1814 Borobudur revisited

PHOTOGRAPHS  I  ERWIN SUPANDI

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1814 was the year of rediscovery of Borobudur Temple amid volcanic ash and resurging jungle, ten centuries since its date of build. British governor for Java administration Thomas Stamford Raffles was largely credited for it with the publication of History of Java.

But he could not do it without the Dutchman HC Cornelis, whom he instructed to excavate the site for over a month, involving some two hundred workers.

Construction began in 824 under Syailendra dynasty, and completed during the reign of Samaratungga. It served as the center of religious activity, but started to lose significance when Mataram capital was moved to East Java, and went into oblivion in the 14th century.

Read the excerpts by Erwin Supandi of his selected pictures during his visit to Borobudur Temple, Magelang, Central Java.

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With just a little know-how in doing landscape photography in Borobudur Temple, Central Java, from the higher surrounding platform, I left the nearby hotel at 03:45 AM. I got lost and finally able to overcome the situation by asking the local motorcycle taxi driver for an escort. The extra expense proved to be worthwhile with the spectacular view that slowly reveals as the sun began to rise.

This photo was cropped to clarify the detail of the temple. Most commonly people use telephoto lens—at least 70-200 mm—to get a perfect result. However, seeing the remarkable crop result proves that mirrorless camera does an excellent job in reproducing noise-less details. It is taken with Fujifilm X-E1 paired with 18-55 mm kit lens.

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This photograph proves how capable the mirrorless camera—some said mirrorless DSLR in making a competition with the already established DSLR cameras. This was taken while the photographer was driving. The left hand held the steering wheel while the other hand held the camera. The action is surely a tough call for DSLR users.

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