Cosmic Clouds – Mt Bromo, Indonesia
The Milky Way and stars perform a dazzling dance over the volcanoes of Mt Bromo and Mt Semeru, as clouds roll over a lunar landscape at daybreak. It truly is one of the most breathtaking places to watch sunrise on this entire earth, hands down.
On this particular sunrise, we opted to take a 4WD up to the top, instead of my usual 2 hour hike through the beautiful kampungs (villages) and forest lined path to the Penanjakan 1 viewpoint (the sleep-in was glorious however). The lunar landscape of this place never ceases to amaze me, even on my second trip here.
The image is made of multiple exposures, taken over the course of over several hours in the same spot. The tripod was locked down the entire time, with the first exposures being the stars and milky way. Then, it was a long wait in the freezing mountain wind, before the fog and clouds came rolling in. The clouds and fog only appear in winter, a mistake I realised the last time I visited, in December 2016 (which was summer in Indonesia and very hot!).
The small trail of lights you see on the volcano furthest away (Mt Semeru) are headlamps from the hikers ascending the summit. The lights on the bottom, are 4WD trails from vehicles going to the base of Mt Bromo (the smaller crater on the bottom left), and to the viewpoint I photographed this from, Seruni Point.
We stayed at Cemoro Lawang, the village literally on the edge of the caldera, which saves an hour or more on a commute to Mt Bromo for sunrise.
Bonus photo! The first light touches the volcanoes, taken about 30 minutes after sunrise.
Nikon D750 | Nikon 28-300mm @ 36mm
Stars: f/4 @ 15s, ISO 8000
Landscape: f/7.1 @ 133s, ISO 64
Location – Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, East Java, Indonesia