Friday, March 22, 2013

Photo Essay: Bali, Indonesia - Reflections



I came to Bali with a preconceived notion consistent to those featured in both classical and popular novels - a tropical paradise, mystical, with an amazing unique culture and perfect artistic light.  I found the later to be literally true.  (I'm not a photographer, not even an amateur. I took the following photos using an I-phone4s, thus, leaving the photographic manipulation to Apple's iOS program and Bali's perfect artistic light).

I also observed the strong mystical connection that the Balinese have with nature.  Water, in particular, seems to be central to the Balinese culture.  All the temples I visited were by the sea, by the lake or had man-made ponds.

#1 Sunrise
Sunrise offers unbelievable colors.  I took a photo once in Puerto Vallarta where a big round bright orange was silhouetted by a palm tree.   I tried to capture a similar scene and to catch the silhouettes of densely packed palm trees at the back of Conrad in Nusa Dua, Bali.  But I was surprised by the absence of color on this photo.  I may have shot this photo too early, when the sunrise was still about 15 minutes away.  I think the timing of the shot gave the still water a mirror quality though.
  

#2 Breaking Dawn
A truly peaceful place   
Taken at the back of Conrad Bali in Nusa Dua

#3 Daylight
The pond at the back of the Pura Taman Saraswati temples in Ubud with pretty lotus blooms.  The reflection seems like an intricate carving.    

#4  Afternoon
Lotus is the symbol of beauty and non-attachment in Hindu Balinese culture.  Lotus ponds can be found not only in temples but modern buildings like hotels.  I shot this photo of the pond by the pool at the Four Seasons Resort in Jimbaran, Bali.

 #5 Late Afternoon
It was mostly cloudy when I visited Bali that I was able to capture a lot of water reflections.
Taken at the Four Seasons -  Jimbaran, Bali

#6 Sunset
On Pura Uluwatu, which is a very beautiful temple at the southern tip of Bali, situated on a cliff that  drops into the sea. The temple is inhabited by naughty monkeys and has plenty of dragonflies. In the absence of scale reference, the dragonfly came out like a bird in this photo.

 #7 More Sunset
I did not do any touch ups or any photographic manipulations, but the color and the sunset reflection look surreal.
Taken at Pura Uluwatu

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