First thing is first, Bali is HOT. As in, most days are spent soggy with sweat while wandering streets full of bright, unforgiving sunlight. It has not only slowed our pace a bit but also left me not shooting as much on this trip. I decided yesterday to leave the Hasseblad and Canonet behind in favor of the LCA and Holga because I never really come across too many delicate moments to shoot and the LCA/Holga are best suited for nice bright sun so hopefully this switch in pace will lave me more relaxed about shooting in general. We have also been invited to the home of a driver that we have started to befriend so that could be a nice opportunity to get a feel for a more local lifestyle.
Up to this point what I have seen of Bali constantly reminds me of the Disney World backlot where they have neighborhoods of fake houses built for shooting movies and TV. Within the central tourist filled areas the buildings and businesses are built purely to fuel the needs of the mobs of lobster skinned tourists. Signs to resorts and tour packages line the streets speaking of secret locations they can take you to see the “real” Bali. Everywhere I go I hear “Taxi? Transport?” coming from all imaginable directions as anyone with a car seems to offer some kind of tour package. These pleas have all but become white noise along the way and blend, like static, into the hum and roar of the hundreds of scooters, cars, and trucks constantly filtering through every street.
While in a car on the way back to our room yesterday evening we took a few backroads that lead us through areas where I could not spot one single foreigner and the atmosphere completely changed from sweaty tourists and swarms of locals doing their best to take advantage of their potentially deep pockets to a more relaxed, modest speed of life with small food stalls with real local food, cell phone shops, and mechanics. I am hoping to see more of that side of the Island as we continue to explore but it can be difficult without your own car or scooter and hired drivers never seem to understand that you don’t want to do what everyone else usually wants to do. I am almost certain at this point that the best way to explore this Island would be with a scooter and a well updated GPS for when you inevitably get lost.
At any rate, I shot the image above in a small village called Tenganan known for its basket weaving among other things. While we did not stay too long I did find this one lovely lit spot to shoot what I immediately knew would make a great wallpaper image to share with everyone. Moments like these are rare in the blistering sun that has graced most of what we have seen up to now so when I come across them I can’t help but start shooting.
I’m not sure when I will have time to write again, but rest assured that things should settle back into place when I return from my travels and I will start to share more images and stories from my time here and catch up with the world that I have left behind to a certain extent. So until then, all the best, and enjoy the new image!