Friday, August 29, 2008

Gunung Agung, part 1

The highest peak of Bali, Gunung Agung, is most revered. The Balinese collectively believe in its mystical power. It is so central to the Balinese Hindu religion that the island’s holiest temple, Besakih, is nestled almost a thousand meters up its slope.

At about 3,142 meters above sea level, Gunung Agung is an active volcano noted for its deadly rumblings. The last major eruption in 1963 claimed more than a thousand people and destroyed several villages.

From afar, the mountain is beautifully symmetrical and conical in shape. Up close though, one can easily see the jagged caldera at its apex.

lost in the clouds
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/500s, f/10, 42mm, ISO 200, -1/3EV
Sept 14, 2006, 10:24AM, as seen from a plane

I think most flights going into Bali would afford a view of this majestic mountain although it would take some luck to get a window seat at the side of the plane that would face the mountain. From above, the moment the peak appears out of nowhere from a sea of white clouds is a cause for joy.

Gunung Agung aerial
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/3200s, f/4.5, 75mm, ISO 100
August 3, 2008, 8:08AM, as seen from a plane

sunset over Agung
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/200s, f/5.6, 75mm, ISO 100, -1/3EV
August 23, 2007, 6:11PM sunset, as seen from a plane

Gunung Agung is a popular photographic subject. It is famous for its sunrise silhouette when viewed from East Java. For Agung sunset scenes, one has to go west of course, to Lombok.

Gunung Agung
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 25s, f/13, 45mm, ISO 100, +2/3EV
August 1, 2008, 6:41PM, as seen from Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia

to be continued

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