Groups of men carry the Ogoh-ogoh shoulder-high platform, bringing them to life by coordinated movements. The drinking of traditional arak has led to inter-village brawls in the past as excitement mounts during the evening.
Bali – Photo Tip

How to make great photographs in twilight

Photo by Frans Lemmens

Bali – Photo Tip How to make great photographs in twilight

I am a regular visitor to Bali because it is one of the best places for a photographer to visit.

Frans Lemmens
Frans Lemmens Travel Photographer

Bali is a green picturesque island with a camera-friendly population and colorful rituals taking place every day. I often stay in a small town in the North called Tejakula, so much is happening there that I sometimes don’t leave it for days.

The Ogoh-ogoh is a yearly festival which is celebrated there with total dedication. It takes place on the eve of Balinese New Year and the procession is held at twilight.

Does twilight make it difficult to photograph? Not really, because during twilight what you see is not what you get. It’s a time when your flash not only works magic, but is essential for good photography because it adds light and brings out the colors. But, you need to expose the sky correctly. Otherwise it will turn black.

When photographing the Ogoh-ogoh celebrations, I fixed the shutter speed at 1/20 seconds and the aperture at F9. This gave me great depth of field. The TTL flash handles the correct exposure of the foreground, and because the flash is many times faster than 1/20sec, and thus freezes the action, the scene is perfectly in focus. A fantastic sense of motion.

What I like best about the low shutter speed is that the sky and the foreground fight for dominance around the edges of the scene, which creates a fantastic sense of motion.

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Groups of men carry the Ogoh-ogoh caricatures on shoulder-high platforms, bringing them to life by coordinated movements. Photo by Frans Lemmens

Frans Lemmens

Frans Lemmens

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Aperture
ƒ/9
Exposure
1/6
ISO
1600
Focal
35 mm

Groups of men carry the Ogoh-ogoh caricatures on shoulder-high platforms, bringing them to life by coordinated movements.

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