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Inspirations >> Photos & People

When Bajawa Coffee Accompany Our Astrophotography Search

Bajawa is located in Flores Island of East Nusa Tenggara and is the capital of Ngada district. Some sources stated Bajawa as “Bhajawa”, which consists of “bha” means dish and “jawa” means peace. In other sense, Jawa is referred to Java Island. Hence “Bhajawa” means dish of peace or dish from Java. Bajawa is surrounded by mountains and hills so it resembles a bowl.

EOS 6D, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, panaroma 5 frame @30sec, f/4, ISO6400

There are few transportation services that can reach Bajawa. The easiest way is by aircraft which carries passengers from Labuan Bajo to the designated airport. Another alternative is by driving. There are taxis and local travel service available almost every day, departing from Labuan Bajo, Maumere, or Ende to your destination within Flores Island.

Why not have a sip of the world renowned Indonesian traditional coffee while you are in Bajawa? A glass of Bajawa harvested coffee was ready on the table, served by the house owner of my home stay. The warmth of the coffee and amiable chit chat soothed my first evening in Bajawa. For the coffee enthusiasts, please try the Arabica Bajawa coffee in downtown. Make time to visit the traditional market in Bajawa to buy coffee to share with friends back home.

EOS 6D, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, f/4, 1/60sec., 22mm, ISO500

I have been working in night photography since 2010. Unfortunately, it is not very popular compared to modelling photography. Let alone astrophotography which requires advanced equipment to support high ISO and assist in low-light photography. Since I use Canon EOS 6D, I have found a perfect partner for my hobby in night photography. Based on my experience, with high ISO of 6400 and RAW format are able to achieve great quality without excessive noise.

I can produce a decent quality Bima Sakti (Milky Way) photo in a starry night. I didn’t own wide lenses but I was pretty happy with Canon EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens, the newest lens by Canon that is perfect for capturing beautiful scenery at night. 

On the second night, past nine o’clock, the starry sky beckoned us. We were riding our motorcycles to one of the traditional village of Bela. The expanse of the Bima Sakti (Milky Way) lied slightly to the right when we arrived. Luckily, we had captured several frames before the stars flicks faded, blocked by night clouds.

EOS 6D, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, f/4, 30sec., 16mm, ISO3200

Whilst we were enjoying the warmth of Bajawa coffee that we carried with our tumbler, we planned out the next destination.

After a 15 minute-ride, we arrived at the edge of the city, looking at the road lights of Bajawa from the distance. From there, we could see Bajawa as a bowl surrounded by mountains. Moments later, we saw a tinge of orange between the fog on our right and a ball of bright white shadow over the clouds as if it greeted us. We were lucky to experience a moonrise in Bajawa along with our last drops of coffee.

EOS 6D, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, f/4, 30sec., 16mm, ISO6400

One of the items in our bucket list for this trip was to capture the Milky Way with the silhouette background of Inerie mountain, one of the Bajawa’s icons. However, it unfortunately unable to tick off. But after dinner, it seemed like the universe was on our side. The sky was surprisingly clear and thousands of stars were shining over our heads. Racing with time as we had no idea how long before the fog would return to cover the sky, we finally captured the Milky Way that spread above the silhouette of Mount Inerie. The rest of the night was well spent with warm coffee and laughter. Before noon, I had to say goodbye to new friends that I made during this trip and proceeded to my next destination and to explore the rest of the magnificent scenery in Flores Island.

Alittle photography advice: always be passionate during the trip to fully enjoy the beauty of nature. And most importantly, be happy.

EOS 6D, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, f/8, 30sec., 16mm, ISO3200

For tips and tutorial on astrophotography, read these articles to find out more:

Introduction to Astrophotography - A Beginner's Guide

Astrophotography: Tips & Tricks to Get Started

The Best Places to Shoot Astrophotography in Asia

Essential Tips for Shooting Landscapes at Night


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EOS 6D (Body)

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EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM

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Wahyu Widhi W

Landscape photographer, loves to take the beauty of Indonesian scenery. Loves to travel and capture the magic of mother earth.