Travel Inspiration: Bali

Travel Inspiration: Bali

I recently went to Bali for a family holiday. Of course my camera and tripod were never far away. I managed to get a nice range of images that I can share with you today.

The images below were shot with a Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 AFS.

Falling in love

We first stayed in Ubud in a villa a little out of town in Jukut Pakur. The locals told us that the neighbourhood was just like Ubud used to be 20 years ago.

This shot was taken from the deck of our villa early in the morning. All I could hear was the gentle warm breeze and the birds waking up… A that moment I understood why people fall in love with Bali. On the left is the sacred Mount Agung.

image available here

Tech details : I took a range of bracketed shots on tripod but I ended up using only 1 exposure. The dynamic range of the D800 with the highlight and shadow sliders in Lightroom 4 make for a great combination. Click on the image below to see the Lightroom settings.

Temples everywhere

Bali is a highly spiritual place. People make daily offerings all over the place, houses, shops, streets… and of course temples.

This lotus flower was taken in the centre of Ubud at the entrance of a temple.

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Tech details : f2.8 to isolate the flower from the background and I cropped out the top part of the image as it was a little distracting.

Joglo at night

A joglo is a traditional Javanese house. This one was just next to our villa.

image available here

Tech details : 30s at f2.8; I changed the white balance from daylight to 3700K to get more blue in the sky and less orange in the house. I also applied lens correction to get rid of the slight vignetting.

Monkey forest

The monkey forest in Ubud is a must see. There were so many of them it was slightly unnerving…

I got many good shots but this one is my favourite. I love the way he is looking straight at me.

image available here

Tech details : iso 200, 1/80s, f2.8; Square crop, white balance tweak and adjustment brushes in Lightroom (exposure on the monkey and bark and saturation on the leaves). See below the image without the adjustments.

Street vendor

In rural Bali, it seems that every second house has a little shop in front of it.

This lady was close to the villa we were staying at. She is weaving one of the little baskets used for offerings.

image available here

Tech details : iso 500, 1/25s, f2.8; handheld; cropping to get rid of distracting elements. After cropping the image is still 5400 pixels wide which is very usable for publication work.

Illegal cockfighting

We came across cockfighting one evening. It is meant to be illegal now but they seem to be still quite common…

image available here

Tech details : iso 2800, 1/80s, f2.8.


Jatiluwih is recognised as one of the best examples of rice culture in Asia. As we were driving to the place I was hoping I wouldn’t be disappointed after reading so much about it… Au contraire, I was thrilled. The whole foot of the mountain is covered by these rice terraces. It is stunning and next time I visit Bali I will actually stay in the village for a few days to take it all in.

I was lucky to get a bit of sun between the clouds which made the greens go crazy in this shot.

image available here

Tech details : f8; in Lightroom : increased contrast, saturation +10 and slight crop top and bottom.

Uluwatu temple

Uluwatu is a beautiful temple on the Bukit peninsula. It is perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean.

Every night there is a traditional Kecak dance for tourists. It is actually very well done and worth a visit.

image available here

Tech details : iso 6400, 1/400s, f2.8; Slight crop, clarity and saturation in Lightroom. The image is noisy but it looks more like grain and is certainly usable for professional publications.

Beautiful people

The best thing about Bali is its people. Friendly, happy, cheeky… they are truly wonderful. I can’t wait to go back and learn more about their way of life.

I photographed these kids in Uluwatu during a religious festival. The place was crowded with tourists but somehow the Balinese didn’t seem to mind. They just went on with their prayers (the centre of the temple was off limits to tourists).

image available here

Bali is hot, dirty, crowded… but somehow I loved it. The people are beautiful and there is a general sense of peace around the place. Tourism is huge but according to long time visitors, the Balinese haven’t really changed because of it. Sure, people try to sell you stuff, sometimes a bit of a scam, but overall it is pretty good natured and once you say no they leave you alone. Many times we were genuinely thanked for coming to Bali (tourism represents about 50% of the economy).

About the author

Loic Le Guilly is a photographer and web designer based in Hobart, Tasmania.

When not creating websites or shooting commercialy, he loves to wander in the bush to capture the natural beauty of Tasmania.

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