way. Non stop learning … my kinda journey and loving it

And, my sunrise at Lake Toba for that day looked like these … 🙂

The first light peeping out from the horizon

The first light peeping out from the horizon

More lights started to emerge from the horizon. The cloud was a bit dramatic that day because of the expected thunder storm later that day

More lights started to emerge from the horizon. The cloud was a bit dramatic that day because of the expected thunder storm later of the day

We witnessed a dramatic sunrise for that day. Black and thick clouds with yellow filtered light

We witnessed a dramatic sunrise for that day. Black and thick clouds with yellow filtered light

HD like landscape view from the observation deck during morning golden hours

HD like landscape view from the observation deck during morning golden hours

The golden light emerged out of the dramatic clouds created a HD like landscape view. This image is totally original. I don't do extensive post processing for my photos reason being I don't have PS software (saving my money to buy lens) and I am too LAZY to do complex post processing ;-)

The golden light emerged out of the dramatic clouds created a HD like landscape view. This image is totally original. I don’t do extensive post processing for my photos reason being I don’t have PS software (saving my money to buy lens) and I am too LAZY to do complex post processing 😉 (I choose my pillow than sitting long hours in front of my Mac)

Us capturing US after the morning sunrise shooting

Us capturing us after the morning sunrise shooting

 

What did I buy for myself during this trip? I bought a few simple bracelets (as souvenirs) from a market nearby Tomok jetty in Samosir Island. Sadly I didn’t get any ‘keeper” jewelry for my Treasure Chest during this trip maybe because I was not looking hard enough. I will be visiting Bali Island next week, hope that I can spot some unique jewelry there that I can share it here. Hope for the best …

 

Cheers,

MM

 

p/s What do dreamers do? … they dreams 🙂


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