Discovering a Sense of Artistic Balance in Life

Ornately carved doorway and protective deities mark the entrance to a Hindu temple in Bali, Indonesia.

I photographed this temple entrance on the beautiful island of Bali.

Bali is a favorite holiday destination for Australian’s, many of whom return again and again. My visit was at the end of a tough 9-week photography trip to Asia which included Thailand, China and India. I became very ill in India and, while I’d made a lot of photos there with which I was really happy, it was important to me to end the trip on a positive note.

The Island of the Gods

Once I was well enough to fly I made my way to Ubud, in the Balinese interior, with the aim of renewing body and soul, prior to heading back home to Australia. It was a good plan. I recovered my health and energy quicker than expected and even managed a few days of travel and photography before my flight home. It really was a great way to finish the journey and I’m very eager to return to Bali, the island of the gods.

The above photo is a very straightforward image of a temple entrance within a larger outdoor complex. While, on one hand, it illustrates Bali’s unique version of Hinduism through the statues and plaques depicted, it’s really a study on composition.

Color My World

You’ll notice the yellow, orange and red hues throughout the photo. With no cool colors present the image can be described as having an harmonious color palette. It’s this lack of contrasting (i.e., warm and cool) colors that works to quieten the image and produce a relatively restful result.

My tip, when it comes to color photography, is to seek out color. And this is as important whether you’re dealing with harmonious, contrasting, highly saturated or pastel colors. If color is not an important aspect of your composition your photo is unlikely to make a successful color image. It’s really that simple.

Balance and Symmetry

Can you see how carefully designed this structure is? Look at the almost mirror-like effect when comparing elements from either side of the photo. The stone statues, the plaques on the wall and the ornate decorations on the door are all perfectly balanced and symmetrical in design.

No doubt this very deliberate design aspect is there to provide the impression of harmony. To remain true to this concept I employed a tripod for absolute control over composition and, thereby, ensured that overall balance and symmetry was maintained.

Uncovering the Artist Within

It’s always great to be out and about photographing. Most of us respond intuitively to what we see. We’re drawn to photograph something without actually thinking about it at anymore than a basic level?

One of the key differences that an artist brings to the table is their ability to consider the world about them at a deeper level. In particular they ask why?

Art is not so much about providing answers as it is about asking questions. The notion of the documentary artist is not to judge, but to discover, examine and report what they see to a greater community. Ultimately, any inherent truth revealed in the art is for the individual viewer to determine. The artist’s views and personal beliefs matter, but the success and relevance of their work, together with any meaning derived, is determined by others. So it as always been, and so shall it continue to be. 

If you want to tap into your own artistic nature you should begin to ask why, more often.

Photographing Cemeteries eBook

I've created the eBook Photographing Cemeteries to help you along your own creative path. Featuring photos from five continents and supported by short essays on all manner of technical and aesthetic matters you'll find this eBook to be both entertaining and informative.

I really believe there's something in this for everyone, from the keen hobbyist with a point and shoot or phone camera to the enthusiast and professional photographer. Whether you're photographing cemeteries, religious or culturally significant sites or simply seeking inspiration and motivation to help you reach the next level on your own creative journey this book is for you. Click on the ADD TO CART button below to learn more about this great resource.  

Photographing Cemeteries eBook

I'm excited to announce my very first commercially available eBook Photographing Cemeteries - Transience, Transformation, Transition

Over three year's in the making this eBook features photographs made on six continents and includes a range of short essays on all manner of technical, aesthetic and conceptual ideas.

The most important aspect of the book, other than the beautiful photos, is an examination of the way I photographed each of the sacred sites and how a general documentary approach grew, by answering the creative call, into art.

This eBook is of the highest quality and is underpinned by thirty-five years experience as a professional photographer. Hundreds of hours and a great deal of expense have been invested into this project. It's  been a wonderful experience which I'd love to share with you. 

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