You may recall that my drone malfunctioned in Indonesia and ended up in the ocean, never to be seen again. A very sad day, especially since there were still a couple days left of the photography workshop. It wasn't until we visited the seaweed farms that I started to miss my drone big time, as it was a great opportunity to snap some super unique aerial shots. I spent about an hour or so photographing the area with my handheld camera, which was still really fun, however, at one point our group leader, Jord Hammond, came up to me like a knight in shining armor and graciously offered to loan me his drone so that I could participate in the seaweed farming fun. It was a really kind gesture, and one I hope to be able to pay forward to someone else one day.
"Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting."
One of my favorite parts of visiting Indonesia was photographing the seaweed farmers. From what I observed, the seaweed is grown in shallow salt water, and when ready for harvest, the farmers would wade into the water, pluck the seaweed, fill large baskets and stack them on top of inner tubes for easy transport back to shore. Sometimes kayaks or canoes were used instead of inner tubes, depending on which type of seaweed was being harvested. Once back on land, the seaweed would go through various stripping, sorting, and drying processes, all done by hand. And all of which you will see in future photos.
"[Seaweed farming] has recently been thrust onto the global agenda as a coastal livelihood alternative that links economic growth both to food security and to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Seaweed, a marine algae, requires no fresh water or fertilizers to thrive, is fast-growing and nutrient-intense, and doesn't interfere with land-based systems. It has a number of end-uses, including carbon-dioxide removal via bio-sequestration."
In Bali, the weather conditions for photography were incredible, however on the 5th day it poured down rain all morning. This effected our sunrise plans, obviously, so we ended up having a lazy morning around the hotel and then went shooting in the afternoon once the rain stopped. This was the only day in which we didn't go to some jaw-dropping location where there were obvious photo opportunities everywhere we looked. Instead, we went to a pretty normal, rocky beach, and just poked around; having to search for photos. To be honest, this is similar to how I learned to photograph; finding beauty in relatively ordinary places, and something I still love doing. While I ended up finding some fun nature photos, for me what ended up being the highlight was the locals; this father and daughter in particular. Their energy was incredibly peaceful, and the constant physical contact between the two was heartwarming to witness.
"The more we learn about touch, the more we realize just how central it is in all aspects of our lives — cognitive, emotional, developmental, behavioral — from womb into old age. It's no surprise that a single touch can affect us in multiple, powerful ways."
I'm not sure if it's me, the culture I live in, or simply the world in general, but life can feel so chaotic and confusing at times. And this may sound strange, but when things get especially overwhelming or complicated, I find myself craving a code of ethics to live by. Like a list of principles, morals and core values to take a bit of the decision-making pressure off and to help guide my way when I'm having a hard time navigating on my own. In business I've been taught to create a vision and mission statement for this exact reason and I'm beginning to think that perhaps I should just create my own, as an individual. Do any of you have this sort of thing in your own lives? I'd be curious to hear more if you do.
"Let your thoughts be ruled by principle, and then live up to your thoughts."
-Wallace D. Wattles