I’ve returned from Bali with 1600 photos and a sore butt. Before you crack the jokes – the soreness is from Waterbom’s water slides. I must have gone down the slides at least 30 times, bruising my arse to a nice deep azure.
1600 photo in 5 days seems excessive surely, but this is one of the first times in all my trips to Bali that I had a chance to focus so much time and energy into taking pics. As I said, I had to use a Canon 350D instead of my 5D, but overall things worked out quite well. I did hit the limitations of the 350D a few times, especially in regards to the lower noise of the 5D at night. One problem I had was switching lenses frequently during action shooting. It makes me wonder if I should pick up a 350D or 400D to compliment the 5D so I can, for example, leave the ultra-wide 10-22mm on the 350D and a different focal length on the 5D.
As far as lens choices for this trip, I found myself doing a lot of low light shooting – hand held, so my 85mm f/1.8 came in quite handy. I’d say 50% of the shots were taken with this lens this time. Next was the 70-200mm f/4, with probably 35% taken with this lens. It performs as expected with the known limitations of f/4. I found this indispensable for many of the close-ups of dancers, but really had to crank the ISO up to get a sharp image. (this is where i really missed my 5D). It made me seriously consider if the f/2.8 IS or non-IS would be worth the extra cost. Last but surely not least was the 10-22mm ultra-wide. I love this lens, but as many of you may know, cannot use it with my 5D – it only fits the cropped sensor cameras (basically most of the Canon line). I haven’t brought myself around to sell it yet or trade for the 17-40mm in case I decide to get a second body. Although I used it only for about 15% of the shots, when I did need it there was no replacement. Granted had I brought my 5D, my 24-105mm would likely have been sufficiently wide (equal to 15mm on the 350D) for the majority of wide shooting.
Luckily I picked up an extra 4GB card before leaving and for the first time used my iPod as a backup as I cleared my shots from the cards (didn’t feel like dragging around the Mac this time). For those who’ve said it’s no good using the iPod as a backup, I completely disagree. If time is not a factor, it worked like a charm! Some people online have said that they could only transfer 1GB on a battery charge. I’m not sure what they were doing wrong, but I managed to transfer my (full) 4GB card to the iPod on one charge! It was close – my battery was on its last bar – but I didn’t lose a thing. I highly recommend this method for those of you not wanting to drag around a laptop on your next trip; it sure beat having to burn them to CDs or DVDs at some shop.
I know that I technically could post a new photo a day for the next 5 years, but 95% of these will never see the light of day. If there’s a shortage of fresh photos on this blog, it’s not because I’m not taking pics – it’s because I simply haven’t had a chance to go through them all. I’m sure that once I leave Indonesia, I’ll have a chance to go through my archives more carefully and put together a proper visual feast of my journeys.
A quick rundown of what I captured on this trip (yes, I’ve already done all of these in prior trips): three dance performances including a great Kecak dance at Uluwatu, Tanah Lot, Taman Ayun, Ubud artists, landscapes, rice fields, Kintamani, Gunung Batur, and a variety of other potpourri. Sounds busy? It was. We were non-stop from about 8am till 10pm every day for 5 days.
Upon my re-insertion to Jakarta, I met my sister, Courtney, at the airport only hours from my own landing. She’ll be staying for a month.
The month of May is the most busy of all the year for me, so I may be a bit sporadic in updating. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to begin posting photos from this trip – I hope you’ll enjoy them. Keep checking in.