After a cloudy afternoon in Boston, I didn’t have much hope for a remarkable sunset. Still, I wanted to check out the harbor area for blue hour, so I got there a little early and wandered around looking for a good spot. A few minutes later, the clouds thinned out – and were lit up by the most beautiful pink, orange and red hues!
I just got back from a long trip through Indonesia – covering Java, Bali, Lombok and Flores. One of the (many) highlights was watching the sunrise over Mt. Bromo, on the island of Java.
We arrived at the popular viewing point around 3am, and were the first people there, which meant we were able to get the best spots. We just had to wait in the cold wind until 4:30am for the sun to show itself!
While we waited, I took some long exposure shots to catch the vast array of starts visible above the volcanoes. On the plain in front of Mt. Bromo you can see the light trail left behind by the jeeps taking visitors to other viewing points. And then I got lucky – during one of my long exposures, a shooting star suddenly appeared over the volcano!
My previous post showed a shot of the view across Bagan at sunrise; this one was taken a few minutes later, once the sun was already well above the horizon. Every morning, a group of hot air balloons takes off and drifts over the temples, giving the few lucky passengers the view of a lifetime. Unfortunately at over US$300 per person, the ride was a little too expensive for us! Oh well – at least I got a good shot with the balloons!
No doubt about it – our final sunrise in Bagan was a winner. We watched from the rooftop terrace of a small temple behind Dhammayazika Temple, with only a few other people around. The start of the sunrise wasn’t that impressive due to haze on the horizon, but later, after the sun was further up, the sky started to glow a beautiful orange color, with the nearby temples silhouetted in front. This was definitely one of the most special moments of our trip to Myanmar!
Jökulsárlón Lagoon is on the coast of eastern Iceland. It is a glacial lake, formed by the retreating Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. As icebergs calve off of the glacier, they drop into the lake below. These large chunks of ice gradually melt down until they are small enough to leave the lake, taking the short trip to the Atlantic Ocean. With incoming tides these icebergs are often washed up on the beach, which is also covered in black volcanic sand. The contrast of the ice sitting on the black beach is spectacular, especially with the light from either sunrise or, in this case, sunset. Unfortunately, the glacier is continuing to retreat, and the lake is estimated to have already quadrupled in size since the 1970’s. In the next few decades the lake and beautiful nature that it presents will probably become “just” a new fjord.
The beach with the icebergs is a very popular destination for photographers in Iceland – when I turned up there were several dozen cars and vans parked there already, and the beach was crawling with people with cameras and tripods. The picture makes it seem very peaceful, but unfortunately it wasn’t! I assume sunrise is a little quieter! This picture is a single shot, taken with low ISO and high f/ number for a slow shutter speed (0.6s). This is long enough to get a little bit of blur in the waves washing up on the beach next to the ice.
Lovćen National Park sits high above the bay of Kotor; the road from Kotor up to the top is a narrow road with more than 25 hairpin turns – each one offering a more spectacular view than the one before. At the top, you can see across the fjord that forms the bay, with Kotor nestled under the trees at the end of the bay.