Story by David Metcalf
Bali-based photographer David Metcalf captures the magic and wonder of Indonesia while traveling across Kalimantan, Java and Bali.
I took this photo much closer to the village trying to emphasize the grandeur of the area as a lone horseman starts to make his way along the valley floor, as the sun starts to brighten up the morning.d
When photographing parades and festivals in this country, I try to capture the spirit and the humour of the occasion. These University students loved to play up to the camera with a bit of shock and awe. The expressions of laughter on the faces of the ladies in the crowd behind help give this photo some extra flavour.
I was very happy with this photo as the timing of the dancers’ movements synchronised perfectly with the colourful lights that seemed to emerge from his hat. A slower shutter speed gives a sense of movement.
I focused on the dancer in the front and used a narrow depth of field so the dancers behind would not be in focus, creating a special effect. May to June is a very busy time for temple ceremonies, or Odalon’s, on the island and a wonderful time to experience Balinese culture.
The girls seemed unfazed by the crazy boy energy all around them. This photo draws you into all the facial expressions which was the intention.
This was a rainy, misty morning at Kintamani – a 40-minute drive from Ubud. I liked the way the clouds were gathering around Batur Volcano. I used a maximum depth of field to get the foreground and main subject in focus.
Just before Galungan these bamboo poles called Penjors were erected in front of every home and they remained for approximately six weeks as a way to welcome the Gods into the villages and streets.These women were returning to their family temples with offerings adding even more colour to this photograph.
Bali is a photographer’s paradise, especially for landscapes, if one is willing to get up early enough to capture the sun’s first rays.
This is always a special time for them also as they connect with the natural environment, the rivers and the trees that contain the spirits of their ancestors. I think this photograph is quite thought-provoking as this Dayak man looks with great admiration into the forests near his home; perhaps wondering how long they will remain this way. Armed with a spear to provide food and a Sape (traditional Dayak guitar) to produce music for the soul and surrounded by the oldest rainforest on the planet, what more does a man need?
I think this is an important way to connect with the soul and spirit of the person and this is what I try to communicate through the lens. This old lady from the Dayak Kenyah tribe of North Borneo was happy to be my model – only if she were to receive a copy of the photo.