Back In Bali – looking with new eyes

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This short blog post is about our recent trip back to Bali. We (my loving partner Kim and I), try and get up to Bali at least once a year – it’s close (about a 5 1/2 flight from Sydney), cheap (roughly a third the cost of Sydney living), warm, safe, comfortable and familiar – which is what you want for a pure R&R break.

From a photography point of view this annual trip gives me a chance to see if my photographic style and technique has improved – to try and shoot many of the same things but with different eyes.

As you’ll see some of the shots of done some pretty heavy processing, others I’ve just converted to black and white and some I haven’t had to do a thing.

Bali Accommodation

This time we’re staying in a villa up at Legian, Pondok Ernita – we arrive at around 10PM – the last hour and a bit at the brand new airport they’ve rushed to have ready for the APEC conference.  There’s still a few bugs at the airport to work out!

The villa is nice, big, private and we’re close to the beach, restaurants, bars and shops (important for my Kim).  The cost difference is neglible when you consider the savings of not having to eat and drink out every day. There are basically two villas with a shared pool. My only complaint would be the small television – which is just a minor complaint – honestly I’d be just as happy without a TV on holidays but there are also times when you just want to relax and watch tele after a day of too much sun.  The lovely Marti is our house keeper and keeps everything ship shape while her husband Wyan the gardens and pool beautiful.   We’ve also good wi-fi which is probably the most critical requirement in today’s tech mad world – sad but true.

Bali Beach Dogs

The Bali beach dogs are still here and they are a lot healthier than they were thirty years ago.  Dog lovers like Franci from I Love Bali Dogs feed the pups each day (with the kind support of donations), find them homes (sometimes overseas) and work with sympathetic beach boys and local vets.  The Government is cracking down on beach dogs making sure they have rabies shots.

Surf

For many the Bali experience is about the beach, golden sunsets and a cold Bintang. It was the long big tubes of Uluwatu/ Padang Padang that started the initial Aussie surfer invasion way back in the late sixties and seventies.  Today surfing is as much mainstream as is Bali – from the young Aussie grommets on their first overseas surf trip; g-string wearing Euro blokes and babes at “Surf Schools” to grandpa hippies in search of the lost years.

Change

Shooting iconic landmark Tanah Lot is like photographing the Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach or The Bridge.  The challenge is how do you shoot so it’s different and striking.  I opted for some long exposures and HDR’s (which nearly got me washed away by a large rogue wave).

 

Development

The new 12.5 km tollway connects Nusa Dua with the new airport and Sanur cutting travel time my more than 70%

Man time and Women Shopping

I’d drop Kim off at a street full of shops then head down to the nearest beach bar to write.  Several hours later she’d call to be picked up.

Note: If you ever need a bike, car or driver in Bali then highly recommend my friend Forrest at Bali Sriti Car Rental (Facebook link)

 

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