Located off the North coast of Java in Indonesia, Karimunjawa is an archipelago of 27 picture perfect islands, complete with crystal clear waters, blue skies and powdery white sand to sink your feet into – a hidden paradise seldom visited by western tourists, due mainly to the lack of information out there about this wonderful place and also to the fact that the only way to get there is by a very slow ferry ride!
Thanks to a very small photo that I came across when travelling through Java, I decided to make my way to the islands. As is often the case, people who travel extensively are usually a lot harder to please, no matter how hard we try you always compare what you are seeing to other places that you have been. With this in mind I was ready for anything, I didn’t want to get my hopes up just in case the islands were not the tropical paradise I had in my head, but shortly after arriving, I knew I had made the right decision.
The main island where visitors sleep is not pretty at all, but think of it as a base only. The real beauty is seen on the boat trips to the islands located further inside the National Park, and there are so many to go and see! Ranging from tiny sandbars in the middle of the Java Sea, to larger islands which appear to have fallen out of a novel, there really is an island for everyone here. The water is so clear that you don’t even have to snorkel if you don’t want to, just have a look over the side of the boat! I know I sound a little like a travel brochure at the moment but it really does need to be seen to be believed!
A circular polariser is an essential piece of kit if you plan to travel here, just to make sure the skies pop and the waters look as clear as they are. A wide angle lens would also be handy too, just to give your viewers a chance to see that the scenery stretches on as far as the eye can see. Other than that, photography in Karimunjawa is easy, it truly is breathtakingly beautiful and no matter where you point your camera the results will show the same – paradise!!
The only downside to my trip here was that the boat returned you to the main island before sunset, and I really would have loved to get some sunset shots here. I plan to visit again one day and maybe by then the authorities will allow camping on the islands, making Karimunjawa a photographers dream!
If you have any questions about the settings used to take these photographs or would simply like to know more about the location, please leave a comment and I will respond as soon as possible.
About the author: currently based in the UK, Kimberley Coole is available for assignment or commission both locally and internationally, specialising in travel photography. Kimberley was chosen as a Travel Photographer of the Year 2012 finalist and received a commendation from the judging panel. Her photographs are represented exclusively by the world’s leading stock photography agency, Getty Images, and have been featured in numerous publications.
This is her website.