14 January, 2014

Beyond Borobudur | Java Indonesia

Last July in Indonesia, I spent 4 days shooting around Borobudur Temple, learning the surrounding area while waiting patiently for the right conditions for photography. Borobudur Temple is one of the premier attractions in Indonesia and with that notoriety comes a heavy influx of visitors. The temple has also (for good reason) become a very popular sunrise destination, so if you’re planning a morning visit, try to arrive extra early so you can get a spot at the front of the cue. If you hurry up the stairs, you can be the first person at the top!

One of my new years resolutions for 2014 is to significantly expand my photography portfolio. This doesn’t just mean that I’ll be visiting new destinations, it also means that I’ll be taking a serious look at the diversity of both subject matter and lighting conditions in my shots with the objective of creating a more well rounded and cohesive body of work.

The first thing I noticed (right off the bat) is that I definitely favor blue hour photography. In fact, it would be fair to say that I’m obsessed with it – and for good reason! I feel that it’s a stunning few moments of time where both natural and artificial light can coexist in a beautiful and harmonious manner. Still, sticking to the 2014 resolution, the plan is to add some scenes that rely more heavily on direct sunlight rather than artificial light. This shot from Borobudur Temple seemed like the perfect opportunity to start. 🙂

On a side note, since this photo was processed in three different airports over the past week, it also helps solidify one of my other new years resolutions: “Get more done on travel days.”

Technical Mumbo Jumbo

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: 14-24 f/2.8 (Shot at 20mm)
Tripod: RRS TVC-33 / BH-55 Ballhead / RRS L-Plate
ISO: 100 at f/22 (f/22 for the star burst effect)
7 Exposures Shot / 2 Used

Location: Shot in Central Java, Indonesia – July 2013 and post-processed in 3 different airports – January 2014

Hardware: 15” 2013 Macbook Pro Retina, Wacom Intuos5 Small Tablet

Software: Lightroom 5, Photoshop CS6, Nik Color Efex Pro 4

Post-processing: Out of the 7 exposures captured, I ended up using only two of them in the final blend. Both exposures ( -2 and +2 ) were imported into Adobe Camera RAW for contrast and light balancing before they were brought into Photoshop for blending using a combination of both painted and luminance masks. Nik Color Efex Pro was used to bring out the color and contrast and additional sharpening was applied using a High Pass Filter.

Espresso: Various cups of coffee from different airports.

Beyond Borobudur || Java Indonesia

About the Author

Elia Locardi is an internationally acclaimed professional travel photographer, videographer, Fujifilm Global Ambassador, writer, public speaker, and highly skilled educator who spends his life shooting some of the most beautiful locations in the world.


As featured by Professional Photographer MagazineCNet Australia,, Wacom USA, and Fstoppers, Elia has built an engaged social media following of nearly 3 million people across FacebookGoogle+TwitterInstagramYouTube, and Snapchat. Due to the years of dedication and genuine openness with his audience, he has become one of the most followed photographers in the world.


Location independent since March of 2012, he and his wife live a 100% mobile lifestyle, perpetually traveling from country to country, continuously circling the globe. Since he began traveling full-time in 2009, he has visited more than 55 countries, flown over one million miles, and collaborated with major companies, brands, countries, and tourism agencies all over the world.


Using a combination of traditional in-camera techniques, targeted times of day, and advanced post-processing methods, Elia has developed a widely recognized and highly unique style of photography that has become well known around the world. With each photograph, his goal is to share his vision so others can see the world as he does, full of color, texture, beauty, depth and emotion. Many of his photos have been used in some of the most widely circulated publications in the world including National Geographic.


Throughout the journey, he shares the Art of Photography on many different websites including his popular blog, blamethemonkey.com, teaches post-processing workshops worldwide, speaks at major international photography conventions, and is proud to be one of the founders and leaders of Dream Photo Tours.