Saturday, December 6, 2008

Photographing mosques in Bima

part 3 of continuing series in photographing mosques
part 1: Tawi-Tawi, the Philippines
part 2: Asia and Africa

Lying in the West Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia, Bima is in the eastern seaboard of the island of Sumbawa. Arid and almost looking red during summer, Bima is not much of a happening place. Once the domain of the sultanate of the same name, it is out of commercialized tourism’s way, save for perhaps the heady surfer dreaming of catching the waves in its almost famous if not empty surf breaks. Even then, these beach destinations are not in Bima but in the neighboring regency of Dompu.

Bima does have a reputation of Muslim religiosity, not of militancy but of conservatism. I had some spare time in my short visit in this town and took the opportunity to photograph three of its mosques.

Masjid Uswatun Hasanah

As in any downtown mosques in Indonesia, this one is right at the roadside, cutting any possible angle. I decided to shoot the minaret at a widest angle of my 18-55mm kit lens. There’s the ubiquitous electric line but the trees still managed to frame the tower amidst the heavy cumulus clouds.

Masjid Uswatun Hasanah
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/800s, f/4.0, 18mm, ISO 100


To add more interest, I waited for a horse-drawn cart or cedomo to pass by. It was early in the morning and there was little traffic. The road was too narrow and cedomo came too close for comfort but I still got the shot.

Masjid Uswatun Hasanah
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/400s, f/4.0, 18mm, ISO 100


Masjid Sultan Muhammad Salahuddin

This mosque is dedicated to sultanate of Bima and appears to be one of the largest in town. I repeated the same horse cart-framing in the former sultan’s mosque. The facade looks aseptic and it needed some life.

Masjid Sultan Muhammad Salahuddin
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/400s, f/5.0, 18mm, ISO 100


Masjid Nurul Yasin

The mosque was photogenically colorful, in cream and green. Too bad that the building was being renovated. A scaffolding was covering the facade. The power cables were alslo all over the place. The only plausible I got was to crouch low and shoot up. The triangular framing emphasizes the wide angle and still played up the beautiful colors. Not the best but you’ve got to learn to work with the elements.

Masjid Nurul Yasin
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/400s, f/5.0, 18mm, ISO 100, +2/3EV

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3 comments:

Gina said...

thanks for sharing your knowledge.
I really need a mentor.
What you didn't see is the electric cable that doesn't fit into your photo, so take different angle and the horizon is not straight in the last photo.

Please write me and comment on my blog

Gina from Germany

adlaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Farl said...

Gina- Thanks for the comments. In a lot of places in developing nations, streets are too narrow and power lines are inescapable at whatever angle. They cannot be removed by photoshop but that would be to distort reality. Also, the old-fashioned rule of straight horizons is not applicable in all pictures.