It’s been a while. Summer of 2020 to be exact, when I last posted my Myanmar photo and video project and I was already in Bali during lockdown. The world’s been a crazy place since exactly 2 years ago, thanks to Covid. Now, with the Ukraine attack, it’s just getting worse. I’m not here to talk about that, I’m here for my newest project, after spending lockdown in Bali.

Update

First, an update on what exactly happened to me. March 17 2020 I arrived in Kuala Lumpur to meet my dear travel friends Geo and Liz and get our visa for our stay in Bali. As we arrived we found out the city would go on lockdown the next day. People were getting ’thrown’ out of their hotels, our flight got canceled, the embassy closed, all kinds of crazy things happened as Covid was spreading rapidly due to super spreader events, lockdowns started all over the world, it suddenly was madness. Next morning, in fear of our hotel closing down as well, we went to the airport to see if we could get out. 80% of flights were already canceled, it was chaos. Never seen anything like it. We managed to get the last 3 seats that night, on the last AirAsia flight (airport closed the next day) to Bali. 

Bali during lockdown

We were so lucky to arrive where we wanted to be. Bali went on full lockdown on the 20th. There really wasn’t anything to do for the following 3 months. A few bars were open, small local restaurants were too, but everything closed down, even the beaches and places like Jatiluwi. Couldn’t even visit a temple or grab a coffee, it was quarantine time. I made some great friends with 2 Sri Lankan guys Shaun and Randika at my guesthouse. They were stuck there for like 3 months, before a government flight picked them up. We made the most of it, drinking coffee, smoking local cigarettes and tobacco, eating peanuts, playing music, watching movies, repeat. 

Stuck in Bali during lockdown

For the entire time expectations were that things would open up in a few months, they never did. I found a roommate who became my girlfriend and so I ended up staying in Bali for 15 months, having the best time. I was so fortunate. I had Bali ‘all to myself’, as a photographer, places usually crowded with people were empty. There were thousands of nomads and expats on the island, of course, but nothing compared to Bali full of tourists. It kills the vibe when it’s that busy. Now, things went back to basic, everyone doing what they could to survive. It was, and still is, a very rough time for locals. For me personally, my income had vanished from the very start of the pandemic and I lived off my savings until after 15 months it was time for home.

About the Bali video project

After the first 3 months in Bali, when restrictions became milder, I started shooting and working on a new timelapse and drone video. I shot as if each month would be my last, traveled to each corner, based myself all over the island, driving a tremendous amount, getting up at 3 am standard. I actually started to like it. The weather was a huge challenge. Bali experienced the wettest rainy season since many years, which last for most of the year. Weeks would pass with barely a few sun hours, colourful sunrises and sunsets were rare, clear Milky Way skies too. This was particularly true for Ubud, Kintamani and Tabanan region. It made a good theme for my Monsoon movie 🙂

I shot over 750 timelapses in 12 months, roughly 350.000 photos worth 12tb of raw files, hundreds of hours of video and even more drone footage. Crashed my drone on the side of a 100ft cliff at Nusa Penida, which was rescued by the fantastic owner of Agasta Villa. He just used a rope to tie himself to a small tree and go down 25ft to get it. Crazy. Huge respect. I could not even stop him. Then, months later, it was lost at Tegallalang as the swollen battery must have popped out mid-flight.

A series of 14 Bali videos

I have now finally managed to edit all footage into the short timelapse and drone videos I envisioned as I captured the scenes. The result is a series of 14 videos:

  • 1 ‘Visions of Bali’ – timelapse
  • 2 TimeSlice – timelapse
  • 3 BlendScape – timelapse
  • 4 MirrorScape – timelapse
  • 5 Island of Dreams – mix
  • 6 Flight of the Garuda – drone
  • 7 Monsoon – timelapse
  • 8 Mt Agung & Mt Batur – mix
  • 9 Nusa Penida – mix
  • 10 Jatiluwi – mix
  • 11 Jatiluwi long shot – drone
  • 12 Tegallalang – mix
  • 13 Tegallalang – drone
  • 14 Berina – mix