DESTINATIONS Photography

The surprise of Bali

Spontaneity has its place for the itinerant photographer.
Balinese dancer by Aloha Lavina

Our guide Ngurah Rai said, “I heard there’s a recital of dance students in this village, let’s go.”

Of course we all agreed to go. Spontaneity is part of a photo trip. (To be clear, a photo trip is like an extended photo walk. It’s a holiday for the purpose of photography.) When I travel with my hobbyist friends, our goal is to chase light from dawn to dusk, every day, of our photo trip. 

So we went. When we got there, the recital hadn’t started yet, so we were free to photograph the dancers waiting for their turn.

Dancers waiting by Aloha Lavina.

When I spotted that dancer in the cover shot, he was hiding behind a basket. He peeked at me, saw my 70-200 lens, and then got into dancer mode. The Balinese use their eyes a lot in their dance. And he widened his eyes, a timid warrior. And I got the shot that defined that day.

We have to be open to spontaneous moments when we travel. Sometimes, those unpredictable moments give us the decisive ones.

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