• Ed Wray Photography
  • Ed Wray Photography
  • Ed Wray Photography
  • Ed Wray Photography
  • Ed Wray Photography
  • Ed Wray Photography
  • Ed Wray Photography
  • Ed Wray Photography
  • Ed Wray Photography
  • Ed Wray Photography


Great New Book of “Phone-ography”

This is a great opportunity to see the intuitive, quirky, beautiful, observant, inventive vision of four of Indonesia’s premier photographers ( Ahmad Zamroni, Dita Alangkara, Mast Irham, and Yuniadhi Agung) explored through their phones’ camera.  The book can be ordered here for only Rp 150,000 – thats less than 15 bucks for my non-indonesian friends – check it out!

Indonesia’s Air Gun Capital

all images copyright Getty Images/Ed Wray

In every corner of the world, people feel the need to proclaim their fame. To shout out to the universe that “we are significant and here’s the reason why” – There is a “carrot capital of the world”, Holtville, California, the “selfie Capital of the world”, Makati, Philippines and my home state, Idaho seems to be known throughout the world as “famous for potatoes” (at least from the number of people who say potatoes after I tell them that they’ve probably never heard of where I’m from). The small village of Cipacing, Indonesia is one such capital. It is the “Air Rifle Capital of Indonesia.” Dozens of homes in the village have sophisticated metal lathes, and woodworking tools with which the villagers have been turning out firearms since at least the late 1800’s. Although since the 1960’s when Indonesia banned guns, the community has mostly been making air rifles which people buy to hunt small animals and birds; but the skill of the villages gunsmiths sometimes gets used to make illegal firearms which are then sold to criminals or terrorists. Its a fascinating place.



Balinese Hindus pray on the beach in a ceremony honoring Nyai Loro Kidul, the Javanese goddess of the South Sea, who has a room permanently kept for her at a hotel on the beach.

Darren My multi-talented buddy, Darren McCollester, has just written a book “All the Kennedys are Dead”. Its a scorchingly honest look at the slings and arrows experience of being a freelance photojournalist as the news business contracts.  A series of vignettes and journals which come together, in my mind, in the unlikely and delightful form of a photo essay without photos.  Darren’s eye for the dramatic and telling detail, hilarious, touching and at times poetic make this book a lovely read.  I highly recommend it for anyone who freelances or wants to and for anyone that wants to be introduced to a wry, thoughtful, and adventurous voice.  I hope he writes some more.


Forest Creatures

Mythical beings during filming for the brilliant multi-media theatrical production “Hanomon – The Ultimate Warrior” by Mirwan Suwarso about Hanuman the monkey god who features in many Javanese legends


Some of my pictures of the recent flooding in Jakarta.  Its a really cold nasty and wet situation, and though people take it in stride, often with a smile,  some of the poorer residents of the city have to evacuate their homes along the river regularly.  Living on the banks of the Ciliwung river can be quite dangerous, but many people have no other choice, and the situation would be better if the government had been regularly improving its flood control and sewage systems – sadly that hasn’t been the case.  My friend, AP’s Chris Brummit sums up the situation nicely in his story HERE


Vingki – Bus Conductor

Vinki 2 copy


From a story about Vingki, a 14 year old Jakarta youth who left school to help support his parents by working as a bus conductor

Javanese Ceremony

A guard provides ceremonial protection for rice effigies during a procession prior to their being sacrificed the following day

A guard provides ceremonial protection for rice effigies during a procession prior to their being sacrificed the following day

Part of an ongoing project.  This ritual sacrifice of rice effigies takes place annually and is linked to a Javanese legend in which a couple were trapped inside the nearby Mount Gamping, whose spirit demanded an annual sacrifice of a bridal couple in return for the safety of the village and the safe continuation of the limestone quarrying going on at the time.




Tuna Fisherman, Manado

Tuna Fisherman, Manado

Urban Jungle

Jakarta isn’t easy to love.  There’s the smog, the dust, the lack of sidewalks, and traffic that most city dwellers around the world would just not believe.  BUT…. sometimes when you are out walking, you come across a footpath thats been in use for centuries, the city forming around it, or an insane color that someone has painted a wall, or a great smell or just something you’ve never even imagined; and that makes living here in Jakarta worth it.

U.S. Drought impacts Indonesia

I went looking to find a tempe factory to illustrate a point about food (in)security as the price of tempe in Indonesia has rapidly increased due to a major drought in the U.S. (from where Indonesia imports the bulk of its soybeans).  It was a pleasure to find that most of Jakarta’s tempe is made not in a huge impersonal industrial setting but in thousands of small home workshops.

The All Seeing Eye

The all seeing eye - On the set of an Indonesian Serial Drama Tutur Tinular

Put a Smile on Your face

I met this fella at a grave in South Sulawesi. He was the friendliest guy, and of course had the unforgettable smile.


From an upcoming story on the very cool guys who spend much of their free time chopping up cute little vespa’s and putting them back together in ways never dreamt of by Piaggio.  Its a real subculture here in Indonesia, and though its a bit hard to track down concrete numbers as many of these Vespa extremists are rather nomadic; there are hundreds of people around the archipelago who think nothing of putting cow horns, or an extra seat for six onto their rides.

Gold Rush

I’m back at work after a lengthy period of dormancy following a knee injury.  Here’s my first story post knee repair:

Lombok Island in eastern Indonesia is a tranquil tourist destination which is hoping to duplicate nearby Bali’s success as a place people go to escape the worry and stress of their lives in Sydney, Moscow or New York.  But trouble at the massive far away banks of Europe and America has bestirred the residents of  Lombok into a frenzied and ceaseless search for gold.  The price of Gold has more than doubled in the past three years and interest in the metal is unabated as economic news from the advanced economies of the world continues to worsen.  Villagers have left their fishing boats and fields to march up the island’s hilly landscape and dig in the hopes of making a small fortune.  No one digging there has much knowledge of engineering or geology and in many cases simply dig into the hills until the tunnel collapses.  Its dangerous, hard work but the chance of a big payoff is too hard to resist.

  • Gold Mining, Indonesia
  • Gold Miner, Lombak, Indonesia
  • Gold Mining, Indonesia
  • Gold Mining, Indonesia
  • GM 012
  • GM 008
  • Gold Mining, Indonesia
  • A Miner hefts a sack of ore at a gold min in the mountains of West Java, Indonesia
  • GM 010
  • Gold Mining, Indonesia
  • Gold Mining, Indonesia
  • GM 020
  • GM 017
  • Gold Mining Indonesia

Foto8 SummerShow


Madi, a veteran handler sits with two of his monkeys

When I first saw the above image in my viewfinder, this painting immediately popped into my head:

Gabrielle d’Éstrées and her Sister in a Bath, c. 1595

That was what first popped into my head.  I think I saw that in an art class when I was a kid and thought it hilarious – guess it stuck with me.  If you are wondering why Gabrielle is tweaking her sister’s nipple circa 1595 you can turn to WTF Art History, which is where I turn for all of my art historical needs.  If you’re wondering why the monkey is tweaking the man’s nipple, thats a longer story with an ambiguous ending.   A print of the above monkey tweaking photograph will be available for sale among an assortment of fascinating, brilliant and inspiring imagery at the highly esteemed Foto8 Summershow at the HOST gallery in London.  If you really like the picture and cannot make it to the exhibition, you can always contact me to arrange a sale  :-)


Trees are some of the most interesting and poetic looking features of our planet, and I’ve been seeing alot of interesting work on trees lately.  The Getty Museum, which is beautiful and worth a trip if you are in Los Angeles, has a really interesting collection of tree imagery which you can see more about here.  Among the most beautiful and strange of the collection was a photograph by South Korean photographer Myoung Ho Lee.  Myoung has been photographing Trees in front of large white backdrops separating them from their environment and allowing us to more easily look at them as objects.  I strongly urge you to have a look at his work which you can do at the always interesting Lens Culture Blog, where you can also purchase some of Myoung’s photographs.  Here are a few of the beautiful and mysterious trees that have inspired me in my travels:

  • Rawalpindi, Pakistan
  • Lhok Nga, Aceh, Indonesia
  • Sampit, Kalimantan, Indonesia
  • Manatuto, East Timor
  • Washington, D.C.





Time’s LightBox blog ran my story about a kampung in Jakarta which relies heavily on training and performing with monkeys for its welfare.  A fascinating and somewhat creepy place.  Please have a look here for the whole story.  If you haven’t been to LightBox before, it is one of the best places on the internet to find surprising imagery, in-depth stories, and just an incredible range of beautiful and imaginative pictures.  I go for a look at least once a day.


A boy naps wearing his spiderman mask in a slum area near a busy railway

Geoffrey Hiller curates an excellent collection of “The New Breed of Documentary Photographer” at the Verve Photo blog.  He was kind enough to highlight my work a couple of months ago, this image in particular.  If you haven’t seen his blog, have a look.  Its a great place to find new and different looking images and undiscovered stories.  Here’s a link to the above image on his blog along with some of my thoughts on the image.

North Korean restaurant in Jakarta

North Korean Waitresses entertain customers at the Pyongyang Restaurant in Jakarta

North Korea, starved of foreign currency by sanctions has long been thought to run a shadowy empire of legitimate and not so legitimate businesses through a mysterious agency, Bureau 39.  On the legitimate side of things, an increasing number of restaurants run by North Korean embassies are popping up in Southeast Asia which earn hard currency for the government.  The food, if you are wondering, is quite nice and very similar to other Korean food you may have had.  The waitresses are very pleasant and seem to be professionally trained singers.  They live in rooms above the restaurant.