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Boats on Sanur Beach

Boats on Sanur Beach

Sanur is considered the original upmarket tourist destination on the Indonesian island of Bali, and remains a photographically spectacular place today.

The long beach looks over towards Nusa Penida island (which can be seen in the background of this image).

I only had a couple of days in Bali on this trip as I was visiting for a seminar, so didn’t have the flexibility to shoot at the times that would have better suited. That said, I did enjoy the chance to explore the beach, and really liked the traditional fishing boats all along.

The challenge here was isolating the subject. The beaches are busy, and there is a lot going on. I managed to isolate the image nicely and using a polariser I reduced the glare of the mid-morning sun.

View this image on 500px or Flickr

Waking Up in Positano

Waking Up in Positano

Wakin Up in Positano by Des Paroz on 500px.com

After a successful shoot in the blue hour from the eastern overlook of Positano, I decided to go back to the same location for sunrise photos the next morning.

The early backlighting from the sun behind cast a really nice light over the township, lighting the surrounding mountains up with a beautiful golden hue, and bringing out the details in the various pastel coloured buildings built up and down the town’s hills.

This differentials of colours were accentuated with the use of a Lee Filters GND filter and polarising filter, with some slight enhancement done in my favourite photo editing software, Luminar.

Lesson here, even when you have a good shot from a location don’t be afraid to go back at different times to really explore the location and the image possibilities.

View this image on 500px1 or Flickr


  1. As a matter of interest, this is the 100th image I’ve posted to 500px. 
Positano Sunrise

Positano Sunrise

Positano Sunrise by Des Paroz on 500px.com

Apart from the lack of crowds, one of the distinctive things about low season in Positano is that the days are quite short.

As the late, great photographer, Galen Rowell, once said:

“You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn’t waste either.”

But it does make it easier when the sunrises and sunsets are at pleasant hours of the day. There are no excuses!

Standing on the western end of the main Positano beach, you look eastward down the Amalfi Coast to catch the sunrise. The clouds only accentuate the beautiful colours of the sky in the sunrise.

A 3 stop GND and a relatively slow shutter speed meant that a tripod was an important part of ensuring a sharp image.

View this image on 500px or Flickr

Sunset Silhouette

Sunset Silhouette

Sunset Silhouette by Des Paroz on 500px.com

I like a good silhouette, but find this type of photography to be challenging. I think that’s because there needs to be a healthy balance between light and shadow (balanced light), strong features, colour and negative space.

After making some sunset photos on the beach during our first evening in the beautiful Amalfi Coast town of Positano, I noticed this group of people down towards the water’s edge. I moved to frame the main group with the sea behind them, and with the strong orange colours in the background.

I then waited to get some interesting poses, taking multiple exposures as the group moved around and enjoyed the beach.

In the off season (we visited late November) there are few crowds, so finding enough people while leaving plenty of negative space wasn’t too challenging. Had there been larger crowds I would have to have framed the image differently.

The strong contrast between light and dark was still a factor, even after sunset, so I made use of a 2 stop GND to manage the colour balance.

With this the shutter speed was still quite fast at 1/50th, so getting a sharp exposure wasn’t too challenging. The use of tripod still helped.

View this image on 500px or Flickr.