I'm pretty certain this is the only portrait I've ever shared. And amongst the first I've ever taken, to be honest. And I want to prepare you for more in the future, as it's something I fell in love with in Bali. Now, during the workshop, even though we were blessed with mostly incredible weather for landscape photography, when conditions weren't ideal we would wander around the villages and local markets looking for something, or someone, interesting to photograph. We were taught how to say "may I take your photo?" in Indonesian, and the vast majority of people asked were delighted to participate. I found that most people act quite different when they know they are being photographed, and I learned that the best photos were typically taken once the subject became accustomed to my presence, possibly even bored by it, and started acting like their natural selves again. For this reason I would often pretend I was done photographing them, thank them, drift away a bit before taking more photos from a distance. One of my favorite parts was to show them the photo afterwards and see their eyes and smile light up with admiration of their own image.
"The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do."
On the first day of the photography workshop, after shooting with our drones for a while, we grabbed our cameras and headed into the rice terraces hoping to catch some of the misty morning light. And even though we were very content taking purely landscape photos of the sun blasting through the trees, one of the rice farmers emerged and was kind enough to let us photograph him in the middle of his rice terraces, which added a fun new dynamic to the morning. You will absolutely be seeing more of this man in future photos, but for now I'll keep things mysterious and leave you with his shadowy profile.
"It’s not the photographer who makes the picture, but the person being photographed."
Indonesia has been incredible. I started off in Ubub, Bali for a few days by myself before my photography workshop began, and then for nine days I was together with a small and mighty crew of fellow photography lovers, exploring this beautiful area with the extremely talented Jord Hammond leading the excursion. The workshop has officially ended, even though a few of us have still been exploring other areas together. I plan on sharing various different scenes from the different days of the workshop with you, so I figured I'd start with a scene from day 1. The first morning we woke up early to fly our drones over the rice terraces as the sun was coming up. We honestly had amazing conditions for photography almost the entire trip and this was the perfect start to an incredible workshop. So glad I went.
"One advantage of photography is that it's visual and can transcend language."
This is one of my first photos taken in Bali. I went to bed early the night before, woke up feeling surprisingly refreshed and decided to go for a walk to explore the neighborhood. I ended up next to this little rice field with the clouds from the recent storm that passed still looming in the background. While I have definitely taken more stunning photos since, I love the calm simplicity of this one. It represented my first morning in Bali very well and I look forward to sharing a whole lot more of my trip with you over the coming weeks, and possibly months. Lots in store!
"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."