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.

image available here

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.

Read more from our category

Guest Contributor This post was written by a guest contributor to dPS.
Please see their details in the post above.

Become a Contributor: Check out Write for DPS page for details about how YOU can share your photography tips with the DPS community.

Some Older Comments

  • pny235 January 5, 2013 10:21 pm

    great article. thx

    here's mine

  • jody k susanto December 7, 2012 02:48 pm

    Once again, thank u for recomonded bali as beautiful place, because I am indonesian.

  • jody k susanto December 7, 2012 02:45 pm

    I love bali, / saya cinta bali.
    How to pick beautiful bali with handphone camera, it is posible for that?

  • marius2die4 December 4, 2012 07:29 am

    Lovely pics!

  • Jason Teale December 1, 2012 10:05 am

    I spent my honeymoon in Bali. It was a great place and I got a ton of decent shots. The thieving monkeys at Uluwatu can be a little annoying though...

  • Peter mck November 30, 2012 03:42 pm

    Bali is one I my great holiday spots as I have been there about 13 times and always found the people a joy to be with. Never a day that you can't get a great photo around the island.

  • VikkiD November 30, 2012 10:07 am

    My husband and I are off to Bali for our second time next year and I will look for these places. I agree with the monkeys. I got a wonderful shot of a monkey on the ledge of the cliff of Uluwatu temple

  • KSW November 30, 2012 04:06 am

    Your images are hurt my heart -- they express depth and breadth -- that is palpable; rich with detail; your words increase my love of the images. I dream of Bali. My favorite is the shot of the children. The white balance is perfection. Thank you for sharing your settings -- I adore dissecting each and every image. Thank you.

  • Allie November 28, 2012 02:27 am

    Hello, we have actually been to Bali four times now, twice this year already and plan maybe a third trip at the end of December. I truly understand how awesome Bali is, the people, and Indonesia in general; it is quite the love affair we have. Ubud is amazing and Nusa Dua, Sanur and Semiyak has lots of beautiful views and a relaxing feel.

  • Jennifer from JetPot Travel Slots November 27, 2012 06:16 am

    Hi Loic,
    I love your travel and photography tips, thank you very much for sharing this great article!
    The picture I like the most is the one at Jatiluwih, really beautiful place, I wish to travel there same day.
    I recommend you visiting JetPot Travel Slots (, a new game with great destinations from all over the world, you will like it ;)

  • John November 26, 2012 10:10 am

    I am always so inspired by people who are able to travel and return with such beautiful photographs. When I'm in locations that I'm not familiar with I tend to be a little more timid behind the camera.

    But, I'm sure as with everything, the more you do something the better you become at it. I'll continue to take my camera with me and I always return home with some photographs, it's just a matter of whether I meet my expectations or not.

    As for those who wish to see my photos -

  • Scottc November 26, 2012 09:20 am

    Some great photos here, travel photography is always inspiring.

  • Mridula November 26, 2012 02:58 am

    Lovely pictures! Even though it is visa on arrival for Indians I have not been there, yet!