Bali’s memories: Fishing for pictures and friends in Sanur

Sanur is a cosy, little town which lies quietly along Bali’s south-eastern coast close to Denpasar. With the popular Kuta-Legian-Seminyak triangle and the beautiful Bukit peninsula not too far away, Sanur is the perfect place to be if you want to enjoy a peaceful and not-too-touristy-Bali while being close to the action. This is one of the main reasons why we chose to spend there the last part of our stay in the island before leaving for Australia.

While Sanur’s beach may not be the best beach ever – in fact we never got to swim there, to be honest – we found it so photogenic that we kept coming back with our camera, especially at dawn or at the end of the day.

As I was flicking through my pictures of Sanur as in a sort of stroll down memory lane I thought I’d make a post and share a selection of those shots. From a very high-level perspective, some of the images are pretty much unrelated and only just attempt to convey a very general sense of place, although other pictures in the set focus on the fishermen who populate the beach from the early hours of the morning.

As usual I’ll use the captions to tell the story behind the pictures and to make my comments.

A man stands close to one of the gazebos in the pre-dawn light.
A man stands close to one of the gazebos in the pre-dawn light.
This guy was observing me with curiousity while I went back and forth with my camera and the tripod. When I noticed him I said hi and tried to chat with him - my understanding is he is a fisherman, although I'm not sure. When I asked him if I could take a picture of him he was happy to pose. I took several shots paying attention to the first morning light, its golden tinge, its direction and its interaction with the guy. This is the shot I liked the most.
This guy was observing me with curiousity while I went back and forth with my camera and the tripod. When I noticed him I said hi and tried to chat with him – my understanding is he is a fisherman, although I’m not sure. When I asked him if I could take a picture of him he was happy to pose. I took several shots paying attention to the first morning light, its golden tinge, its direction and its interaction with the guy. This is the shot I liked the most.
Sanur's beach becomes even more photogenic when the tide is low. The bumps of sand coming out of the water allowed me to create a sort of texturized foreground.
Sanur’s beach becomes even more photogenic when the tide is low. The bumps of sand coming out of the water allowed me to create a sort of texturized foreground.
A row of traditional fishing boats creates a quite colourful 'rythm' in the early morning light, while a lonely Balinese lady walks by the shore.
A row of traditional fishing boats creates a quite colourful ‘rythm’ in the early morning light, while a lonely Balinese lady walks by the shore.
Another one with the fishing boats, but this time I was facing the opposite direction and letting Mount Agung -the highest mountain in Bali- in the frame's background.
Another one with the fishing boats, but this time I was facing the opposite direction and letting the distant Mount Agung – a volcano and the highest mountain in Bali – into the frame.
Starting early in the morning, Sanur's beach populates with fishermen standing in thigh-deep water. This man in the picture was the first one to arrive. Having caught him alone in the frame allowed me to transmit a sense of loneliness and space.
Starting early in the morning, Sanur’s beach populates with fishermen standing in thigh-deep water. This man in the picture was the first one to arrive. Having caught him alone in the frame allowed me to transmit a sense of loneliness and space.
A Balinese man saying morning prayers on the beach.
A Balinese man saying morning prayers on the beach.
One of the fishermen looks at his feet while holding his fishing rod. Many fishermen use hats, including conical hats, some (like the guy in the photo) also use helmets. I wasn't able to figure out why :)
One of the fishermen looks at his feet while holding his fishing rod. Many fishermen use hats, including conical hats, some (like the guy in the photo) also use helmets. I wasn’t able to figure out why 🙂
I thought I'd also include a shot, like this, showing a larger field of view.
I thought I’d also include a shot, like this, showing a larger field of view and the context in which the firshermen in the previous picture were.
When I saw this offering basket close to my feet I immediately pictured this composition in my mind.
When I saw this offering basket close to my feet I immediately pictured this composition in my mind.
This picture was taken by Romana, who approached this guy and asked him if he wouldn't mind having her and the camera around for a while. The guy was very nice to her and fortunately continued to look natural as if the camera wasn't there at all. When I was processing this picture in Lightroom I tried different settings, but I thought a 'bleach bypass' effect would work and went for it (although it's just a matter of taste)
This picture was taken by Romana, who approached this guy and asked him if he wouldn’t mind having her and the camera around for a while. The guy was very nice to her and fortunately continued to look natural as if the camera wasn’t there at all. When I was processing this picture in Lightroom I tried different settings, but I thought a ‘bleach bypass’ effect would work and went for it (although it’s just a matter of taste)
This is Leming, one of the fishermen we befriended on the beach. He was very happy to pose - with the full moon raising slowly behind him and a dramatic sky as backdrop I went nuts for a couple of minutes trying to capture as many compositions as my mind could see. After going through all the other shots i think this is among the ones which work best.
This is Leming, one of the fishermen we befriended on the beach. He was very happy to pose – with the full moon raising slowly behind him and a dramatic sky as backdrop I went nuts for a couple of minutes trying to capture as many compositions as my mind could see. After going through all the other shots i think this is among the ones which work best.
This is Leming again. This time he was wrapping up his fishing session and preparing to call it a night, while leaving the full moon behind his back.
This is Leming again. This time he was wrapping up his fishing session and preparing to call it a night, while leaving the full moon behind his back.
A full moon raises above Sanur's sea, while a fishing boat at rest reflects in the raising tide. This was actually our last night in Bali, our last night in Asia and the end of the biggest part of our trip. The mood of the picture is probably a reflection of our mood that night: thoughtful, melancholy and a little bit emotional.
A full moon raises above Sanur’s sea, while a fishing boat at rest reflects in the raising tide. This was actually our last night in Bali, our last night in Asia and the end of the biggest part of our trip. The mood of the picture is probably a reflection of our mood that night: thoughtful, melancholy and a little bit emotional.

Our memories of Bali include also our fairly intense social life in Sanur. In fact, I want to dedicate this post and the pictures to the people we’ve met there who made our stay special:

  • Samantha and Stuart, the minds behind Travelfish.org – Travelfish has helped us so much during our trip to SE Asia. Thank you!
  • Audrey and Daniel, ms. and mr. Uncornered Market themselves- in the travel blogosphere you don’t need any introduction. Guys, you are a great inspiration!
  • Emoke, friend of a friend who met us and provided an insight on how living in Bali is like. We loved meeting you and who knows, maybe we’ll join you one day!
  • Leming, the fisherman in Sanur’s beach – I hope you enjoy the pictures and thank you for being so nice and commenting on one of our last posts 🙂
  • Angga and the other guys from the Balindo Paradiso Crew who helped us in Merta Sari, when we stole a motorbike without even knowing it 🙂  It’s a pity that we didn’t get to drink Arak together. I wish you all the best for the future and a great career in the cruise industry. Your knowledge of Italian and Portuguese amazed us 🙂

May our paths cross again!

 

  • Really really impressive set. Do you have a Flickr? The third one of low tide is my favourite. I was there last month and swam out to that island. I say swam but I walked most the way out before it got deep enough.

    • Emanuele

      Thank you! Yes, I have a flickr account but I’m not using it a lot lately. You can find the link at the top of this page.

  • leming

    hi….
    how are you.sir.? i hope you so find,and thank you
    for posted my pictures

  • I Nyoman Sudirka

    hallo…sir, How do you do..? I hope just you the best of and see you in other time.I have downloads My pictures from your website(www.thesiracusas.com) and printed it.my photos seen to be very good,respect and full moon very beautiful…

    thank you…
    and sorry my Ianguage forgiveness still learn.

    • Emanuele

      Hi Leming! I’m glad that you liked the pictures. Do not worry about your English – It sure is better than my Indonesian 🙂
      Take care

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  • Best place for see sunrise in Bali. I always come to sanur to see sunrise…