Sawarna – Part I

Hello there! Long time no see.

So I am going to tell you about my experience going to Sawarna Beach in Banten, Indonesia.

I went there on March 2015, I can’t remember the exact date, but I think that it was a new moon, so there was no moon.

Sawarna Beach might seem close to Jakarta at a glance, but it turns out that it was really far! If you plan to go to Sawarna, I suggest you depart at dawn because you’re going to be stuck at traffic if you leave a little (just like me). So we departed at 9 or 10 and uhm…. yea it was pretty bad.

So 9 hours later we arrived at the beach… obviously late for some sunset shots.. But what can we do.

So we decided to have a dinner and a little rest. At 10 PM we depart to Tanjung Layar Beach. If you search Sawarna Beach, this is the beach that will pop up the most. As I said before, there was no moon, therefore the stars were pretty clear. We shot a little bit of long exposures using steel wool. Here is the result.

Canon 6D + 24-105mm L @f8 24s


Annnddd I managed to snap a photo of the milky way! My first time!

Canon 6D + 24-105mm L @f4 30s


And here is the iconic two stones of Tanjung Layar + the stars! shame it’s a bit cloudy 😦

Canon 6D + 24-105mm L @f8 30s


Then I played with the Sony a5000! It’s quite surprising actually, the results were satisfying! Here is a sample from the a5000.

Sony a5000 + Kit Lens @f4 25s


Afterwards, we called it a day, have a little rest and went to the next beach, which is Tanjung Pari. We went there before the dawn, which was around 4AM. Here are the results!

For these results, I used an ND8 Filter, a graduated ND filter (I forgot which one as it is not mine PLUS I hand held it because it is quite complicated to exchange filter holders).

Canon 6D + 24-105mm L @f22 15s


Canon 6D + 24-105mm L @f22 10s


Canon 6D + 24-105mm L @f22 13s


I found that shooting sunrise is far more difficult than shooting sunsets. The reason being is that when you shoot sunrise, you start in a pitch black condition. It is kinda hard to know where the goof spots and directions are. Plus, the exposure will gradually shorten, thus, reducing the long exposure effect. I think it is best if you surveyed the place the day before to really know where you have to face, put your tripods, etc.

Oh, and I had another little fun with the a5000! Check out this dynamic range! Really clean and great even at ISO 500! It packs a huge punch for a small camera!

Sony a5000 + Kit Lens @ISO 500, f18


Sony a5000 + Kit Lens @ISO 500, f18


Sony a5000 + Kit Lens @ISO 500, f18


Okay, so next we have a model photo shoot sessions at Sawarna, but that is for part 2!

Please anticipate part 2 guys! Thanks!




One thought on “Sawarna – Part I

  1. Aww man, REALLY REALLY looking forward to take some shots on them milkyway! Really like the first picture (the one with a man playing with some kind of fireworks(?)), that one was a very clever shot. And the beach! Stunning! Bravo!


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