Cloud camping

At about 2000m above sea level, climbers call it a day, camping right at the edge of the crater. Some on their way up to the summit while some on their way down the mountain, very often exchanging words of encouragement.

The golden hour at Mount Rinjani

A lone hiker taking a break while the light from the sun broke into a dance routine with the fast moving clouds.

Miracle workers of Mount Rinjani

The lone porter along the crater of the Mount Rinjani. 

Without them, the climb would not even have made it past day 1. They are the miracle workers of Mount Rinjani. Each porter carries up to 30Kg worth of supplies on their shoulders up the mountains, very often reaching the check points way earlier than their city dwelling customers. They zipped up and down the mountain with such speed and ease it made me feel useless. By the time we caught up with them at our resting areas, they would  have already set up our tents, makeshift toilets and halfway through cooking our meals. I can’t help but feel amazed everytime a porter overtakes us (which happens all the time) effortlessly. While I struggle up some of the steeper parts of the trail in fours, they simply stepped up, hands free, in slippers and sometimes barefooted. The equally amazing guides started out as porters when they were younger too.

Looking back

As we moved up and down the slopes around Mount Rinjani, scenes like that kept appearing around us everytime we looked back. Before the trek, Macho, our guide, told us that he will tell us a method to trek up the summit. During the course of the trek, we all forgot about it and didn’t ask. On our 3rd day down the mountains, I asked him, what was it that he was supposed to tell us. He said, ‘when you trek up, do not look up. Instead, look back.’ The whole idea was so that you look at what you have achieved to motivate yourself rather than look at the path in front, which I agree, did not do anything positive to my morale. It’s always so near yet so far. Simple theory, but so effective.

An unplugged week

It’s been almost a week of scrappy internet access on the island of Ambon. The microwave signals were severely hampered by cloudy skies and rainy weather in the evenings. On our very last day, the skies cleared up and with that, we witnessed a moon rise from the water horizon. It was a pretty awesome sight. That was when I realized the skies are really clear and the tide was incredibly low. I decided that I should take the land pictures that I have been waiting for all week. This huge tree trunk was washed down from the hills, down the river and somehow ended up on the beach of the resort. It had since became a favorite photography spot for visitors.

This week had been pretty awesome with great dives, great company and life pretty much unplugged. But like all awesome holidays, it comes with some unexpected and ‘memorable’ experiences as well. Got seasick once, puked like mad. Housing flooded twice (thankfully I surfaced before things got really bad and found out the culprit was a faulty dome port). Jellyfish stings (oh, those things are really beautiful… and as with beautiful things, keep a distance). Camera shutter kind of died, so I had to wait about 10-15 seconds between shots for the error message to clear. It’s a real pain but I learned to slow down and pick my shot instead of spraying. On some dives, at depths below 15m, some of the buttons on the camera refused to work for some reason. So it was like shooting manual on film because the playback button and focus button didn’t work. Despite all these, it was still an awesome trip.

For more images of the trip, you can follow me (feldberyl) on instragram.

Beautiful things in life

It’s been a pretty busy 2014 so far. Besides my living my ‘secret life of a wedding photographer’ (which just mean getting stuck in front of the computer), I did some changes to the way I work (behind the computer). Trying to cut down on bulky computers and making my workstation a little more mobile now. I love the idea that I can work anywhere in the house and not just getting stuck in my office desk. Looking forward to the change after CNY.

I found this video on facebook and thought I would share it here. Not Man vs Wild, but Man + Wild. Beautiful isn’t it? I always found instances of man being able to connect with the wild amazing. You don’t have to share a common language to connect.

Blue Monday

Last night a taxi ran into my car at the driveway of the hotel while I was leaving. It registered a few scratches as it under steered while speeding into a wet driveway. For some reason, I wasn’t really pissed. After a brief inspection and apology from the driver, I told him it’s ok and we parted ways. As I age, certain things become less important and I start to lose that feeling of possessiveness over them. Personally I found it liberating. It feels good to spend more time doing something I enjoy than worrying about something I possess.

Just one of those Monday thoughts even though it’s early Tuesday now.

Here’s one my favourite Monday songs:D

Super Trees

An awesome night with friends and ending up shooting the sunrise at Gardens by the Bay. We can definitely do this again soon!