Bali Portraits in Black & White

I have tended to stay away from portraits as I feel more comfortable with landscape photography. However, during my recent visit to Bali I took hundreds of portraits and have converted some of them to black and white. I hope you like them.

Bali is a small island in the Indonesian archipelago with a population of just over four million. Tourism is the major contributor to GDP but agriculture is the biggest employer. The people of Bali are warm and friendly and make wonderful subjects for portrait photography. The following are black and white images of everyday life in Bali taken during my recent trip.

Bali Street Vendor

I came across this street vendor during a cremation ceremony in Ubud. He was doing a roaring trade due to the large number of guests. I was one of his many satisfied customers.

Bali Portraits - Street Vendor

Spice Maker – Bali Portraits

Portraits are best when they are natural and unexpected. I was so glad to come across a lady using a large pestle and mortar to grind spices in a small storeroom off the main road. I was even happier when she agreed to allow me to take her photo.

Bali Portraits - Spice Maker

Man With Prize Cockerel – Bali Portraits

Happiness and a wide smile brighten any photo. This delightful man literally rocked with laughter each time I snapped his image.

Bali Portraits - Prize Cockerel

Attending A Cremation Ceremony – Bali Portraits

Bali Portraits - Cremation Ceremony

Bali Corn Vendor

Corn or ‘Jagung’ grilled over hot coals is popular meal in Bali. Just add salt and coarse pepper and you have a tasty filling snack.

Bali Portraits - Corn Vendor

Lady and Carved Door – Bali Portraits

Bali Door Lady

Bali Rice Farmer

The majority of Balinese farmers work in the terraced rice fields. This old gentleman was more than happy for me to take a few snaps of him going about his daily tasks. Although, I am not too sure whether he was meaning to make the particular sign in the photo.

Bali Portraits - Rice Farmer

Images of Exmouth, Western Australia

This is my second post with images of Exmouth and will include very little narrative as much has already been said about this exquisite region in Western Australia.

Turquoise Bay, Exmouth

Turquoise Bay is often rated as Western Australia’s top beach and is renowned for calm clear water, superb snorkelling and white sand. There is the added advantage that the water remains warm throughout the year.

Turquoise Bay, Exmouth

Yardie Creek, Cape Range National Park

Yardie Creek gorge is ninety kilometres from Exmouth. I highly recommend a boat cruise up the gorge. This is a relaxing way to admire the red limestone cliff faces and potentially get a glimpse of a black-footed rock wallaby. This rare animal lives in the cavities on the cliff faces.Yardie Creek, Cape Range National Park

Cape Range National Park Sunset, Exmouth

Cape Range National Park is situated on the west side of the North West Cape adjacent to the Ningaloo Marine Park. There are ample access roads from Yardie Creek road to places of interest and to the ever changing ocean.Exmouth WA Sunset

Yardie Creek Panorama

Yardie Creek Panorama

Carnarvon- The Road Home

The recreational harbour in Carnarvon is naturally protected by outlying sandy islands and mangroves. Palm trees add to aesthetic beauty of this already pleasing waterfront area.

Carnarvon, Western Australia

A Cremation Ceremony – Ubud, Bali

The Balinese view the cremation of a loved one as a time of celebration and go to great expense to ensure the dead have a suitable send-off.  The principle purpose of the Ngaben or Pitra Yadyna ceremony, as it is called in Bali, is to release the soul of a dead person so that it can enter the upper realm. The local people are usually willing to allow respectful foreign guests to experience this unique way of sending off the deceased to the next life.

One of the surprising things is that the person who is being cremated may have already been dead for a number of years. The deceased’s family will save until they can afford the cremation ceremony. The Ngaben is the most important event in a persons life (or death) in Bali and no expense is spared.

Ubud Cremation Ceremony

During my stay in Bali I was fortunate to meet wonderful friendly people and to gain some insight into their personal lives. I felt honoured when my guide invited me to attend a cremation ceremony in Ubud. All members of the deceased’s family, plus friends and associates attend an Ngaben. Attendees include everyone, from the very young to the old. This amazing event afforded me the opportunity to take a multitude of photos of the interesting people of Bali.

Ngaben Ceremony Potraits – The Young

Cremation ceremonies in Bali entail carrying the deceased for considerable distances to open air crematoriums. The procession tends to be crowded but I undertook to follow it through the streets of Ubud. I am glad I did.

As the Ngaben parade wound its way up the street towards the cremation site I found an elevated spot from which to view the proceedings. These two boys and their mother were kind enough to give me an overview of the event unfolding before us.

Bali Cremation Ceremony

Ngaben Ceremony Potraits – The Captivating

All the ladies attending the cremation were dressed in colourful skirts and beautiful white tops. This young lady had a most captivating smile.

Bali Cremation Ceremony

Ngaben Ceremony Potraits – The Interesting

Men attending a Bali cremation ceremony wear their finest traditional clothing and head dress.Bali Traditional Clothing

Bali Ngaben Parade

Bali Cremation Parade

Bali Cremation Tower

The body of the deceased is placed in an ornate sculptured cow and carried through the streets on a funeral tower.

Bali Cremation Bull

Bali Sacred Cremation Cow

The sacred Ngaben cow or Lembu is made of bamboo and wood. During the official burning of the body, both the Lembu and and tower are set alight. Gas burners are used to increase the intensity of the fire to ensure the body is cremated correctly. Bali Cremation Tower