waterfalls and thunderstorms

Following thunderstorm on the previous day, was a morning with heavy, shadowy clouds; a double edged sword to a photo journey. It was a gamble; without rain, we'd get dramatic clouds and gentle lighting, but rain - depending on the intensity - could potentially hinder some plans, and the day seemed like it could easily lean towards either one. Our day started a couple of hours away from the city, on a state park called Bantimurung. Dubbed the 'Kingdom of Butterflies', Bantimurung had been a tourism spot for as long as I can remember. The area itself boasts a massive biodiversity of butterflies; I remember people telling me to wear red in order to attract butterflies. Its conservation status, however, held no power in Indonesia - trash were scattered everywhere, signs broken, and to make matters much worse, butterflies were captured and sold by the dozens right by the entrance. Aside from the butterflies, the main attraction for the area was the waterfalls, from which the national park obtained its name from. Arriving at the waterfalls, we realized that the previous day's rain had made the waterfall massive. Standing close to the falls one could feel the enormous force behind the waters, rushing and twisting throughout the river. Near the base of the waterfall was a stone steps, used when the waterfall is usually gentle, so that the visitors could descend and swim in the waters. That day, however the current was overwhelming, and the steps were rendered useless. _MG_0004

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After a quick lunch in a neighboring town, we decided to wait for a while before heading to our next destination - Rammang Rammang; an area in the regency of Maros, whose name means "clouds." Rammang - rammang was supposedly a part of the sea millions of years ago, leaving hills of giant cloudlike formation of bedrocks. Arriving there, however, the day had taken the turn for the worse - thunderstorms came heavily, and the paths into the seastone formations themselves were almost non-existent after being nearly submerged in water. I, however, was happy enough to meet a local; he was working in his rice paddies when I came over asking for permission to take pictures. The man smiled and granted me his permission before continuing his work.

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Shooting in a thunderstorm proved to be difficult. I did not have any raincoat for my camera nor myself, and had to resort to an umbrella. I ended up half kneeling, holding my umbrella with my thighs as to free both arms to take pics. In the end, I loved rammang rammang even more - more than bantimurung, in fact - due to its remoteness. It was relatively unknown, and thus was left untouched by people, cept for the locals. I long to return, and see if I could make more pictures.

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