All photos by Hengki Koentjoro. Used with Creative Commons permission.
If you’ve been following the fine art landscape photography of Jakarta-based Hengki Koentjoro with us, you must be used to seeing him tackle seascapes. However, once in a while, he also shows his prowess for minimalist black and white with snaps taken far from seaside settings. The latest example is his short series shot around Mount Nebo, an elevated ridge of the Abarim mountain range in Jordan.
Sitting approximately 710 meters (2,330 ft) above sea level, Mount Nebo is the highest point of the Abarim mountain range, and is known for its religious, archeological, and historical significance. The final chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy of the Hebrew Bible cites it as the spot where Moses was allowed to view the Promised Land (which God said he could not enter), and where he passed away soon after.
In his series, Koentjoro depicted the paths traversing Mount Nebo as moody and even mysterious locations. His distinct black and white visual style proved perfect for transforming the landscapes into dark and dreary scenes, with the winding roads and the surroundings seemingly leading to the unknown. It’s an interesting departure from the relaxing calmness and peacefulness that we’ve seen from his monochrome seascapes.
This shift, however, also tells us more about Koentjoro’s mastery of monochrome imagery, and how he is able to lend different moods that complement his chosen locations. Short as it is, the series is among the best examples of how noteworthy photographers are often able to apply their distinct style to any location, resulting in a visual representation of a place or even ideas that is truly their own.