Town by the sea

I headed back to Ende to catch my boat back to Bali, a 36-hour trip on a Pelni passenger vessel that would retrace my eastward route in reverse.

Ende occupies the tip of a mountainous peninsula on the mid-southern coast of Flores, with the Mount Ia volcano sheltering one end from the sea. It’s a small town, bustling in its own quiet way, a thoroughly charming place and I found the people to be very welcoming as well. I didn’t get a chance to climb the volcano but there’s supposed to be an excellent view of the town from the summit.


Looking north from the wet market in the late afternoon. Most of the traders have left, but I presume it would be full of people in the early morning when the day’s catch comes in.


Fresh fish, judging by the quality of fish on display at the Ende market. I was the only person in a restaurant in Labuhanbajo when I ordered steamed fish for lunch. It took an hour to arrive and the cook apologized – he had to get it from a fisherman’s boat. That’s pretty fresh…


Tubers – not quite sure whether they’re boiled and eaten or turned into something else. I think they probably come from the highland areas.


A heap of cattle bones beside the wet market. Surprisingly, it didn’t smell so bad but clouds of flies buzzed around the mess.

Now I know why I miss shooting black & white: there’s a palpable glow to the images even though I used a cheap, half-smashed zoom lens. It took two years and a rare scanner to get images I was satisfied with, something I can’t tolerate if I had to do it continuously. I can get instant pictures with digital but there’s something sorely lacking in the smooth washes of colour, compared to the tight contrast and soft grain of HP5+ or Neopan 400 (no Tri-X for me, way too grainy). And no digital b/w conversion is as good as the real thing if you’re looking for a grainy look, and adding noise in Photoshop is just plain cheating.

Maybe all this is a subtle way of me telling myself to get a Kodak RFS scanner…


One response to “Town by the sea

  1. great stuff. i enjoyed reading as well as looking at the photos. travel photography is really your thing dude!

    and gee, that scanner really churns out good scans…maybe we should share one! haha…

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