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Photographer's Note

I am in Brunei Darussalem this week, so thought I would post a couple of shots whilst I am on the road. Brunei is a small oil-rich kingdom on the northern shores of the island of Borneo, surrounded by the Malaysia state of Sarawak. With a per capita GDP of around US$25,000 a year, it is a clean, prosperous country with high literacy rates, low unemployment and one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Nearly everyone has a car so there is no public transport except for taxis (and you don’t see too many of those on the road because there are only 45 taxis in the whole country), but there are no traffic jams because the population is less than 400,000. Being an Islamic country, no alcohol is sold or served anywhere in Brunei, but tourists are permitted to bring in two bottles of wine or spirits, or 12 cans of beer, for their own consumption during their stay.

This is the majestic Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien mosque in the middle of the capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan, which during the day is completely white except for its gold domes, but at night is bathed in orange lights. I didn’t have a tripod with me so took this shot resting the camera on a fence with ISO set at 800 and using a 1/15th sec shutter speed. I have sharpened it as much as I could without making the picture too noisy, and cropped the top and bottom. It is still a little bit noisy, but I don’t have NeatImage on my laptop, so couldn’t do anything to improve that. I will try to sharpen it further and run it through NeatImage when I get home next week, and if that results in a noticeable improvement, I will repost it. I liked the way the water around the mosque filtered the reflection of the building so that the green lighting inside the minarets is more clearly seen.

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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