Oct 09th, 2020
Blame The Parents, Balangan, 09th October 2020
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This was an absolutely brilliant lunchtime spent in the surf at Balanagan.
My first time at Balanagan and it’s a beautiful place to take photos of surfers. The wave that we were on is right under the cliff which is a stunning backdrop to the waves and the surfers. It was low tide, I don’t know if that is the best time to surf there as it was super shallow and the wave was actually quite small.
So its a stunning location but what made it for me was the kids. You can see from the pictures that they were having an absolute blast and they really didn’t give a shit. They were dropping in, and dropping out on the grown ups at exactly the same time. Dropping in is where you get on the wave when somebody else is already on it someone else, surf etiquette is that you don’t do that, it’s actually pretty dangerous. Surfers take this seriously and I have heard of friendships that have ended over a drop in. But, like I say these kids just didn’t give a shit. I’m not even sure that dropping out is even a thing, but seriously the grown ups were trying to get on the wave and there was a kid either side of them, like a metre either side of them. It made for good entertainment for me and for the kids but as you can imagine the grown ups weren’t particularly impressed complaining about the kids having no respect and blaming the parents. I promise you however the parents were nowhere to be seen, so I am not sure it can be blamed on them entirely 🙂
The things is that my needs as a photographer are different from those of the surfers. A busy wave is good for me, there is more likely to be better surfers and interesting shots. the great thing about encountering kids on the waves is that they are typically very good and they get on everything, they don’t need big or powerful waves. I was also told that they were misbehaving because I was there with the camera but I don’t believe that, I like to think they would have taken the piss out of everyone even if I hadn’t been there. I think adults, foreign adults especially turning up on the waves in Bali and expecting the local kids to respect them is a bit like going to the park and pushing the kids off the swings, thats what I think.
I need to get back to Balanagan, even if it just to let these guys know that I have pictures of them I am sure they will love that.
This image sums up the pure joy these guys were experiencing.
And this one shows a rare display of co-operation on the waves.
This one didn’t make the best twenty but if you look closely you will see that there is a picture of Paul Weller on the bottom of that kids board. I cant explain how the Modfather, circa 1982, made his way onto the bottom of this 12 year old Balinese kids board, but I am hugely delighted that it did.
This is absolutely my favourite shot of the set, the determination is palpable 🙂
The Technical Bit
Not much to report here technically.
It was lunchtime so I was worried about the sun, i don’t have the pigmentation for the midday Bali sun. The hat did its job although someone did tell me that I look like I was at burning Man, what with the hat and the mask.
It was nice shooting under the cliff, the wave was pretty defined and the backdrop was stunning. We moved to the middle after a bit and that was much less good.
The wave comes all the way across the beach and it wasn’t any good at all.
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On a mission to become more active and mindful with my photography; to leave the house more often with the intention of taking photographs; to find attractive, interesting and engaging ways to share the images, videos and solutions I discover with others.