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Hello Bali

I have always been an optimist. Sure somethings won’t always go your way. The best laid plans always need a plan B, C, D or even a E. Photography has taught me to be spontaneous. To commit to good ideas and not just a good schedule. This is the essence of great location photography.

I learnt this by photographed weddings for over ten years in Sydney. It took a long time to get adjusted to being creative on your feet and sometimes just going with the flow and getting lost in the moment. Sometimes when things don’t go your way you have to have a break out plan and its always best to be flexible and creative. Weddings taught me to be flexible and not to get stuck on a single idea. To have several just in case and to be always on the lookout for the perfect location, new environments that could offer creative opportunities.The more creative your thinking the happier the the clients will be.

I shot this image at the Rock bar near Jimbaran Bay, Bali. It is a tranquil island that is located near the equator.

The Rock bar is positioned inside the Ayana resort on the West side of the Island. To get a good seat for the sunset you have to arrive early as the Rock bar is a world class destination for tourists and it is continuously featured in Conde Nast’s Travel and Leisure magazine.

As we walked through the grounds of the Hotel, Palatial vistas are everywhere. Waterfalls cascade down to sandstone pools where Koi play hide and seek in the purple shadows of sunset. This resort makes you feel as if every moment is a snap shot in time that you will want to hold forever.

As we decended to the beach via the small funicular railway the sunset seemed to be upon us. Our table was perched just above the crashing waves, the cool spray gave us respite from the late afternoon heat. As we were ushered to a table we were given black umbrellas for cover against the penetrating afternoon sun. As the afternoon tipped towards sunset the umbrellas disappeared one by one, as everyone was gradually mesmerised by the picture perfect sunset.

The Rock bar was given its name as it is perched high on an outstanding rock above the ocean. Here international DJ’s play soulful tunes into the dusk as the sunsets over the ocean.The atmosphere around the bar is swollen with humidity and tropical vibes.This heady mix of cocktails, bon vivant lifestyle and ambiance leaves everyone in a fine mood.In the distance across Jimbaran bay, one of the Islands volcanoes appears from behind its cloud cover, like a God awakening to view the Sunset. We are in good company.

As we look around there is an array of various cocktails and snacks on show at each table that faced the sunset, each cocktail more interesting than the last, each a testimony to the creativity of the bar staff.

The image you see was take just after the man’s freezing cocktail had arrived. The image has only been adjusted a little. I have learnt over time to expose the image to get detail in the shadow areas and pull the highlights in by using the software built into the phone.I added a little contrast and a slight warming tone, as the phone tends to auto correct and remove the warmer tones from the highlights, and thats it.

Styling is a multiplying factor to any shoot. To add a style is to add an accent. Its about what you are looking for in the image. If a shoot is too over styled it can look staged and lack spontaneity and miss the moment. This is why when in situations like this I tend to try and capture the natural style.

As the sunset finally crashed through the restaurant at the end of the pier, I snapped my final image. Now it was time to sit and savour my French Martini. Hello Bali.

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