Wednesday, January 7, 2009

the bewitching falls of Bantimurung

September 13, 2006. It was already late in the afternoon when I finished my business at Maros in South Sulawesi. I meant to catch the waterfalls of Bantimurung during sunset but it was not meant to be. Bantimurung was still some 10 kilometers from central Maros. Still, I asked my friends to take me there as there was little to do in Maros anyway.

Bantimurung at daytime
midday shot of the falls, taken Nov. 12, 2002
Canon Powershot S40, 1/60s, f/2.8, 7.1mm, ISO 800

Bantimurung falls is a popular bathing pool in South Sulawesi. Entrance to the park was about 5,000 IDR (about 0.5 USD) which makes it relatively affordable to the locals. Within the vicinity is a butterfly conservation center which is home to several rare species. The park also has a tennis court which I had played at in one occasion.

the Bantimurung falls under multicolored lights, taken Sept. 13, 2006
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 4s, f/10, 49mm, ISO 800

Night had fallen when we pulled into the entrance of the Bantimurung Park. We quickly raced on foot to the waterfalls which is still some distance away. The bungalows around the river flowing out of the falls were already empty and the souvenir stalls were already closed.

Bantimurong, from a distance
nightfall at Bantimurung from a distance
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 8.0s, f/4.0, 21mm, ISO 400

Since it was September – summer in South Sulawesi – the volume of water was not heavy. The falls wasn’t really extremely tall at 15 meters but it was wide which made it impressive. Luckily, the waterfalls had ample electric illumination. Directly on the falls was a pair of high wattage fluorescent light which gave cold blue white color. Contrastingly, by the river were incandescent lamps that cast warm orange hues in the foreground.

the falls under fluorescent lights
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 30s, f/8.0, 18mm, ISO 100, +1/3EV

The drama was not lost in the photographs and the varying colors even gave a hint of surrealism. The scenes were miles different from the photos I took of the falls during midday four years earlier. Different is not bad. Sometimes I can get lucky.

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