Saturday, January 31, 2009

Local Apparent Time (LAT)

To give you some idea of how big the Bandung Sundial is - whose bottom view of its observation deck I posted yesterday - today I'm posting these photos.

This first photo shows the view from the observation deck. As the you can see, the shadow of the gnomon (the sundial's "clock hand") shows that the time is almost 12:00 o'clock - although the term "o'clock" of course would not really be appropriate here as the time is not shown by the clock, but by the sundial.

The time shown by a sundial is called LAT or Local Apparent Time, that is the time as shown by the apparent motion of the sun. Because the earth is not a stationary object in space and because it has an elliptical orbit around the sun, the length of each day is not the same everyday and in different parts of the earth. Therefore, the near noon time shown by this sundial (which is located at Latitude -6.843 and Longitude 107.485) and at the time I took this photo (18 January 2009) will not exactly coincide with nearly 12:00 o'clock noon at other locations that belong to the same time zone as we know it and at a different time of the year.

To get an accurate conversion from LAT to the local clock time, we first need to find the Local Mean Time (LMT), which can be calculated with the following formula:

LMT = LAT - ∆

where ∆ is the value of the equation of time (there is a table for this).

The LMT we get will then need to be fine-tuned against the location's actual longitude.

If you're still confused with all this, then the most important thing is - I think - the basic principles of how it works.

By the way, this second photograph is the bridge that surrounds the sundial. The strips you see here are the minute markers.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Skywatch: The Sundial Observation Deck

This is the bottom view of the observation deck and tip of the hand (called gnomon) of the Sundial at Kota Baru Parahyangan in the West of Bandung. For those of you who did not regularly follow my blog, I have previously posted a photo and story about this sundial here.

For a more comprehensive information about sundials, you may want to read this wikipedia article.

This post is BANDUNG DAILY PHOTO's participation in the weekly Skywatch Friday meme. Please check out the link to see other participants' photos.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Merak Hijau (Green Peacock)

This green peacock (Pavo Muticus) is one of Bandung Zoo's aviary collections. Green peacock is one of the three species of peacocks. The other two species are the blue or Indian peacock (Pavo Cristatus) and the Congolese African peacock (Afropavo Congensis).

The green peacock is native to and can still be found wild on the Indonesia's island of Java (I've seen it myself once in Meru Betiri National Park in the eastern tip of the Island). It can also be found in Indochina, particularly Burma (Myanmar). Its blue sibling, meanwhile, is found mostly on the Asian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh).

Although quite a misnomer, the name "peacock" is generally used to refer to both male and female individuals of this bird. Technically the name "peacock" only applies to the male bird. The female bird is called "peahen", and together they are called "peafowl".

The famous iridescent tail of this bird belongs to the the male species (the peacock) and is used to attract the female (the peahen) in courtship and mating rituals.

Peafowl is omnivorous ground feeder and its diets mainly consist of insects, small animals, and plants.

Peafowl is an important bird for the Javanese and Sundanese (the people and language of West Java). Its beauty has long inspired several forms of art performances. One of them is Tari Merak (The Peacock Dance) whose photos and story I posted earlier here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Topeng Cirebon

This is a pair of Topeng Cirebon (Cirebonese Masks).

Topeng Cirebon is the masks and the name of a traditional dance (called Tari Topeng Cirebon) from the West Javanese area of Cirebon of which these masks are the essential attire.

At this time, I do not yet have the photos and videos of the dance. I'll post them when I do.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Indonesian Endangered Fauna: The Sumatran Tapir

This is the Sumatran/Malayan Tapir (Tapir Indicus), one of the world's four species of tapirs. Tapir indicus is native to southeast Asia and can be found mainly in the tropical forests of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, peninsular Malaysia, and parts of Indochina, particularly Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). Like its siblings in South and Central America (tapirus bairdii, tapirus pinchaque, and tapirus terrestris), it is classified as a vulnerable and endengered species.

Tapir is classified into the order of perissodactyla together with horses and rhinoceroses, its closest relatives in the animal kingdom. An adult tapir is generally 2 meters long and about one meter tall and can weigh somewhere between 150 to 300 kilograms. With light grey and black coloring (see photo), Sumatran/Malayan tapirs are considered to have more interesting appearance than its Central and South American siblings which have dark furs.

Tapir's most distinctive feature is its proboscis or snout. It can move in all directions and is used to grab foliage that is otherwise difficult to grab and detect scents. The snout of Sumatran/Malayan tapir is the longest of all tapir species.

Shown in the above photo is a mother tapir, named Novi, and her baby son Nova who was born on 22 November 2008 at Bandung Zoo. Nova's father, a male tapir named Willy, is not in the photo. Baby tapirs of all species, by the way, always have stripped and spotted coats like the one you see in the photo. This probably has to do with survival technique of camouflage.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year in Bandung: The Barongsai Performance

As of mid-night last night, Chinese all over the world welcome the new lunar year of 2560. Happy New Year to those who celebrate it.

Although Chinese only makes up a small percentage (roughly about 5 - 7 percent) of the Indonesian population, the Chinese New Year, called Imlek or Sin Tjia in Indonesian, is a national holiday and a festive celebration here. The celebrations involve not only the ethnic Chinese but also Indonesians of other ethnicity.

The Chinese would normally go to the temple to pray on the New Year's Eve. It is also customary for them to give "Ang Pao" (envelopes containing gift money) to the poor and their relatives after the prayer, have a family gathering, feast, and fire works. In addition to these, different cultural performances are also staged. One such performances - and the most popular here - is the Barongsai (the Dragon-Lion Dance) shown in these photos.

I took these photos at Ciwalk (Cihampelas Walk) today. In the top photo, a child is giving an Ang Pao to one of the Barongsais. The bottom photo shows the crowds enjoying and cheering at the various acrobatic tricks that these Barongsais were performing.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bandung Zoo: The Elephant Safari Ride

Covering an area of only about 14 hectares, Kebun Binatang Bandung (Bandung Zoological Park or Bandung Zoo) is not very big, but it is very historical and popular. The zoo was officially established in 1933 when two previously existing zoos (Cimindi in the western part of the city and Dago Atas in the northern part of the city) were merged and their animal collections were moved to the current location at Taman Sari street near the campus of Bandung Institute of Technology.

Prior to the establishment of the zoo, Taman Sari was a botanical garden. This garden, named "Jubileum Park", was established in 1923 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, the then colonial ruler of the Indonesian archipelago.

Bandung zoo currently has a collection of 218 species with nearly 1600 individual animals. In addition to the animals, the zoo also offers a variety of other attractions, such as this elephant safari ride. I'm going to post some more pictures and stories about this zoo later.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yellow-Abdomen Spider (The Real Thing)

Two days ago, I posted a photo of the Spiderman in action on Cihampelas street. This one is of a real spider that lives here.

I spotted this yellow-abdomen spider in the front yard garden of my house the other day. It's about 2 centimeter long. Honestly speaking, I don't know which species it is. (If you happen to know, please do kindly let me know.)

Please don't blame me for not knowing. There are nearly 38,000 species of spider that have been identified up to this date. With such a huge number, I think it takes a specialist to really pin point which species this particular spider belongs to. For a rather comprehensive introduction to this magnificent animal, you may want to read this Wikipedia article.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Safest Street in the World?

Imagine a street that's home to many of the world's superheroes. It must be the safest place in the world!

This is the thought that often plays in my mind whenever I pass Jalan Cihampelas (Cihampelas Street). I'm not seriously thinking about this, of course. I mean, these superheroes only exist in fictions, and on this street particularly, they are just part of the decorations of the fashion stores lining it. Still, the thought amuses me, not to mention how extraordinary it is to think that so many superheroes "live" in a relatively small place like this.

All that said, this post is the second installment of my coverage of one of Bandung's most famous and fascinating streets. Please check my post yesterday for the first installment of the Cihampelas story.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My World: Spiderman on Cihampelas

Jalan Cihampelas (Cihampelas Street), Bandung, is very well known for its apparel and fashion shops, but above all, jeans! That's how it got its nick name: Jeans Street. What's unique about the shops on this street is that they are decorated in such a way that they become an attraction of their own. It's probably the only street outside Hollywood where Rambo in action is positioned next to Aladdin and his flying carpet and other fictional heroes like Superman and, as I framed in this photo, Spiderman.

The fictional character spiderman (also spelled spider-man), by the way, was first introduced to the public in August 1962 in a Marvel Comics published comics book "Amazing Fantasy". His real name in the story is Peter Benjamin Parker. The superhero was created by Stan Lee (the scripter and editor) and Steve Ditko (the plotter artist).

This post is Bandung Daily Photo's participation in My World Tuesday meme. Too see other posts of the participating blogs of My World meme, please follow the link.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Banana Vendor at Cipaganti Street

This banana vendor is selling the fruit on the sidewalk of Jalan Cipaganti (Cipaganti Street). Vendors like this usually carry the fruit from the countrysides in the northern parts of Bandung on a scale-like carrier with bamboo baskets on both ends (called "rancatan" in Sundanese or "pikulan" in Indonesian - see picture) in the morning and waits for buyers on the street side all day. Jalan Cipaganti is a favorite place for these vendors because it is very shady with old-growth mahogany trees and a one-way and strategic street that connects the busy commercial parts of the city in the south and upscale residential areas in the north. As these vendors carry the fruit directly from their gardens/orchards, the price here is usually cheaper than that in the market or supermarket.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bandung Architectural Heritage: Braga Cafe

This is Braga Cafe on Jalan Braga number 15. It occupies one of the buildings listed as Bandung's architectural heritage. I do not have any information about who designed the building, but it was built in 1919 and is currently owned by Dekranasda Jabar (The West Java Provincial Chapter of National Handicraft Board).

Braga Cafe is owned by Fery and Kathy and serves a unique variety of local Sundanese cuisines.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Cat Family's Story

This is Mawheck, my friend's sixteen-month old male Angoran cat, and the father of Maw Maw, my cat (below photo). Maw Maw is an eleven-month old female. She is not a pure Angoran cat. Her mother is a Siamese cat.

Maw Maw gave birth to three wonderful kittens three months ago when she was only seven month old. One of her kittens is this black and white male I call Uwee. He's my favorite because he was born with coat that resembles a suit and stockings on his feet. He's smart and cute too. Uwee's father is an unknow stray local cat.

Mawheck, Maw Maw, and Uwee are three generations of cats with different race.

According to a book about choosing and taking care of pet cats I have, cats are generally classified into four different types: Short hair, semi-long hair, long hair, and unusual hair. Exotic (a variety of Persian cat with short hair), Chartreux, Russian Blue, Korat, Manx, Japanese Bobtail, and Siamese cats are some of the types that belong to short hair category. The semi-long hair category, meanwhile, would include, among others, the Turkish Angora, Maine Coon, the Sacred Birman and the Ragdoll. The long hair type, according to this small book, only belongs to the Persian.

The most popular cat in Indonesia nowadays is the Persian (both the exotic short type and the long hair type).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Skywatch Friday: The Colors of The Sky

Bandung's sky has been cloudy most of the time this week. It's been raining almost everyday. So, the photo for my participation in this week's Skywatch Friday meme is not exactly a photo I took this week. It is another photo that I took at the same time as the one I posted on 2 January 2009. Again, this is a straight shot or an as-is image as recorded by the camera.

Many of us already know why the sky change colors at different parts of the day (yellow, orange, amber, or red at sunrise and sunset and blue at a clear day time). For those who forget, here is a reminder:

The change in sky's colors as we perceive it (blue in a clear day time and amber or red at sunrise and sunset) takes place because of a phenomenon that physicists call "scattering", a process by which the light coming from the sun is scattered by the earth's electromagnetically-charged atmospheric particles.

Here is how it happens. The light that comes from the sun actually consists of a spectrum of lights of different wavelengths. On a clear day, blue and violet rays that have shorter wavelengths are dispersed more than the other colors in the light spectrum. Hence, we see blue sky. (The violet is barely visible because the retina of our eyes cannot perceive it as well as they do blue.) At sunrise and sunset, because the sun is low on the horizon, the sunlight has to travel a longer distance to reach our eyes and pass through more "layers" of atmospheric particles. Because of this, the blue and violet rays are exhaustively scattered to the point where they become nearly invisible to our eyes. That is why we only see longer wavelength spectrum light elements of red, orange, amber, and yellow, which are less dispersed.

The explanation for the change of sky colors at different parts of the day was first found by John Tyndall in 1859. That is why this explanation is called the Tyndall Effect.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Underwear

Even in the English language, these things are called by different generic names. The most common names for them are: Undergarment, underwear, underclothes (underclothing), and undies. But they are also called reg grundys (in Australia), smalls (the short term for smallclothes in the UK).

There are also specific names referring to the different types of this kind of garment. Those worn by women are generically called lingerie or intimates (shortened version of intimate clothing). I don't know if there is a generic name for those worn by men.

Undergarments serves a variety of functions. The most basic is probably to keep the outer garments from from being stained by sweat, and for those who live in the colder climate, to provide extra layer of clothing to keep warm. However, today underclothing is not just the basic essential clothing like in the old days. Their functions have developed to include those such as providing extra support, comfort, and protection for the vital parts of the body in in high-impact sports, shaping or emphasizing the body shape, etc.

The oldest underwear ever found by archeologists is known to be 7000 years old. Of course it doesn't look like anything we have today. It was only a loincloth.

By the way, I took the above photo at the King Shopping Center, on Jalan Kepatihan, Bandung. That's how vendors display the undergarments for sale in this market.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Motorbike Wash

Motorbike wash and salon like this is now a booming business in Bandung. There are so many motorbikes in our streets that it does not take a business genius to see that it is a potentially lucrative business opportunity to provide services related to motorbike maintenance and care.

For your information, there are currently about 35 million motorbikes in Indonesia. For a country with about 237 million population, this means about 1 motorbike for every 6.7 persons. I don't know what the number of motorbikes is in the greater area of Bandung, but it certainly is big and growing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My World: The Indonesian Music of Keroncong

Acculturized from the Portuguese folk music of fado, keroncong began to develop in some parts of the Indonesian archipelago, especially in the Tugu area of what is now Jakarta and Maluku (the Moluccas), in the 19th century. It has since acquired a distinctively Indonesian flavor and hence been considered as an Indonesian musical heritage.

The root of keroncong is said to have been introduced into the Indonesian archipelago by the Portuguese sailors and officers in the 16th century. The earliest form of keroncong is called Moresco, which is characterized by - among others - the dominant use of chordophonic-percussion musical instruments. In its development, various local musical instruments and elements, such as some instruments of the gamelan, seruling bambu (Javanese and Sundanese bamboo flutes), and musical notes, were introduced into the ensemble, thus giving it a distinctively local flavor.

For your information, a keroncong ensemble typically consists of cordophonic musical instruments such as the violin, the guitar, cello, contra bass, three and four strings ukuleles, plus a flute, and some gamelan instruments.

Keroncong became very popular throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its popularity began to fade only with the introduction of The Beatles' style of music in the 1960s. The music still survives and has its own fans, however, as is shown by this group of young keroncong musicians performing at the Braga Festival last December. I was happy to see that this performance did not only attract audience from the older generations, but also a lot of young people who seemed to enjoy it as much as their parents and grandparents did.

To see what the performance was like and listen to a sample of what this music is like, please enjoy the following 1 minute 52 seconds video clip which I recorded from their performance. (This video can also with viewed at my other blog BANDUNG DAILY PHOTO'S sister site BANDUNG DAILY VIDEO.)

This post is BANDUNG DAILY PHOTO'S participation in MY WORLD Tuesday meme. To see other participants' posts from around the world, please follow the link.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hardship, Humor, and Mural


When life is hard and chaotic, make humor out of it!

I think that's what this mural is trying to do.

This mural on Jalan Stasion Timur near Bandung Train Station depicts the chaotic realities on board Bandung commuter train in humorous and exaggerated way. Such a depiction is probably meant to raise the public awareness of how dangerous it is the things that they do and take for granted as a day to day normal and expected experience.

And here is what Wikipedia says about how humor occurs:
  • An alternative (or surprising) shift in perception or answer is given that still shows relevance and can explain a situation.
  • Sudden relief occurs from a tense situation. "Humourific," as formerly applied in comedy, referred to the interpretation of the sublime and the ridiculous, a relation also known as bathos. In this context, humour is often a subjective experience, as it depends on a special mood or perspective from its audience to be effective.
  • Two ideas or things that are very distant in meaning emotionally or conceptually (i.e., having a significant incongruity) are juxtaposed.
  • One laughs at something that points out another's errors, lack of intelligence, or unfortunate circumstances, thereby granting a sense of superiority.
Which one do you think relates to the humor in the above mural?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Museum Piece Tricycles

I don't know how old these children tricycles are. My wildest guess is that they are from the late 19th or early 20th centuries. Considering their age, I could not help but marveled at their condition. Except for the missing rubber tires, everything else seems to be intact and in their original condition, including the paint.

These tricycles could very well be museum pieces, but they are not. They are part of a private collection of old bicycles and tricycles owned by a member of Bandung's Paguyuban Sepeda Baheula (old bicycle community). These old tricycles together with quite a number of old bicycles are part of the exhibits that Paguyuban Sepeda Baheula displayed at Braga Fest last December.

It was already dark when I discovered these tricycles, so I had to use flash light to photograph them - something that I usually avoid in my photographic practice unless it is necessary and unavoidable.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Lavender

Because of its elevation, mild climate and temperature, and fertile volcanic soil, Bandung highland is a very good place for agriculture. A lot of non-native plants grow well here, including a lot of varieties of flowers like this lavender, which is grown in several places in the northern hills of Bandung. This particular patch of lavender garden is part of the recreational and educational camping ground at Vin's Berry Park at Cisarua where my son and his classmates were camping a few weeks ago.

Lavender (the generic name for the 39 species of the flowering plant of the lavandula genus), by the way, is a native plant of the Mediterranean, parts of Africa, the Middle East, and India. It has a variety of uses. Its dried petals, for example, can be placed in the wardrobe to keep the clothes fresh and fragrant and repel moths. The oil extracted from its flowers is believed to have antiseptic property and is good for aromatherapy. In addition, lavender flowers are also rich in nectar that is a good feed for honey producing bees. (Bees fed with lavender nectar is believed to produce high quality honey.) In some countries like France, lavender is also used as some sort of "spice" for a variety of dishes, and even made into syrup (French lavender syrup).

Lavender is also believed (and has scientifically been proven) to have medicinal properties. A particular species of it, lavandula angustifolia, or the English lavender, has long been used to make balms and salves that can reduce inflammation and soothe and heal insect bites. Furthermore, its fragrant oil has the soothing property that can help reduce headache and naturally induce better sleep.

Despite its proven medicinal properties, however, it should be noted that lavender oil is also a very powerful allergen. Therefore, those who are prone to or suffering from allergies should avoid it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Evening Clouds Over Mt. Burangrang

Mt. Burangrang (local words: Gunung Burangrang) is one of the mountains that surround Bandung. It is located to the northwest side of the city and is about 2,057 meters (about 6740 feet) high.

Mt. Burangrang is quite popular among local mountain climbers and hikers. Its pristine forests and challenging contours and proximity to the city makes it an ideal place for weekend mountain climbers. A number of local mountaineering clubs and SAR (search and rescue) team often use it as their training ground. The Indonesian Marine Corp also has its exclusive (no public aceess) training ground on one of its valleys.

I took this photo a few weeks ago from one of the back roads that connects the northern part of Bandung and its western suburban town of Cimahi. This is a straight shot. Except for the watermarking and resizing, I did not do any post-capture editing on this photo.

Today's post is BANDUNG DAILY PHOTO'S participation in the weekly Skywatch Friday meme. To see other photos of the participating blogs of the meme, please follow the link.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Komunitas Kalangan Atas" Art Community

This sculpture is one of the art works exhibited at Braga Festival last December. It is crafted from the whole root of bamboo by Tedy K., the artist and craftsman and the copyrights holder of this piece of art work. Tedy K. is a naturally talented artist and a member of the "Komunitas Kalangan Atas" Art Community.

The "Komunitas Kalangan Atas" Art Community works and permanent exhibits can be found at their workshop at Dago Tea House on Jalan Dago Selatan 53A, Bandung.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jeans Doctor

One of the disadvantages of buying ready made clothes or trousers is that sometimes they don't really fit your body size. But that's usually not a problem as many shops now offer to fix them to fit your body size. In Bandung, this service is not only offered by big department stores, but also by street jeans doctors like this one. You can find them in places where there are clothing shops like on Cihampelas Street (Bandung's Jeans and Fashion street), Pasar Baru, etc.

A Bit of History of Jeans and Blue Jeans

Made from tough fabric called denim, Jeans trousers, as many of you may already know, was originally designed for work. It was initially worn by man and woman workers of the Second World War before it became popular as a casual dress among teenagers in the 1950's.

Jeans, especially blue jeans, are often associated with cowboys and the American Old West. What many of us may not know, however, is that the name "jeans" is not of American origin. The term blue jeans - the original fabric and color of today's jeans - was derived from blu di Genoa or Bleu Genes (the blue of Genoa) because it is believed that it was the Genoese sailors who were the first to wear this kind of clothing in the 1860s. The denim fabric itself, according to Wikipedia, was first manufactured in the town of Chieri in Turin, Italy, during the Renaissance and became popular in the 1500s.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Baso Tahu (Siomay) Bandung

In addition to shopping and fashion, Bandung is also well known for its culinary. There are a lot of varieties of food that are typically associated with this city. Mention the word "peyeum" (fermeted cassava or rice), for example, and Indonesian in general would normally add Bandung as its collocation. Similar collocations are usually also applied to a variety of other foods, such as "oncom Bandung", "mie kocok Bandung", and of course "baso tahu" or "siomay Bandung".

Baso tahu (also called siomay because one of its ingredients) usually consists of steamed tofu, siomay (fish dumpling), bitter gourd, rolled cabbage, potatoes, and boiled eggs (see top picture). They are served with spicy peanut sauce (see bottom picture).

Another variety of baso tahu is baso tahu goreng (fried baso tahu). It is also served with the same sause and normally does not include the other stuff that its steamed counterpart has (the siomay, bitter gourd, potatoes, and boiled eggs).

From the name, siomay Bandung is quite probably a local adaptation of the Chinese shaomay dumpling (one of the "main course" of the dim sum) minus the pork, of course, as the majority of Bandung people are Moslems who do not eat pork.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Classic Vintage Motorbikes at Braga Fest

Classic vintage motorbike show and parade have always been part of Braga Festival. These motorbikes are parked on the road side for the visitors and spectators to admire and be curious about. They can even ask the owners for a ride.

There are quite a large number of classic vintage motorbikes in Indonesia. The proud owners of these motorbikes are organized in clubs and even have their own specialized repair shops.

There are two major classic motorbike clubs in Bandung: MACI Bandung and Bikers Brotherhood MC (motor club). Unlike HDCI (Harley-Davidson Club Indonesia) whose members are exclusively limited to the owners of Harley-Davidson motorbikes, MACI and Bikers Brotherhood MC are more open in their membership. Anybody who has a classic vintage motorbike can become their member.

What kind of motorbikes do the members of these clubs have?

They are quite varied. Some are American made, some Japanese made, but many of them are European made. Among these, the German made DKW motorbikes are - in my observation - the most numerous.

DKW (Dampf Kraft Wagen or steam-driven car) was once (in the 1930s) the world's largest motorbike manufacturer. The company was founded by the Danish engineer Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen in Saxony, Germany, in 1916. It initially manufactured steam fittings. Later on it also produced another DKW ( Des Knaben Wunsch or "a boy's desire"), a prototype engine which was later modified to become its first motorbike, also called DKW (Das Kleine Wunder — "a little marvel"). The company was famous not only for its motorbikes, but also automobiles. As a result of a series of mergers, the DKW brand ceased to exist in 1966. The last automobile bearing its brand was F102.

Today's post is BANDUNG DAILY PHOTO's participation in the Monochrome Monday. To see other black and white photographs of the participants of this meme please follow the link.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pattern and Colors of Batik Cirebon (Cirebonese Batik)

Here is a close up look at Batik Cirebon's patterns and colors. These batik clothes and sarongs are displayed at the Cirebon Municipality stand at the Braga Festival last week.

I have previously posted the history of the Indonesian batik and the characteristics of Batik Cirebon (Cirebonese Batik) here.

Cirebon , by the way, is a city and regency in the northern coast of Java, about 135 kilometers to the north east of Bandung. As a coastal trading city, Cirebon has received various influences from its visitors throughout its long history (the city was officially established in 1369). These influences have created an interesting cultural melting pot, which, among others, are reflected in the designs of its batik. Its bright colors, for example, are said to have come from the Chinese influence.

Batik Cirebon is mostly produced by home industries in Trusmi, a village some 7 kilometers from its city center. That is why sometimes batik Cirebon is also called batik Trusmi.

In addition to Trusmi, there are actually two other villages that also become the centers of batik production in Cirebon. They are Karang Tengah and Kunduran. The latter has a predominantly Chinese population and, therefore, produces mostly Chinese-Indonesian style batik.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How Much Inspiration is Barack Obama?

How much inspiration is the US President elect Barack Obama here?

These two paintings displayed at the Taman Sari Artist Community stand at Braga Fest last week can probably become a testimony to how inspirational and popular he is here.

Back in October last year when he was a presidential candidate, six senior painters/artists at Bandung's Taman Sari Artist Community began working on their paintings of Obama. Each of these artists pictured Obama in different styles, such as realist, caricatural, abstract, and expressionist.

When asked of the reason for their project, Basuki Bawono, one of the artists, said that they were inspired to paint Obama because he was currently a popular figure and one that had a very close relationship with Indonesia. Obama, as many of us know, lived and went to elementary school in Indonesia from 1967 (when he was six years old) up until 1971. Bawono also said their paintings were meant to show support to the presidential candidate.

With his inauguration only a few days away, we really hope that Obama can deliver what he promised in his campaign: Change! We really have a lot of hope in him not only to bring about change for the better for the American people, but also for the people of the world, especially those who are currently living under oppression, fear, and poverty.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Skywatch: Bandung Sunset January 02, 2008 - How to Take Golden Sunset Photograph with Your Digital Pocket Camera

This is what Bandung sunset looked like today.

This is a fresh (as is) photo from my 3.2 mega pixel digital pocket camera. I did no post-capture enhancement whatsoever to the photograph. I took this photo from the parking lot of Borma Supermarket on Jalan Dr. Setiabudhi in the north of Bandung at about six o'clock today.

Perhaps you're wondering how an old, cheap digital camera could take a picture as good as this?

Well, here is the simple tip for taking a golden sunset photo:
To take a golden sunset like this, set your camera white balance to "sunny" (usually symbolized with the sun icon in your camera button). This way, the warmth glow of the sunset sky will be rendered most strongly on the camera sensor. Try it. You'll be pleased at how your golden sunset photograph turns out.

This post is Bandung Daily Photo's participation in the weekly Skywatch Friday meme. To see other wonderful photographs of the sky this week, please follow the link.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

CDPB January 09 Theme Day Post: Best Photo of 2008

First of all, Happy New Year to you all. May this year be a peaceful and prosperous year for us all.

This month's CDPB theme is the Best Photo of 2008. Frankly speaking, I was having a hard time choosing which photo was the best for 2008, but after much consideration, I came to the decision that the above photo should be Bandung Daily Photo's best for 2008. And here's why ...

This photo was one of the three photos I put in my first post. The decision to start BANDUNG DAILY PHOTO is, I think, one of the best things I did in 2008. With this blog, I have come to know a good many friends from many parts of the world: you! With this blog, I've also played my part to help introduce to the world the city of which I am a proud citizen of: Bandung.

This photo, by the way, is of two child entrepreneurs selling pet rabbits at Gasibu Square (Lapangan Gasibu) Sunday market.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants of this month's CDPB theme.