11th April 2014

Post

PICK OF THE WEEK: Bali and Beyond

Coming Home from the Temple (Ubud Bali Indonesia March 2014)

Bali. It’s been our home for the past five weeks. I say “home” because I’ve been thinking this “trip” we embarked upon 16 months ago now feels more like a lifestyle than just a trip. It’s really our lives now. So, as I said, we’ve been living in Bali the last few weeks, but today, we have arrived in Sydney Australia for the next stage of our adventure; our life.

If you’ve been reading my blog posts, or viewing my images, from Bali, you will know that I have very very mixed feelings about the place. I’ve said enough on that subject I think and want to just add that, whatever I do on this journey called life, will result in feelings of some kind. Good or bad, indifferent or whatever; every place, every situation has an impact on us and how we feel about life, the universe and everything (to borrow a favorite phrase).

Anyway, as I say, I’ve left Bali with mixed feelings. I can’t tell you if I “like” or “dislike” it there. It’s more complicated than that. It is just what it is really. It seems to me that there isn’t any point in making any kind of definitive yes or no statement. About Bali or about anything else.

So, to this week’s Pick. Why this particular image? Well, for a start, it shows a little slice of life, a moment, just as all good street or documentary photography should.

But the main reason I chose this image is that it is photographs like this can lead some to draw conclusions about “what it’s like” in Bali or wherever the photo was made. And, yes, they might be right. But they would also be wrong. 

This photo, again just as all good street and documentary photography should, tells a story. But, of course (and this is the key point I think), It by no means tells the whole story of the place or of a culture or society. It really doesn’t even tell the full story of the moment it represents. It is, as I said, a slice of life, one moment only. 

And, again, that’s how it should be. There needs to be some story left for the viewer to discover, or to imagine, for her or himself. What conclusions this leads viewers to come to, is naturally something for them. 

This, for me, is the gift of street and documentary photographs (well it is one of many gifts actually): viewers are invited to take part, to actively be involved with the image and what is portrayed therein. They re given the opportunity to take their viewing further. They may be lead, for example, to look up more images of Bali, or to research the type of ceremony this woman may have been to or other details about the religious practices on the island. They may even be prompted to start thinking about their own trip to Bali or somewhere else they have dreamed of.

Now, speaking personally, if a photo I have made can do all that, then I reckon what I do is pretty special. A blessing.

Peace

Tagged: streetPhogtographyblessingBalitravelcolorviewingseeingactive

9th April 2014

Photo with 2 notes

Lowering the Flag on Flickr.Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

Lowering the Flag on Flickr.

Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

6th April 2014

Post with 1 note

PICK OF THE WEEK: My Work Goes On despite distractions

An Outstretched Hand Ignored

Our five weeks in Bali is rapidly drawing to an end. And I thought for this week’s pick I would just talk a little about some thoughts I’ve been having the last couple of days. You see, I have felt distracted here. Yes, I know it’s a funny word to use in the circumstances. I mean, here we are in Bali for crying out loud! It’s a beautiful place in so many ways; it’s given us so much to think about and it’s been overall a hugely interesting and valuable travel experience.

I find it hard to just have a “holiday”. I want to be out on the street working all the time. But as I’ve just said there is so much to see here and such colour to occupy the eye and mind that focusing on street photography has been just too difficult. I know, I really should have just said, “Hey, relax. You’re on vacation.” But there you are. I can’t and couldn’t. So I just did the best I could and in the end I have managed the odd image that I think works.

Anyway, the thoughts I’ve been having about distractions. I have decided that I don’t really want to photography pretty landscapes or other scenes. I don’t want to do flowers or trees or sea scenes or anything else. All I want to do, all I’m any good at all at, is humanist street and social documentary photography. You see, when I go out to the streets I want to just be there, not looking around for the pretty scene or statue or whatever else that isn’t about the people and life there and then.

I’ve found it’s pretty much impossible to do justice to my work or even to whatever it is that distracts me when I am not focused on the work. And, at the end of the day, that’s the point really. The work I do is too important to allow it to be diluted by a wandering eye and mind that is distracted by other things. I do not suggest that those other things are “bad” or it’s wrong to photograph them. Not at all. There are so many wonderful and talented photographers who show us every day what a wonderfully beautiful world we live in with their landscapes, nature photographs, and the rest. I for one am grateful to them all.

My role however, is as a street and social documentary photographer. I am rededicating myself to my work and my aspiration to become good at what I do.

The photo I have chosen for this week’s pick is stark and dramatic.  It is a market scene that could be anywhere in the world. But it happens to be in Ubud in Bali. I will let it speak for itself

Peace

Tagged: BaliIndonesiaUbudmarketscenestreetphotographyurbancommitmentdedicationdistractiongenrechoicefocushumanistartartistvacationwork

5th April 2014

Photo with 1 note

Ubud Market Fantasy on Flickr.Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

Ubud Market Fantasy on Flickr.

Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

5th April 2014

Photo

Spotted by the Kid with the Walkietalkie on Flickr.Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

Spotted by the Kid with the Walkietalkie on Flickr.

Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

5th April 2014

Photo

Spotted by the Kid with the Walkietalkie on Flickr.Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

Spotted by the Kid with the Walkietalkie on Flickr.

Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

5th April 2014

Photo with 2 notes

Thumbs Up from the Maitre’d on Flickr.Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

Thumbs Up from the Maitre’d on Flickr.

Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

5th April 2014

Photo with 1 note

Shopping Interupted on Flickr.Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

Shopping Interupted on Flickr.

Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

5th April 2014

Photo with 1 note

Striding Beneath the Colonade.jpg on Flickr.Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

Striding Beneath the Colonade.jpg on Flickr.

Padangbai Bali Indonesia
April 2014

5th April 2014

Photo

At the Mercy of the Sea on Flickr.Padangbai Bali Indonesia
March 2014

At the Mercy of the Sea on Flickr.

Padangbai Bali Indonesia
March 2014

31st March 2014

Photo

Wide Eyes on Flickr.Padangbai Bali Indonesia
March 2014

Wide Eyes on Flickr.

Padangbai Bali Indonesia
March 2014

31st March 2014

Photo with 1 note

The Offering on Flickr.Padangbai Bali Indonesia
March 2014

The Offering on Flickr.

Padangbai Bali Indonesia
March 2014

31st March 2014

Photo

Preparing for Ceremony on Flickr.Padangbai Bali Indonesia
March 2014

Preparing for Ceremony on Flickr.

Padangbai Bali Indonesia
March 2014

29th March 2014

Photo

Bali Girl on Flickr.Padangbai Bali Indonesia
March 2014

Bali Girl on Flickr.

Padangbai Bali Indonesia
March 2014

28th March 2014

Photo

The Masked Man and the Goose on Flickr.Pedangbai Bali Indonesia
March 2014

The Masked Man and the Goose on Flickr.

Pedangbai Bali Indonesia
March 2014