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Travel Photography in Indonesia: A trip through a wonderful land


Indonesia is such a beautiful country to visit, with a great diversity and cultural richness.

I work as travel photographer, although, honestly, this can’t be considered a job I think. LOL.

I have been invited by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia to explore this beautiful country and I could not wait for the beginning of this new adventure.

I have enjoyed so much the trip that I am already looking forward to my next one.

How was my travel photography?

I am absolutely super happy with it. It was not just landscape photography. It was indeed much more than that. But let’s start from the beginning...

Suggested photography gear

I would go fairly light. Yes Indonesia is full of beautiful beaches and amazing archipelagos however you get the best views from the top of the hills in these islands.

Get ready for a 10 minutes walk, which may become one hour sometime, and be amazed by the view. Magnificent.

I suggest:

  • mirrorless camera

  • a quick prime lens at 50 mm equivalent (aperture at f/2 or lower) for portraits and markets exploration

  • a 50-150mm equivalent zoom for some close-up and cultural events

  • if you can, a wide angle lens at 18mm equivalent for some spectacular landscape photography

  • A light tripod for some sunset and sunrise photography

When on a climb, leave behind the 50mm. You will not need it.

When on a city exploration leave the zoom lens in the hotel. The less eye-catching you are the better it is.

Travel photography in Jakarta

The capital is absolutely a mine for travel and street photography.

If you are staying 2 or 3 days in Jakarta, my first suggestion is to visit Glodok, the Chinatown of the city.

It is like suddenly stepping into a small village with lots of tiny lanes and small alleys to visit.

Not to mention the beauty of the temples around this district.

One thing you will notice is that people are happy to be photographed. My tip here is to ask before and show the photo on the camera monitor later to the person. The best lens to take with you in the city is the 50mm. Better if pancake and quick. The less visible the better (you will not look like a pro). Take also the wide angle in your pocket for the temples.

My favourite spot was the Vihara Dharma Bhakti temple with its Huge Candles in a grid in the central part of the building.

A tip about street photography. Seat and relax in an interesting lane. Wait for people to come into your circle of confidence, instead to run after people, which may look a bit weird too. LOL.

Other sites you should add to your bucket list are:

Travel photography in the Komodo National Park

The cruise in this archipelago was the highlight of my trip. Just amazing.

The landscape is exceptional. A never ending view of small islands and thousand beaches.

Let’s start with the komodo dragon encounter. For your photography take the zoom lens for the close-up on the dragons and also the 50mm just in case you see something else interesting.

If you can, plan also a visit to the Mesa village. I had here probably the best portraits of the all trip.I used uniquely my 50mm lens.

When exploring these islands have a walk to the best viewpoints on top of the hills. The view is really worth the effort

And finally don’t forget to visit the Melo village in Flores for the traditional whip fight.

Written by Stefano Ferro