Yogyakarta: Candids

Seldom do I take pictures of people while travelling. I’m just reluctant to trespass other people’s privacy and too shy to ask their permission to pose for me. However, I challenged myself to leave my comfort zone, to capture more people apart from buildings and landscapes. I was glad that I didn’t really have to talk too much to capture them, phew!

creating batik

Preserving Legacy (Hery’s Batik Art Center)

Financed by the Sultanate of Yogyakarta, at Hery’s Batik Art Centre, local and foreign visitors are welcome to learn the art of batik for free to preserve the nation’s legacy. The profit from the batik painting sales are allocated for local community who are in needs. A great example of what powerful people should do, especially the nation is getting sick of corruption cases done by government officials.

black bride and groom

Whatever you say, honey…. (Taman Sari)

Pre-wedding pictures has been a must for young couples in Indonesia to immortalize the moment before d-day itself, where chosen pictures will be displayed in the wedding venue. I’m particularly interested in the black bride since black is an unconventional color for bridal gowns. Older generation often associated it with something evil or a bad choice for a long lasting marriage.

Nonetheless, she doesn’t think that way. I believe she orchestrates everything, from the location, chosen gown until styling. On the other hand, her future husband leaves all decisions in her hand.

black bride and groom

Look at the camera, not her! (Taman Sari)

My presence seems to make the future groom nervous and lost his concentration. Suppose she warns him not to look at me, it wouldn’t be about jealousy. Wrong poses prolong the photo session. The sooner it finishes the better it would be as the heat at noon starts to be unbearable.

pre-wed session

Spectacular Skirt (Taman Sari)

Look at the skirt, what an elegance! No further comments!

kids at taman sari

The Kids (Taman Sari)

Once a man-made lake, the alley now turns into a settlement. I find the batik graffiti beautiful. However, the village kids keeps running around and don’t seem to care with what I’m trying capture. In the end, they become the limelight in my picture instead of the graffiti.

for gaza

Peace, Please! (Presidential Palace)

University students’ protest for the endless turmoil in Gaza, especially the recent catastrophic acts by the Israelis against the Palestinians.


Racing with Modernism (Malioboro)

Traditional and modern vehicles often mingle on streets, boulevards, and highways Indonesia, including Yogyakarta. In many cases, the mingle contributes traffic jams in peak hours. When the street is less occupied, they look deliberately side by side to compete on a race track. Although modern vehicles give more comfort and ease, some traditional vehicles are irreplaceable and still widely used in daily life.

dancing at malioboro

Night Entertainment (Malioboro)

Every night, a group of musician at Malioboro performs a blend of traditional and modern music, like disco dangdut, with disco beats background from a cheap sound systemto entertain shoppers and pedestrians. I find it hard to differentiate between one song to another as the beats sound alike.

The real entertainment, however, is actually when shoppers participate voluntarily with funny and silly dancing moves to merry the night. The lady on the left laughs at her friend who dares to do it barefoot. As a reward from her spontaneous performance, she gets some amount of money from the musician.


Lesehan (Malioboro)

Lesehan, that could be described as a dining activity on a carpet instead of on a chair, is an iconic dining experience in Yogyakarta, although there are many more lesehan restaurants in other cities in Indonesia. It’s nothing new for me, actually.

What attracts me the most is the black chihuahua in his (or her) Harley Davidson vest on the right side, next to the blue-sleeved guy, eating a piece of chicken in coconut milk (ayam opor). Nonetheless, I’m very much aware that the picture doesn’t represent my chosen subject.

Instead, it indirectly reflects my shyness in candid photography. I was too reluctant to ask the owner’s dog to capture his pet. Thus, what I got is only a group of young people doing lesehan. After all, human beings are not the only ones who can enjoy the traditional dining activity.


The Ghost (Satan) Rider (in front of Whizz Hotel Malioboro)

This old man always parks his rickshaw beside a shop called “Satan Cell” that sells mobile phone reload cards and some groceries. I find the store name hilarious for a country where a religion has an important role as part of one’s identity. Is Satan his guardian angel? Or his luck mostly comes from “the Satans” (read: Satan Cell customers)?

I did my challenge already, so that’s all for now. May be, next time I should try harder to push my reluctance aside.

4 thoughts on “Yogyakarta: Candids

  1. I enjoyed reading your articles, things which were never really attract my attention, looked differently after reading your writting. Jogya is a fascinating city


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