15.03.2014 Gunung Bromo
I'm sitting in the passenger seat of an old Toyota Landcruiser roaring through the empty streets of Malang, East Java. It's just after midnight and our destination is Gunung Bromo. The six-hour drive will take us to a vantage point from where we will photograph the volcanic landscape at sunrise.
This isn't my first trip to the well-known Indonesian landmark. In fact, I've visited twice before. For this trip I have brought both an ultra-wide angle lens and a tripod - two essential pieces of equipment for capturing the sweeping landscape in the morning light.
At this point the outlook for our early-morning is not promising. Drizzle is falling on the windscreen of the Landcruiser. Now climbing steeply into the mountains, the old 4X4 heaves around the corners across rocky and broken asphalt. Our driver cheerfully wrestles with the steering wheel, unfazed by the weather and sleep deprivation. The laborious ascent is causing the engine to heat up and my feet are being slowly baked through the floor.
After hours of lurching along rough four-wheel drive tracks we reach our destination. We have chosen a vantage point low on the crater's rim. With my tripod in place, I reflect upon my previous visit to Bromo. The weather had been clear, and the early morning light had stained the sky with rich pinks and oranges. This morning, however, we weren't so lucky. The cloud cover was a thick blanket across the landscape rendering it a dull, grey colour.
This photo shows the volcano in the early morning light. Captured over 174 seconds, the photo shows the movement of the clouds across the landscape. A car crossing the crater floor leaves a stroke of red in the foreground. My third trip to Bromo didn't give me the pink sunrise I wanted. That might have to wait until trip number 4.