Every week, they make me a new playlist to discover called, intrepidly, “Discover Weekly.” They put songs in there I’ve never heard of but usually enjoy. I have strange tastes in music… so how-do-it-know?
Daily Photo – The Volcanoes in Bali from Above
Here's a cool photo I got with the Inspire on a surprise flight. I didn't expect to fly at this exact spot… we kind of randomly pulled over in the middle of the island and decided to take a flight. This was one of the only volcano views I got while there… I didn't get too close to them at all, and there weren't a lot of views I got from the roadside. So it was really cool to get up above the trees and get to see them like this.
Believe it or not, I was too busy to get back in here with my wide-angle lens to get a full shot, so I had to settle for this one, which isn't so bad. Maybe next time when I go back we can make that happen! It's such a cool place inside, and the only way to get its true glory is with a wide-angle lens.
I don’t do yoga and meditation every single day, but I did make sure to have time for it here in Bali. I was on holiday, after all… the least I could do, while doing nothing, was squeeze in a bit of time for that! But I find it’s actually hard to do NOTHING all day long. I am a bit of a busy-body, I guess… yeah but my day would just get filled up with all kinds of nothing-business for some reason, so I found I needed to pre-schedule time for yoga & meditation… otherwise it would never get done!
Daily Photo – Walking into another paradise
This is the view I saw as I walked into the Mandapa Reserve Bali (a Ritz-Carlton property) at night. There was about a 1-hour car ride here through a magical sunset… and it was all dusky and moody when I arrived. I was totally gobsmacked when I walked in here… So many textures and lights and things to look at, all while being completely calming and relaxing. You can imagine how many hundreds of photos I got of this place, just roaming around and listening to music. Amazing!
I share these with my kids a lot… I’ve read about three of his books and I love the way he talks about things. Like, for example, did you know trees don’t grow out of the ground? Trees mostly grow out of the air.
Daily Photo – A beautiful chapel in Bali from Above
See that amazing white chapel down there? It's hard to tell from this angle, but the whole front part of it is glass and opens up onto the Balinese ocean. It was just remarkable inside! I only got in once to take photos, but I thought this perspective was especially interesting. I got this while I was with the Ritz-Carlton in Bali and taking a group of orphans around.
Currently, I have an Inspire One and a Phantom 3. I keep the Phantom 3 fueled up and ready inside of a backpack for treks. As for the Inspire One, I keep that in my home with propellors on, camera on, and ready to fly. It makes it easy for me just to step out the front door and get some quick shots without a lot of setup time.
Unfortunately, my Phantom 3 was out-of-commission when I went to Bali so I had to lug the big Inspire 3 out there… it's a bit of a pain to travel with and launch, but after its up, it flies beautifully. I had a strange problem because I had sort of a bum Apple Lightning cable to connect it to my iPad. I was getting the dreaded “No Connection” message… and I had no idea what was causing it. Only later when I tried a different cord did I realize the problem!
This next time I’m gonna go with my friend Rene, and he and I are gonna bring along Jonatas, our Brazilian developer with us to cook us 3 hot Brazilian meals per day, clean our RV, and get all my camera equipment ready! I’m very excited about this plan… surely it has some weak points, but I don’t think so!
Daily Photo – Coming out of my room at night in Bali
Can you believe the view out of my front door in Bali? This was one of the rooms with its own private pool at the Mandapa Reserve Ritz Carlton… you can see my pool out there, just waiting for a little skinny dip action! Actually, it was a room within a room, as there is another separate living room there to the left and then another door that is actually the exit to the villa. Wow what a place… I gotta get back there some day!
The first time I was with children from Indonesia was about five years ago at Borobudur. I’ve always found Indonesia people to be INCREDIBLY warm and open-hearted. And especially the kids! So this time, while I was staying at the Ritz-Carlton in Bali, I talked to the General Manager and we arranged to have a group of orphans come over and we could spend a few hours on a photo walk to talk about creativity and life and all that stuff! It was really great.. super great kids. We started with a little photo walk on the beach and all around the property, then ended up back inside for some snacks and a little presentation of places from around the world. We had a Q&A about art and creativity and everything… wow that was fun. Thanks again! Here are some photos from the afternoon and evening!
Daily Photo – Morning at my Room at the Ritz-Carlton Bali
Wow — what a place to wake up in! And that water was so warm I could just slip into it anytime… watch the sunrise or sunset… just amazing all around! My very first morning here it was stormy, but after that every morning had an equally beautiful sunrise. And I hope you enjoyed the little video above!
The team has worked really hard and put together an amazing Tour Highlights Page! Be sure to go check it out!
Vertaramas are Hard
This is a “Vertarama” which is like a Panorama but vertical. I’m not sure if it’s a real word or even if I spelled the made-up word correctly, but you get the idea. Anyway, stitching together panoramas is relatively easy. I now use Autopano Giga for that because it seems to work much better than Photoshop. But when you stack photos vertically, it’s a different matter altogether. It just doesn’t work quite right! So I had to manually do everything in Photoshop, which took a small eternity.
This is made out of 15 different photos, all taken with the DJI Inspire. It was three sets of brackets, stacked vertically. I processed them all with Aurora HDR then hand-stiched them together.
Daily Photo – The Mandapa Reserve from Above
How amazing is this Ritz-Carlton in Bali? This one is in the Ubud area, and I've never seen any place quite like it. It's almost more of a temple than a resort where guests stay! It was absolutely like living in a story… reminded me of the time in A Wise Man's Fear when Kvothe went to live in the castle for a while. I'll never forget it… I got a ton of photos from the Mandapa Reserve here, but this was without a doubt the hardest to create!
I just got back from just over a week in Bali and I stayed at the most amazing places… Not only is Bali itself great, but these two Ritz-Carlton resorts where I stayed were beyond my wildest expectations. It was like a waking dream. I went photo-crazy there and I’ll be sure to sprinkle in a bunch of the new Bali photos over coming days and weeks.
Daily Photo – Rice Paddies at Night at the Mandapa Reserve at the Ritz-Carlton in Bali
How beautiful is this place at night? I absolutely love all those lights reflecting through the rice grasses while that farmer's hut relaxes above in the night. This reserve is so massive that they even have their own functional stair-steppe rice paddies. I found myself out there most every day… taking photos at all times of night. Towering behind it, you can see the bulk of the Ritz-Carlton Mandapa Reserve. What a place, and I can't wait to go back!