Ini Bali / This is Bali

In Search of the Real Bali

Bali is a global tourist destination. So, it makes sense that Bali seems to be overdeveloped.

People may complain about it–the overdevelopment. Most definitely there are less rice paddies (sawah) in Ubud than there was when I first arrived in 2010.

But, if one is wanderer/adventurer, one doesn’t have to go far to find the real Bali.

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Beauty in the Mundane

Everyday Bali

I contribute and support a few online photography forums. I enjoy seeing other people’s photos. I learn new things, see new perspectives, and get inspired. I definitely value people’s constructive feedback.

Recently, I started to comment on a photo in a street photography group when I read some feedback that disturbed me. Here’s an excerpt from the comment that bothered me.

Unfortunately, for me, your image doesn’t really succeed . . . The man isn’t doing anything interesting.

Here’s an excerpt from what I posted about the same photo that was being critiqued.

Hmmmm, a couple master street photographers immediately came to mind when I saw your post.

Quite a disparity, yes? Almost opposite ends of the spectrum. If anyone says that your photos capture people that aren’t doing anything “interesting”, you are in good company. You are in company with master photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson (HCB), Saul Leiter, and William Eggleston.

If you love the mundane and banal, please share your links with the rest of us. Want even more mundane photography? There’s a whole genre dedicated to unremarkable (or remarkable depending on your perspective) landcapes–New Topographics photography.

Here’s my nod to New Topographics in Bali which I exhibited in Ubud a couple years back–Balinality.

Photos of Balinese Ceremonies with a Twist - Bali Street Photographer - 35mm film Waiting for a lift outside an ornate entrance to a Balinese wedding.

Feature photo: Balinality or just another day in the life at Pasar Ubud, Bali?

Thanks for reading.

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Chasing Harsh Morning Light at Pasar Ubud

Chase light with Bali Street Photographer. Offering donation-based photography tours in Ubud, Bali.

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Great Introduction to Pasar Ubud

“The tour was a great introduction to the Pasar Ubud. Mark gave some great tips on spots to shoot and I was able to head back to the market again the next morning to get some great shots with some more favourable light. Thanks Mark!”

~Bryn & Diane from Toronto Canada

So happy to hear that the tour enabled you to go back on your own the next day. That’s super cool. Thanks again for joining. See you next time!

Bali Street Photographer - Mark L Chaves


Relating to and Understanding Ubud

“My boyfriend and I were blown away by our time spent with Mark in Pasar Ubud. Sure, the temples, art, culture, etc. is as colorful as it is impressive but without Mark’s guidance, we wouldn’t have been able to relate or understand the depth of how majestic this place was.

Mark made Ubud fun! He took us to a few temples, we went to the traditional market (he helped us navigate since we didn’t speak the language), and took us to the home of legendary Balinese artist Gusti Nyoman Lempad. Mark’s tour of Pasar Ubud was one of the highlights of our trip!”

~Jenn from Los Angeles California USA

Terima kasih / matur suksma, Jennifer. It was such a pleasure to meet you and your boyfriend. I am thrilled to know I made Ubud fun for the both of you. 🙂

Bali Street Photographer - Mark L Chaves


A Keen Eye

“On my first trip to Bali, I stayed in Ubud and was introduced to an English speaking local, Mark Chaves. He hosts cultural market tours to tourists to explain the Balinese culture and customs. It was a great experience because he knew the local customs and the ins and out of the culture, the food, and how the locals go about their daily lives. I found it really interesting to learn so much about the differences in the Bali and Indonesia itself, how the locals lived, and especially all the interesting items being sold in the market.

It was very informative to be immersed in the Balinese culture and understand more about the people. Mark has a very keen eye in seeing and interpreting something unique in all that was going on around us. It was certainly a pleasure to meet Mark and participate in his market tour.”

~Stella from Los Angeles California USA

Terima kasih / matur suksma, Stella. It was such a pleasure to meet you and show-off Pasar Ubud to you. 🙂
bali street photographer - mark l chaves