26. January 2016 · Comments Off on Too Perfect? · Categories: Philosophy, Photography, Travel · Tags: , ,

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” Salvador Dali

I was sharing with a friend photos from Bali. He surprised me and said the pictures were too perfect ! LoL

Are these photos too perfect?

Everyday beauty, Common offering of flowers in Bali. Too Perfect?

Everyday beauty, Common offering of flowers in Bali

Sunrise and fishing. Too Perfect?

Sunrise and fishing

Sunset

Sunset


Water Park / Temple

Rice paddies and mountains

Rice paddies and mountains

I would argue that they are not too perfect, but rather their imperfections are not as glaring as the typical travel point and shoot pics. No, not too perfect.

Let’s look at each of these photos and see what might have been done better.

The bowl of flower petals, gorgeous bowls made every morning. In the photo the upper rim of the bowl is slightly out of focus.  The red was more vivid than the photo. And there is a glare reflection in the center of the bowl.  If I had been using a polarizer, the the colors would be better.  A tripod and greater depth of field would have helped the upper rim. No not too perfect

Looking at the sunrise photo, a nice photo, one of the best from the trip. My timing was slightly off, the boat needs to be slightly more to the left. But worse, is that the horizon is not level.  I should have caught that imperfection in post processing.  Again, if I had had a polarize on the colors would have been more vivid. No, not too perfect.

The sunset photo although eye catching has many goofs that the trained eye will notice. First are the awful spots, worse than zits on a face, on a face you don’t get a lot of choice, in a photo you do. Also the horizon isn’t level. But there is another problem with this photo over on the left edge, notice the softness in the water?  Our rooms were thankfully air conditioned to about 70 with much of the humidity remove.  Outside at 90 to 100 and 75% humidity was a different story.  The issue was, taking the camera from the cold room outside promptly caused LOTS of condensation on the lens.  This needed to be carefully wiped away to take a shot until the camera warmed up and it was good for about 10 seconds.  Again, a polarizer would have made the colors more vivid still. No not too perfect.

The water temple is nice, but notice the lens flare above the fountain?  Taking time, with extra shading from a hat would have prevented the lens flare.

The rice paddy with mountains; see the glare in the water?  That would have disappeared with a polarizer, and the polarizer would have made the sky darker more contrasty.

Conclusion, no not too perfect.  However, there are several vastly more important lessons to be gleamed here. There isn’t really perfection, it is a journey as we become more perceptive to nuances.   There is a prayer that I love that speaks to learning to live with imperfections. “God, I humbly ask you to remove all of my shortcomings that get in the way of me being of service to you”  notice not all the shortcomings, some of the ‘shortcoming’ might just be needed even though we may not like them. Photos like life are not too perfect, they are perfect they way they are.

19. January 2016 · Comments Off on Travels in Bali · Categories: Travel · Tags: ,

Much has happened since the last post in September, including a computer crash and a trip to Bali, Indonesia. One of the most powerful characteristics of travel, is its ability to allow us to challenge assumptions about life and living that we take for granted.  When a fish is out of water it suddenly notices the lack of water that it never noticed before. The featured photo is of Tanah Lot, Bali, which is a world heritage site.  It is a Hindu Temple site, but Muslims and Christians as well as others visit it in peaceful coexistence.  Besides a being beautiful, the rock has a fresh water spring welling out of it.  In Bali, temples are built where there are unusual, auspicious things.  In our western way what do we become jaded to? Why can’t we have coexistence and cooperation rather than one up, one down?

On this trip, I went with Spirit Tours.  Usually I travel on my own without the pampering that I received from this tour.  However, more importantly, this tour encouraged me to examine my beliefs and grow spiritually as a result. In Bali, there are statues EVERYWHERE! Here are some examples.  The statues always seem to have a cultural/spiritual reference.  I guess this isn’t surprising; statues always seem to have this, or at least historical significance.  The statues everywhere reflect the cultural importance of religion in everyday life.

Carved in the rock

Carved in the rock

Pool at first hotel, the elephant a figure of wisdom in Bali

Pool at first hotel, the elephant a figure of wisdom in Bali

Another character from the Ramayana, as depicted in Bali

Another character from the Ramayana, as depicted in Bali

Rama and Sita, in Bali

Rama and Sita, in Bali

Gryphon in Bali

Gryphon in Bali

 

 

Similarly, everyday, offerings of flowers are made. What would our culture be like if we lived it with a spiritual perspective pervading all that we did?

Everyday beauty, Common offering of flowers in Bali

Everyday beauty, Common offering of flowers in Bali

Everyday beauty, Common offering of flowers in Bali

Everyday beauty, Common offering of flowers in Bali

Everyday beauty, Common offering of flowers in Bali

Everyday beauty, Common offering of flowers in Bali

Common offering of flowers in Bali

Common offering of flowers in Bali

 

Bali is caught between the old and the new. Tourism is 70% of its income, however about half the population is still rural subsistence farming, as seen in these photos.

Rice paddies and mountains

Rice paddies and mountains

Otherwise a typical scene in Bali

Otherwise a typical scene in Bali

Terraced fields in Bali

Terraced fields in Bali

Village fields in Bali

Village fields in Bali

Typical house and plot

Typical house and plot

Getting ready for planing

Getting ready for planing

As a tropical location with all of the humidity, there are beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Sunrise and fishing

Sunrise and fishing

Sunset

Sunset

Sunrise

Sunrise

Sunrise

Sunrise

 

For more images of Bali visit my Bali album.