Bali, Indonesia

To create a cohesive story about my photography in Bali over the past 6 weeks would be like trying to heard cats.

Since I arrived here things have been moving a bit slower and I have really pushed the envelope of the true meaning of the word “relax”.

I rented a room in an absolutely amazing villa in Canggu, on the western side of Bali for a month and began a routine of surfing, crossfit and keeping a journal that I updated daily. I have found myself straying away from the typical exploring of temples and other touristy sites that I have been doing in the other countries. I have made friends with Expats from all over the world who now call Bali home, and I have really began to feel that I can call Bali my home away from home, myself. 

There is no where else like this island anywhere in the world. The rich culture is its own twist on the Hindu of India and no other island in Indonesia shares its Hindu beliefs. Someone told me once that “the women of Bali are either preparing for a ceremony, performing a ceremony or cleaning up from one”, and I have found that to be absolutely true. From the offerings that are placed in front their home and businesses every morning to the big yearly celebrations like Galungan, The locals of Bali always have a reason to dress in their traditional garb and celebrate.

I will do my best to put a story behind each photo to help make sense of what would seem to be photographic randomness.

A little boy and his father on their way to the beach after worshipping at the temple.

On Sunday evenings the locals descend upon the beach to watch the sunset. The parents sit in the sand and talk, watching the children play in the water and build sandcastles while vendors peddle food from their makeshift carts.

The guy on the right is Wayan. A funny story about Wayan. If I was to walk into a market, temple or anywhere else you would tend to find a lot of locals, and yell out the name Wayan, half of, if not all the men in the place would turn around.  Wayan is the name usually give to the first born son of the family. That name in Bali is more common than all of the Michaels, Johns, and Aarons put together in the United States. Everyone is named Wayan in Bali.

Wayan saw me walking down the beach on my way to take sunset photos and just wanted to talk. He is a school teacher born and raised in Bali, and he has two sons that go to college, that he is very proud of. He and I walked and talked for a while, in the end I thanked him for his company and asked to snap a photo of him. 

The locals here are the nicest people I have ever met. I think that is a part of what gives Bali its charm.

My Partner in Photography Crime, Dewi. She is an amazing street photographer that has taught me everything I know about shooting photos of strangers on the streets. Check her out on Insta @forasiacheers.

My favorite tours are the ones that you won't find in any tour guide books. Dewi and I pulled over in a rice field to shoot photos and I ended up doing a bit of free labor, harvesting rice. The farmers found it quite entertaining to watch me work.

On one of the first days living at the Villa in Canggu, my roommate Dustin invited me the the northeast side of Bali near Kubu. This side of the island is very dry, only receiving rain 3 months of the year. Dustin designs and oversees the building and maintenance of water storage tanks for some of the most poor villages in Bali. The tanks collect water runoff from the roofs of the houses during the 3 months that it rains, and safely stores it all year when it is dry. On this day we went to check on some of the tanks and pay the villages who did the construction. While there, we shot tons of photos of the kids that live in the village. They absolutely loved being in front of the camera.

Adventures with Dewi and Lyndsey, shooting street photography near the fish market in Jimbaran.

Shooting with my Norwegian friends Yan, and Kristian. It's winter time in the southern hemisphere, that means the days are warm and the evenings are just cool enough to wear a light jacket when riding my motorbike.

My trip  to the Gili Islands for my 28th birthday to go snorkeling.

The kid in the first photo on left side - I don't remember his name - rode his bicycle from his home in East Java to Bali then hopped on a ferry to the Gili's to snorkel for two days. The trip took him three to get to the Gili's. He told me that when he is done snorkeling, he is going to ride his bike back home. He is another one of the amazing people that I have met in my adventures out on the road.

It isn't a blog post about Bali unless I include a few sunset pictures. Above is a quiet beach near Uluwatu, the most southern point in Bali. 

I've only scrapped the tip of the Indonesian iceberg. Besides Bali, I still have Java and Sumatra to explore. In Sumatra, some of the best waves in the world can be found. It is a long ways away, but I hope to make my way that direction in the coming weeks.