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Island Life Photography in Bali Part 1: Bukit Peninsula

It’s a common feedback from first-time visitors to Bali that Balinese beaches are just ordinary. I still remember my first visit to Bali. I went to Kuta to check out the surf immediately after I landed, only to find a dirty grey beach, littered with rubbish, waste water and an awful smell. 

balagan beach bali with EOS 5D Mark IV

EOS 5D Mark IV: EF11-24mm f/4L USM; f/4; 1/4000 sec; 24mm; ISO-160

Thankfully Bali has far more to offer on the beachfront than the sands of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, many of which are on the Bukit Peninsula. 

island bali photography with EOS 5D Mark IV

EOS 5D Mark IV: f/4; 1/1600 sec; 20mm; ISO-200

Exploring beyond: A photographer's paradise

The Bukit Peninsula is at the southern end of the island of Bali, Indonesia. It is traditionally considered to be the entire area south of Jimbaran beach. Unlike most of the island, it features a dry, arid and stony landscape. You can also see the famous cliff-hanging temple at Uluwatu, a number of Bali's very best beaches including Balangan, Padang Padang, Bingin and the top surfing spots on the island. 

uluwatu bali photography landscape seascape eos 5D mark IV

EOS 5D Mark IV: EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM; f/4; 1/640 sec; 10mm; ISO-125

sunset island photography eos 5d Mark IV

EOS 5D Mark IV: EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM; f/4; 1/320 sec; 121mm; ISO-100

As a surfer, photographer and adventurer, this is the kind of place I was looking for. 

island life photography in Bali EOS 5D Mark IV

EOS 5D Mark IV: EF50mm f/1.4 USM;  f/4; 1/2500 sec;  50mm; ISO-200

Bukit Peninsula is a heaven for photography enthusiasts. The peninsula has a great collection of landscapes and seascapes. Warm and crystal clear waters are a delight for underwater photographers. For seascapes I use my water housing, which allows me to take my camera into the ocean, and a Canon EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens. 

sunset at uluwatu with eos 5D mark IV

EOS 5D Mark IV: EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM; f/9; 1/320 sec; 200mm; ISO-160

bali uluwatu seascape photography  with EOS 5D mark iv

EOS 5D Mark IV: EF11-24mm f/4L USM; f/4; 1/1000 sec; 23mm; ISO-160

For underwater photography I use the Canon EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM. It means that I need to be really close to the subject, making it a challenge if I'm shooting any kind of marine life or a wave. 

Camera of Choice – EOS 5D Mark IV

This is a camera with a sensor capable of impressive dynamic range, clean high ISO, as well as the best autofocus system ever in a Canon body. It also comes with an awesome touch screen LCD that makes focusing a beautiful and fun feature. And most importantly, the new and improved sensor of the EOS 5D Mark IV still produces those beautiful colours and skin tones that photographers have always loved about the EOS 5D series. 

uluwatu bali seascape photography with Canon EOS 5D mark IV

EOS 5D Mark IV: EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM; f/5.6; 1/3200 sec; 200mm; ISO-160

Going underwater

One of the most important techniques for capturing good shots of waves from the inside is putting yourself in the right place at the right time. The key is to get in the critical section of a wave and stay there until the last possible second when a tube forms. 

island photography bali with EOS 5D Mark IV

EOS 5D Mark IV: EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM; f/7.1; 1/1000 sec; 155mm; ISO-160

monkey animal photography with EOS 5D mark IV

EOS 5D Mark IV: EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM; f/4; 1/160 sec; 85mm; ISO-160

Stay tuned as this is only the first of my 5-part article series. Want to know my full Bali experience? Stick around for more, next article on Mount Batur is coming up soon! 

Check out  below articles for more features on EOS 5D Mark IV:

In Focus: EOS 5D Mark IV

EOS 5D Mark IV: A Review in Pictures (1) - Exterior Design

EOS 5D Mark IV: A Review in Pictures (2): New Features


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Rafael Moura

Rafael Moura

A photographer and surfer from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. His motto is: I live the life I love. He is currently based in California, USA.

www.instagram.com/rmbagus