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.

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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.

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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…

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

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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…

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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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