Rowe Timson is an Australian photographer living her dream in Bali with her husband and beautiful daughter. When she isn’t exploring Bali and the golden light of sunset, she regularly returns to Australia for sessions. I am in love with the photos she has shared with us – I hope you are too!
- 1. How does the natural light in Bali differ to the light you were accustomed to shooting with in Australia? What is your favorite time of day to shoot?
- I was surprised to see it gets dark earlier here than home! The light itself doesn’t feel overly different to me though so I still love to shoot an hour or so before sunset….the golden hour!
One thing that I have loved about living here in Bali is seeing the sunset out in the ocean. Before moving here last year, I’ve lived my whole life on the coast of Australia (with a few years in New Zealand in my late teens thrown into the mix) and there is something so magical about being on the west coast at sunset. I just adore eating a meal by the beach and being bathed in that warm orange light… obviously, it’s hard not to be inspired to take photo or two when those moments present themselves. Late afternoon and early evenings are my most favorite time for photos and life in general!
- 2.What equipment is in your 3annies camera bag?
- Canon5D Mark II
35mm 1.4 L Series Lens
50mm 1.4 Lens
24-70mm 2.8 II L Series Lens
135mm L Series Lens
Olympus OM-D with 14-42mm lens
I also have a lovely collection of film cameras….
Contax G2 with 28mm, 45mm and 90mm lenses
Mamiya 645 AFD with 80mm lens and polaroid back
Contax T3 point and shoot
My iPhone 5… I just love taking photos on my iPhone and the ease of editing and sharing them during the quiet moments in my day.
My favourite bag for documenting our everyday lives is my yellow Miss Phoebe! I can fit the 5D and 2 lenses and I really don’t need more than that when it’s just us exploring. For work and travel, I use the Audrey Lu which fits 5D and 3 lenses.
Most definitely the beaches down the Bukit Peninsula… Uluwatu is just so dreamy and quiet and has gorgeous caves! We would have loved to live there because it’s how I remember Bali many years ago… not many people and very few stores and the warmth of the local community is just the best. It’s just too far from Audrey’s School so for now, we jump in the car every few weeks and head down for a day or night to explore! There are lots of little hidden beaches on the Bukit too that are a little trickier to find but well worth the effort. If you come to Bali you must stay there. I’m sure you will fall in love with the place, like I did. Who knows, on the last few days of your holiday you might start dreaming of one day moving here….fast forward a year and it’s your reality-that is how happened for us!
If you are going to shoot at one of the beaches down the Bukit, check the tides. The sea can be super rough there which in not conducive to dreamy photos of your kiddos frolicking by the ocean. I like it best an hour either side of low tide because the waves are small or non-existent. You will find little rock pools and green mossy rocks too which kids love exploring.
The temples make beautiful backdrops too of course. I’ve read 95% of the Balinese are Hindu and religion plays a huge part in their daily lives, so can find gorgeous temples everywhere and ceremonies with the prettiest offerings going on most weeks…
My favorites are some of the smaller local ones than the well-known ones tourists frequent because its super hard to get an amazing shot in a temple with 100s of people around you. If you drive around, you will find a few to choose from in every village. I take photos outside mostly but I have taken photos inside too. If you want to take photos inside, you will need to ask permission. Going inside a temple usually requires you wear traditional Balinese clothing which is a sarong and a Kebaya. These are easily purchased at a local market or any number of stores for very little money and the staff where you are staying would be more than happy to help you get ready. Its super fun dressing up and even more exciting to visit a temple and witness the beauty of all traditions… such a moving experience!
The rice fields are so green and lush just before they are harvested so they can make the quintessential Bali photo. I never get tired of looking at the rice fields so I love any opportunity to drag Audrey out for a photo or two.
Jumping in the car or on the scooter and driving in any direction for just a few minutes, you will find rice fields. If you find muddy swamps where rice are used to be just keep looking because although one field has just been harvested or is being prepared for replanting, there will be lush green fields just moments away begging to be photographed. A word of warning…there are variety of snakes in Bali, I’m feeling pretty thankful to have been here a year and not seen one but I’m told they love to hang out in rice fields. It’s easy enough to get beautiful photo without venturing too far from the road so I just go in with my driver and clap my hands and make lots of noise before I get the kids out to create the image, so far, so good.
- 4.What photography advice would you give to anyone travelling to Bali for a Holiday?
- Be prepared to want to take photos all the time. If I asked my driver to stop every time I wanted to take a photo, we would truly never get anywhere…on a side note, the roads can be kind of crazy here so it’s often not possible to pull over and jump out when I want to. There are so many times where I wish I could ride a scooter so that’s what I’m doing….learning to ride a scooter so I can explore more with my camera in hand. If you can ride a scooter already, you can rent one for just a few dollars a day and you can see all kinds of magical places you could never get to in a car so do it.