Chasing Light at Rawa Pening

Sunrise in Rawa Pening Central Java Indonesia

I made an appointment with the taxi driver to pick me up at about 3am the next morning at my hotel in Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia. My destination would be the Rawa Pening lake, about two and a half hour drive from the city of Yogyakarta. And I knew that I had to be quick and I was taking a risk as my return flight to Jakarta would be at noon on the same day.

Still feeling very sleepy, I left the hotel the next morning at 3am and I was sleeping almost for the entire journey. I would open my eyes once a while just to check where we were and how long more to get to the lake. I have framed an image in my mind that I wanted to take based on what I have seen before about this place. A sunrise in the background, one or two fishermen on their boat and maybe some interesting subjects in the foreground. But the sunrise would have to be good in the first place, otherwise I would be wasting the extra few hour sleep I could have enjoyed at the hotel. I was hoping all things will align themselves for me for the photo shoot at the lake.

We finally got to the place after asking some locals for directions. And it was drizzling a little bit! What a bad start. I got out of the car anyway with my camera fitted with the 17-40mm L lens, my tripod and the shutter release cable and started scouting for a good spot to shoot. The lake was very quiet, very tranquil with panoramic view of some mountains in the background. There was no activity yet on the lake. Maybe because it was drizzling even though just a little bit.

So, I waited for the moment that I wanted while trying to shoot some other subjects to justify my two and a half hour drive that morning. If I didn’t get what I wanted, at least I have the evidence that I was there. Just to cheer myself.

My wait seemed to be over soon when I saw someone started to move his boat from where it was docked to the lake. But it was from the far left from where I was standing and it was out of the frame at that moment, I saw two locals rowing their boats. Woo Hoo! The drizzling has stopped, the sunrise was wonderful, the clouds were dramatic as it looked like it was going to rain before and I got the subjects I wanted. Not one … but two fishermen on their boats coming into the frame soon. I have pre-framed my composition and waited for them to come in to complete it. I kept checking my camera settings to make sure all were correct and just hoped the two fishermen would not make a U-turn.

The first fisherman came in first (the one sitting on the boat) and I took couple images and then the second one came in standing on his boat while rowing. And I took the shot.
Can you see the reflection of the sunlight on his pole? What a great little addition to the image.

Persistence and patient are the key. So, two and a half hour drive, braving myself under the little drizzles waiting for the moment and one shot.

I packed up my stuffs after taking several more shots from different spots and we were driving back to my hotel for me to shower, checkout and catch my flight back to Jakarta. I was a happy camper.

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