Rice Paddy, Bali

This black and white image of a rice paddy in Bali, Indonesia draws attention to the compositional elements of the scene, particularly line, texture and contrast.

Bali is a fantastic place to slow down and enjoy some of the simple pleasures in life: sun, food and beautiful scenery. The Balinese people are extremely friendly and go about life in a very calm, relaxed and caring manner. Bali is a popular place for Aussie tourists, many returning year after year. From this part of the world it's relatively close, very safe and well accustomed to the needs of the average Aussie tourist.

I had never been to Bali and still have no intention of visiting the beaches and night spots frequented by many tourists. But I'd long been interested in Ubud, the artistic heart of the country, situated up in the hills. It was to Ubud where I fled for the final stages of my recovery from a severe stomach problem I'd picked up in Kolkata, India.

This image relies on strong design, where the eye follows the rows of planted rice from the front through to the back of the image. The fact that the lines begin to curve, but are not broken, from the middle of the image onwards adds a series of nice curvy lines through the image. So there's symmetry, an important compositional element, with a little surprise added in. You could even say that the straight, masculine lines take on more of a gentle, feminine form as they progresses through the image.

By removing color from the original RAW file these design elements are further strengthened. Now the rice husks glow against the darker, moist earth into which they've been planted.

So, yes it's a close up view of a rice paddy. But, I'd like to think it's a little more than that. Composition is the device by which this image begins to move away from a straight, realistic representation towards abstraction. And in between these two extremes lies suggestion, and that's a very interesting place to be as an image maker.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru