August 17 - 30, 2014
Visit the photo gallery
Some people leave their hearts in San Francisco; I left mine in Indonesia. I’ve been there 21 times, and my wife is from the largest Indonesian island, Java. We will be leading a photo tour to this island country, and it will include the beautiful and exotic island of Bali, two stunning active volcanic areas, and the unbelievable Jember Fashion Festival. I don’t know why most photo tour operators choose not to offer trips to Indonesia because the color, the beauty, the culture, and the history make it one of the most exciting of all photo destinations. We stay in four and five star hotels, and this trip will be a highlight of your travels.
For those of you who like to shop, my wife’s negotiating skills can only be described as brutal! She will help you get the best prices on anything you want to buy. For those of you who are all about getting the most exciting and dynamic pictures possible, you definitely won’t be disappointed on this trip. Check out the photo gallery with the link above to see the types of images that you’ll be taking.
DAY 1, 2; Sunday/Monday, Aug. 17, 18: Depart from the U.S. and cross the International dateline. We lose one day.
DAY 3; Tuesday, Aug. 19: Arrive in Surabaya, Indonesia
We arrive in Indonesia's second largest city, Surabaya, and transfer to the hotel. This is the arrival day, and you will have time to recuperate from the long flight. Our hotel is located adjacent to beautiful mall in case you forgot anything for the trip. We will meet in the lobby at 5pm for an orientation, a discussion of photography, and our welcome dinner. Overnight Sheraton Surabaya.
DAY 4; Wednesday, Aug. 20: Drive to Bromo
We depart Surabaya after breakfast and drive toward the Tengger Caldera. This is the site of a huge volcanic eruption 820,000 years ago, and inside the caldera is Mt. Bromo, an active cone that frequently emits smoke, ash, and sometimes molten lava. The backdrop is Mt. Semeru, another active volcanic cone. We photograph this breathtaking landscape from an elevated vantage point, and your pictures can't help but be spectacular. Overnight Bromo Cottages.
DAY 5; Thursday, Aug. 21: Sunrise at Bromo
This early morning we drive up the mountain to one of the great vistas on the planet. We leave in the dark so we can catch the dawn glow on Mt. Semeru, and then when the sun breaks the horizon the caldera is awash in golden hues. It's simply breathtaking. You'll be able to use both wide angle and telephoto lenses to capture the unsurpassed beauty of the scene below.
After we return to our hotel and have breakfast, we drive east to Jember. Arriving in the late afternoon, Jim will conduct a meeting to discuss the photography the next day of the unbelievable fashion carnival. Overnight Aston Jember Hotel & Conference Center.
DAY 6; Friday, Aug. 22: Jember, East Java
This is a day you won’t forget. The Jember Fashion Carnaval is one of the most exciting photogenic events in the world. Scores of young children as young as five and six are adorned in the most outlandish costumes. The colors are dazzling, the designs are wild, and the painted and bejeweled faces of the girls (and sometimes the boys) are amazing. You’ll burn up flash cards like never before. Because of the VIP press pass you’ll have, you can go anywhere to get the pictures that will make all your friends back home extremely envious. Overnight Aston Jember Hotel & Conference Center.
DAY 7; Saturday, Aug. 23: Jember, East Java
The Jember Fashion Carnival presents a number of events, and today we will photograph another one. In addition, Jim will set up a model shoot with a black background for maximum drama. In addition, he will conduct a critique session for helpful suggestions for future shooting. Overnight Aston Jember Hotel & Conference Center.
DAY 8; Sunday, Aug. 24 Jember, East Java
The finale of the Fashion Carnaval is today. You simply won't believe your eyes. Approximately 600 people parade before us in the wildest costumes you've ever seen. We will first photograph the participants putting their makeup and costumes on because of our press passes, and this is a great opportunity to do closeups. When the parade starts, you can get spectacular shots from our VIP seating. The three-hour procession will net some of the best pictures you've ever taken. At the conclusion of the parade, we drive to Ijen Crater. Overnight Ijen Resort and Villa.
DAY 9; Monday, Aug. 25: Ijen Crater
We depart the hotel very early and drive to the ranger station at the foot of the Ijen Crater. In the cool morning air, we walk up a well-worn dirt trail 1.8 miles to gain the vista of one of the most beautiful crater lakes in the world. It is approximately a 90 minute walk. It is moderately difficult in that it is a steep incline for most of the way. You can hire someone to carry your gear if you want, and there is no hurry to reach the overlook (you can also opt to stay in the resort and enjoy the amenities if you feel the climb will be too strenuous). At the top, the view is unbelievable. The color of the water is an otherworldly aquamarine. The sulfur rocks that have formed on one side of the lake are bright yellow, and from one portion of the shore the ground is emitting smoke continuously. This is one of the great landscape shots you’ll ever see.
We will also be able to photograph the workers who carry about 200 pounds of sulfur in woven baskets suspended from a pole on either side of their neck up from the lake to the rim of the crater and then down the mountain. After our decent and drive back to the hotel, the rest of the afternoon is at leisure to swim, have a message, or work on your photos. Overnight Ijen Resort and Villa.
DAY 10; Tuesday, Aug. 26: Ijen to Bali
We depart from our beautiful resort and drive to Banyuwangi, a town on the eastern tip of Java. From here we board a car ferry for the 30 minute crossing to the island of Bali. We arrive at Gilimanuk, and from there we cross Bali and arrive at our hotel in Ubud. Overnight Kamandalu Resort and Spa.
DAY 11; Wednesday, Aug. 27: Bali
Ubud is the cultural and artistic center in Bali. Jim has arranged for us to photograph two Balinese dancers at the bottom of a dragon staircase in the Monkey Forest. The environment is tropical rainforest, and it's a stunning model shoot. Afterwards, we have time to photograph the long-tailed macaques that are everywhere. From here, we go to the Elephant Cave, a small natural cave with a dramatically carved stone entrance. Then we proceed to Klungkung, a city on Bali with a long and colorful history. We photograph the remarkable paintings in the Kerta Gosa, a place where traditional justice was administered. The paintings show what hellish punishments await evil-doers and what pleasures are theirs in heaven.
After lunch we visit a beautiful bird park where you can take closeup pictures of exotic bird species. In the evening a dance performance is on the agenda. Balinese dance is unique, beautiful, mysterious, and extremely stylized. Lots of photo opportunities will be yours. Overnight Kamandalu Resort and Spa.
DAY 12, Thursday, Aug. 28: Bali
This morning we explore some of Bali’s mountainous areas in search of sculpted rice terraces that make beautiful graphic patterns in shades of green. The unique landscapes took hundreds of years to create, and we will photograph them from different points of view. At sunset we will photograph the famous Ulun Danu temple on Bali’s south coast. It makes a classically striking silhouette against the sky. Overnight Kamandalu Resort & Spa.
DAY 13; Friday, Aug. 29: Bali
We head north this morning to visit the largest and most impressive temple on Bali. Besakih Temple, also called 'The mother temple', is a large complex of structures with wonderful details in the carved doors and statuary, and there is often a ceremony taking place. We return to Ubud where you'll have some free time, and then in the late afternoon Jim has arranged to photograph a dance group who will pose and perform just for our group. Overnight Kamandalu Resort & Spa.
DAY 14; Saturday, Aug. 30: Bali
We transfer to the airport after breakfast for our return flight home, knowing that the pictures taken on this trip are among the best travel images ever.
Tour cost: $5875
Single supplement: $1350
INCLUDES: All lodging in 4 and 5 star hotels (except Bromo Cottages which is 3 star which is the best available in this location), all ground transportation, all breakfasts, two dinners, ferry ticket from Bali to Java, fees for photo models, press pass at the Jember Fashion Festival, entrance fees, and photo instruction.
DOES NOT INCLUDES: International airfare, visa fee (available upon arrival at the airport), alcoholic beverages, tips, and items of a personal nature.
TOUR POLICIES ENROLLMENT INFORMATION CONTACT JIM