In A Padi


There can’t be many people who visit Bali and leave without taking at least a couple of photos of the padis. These iconic rice fields are part and parcel of Balinese life and they not only sustain and nourish its inhabitants, but they are also a feast for the eyes.

No matter how many times I visit, I can’t help but get excited by this exotic and verdant landscape. The steep terraces cut into the side of hills, the chequer board of greens in the valleys, the narrow strips of land running down to the sea – if there is somewhere to grow rice, the Balinese will find it.

With only two seasons, the wet and the dry, and with humidity as high as 85% rice can be grown all year round. As the rice reaches maturity and is ready to be harvested it starts to turn yellow but it’s when it’s at its brightest green that I love photographing it best.

These are some photographs that I took of the Irishman last May and were shown in London in June (1.5 x 1m prints) Unfortunately they became rather crumpled on the journey over from Jakarta and even more so when we rolled them up to take back. We abandoned the idea and left them in our hotel bin!

7 Comments

    1. Having been brought up surrounded by fields of wheat and rapeseed, which then in turn, turn to acres of dank, brown earth after harvest, the rice fields seem so incredibly exotic and green in comparison. It’s what makes Bali so vital. I know I shall never tire of gazing at them, I find them quite beautiful.

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    1. Hello, thanks for your comment. The people in these photos were paid as we were doing a shot and hired them to be in a film we were making. I always ask first if I can take someones picture and most people are very happy and obliging, only occasionally I get told ‘NO!’ which is fine and I respect that. I hate having my photograph taken!

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      1. Thanks . do you mind if I ask how much roughly you would give them? Did you offer money first or ask if you could take their picture first ?? When I’m in Bali I feel like I have to try and sneak those shots in because I don’t know how much to pay ..

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  1. Lovely, lovely, lovely photos as always. The padis are fascinating and beautiful and I always love your portraits.

    I’m not big on humidity, though, and often wonder how people survive dealing with that sort of weather (good for rice, not so much for people or hairstyles). What do you do? xoxo

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    1. Soooo very sorry that I’ve only just replied to your comment Sis. Hairstyles!! you had me shrieking with laughter, I snorted coffee through my nose when I read that bit 🙂 I suddenly had visions of me as a 50’s housewife a la Betty in Madmen coping with the humidity and my perm and it made me laugh. Having said all that most people look absolutely fabulous, not a dodgy hairstyle in sight apart from mine but the humidity is not nice, I get rather bored of having a sweaty cleavage truth be told. Glad you liked the pics xoxo

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