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July 2011 Wallpaper

I´m back in Penang (Malaysia) for an interesting assignment with the good people at the Penang Heritage Trust, over the last few days we´ve been thrashing out the details and I should begin shooting in the next couple of days. I´ll be here for at least a month, I hope to squeeze in a couple of short trips during this time but it depends how things pan out.

This months wallpaper was shot in Lamalera, Indonesia. While I was waiting for the fishermen to return a group of young boys were amusing themselves  with a plank of wood and some small waves, it always amazes me how much fun (some) children can have with just the things that are laying around them.

Download this months desktop wallpaper here. Let me know if you need another size.

Free July 2011 desktop wallpaper – 1024×768

Free July 2011 desktop wallpaper – 1440×900

Free July 2011 desktop wallpaper – 1600×1050

Free July 2011 desktop wallpaper – 2560×1600

Right click the image and save as desktop wallpaper, easy-peasy.

 

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    KAWAH IJEN

    - I’ve been trying to get this uploaded for weeks now, it’s been pretty frustrating, it was actually written a couple of weeks ago and it´s taken me this long to process the images and find a suitable internet connection to upload everything, its pretty image heavy but I think it´ll be worth the wait.

    In the last 10 days I´ve climbed 3 different volcanoes the last of which, Ijen, I climbed 5 times. Why? Keep reading to find out.

    At the crater of the volcano lay vents that pour out sulfuric gases and drip burning hot sulfur onto the floor below. The sulfur hardens and becomes a sold bright yellow rock, which is broken up by the minors loaded into wicker baskets and carried 1km up out of the crater and then 4km down the steep volcanic path, where they weigh there load and load it onto a truck to be taken to a nearby village for processing before ending up being used in the cosmetic industry.

    Some minor carry up to 100kg each trip, most of them made 2 trips a day for 15 continuous days before having a day off, starting work in pitch black at 3am to avoid the heat.

     

    Sulfur miner on Ijen. Copyright TomBourdon.co.uk

    Sulfur miner in Ijen. Copyright TomBourdon.co.uk

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      Active Volcanoes and early mornings

      With the sunrising at around 5:30am here in Indonesia there have been some pretty early wake up calls, but none more so than this morinings when the alarm went off at 2:30, closly followed by another at 2:33 and another one at 2:38, by 2:45 I was out of bed wandering if I really needed to wake up at rediculous o´clock to get the shots I wanted. 2 hours, and a 5km trek later that question was answered.

      This image was shot  about an hour before sunrise with the shutter open for 30 seconds, hence the blue sky with the stars.

      The volcano is known as Bromo, not only is it active but it also pours out an incredible amount of ash and gas in a near constant state of …. well of activity I guess, and has been doing so for good many years. With Bromo being one of Indonesia´s most popular tourist attractions I was hoping to get something a little different than I had seen before.

      Just before writing this post (although it probably wont go online for a few days yet) I was lucky enough to see the red glow of the lava coming from inside the crater of Bromo, this is possibly one of the most amazing natural wonders I have ever seen.

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        Journey to Pulau Karimun Jawa

        I have recently returned from the stunning island of Pulau Karimun Jawa 7 hours off the North cost of Java in Indonesia.

        There is an option to fly to these islands, which I imagine probably only takes an hour or two, but where´s the fun in that. Personally I´m not a huge fan of flying for the simple reason that you never have much interaction with anyone else on-board, we all just sit there facing forward waiting in near silence for the plane to touch  down when we can all unclip our seatbelts in synchronisation and rush to collect our luggage. Well things are a bit different on a boat, I even got to have tea with the captain – I can´t imagine that on a plane.

         

         

         

         

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          Smoked Fish

          Just a few shots today, so I wont bore you with too much rambling text.

          These shots of fish being smoked were taken in the North Java town of Jepara, I was passing on a hired scooter and could resist stopping and meeting the locals.

          This one eventually became our lunch.

          More coming soon, hopefully before the weekend but no promises, Ok? :)

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            Wood Carvers and Furniture Makers of Java

            We’ll I’ve made it to Indonesia, the island of Java to be specific and so far all is good. I’ve met some great people and am starting to pick up a little of the language too. I’ve got a few things lined up here in Java before I head East.

            Java wood carvers - Copyright Tom Bourdon

            Meet Tomo. He, along with many others on Javas North coast, is a furniture maker.

            I spent many hours with Tomo and other furniture makers around the village of Jepara, North Java, watching in amazement as they carefully create wooden masterpieces from tree trunks. They produce all manner of furniture from picture frames to wardrobes all intricately decorative carved teak and mahogany that sells for hundreds of dollars in the USA and elsewhere.

            I was blessed with some really nice soft light during some of these visits, which really helped me out.
            Java wood carvers - Copyright Tom Bourdon

            Java wood carvers - Copyright Tom Bourdon

             

            Java wood carvers - Copyright Tom Bourdon

             

            Java wood carvers - Copyright Tom Bourdon

             

            Java wood carvers - Copyright Tom Bourdon

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              Paper Effigies – Penang Malaysia

              Sorry for the blanket silence recently but I´ve been away on a remote island 7 hours off the north coast of Java, hanging out with fishermen and wood carvers – but more about them later. On my return I found out that my last post on the Clan Jetties of Penang did not go live when I expected it to, it’s all fixed now and you can read the post here

              I´m lining up a few posts here so if all goes to plan and the systems in place work as they should there should be a few posts over the next week or so, even if I’m not near a PC. The first of which is about the paper model makers from Penang.

              When I posted this months wallpaper, I told you back then that I´d give you some more details about what the canes in the image  were used for. I think I even mentioned me trying to produce video for you, unfortunately that hasn´t worked out and it seems video processing is not going to be possible on my laptop as things stand. So I´ve put together a few shots that should go some way to explain this fascinating art.

              For over 30 years Koh Ah Bah has been running a workshop that creates the most intricate artifacts from nothing more that wooden canes, coloured paper, natural twine and glue to keep it all together. I stayed for hours watching as they listened to the radio working at great speed.

              The effigies represent consumer durables such as telephones, cars, motorbikes and even houses and are burnt by the Chinese during a kong Teik funeral ceremony, with the correct rituals conducted by a priest, the souls of the dead are said to be pacified during their passage through limbo and purgatory.

              While the replicas are clearly twentieth century in origin, the ceremonies and attendant beliefs have links to much older traditions.

              Once I have fixed my laptop problem I´ll bring you a multimedia version of this workshop I promise.

               

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                May 2011 Desktop Wallpaper

                I´ve been Internetless for a couple of days now and it a way it´s been a kind of relief and has really helped started to focus my mind on what I want to be shooting and more importantly, how.  I’ve  left Penang and am writing this post from a very flaky Internet cafe in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Penang was, as it always is, fantastic – the mix of cultures and traditions leave so much to explore, but more on that later.

                This months wallpaper is here and waiting for you to download it. What these canes are actually used for I´ll keep under wraps for the moment as I´m trying to put together a comprehensive story, potentially with video, for you some time next week. So until then these are just wooden poles, ok.

                May 2011 wallpaper

                http://tombourdon.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/1280×800.jpg

                Download this months desktop wallpaper here. Let me know if you need another size.

                Free May 2011 desktop wallpaper – 1024×768

                Free May 2011 desktop wallpaper – 1280×800

                Free May 2011 desktop wallpaper – 1440×900

                Free May 2011 desktop wallpaper – 2680×1050

                Right click the image and save as desktop wallpaper, easy-peasy.

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