“Whatever it is that pulls the pin, that hurls you past the boundaries of your own life into a brief and total beauty, even for a moment, it is enough.” Jeanette Winterson Read more!
Herons in flight at sunrise. I’m living in Petutu, just north of Ubud – famous for being the home of 20,000 nesting herons. Read more!
“Life would be incomplete without the accidental rituals we form with friends.” Timothy Kreider Read more!
Sunset in bamboo. Elora Hardy of Ibuku, creator of much beauty and magic – changing the world of bamboo design, one tree at a time. Read more!
Hello Bali it’s been a minute. It’s good to be home – reunited with this land, these people, this soundtrack of frogs, bats, dogs, geckos, birds, chickens, dogs and cicadas that I love and missed so much, and with Lesya. Read more!
It takes a village. And it took 3 or 4 or 5 days all told. Wineries, breweries, beaches, dancing and a constantly laughing bride. Friends and family from near and far, gathered together in Margaret River to celebrate the marriage of Alice and Rusty. They lent furniture, carried straw bales, chopped, stirred and whisked food, painted signs, played music, hauled kegs, donated wine, erected the tipi, cleared the garden and donned themselves in costumes for a wedding ceremony and party in the garden. It was beautiful. Every wedding is moving in some way. This wedding moved us in every way. Each speech was heartfelt and true, funny and loving. Two stellar humans united, surrounded by people who love them, in the house of their dreams – it was perfect. Read more!
I’ve known her for years, but I had little idea she’d be this magic* Read more!
“I am”… I said To no one there And no one heard at all Not even the chair Read more!
Jungle shower, Bali sunset. Typical day yo ? Read more!
A long day in the saddle, off-road biking, lava fields, Bali Age villages and a blistering sunrise with fast blowing icy clouds. Read more!
Orphic (adj.) mysterious and entrancing; beyond ordinary understanding Read more!
“The idea we’re given of reading…is that I should sit here and I should be entertained. And the more classical model that has been completely taken away, is the idea of a reader as an amateur musician. And amateur musician sits at a piano, has a piece of music which is the work made by somebody they don’t know, who they probably couldn’t comprehend entirely, and they have to use their skills to play this piece of music. The greater the skill, the greater the gift that you give the artist and that the artist gives you… It takes all kinds of sensitivities…all kinds of different qualities to understand what is going on in that book, not just on the superficial level, its plot and character, but what it believes… And the complexity of that is a real education of the emotions and of the heart; and it’s very hard to get that education elsewhere. Those procedures are vital. They’re really important to becoming a human being. Becoming a human being isn’t just something you get with your birth, it’s an exercise and it takes your whole life.” Zadie Smith Read more!
I’m about to love you and love you. Be ready. Read more!
Sunrise with Leanna Rachel at Bloo Lagoon, East Bali. The early songbird caught the worm <3 Read more!
All the love and beauty of Sky and Renee. Read more!
Sunrise and coffee, with Renee on her balcony. You’d think it would be easy to find a day to capture some images here but NO. We moved this shoot 3 times before finding some light. The cloud banks have been a constant fixture for the last few weeks… So we drank coffee, laughed a lot and played with light.. Read more!
“When I look at my life I realise that the mistakes I have made, the things I really regret, were not errors of judgement but failures of feeling.” Jeanette Winterson When I need to catch up with myself – today’s state of mind and heart – I return to my greatest loves in music and literature. Where would I, where would we be without these anchors? Colours, textures, sound and visions – these threads through memory and life. This image is entitled No. 37 – because I have Dave Matthews’ voice in my head – from a live gig, “Song #41″ was titled thus so because it… creatively, as it’s the forty-first song we wrote, it’s called Number Forty One.” I discovered Dave Matthews one day at work at Sacred Chow in the West Village. Time stood still. A colleague said to me, ‘I don’t get you, you like Dave Mathews AND John Denver?’ At that very moment, over the speakers, Dave covered a JD song.. Today I’m burrowing into memories from colder places, from days before computers and personal cellular devices. When I photocopied pages from Jeanette’s books and pinned them around my bed.. Read more!
Yogi Derek blew bubbles under the fairy lights for the little French girl.. Read more!
There’s something about Sofia. A recent graduate of High Vibe Yoga, Sofia lit up Bisma Eight along with the sunrise.. Read more!
Xavier Rudd closed Bali Spirit Festival 2017 with Spirit Bird. The song we’d all be waiting for. The crowd was still, hands clasped to hearts. Read more!
To know them is to love them. David and Cassis share something worth capturing. I tried. Read more!
Encountering you, I found a sense in my abyss. Viollette Dulac Read more!
When flights to Perth are cheaper than flights to Singapore, you come to Perth for the first time. Luckily my friends are in town, and the sky is doing is moody winter thing, so all is well. It’s flipping freezing – there’s nothing like some contrast to put things into perspective.. Read more!
I shivered in those solitudes when I heard the voice of the salt in the desert. Read more!
I’ll keep posting photos of Bambu Indah, because, how could I not? The new Honeymoon House, with it’s copper roof perching on a hillside, overlooking the river and the Nayan Pools – it’s a miracle of location, design and nature. It’s uniquely Bambu Indah. Another gem from Elora Hardy and Ibuku <3 Read more!
This time last year I was in Madrid, on my way to Marrakech, in search of golden light and sandy palettes. I found them. This… these colors still turn me on. Read more!
‘But the truth is that the most lovingful moments are quite hard to remember. Because they’re musical. They’re not narrative. The moments of hugging and kissing or making love, they’re usually colored abstract or emotional.’ Gaspar Noe Read more!
“When I make love I want to be like water – the sweet merging of river and ocean, brackish salty freshness – boundaries blurred or maybe like the ocean in a storm, waves crashing and I don’t know if I’m the air, the lightning, the wave, the man drowning or the one reborn.” Cat Kabira Read more!
stay is a sensitive word. we wear who stayed and who left in our skin forever. By Nayyirah Waheed Read more!
Sometimes I want a quiet life. Other times I want to go a little bit fucking Gatsby – Atticus. Read more!
“You can never replace anyone… I see in them little details, so specific to each of them, that move me…everyone is made of such beautiful, specific details.” Read more!
Jackson was my winter muse. This field I called The Seven Kingdoms. March 13th was foggy. But that was then. Read more!
Breakfast at the market. I was going to post a thoughtful post about age and ageing. But I don’t know this man and whether or not a Ricky Gervais-ism or a David Bowie-ism applies to him.. So that’s all. Just breakfast, or makan pagi. Read more!
“You cannot be so close to another, to be within each other, to smell their sweat, and rub your body with theirs and see nothing of their soul. Or if you can do that, well that is a dreadful thing.” Read more!
I went down to the coast to visit my Sara. Everyone who loves her calls ‘my Sara’. Her new house is scattered with my old things. Jars painted with hearts, Ganesha gathering cobwebs in the window, my faded duvet. Pererenan It was raining when I woke up, I scraped myself out of bed, onto my bike, and scooted down to the beach, leaving my flip flops on the bike. It was dark and wet, no surfers. Just the way I like it. Moody. Private. No flashy colors – just sky, clouds, light and ocean. The dark line of water on the black sand. My (other) kind of sunrise. Happy. Home. Read more!
There is no balm for today’s injustices. Language Touch someone, gently. Kiss someone, softly. Grieve together. Demand better ♡ Read more!
Saturdays with Elora and Nayan in the Nayan Pools at Bambu Indah. With the Ayung River rushing by below the pools, it’s another world. At sunset, the swallows swoop just above our heads… Thank you <3 Read more!
Timing was in my favour. I found myself at Bali’s best loved water temple on Saraswati Day. Goddess of arts, music, knowledge and wisdom, the Balinese celebrate her in many ways – read more about it here <3 Read more!
This is why we get up early. Joana She is…yeah. And she’s doesn’t know it. Read more!
Friday morning, Ubud. There was cake. There was coffee. Read more!
Pixie was an eager model. Bali is full of small and pretty cats.. Read more!
Good morning Bali. Rising in the dark, to make it to the jungle beneath Mount Agung for this misty sunrise. Stunning.. Read more!
Bambu Indah, famed for it’s sunsets, also rocks an awesome sunrise. I was there this morning for 7am to join John Hardy on his daily trash walk. Friends, and guests of the hotel join John, with bags around their necks, and spears in hand, to collect trash throughout the community. The trash is then all brought back to be sorted, sold (the plastic bags go to Enviro Pallets) and recycled. Initiatives like this are urgently needed in Bali, and this project is not only creating jobs for locals, but spreading awareness and change. Bring it on. I’ll be back for more. Read more!
You know your jet lag is over when your insomnia is back to it’s usual schedule.. Campuhan Ridge sunrise – it never gets old. Read more!
flower work is not easy. remaining soft in the fire takes time. By @nayyirah.waheed from Salt Read more!
The sweetness of boys. Morning Moments Insomnia has it’s perks.. Read more!
Baby Got New Shoes Cut to 2 years later, and they’re still in love. And still dancing. Read more!
America, Bali, England, Bangkok, Paris and Morocco. Grateful for a year on the move. New friends, places, light and beauty. Lots of music, camels, sand, beaches, laughter and love. Thank you, yes please more please <3 Read more!
I’ve been dog and housesitting a fair bit these last few months. Lila is the smallest dog I’ve met yet – and the one with the biggest personality. Read more!
I’m always drawn to the Southbank. Whatever the weather, there are people walking fast, milling by the book stalls, meeting friends for drinks, musicians, performers, living statues, skateboarders, and then the bubble makers. A seemingly thankless task. But really, how delightful to create ephemeral, momentary beauty. Thank you. St Paul’s Cathedral The iconic skyline with the famous dome is worlds away from the other side of the Thames. Read more!
Now that Big Tree Farms‘ reach has spread as far as England, I can shoot food for them from here! I love a few days in the studio creating magic with food, and working with my favourite ingredients. Say It With Food Because if you want to say it, you can eat it too 🙂 Read more!
My darling friend Kia has a stunning Riad by the Sea in Essaouira. Essaouira was the final destination on my trip, and I was thrilled to be able to spend time here at Dar Qawi. Honestly, I barely left the house for the first three days – I was so content there. It’s full of beautiful details and well thought luxuries. The staff are wonderful, and I felt pampered beyond belief. Essaouira is more western and relaxed than many other places. The salty fishy air blows throughout the town, keeping things fresh. The food is the best I found in Morocco, and the people charming. We peeked at the Outsider Art scene at the huge and awesome joutiya (flea market), ate heartily, watched sunsets with camels, and took a few photos.. The very busy fishing port is non stop action – fishermen fishing, seagulls hustling, fat cats eating, sellers gutting, customers buying – it’s non stop. The ocean just keeps on giving. Dar Qawi – Riad by the Sea The good news is that Dar Qawi is for sale. It can be yours, if you’d love a new home by the sea. Read more!
No trip really begins until two weeks in. For the first 14 days at least, I find my heart and mind remain wherever and with whomever I’ve just left behind. And then shit gets real. Presence happens. For whatever reason I chose Morocco (oh my what an unplanned contrast to Bali) it was incredible – my eye was continually delighted. I spent many happy hours on buses, trains and in grand taxis – and so my surprise, enjoyed each of them very much. Six Weeks in Morocco I left with much of the country yet to be discovered, but I’m happy to have been to the mountains, the oceans, the cities and the desert. Until next time Morocco. Shukran. Read more!
Ruski is a damn fine writer. Funny, irreverent, insighful and sharp, we shot these photos at my ‘other villa’ Desa Bulan, for his new blog. I’m itching to read it. Read more!
I reached the cooler climes of the Rif Mountains, and for the first time since arriving in Morocco, I relaxed. Being cradled in such beauty, in a tranquil blue town where people genuinely seem happy, was balm to my soul. I was invited on a ‘walk’ by Abdul. He said the medina was too hot, so we should go where it was cooler. Haha, cooler my ass. We enjoyed a six hour hike – 4 hours up in the fall sun, 2 hours descending with the sun – where sweat formed in layers under one another, like rings on a tree. Chefchaouen and the Rif Mountains But oh the beauty. This area is the main marijuana growing area of Morocco, and we walked through farm after farm of hashish, for as far as the eye can see. I’m still pinching myself that it’s all real. We visited a bio farm, where some young German woofers were toiling. With no running water or power, the energy was unique. In one afternoon we saw (and tasted) walnuts, pomegranates, almonds, thousands of ripe figs, oceans and oceans of marihuana, grapes blackberries, cactus fruit, carob, bamboo, plums, olives, honey, rose hips and mini tomatoes. This […] Read more!
The Sahara. Oceans of sands, timeless winds, camels and endless sunshine. The silent space of a star filled night. The sunrise which brings color to the world moment by moment. The sense that you are on the edge of the world, between modernity and the ancients. Oceans of Sand on the Edge of the World Every movie I’ve seen filmed here flashes in my mind – Peter O’Toole and Omar Sherif, Star Wars and Gladiator. Jesus of Nazareth, The Sheltering Sky, Jewel in the Nile, Kingdom of Heaven and Babel.. This is the yellow I was craving after years in the jungle. The silence and space – a contrast to the raucous jungle which grows before your eyes. Here the only movement is the odd beetle, a flowing tuft of grass and the moving sands. Read more!
Sand and dust, donkeys and asses, snake charmers and acrobats, tagines, orange juice, cactus fruit and fresh succulent figs. French and Arabic, leather bags and fragrant spices, coloured rugs and beaten copper, hammams and cobblestones, cart wheels and the call to prayer. Marrakech Morning Mornings here start late. The light doesn’t filter down to the alleyways until later in the day. There is no sunrise in a riad, unless you’re sleeping on the rooftops. Read more!
Yellow. As far as the eye could see. Sand and dust and desert. I haven’t been anywhere new in awhile. I got the tingles of new discoveries, the unknown and the mysterious. Yellow The opposite of Bali’s green. Dry heat, thick mud walls, camels and dunes. North Africa, our meeting is overdue.. Read more!
It’s been a long time since I was in Madrid. But some memory has called me back over the last few years. Increasingly, in Bali, the craving for long summer nights, wearing a light summer dress, walking down cobbled streets, nibbling on olives and sipping Rioja, brought me back to Europe again. My European roots could not be denied. And somehow, I think that I’ve only ever been to Madrid in August. The place is a ghost town – with most shops shut, and the locals wisely holidaying at the beach. Fine with me! All I needed to do was walk for hours, inhale the city, listen to people talk, see the older men in braces – where gentlemen still take breakfast in hats; women in slippers and house-dresses – all the while wearing the aforementioned dress. I sat at cafes in tree-filled stoney squares. And somehow, something came full circle for me there. Madrid has exceptional buskers, I genuflected in a few churches, heard mass in Spanish and found my favourite chocolate bar. Another moment of perfect timing – my friend arrived back in town just in time to sit and talk through the night. Perfection. Read more!
On my final night in England, I walked the lanes again. This time the sun was out, along with the combines. After cold days and a moody start to August, at last there was golden light and gold dust. Dust The powdered harvest filled the air. Read more!
After 5 years in Asia with 6pm sunsets (give or take 20 minutes), I craved long summer nights and European wine, cobbled streets, olives, blueberries and figs. And flirty skirts – without constant sweat. First step England, to spend time with family and friends. I have to seek out inspiration here – in Bali it’s just everywhere. Honeysuckle What else to shoot in a garden, but flowers? I’m rediscovering the flowers of my childhood. Honeysuckle stirs me. Read more!
These are my favourite kind of waves. Just before they break – there’s a cheeky tip. I scour the beaches for the spots where they swell, waiting for just this moment. Cheeky Wave The rest of the ocean swells, few ripples, deeper currents beneath. Then a crest. A few seconds building.. Read more!
This hill holds a soft spot for me. The day I first arrived in Ubud, on October 5th 2010, the taxi drove me up Campuhan Hill, and I was wowed. With red-tipped vines hanging down, and the light filtering through, I was mesmerised. For the next few years, every day I’d ride to work, I’d think, “Wow, some commute!”. At times vast holes have appeared in the road, the the major traffic route east/west across town would be snarled up for weeks or months. During monsoon, the rock walls banking the road, pour forth mini waterfalls, making walking almost impossible. On This Morning up Campuhan Hill I stalked him, on my Scoopy, stopping every few moments to take another photo as he pushed his bike. He only looked around once, but didn’t seem to register me… Read more!
I often have insomnia. This month was HOT. I woke up at sunrise in Penestanan. Jumped into my running shoes, and walked. The rains were late, the heat was an inferno. There was steam rising from the rice fields. The light was flooding golden everywhere. I passed a couple of men, starting work early, but otherwise I was alone. And then I saw the bike. Red Bike A rusty old bike, parked up by the path, with a generic red plastic shopping bag, hanging from the handles. Every country has their identifying item. In NYC is the blue paper coffee cup. In Bali, it’s the red trash bag. Not glamorous, but real. Read more!
There are often Banyan trees on corners – the road turns in a beautiful sweep. Often there are graveyards too, or cremation grounds. This turn is on my route from Canggu to Ubud, and on this day, I hit it smack on sunset. Banyan to the left of me, golden fish to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle on my Scoopy. The fish men of Bali carry handmade wooden racks on the backs of their bikes, with tiny bags of gold fish hanging from them. All the more golden when lit by the sunset. Read more!
Another tranquil morning. I don’t love the big flashy skies with the bright colors so much as this. Blue The quiet hour. With only fishermen for company. And the dogs. Always Bali dogs.. Read more!
It was one of those mornings. There wasn’t much to shoot. And then this chap strolls along, being all joy full and stuff. Beach Joy If you go to the beach pretty much every morning for a year, you get to know the colors fairly well. The light, the shadows, when the fisherman return with full nets, when the dogs wake up hungry. This morning I felt like I’d shot it all before. I’d been there done that. I heard a noise, turned around, and he was dancing in the cloud reflection ocean puddle. Perfect. Read more!
Sunrise at Bali Galeria shopping mall. Empty. Light and space. Shopping Mall Why was I at Bali Galeria at sunrise? I have no clue now. I’ve never been there that early before or since. It was amazing – a big empty space – no bikes or sounds. Just the odd cleaner pushing a mop. Usually the thousands of bikes and cars swarming around the hot hot building warm up your experience. Not on this day.. Read more!
I left Canggu, and found myself in California – just in time for winter don’t you know. I have epic timing. Again. And I found myself on another epic beach and a new sunset, facing kinda the same direction. Same sky, different light. Wherever I Roam As I travel, I seek out trees and beaches. Who knew this Londoner had so much nature in her? Guess I ain’t no Londoner no more.. Read more!
Oh these trees! Different light and different smells than Bali. These are two of my favorite reasons to travel. Oh, and food. Of course. Eucalyptus The history of eucalyptus in California is interesting. It seems that artichokes and eucalyptus are two things which Californians crave, miss and identify with. Read more!
Hundreds of men stopped me, asking me to take their photo. Then they thanked me – even though they would never see their photo, they were honoured that I’d taken their image. It was rare however that they’d smile. For most Indian people a portrait is a straight faced moment. Pilgrim The Kumbh Mela is a festival driven my love and faith. Millions of pilgrims came to Allahabad, on the banks of the Ganges, to celebrate. Despite the crowds and the 24 hour party, it was peaceful. What an incredible place. And a testament to town planning – to build sewage systems that efficient and odourless, for that many people? Amazing. Read more!
During my first shoot with Conni on Campuhan Ridge she was upstaged by some bales of straw. Planet Backpack Conni is Germany’s No. 1 travel blogger. It was a pleasure to hang out with her and hear about how she lives, works and travels. Check out her site (all in German) for more. Read more!
After a sleepless, hash-infused night at the Kumbh Mela, these Naga Babas were almost ready for the big run to the Ganges. Naga Babas Their initiation almost complete, with the sun rising after a long cold night, they prepared for the craziest part of the festival. Read more!
We rounded the corner of some tents, appreciating the quality of the impressive toilets at the festival, whereupon, spread before our eyes, under a blazing sun, was a field of almost naked naga baba initiates. I was stunned. This was a significant part of the ceremony, and there were no other western people there – I was so very privileged see this. Initiates There were older saddhus walking amongst them, handing things out with the air of school teachers overseeing exams. Read more!
Another moment of tranquility on the banks of the Ganges. There was chaos behind me, noisy crowds, dogs, kite flying, cricket playing, and laundry being laid out to dry. And before me – serenity. Ganges The Ganges draws so many people. It is at once personal and shared, private and public. Read more!
A detail, in the beautiful space of Kura Kura, Seseh. Handmade daily offerings by skilled Balinese mothers and grandmothers. Seseh is still a quiet seaside village, just up from the increasing busyness of Canggu. Kura Kura Tucked between the ocean and a river, Kura Kura retreat hosts 12 people in a purpose built repeat space. Heaven. Read more!
An ancient temple on the banks of the Ganges in Kashi. Just up from the burning Ghats, there is a change of vibe. The ghats get quieter and more spacious. Kashi Home to 87 ghats, and so much more. Hard to explain. Go there. Read more!
Erika Faith, founder of Cloud Nine Yoga, California is a pioneer in the yoga world. After shooting her yogis in America, I was overjoyed to spend more time with them in Bali. Cloud Nine Yoga training is unique, and fosters a remarkable community of teachers around the world. Read more!
360kg of sandalwood are needed to burn 1 body. 3 hours to burn a body. These stacks of sandalwood await the dead. Burning Ghats It is the greatest honor to be buried here in Varanasi. People from all of India bring their dead for the greatest send-off. Read more!
One of the first things I did in Bali, was get meself a cacao pod, and sprout some cacao seeds. Watching these babies grew delighted me every morning. As far as I know, at least two babies are now firm, strong trees. The seeds inside the pod are covered in thick white gelatinous gloup. It’s sweet and edible. Cacao Sprout For a Londoner, to see tropical seeds take life, was the ultimate in exotic. I came, I saw, I sprouted 🙂 Read more!
Surfers watch breaks. It’s what they do. Try as I might, I’ve yet to understand the patterns of the oceans, the movements of the waves, the rhythm of the swell. Balian is pretty much only known for it’s surf. The place people come to from all over Bali just to do one thing. Balian Surfer Another sunset. Another beach. Another surfer. Read more!
I spent a day at Melati Cottages with the amazing Amy. She is a shining light from New Jersey, where she runs Flow Yoga Studio. Amy Jean Pastore I first met her in Chiang Mai way back when. She then showed up during Bali Spirit Festival, and the rest is history. Read more!
His name is Es. The kids were playing with a beetle between classes at Srisawat Wittayakarn School, in Nan Thailand. Beetle Whether it’s puppies or beetles, pets are not pets in Thailand, as we know them in the west. More about puppies later.. Read more!
I experienced my first Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013. After the group I had planned to go with bailed on me, I reached out to our mutual friend in India, and asked to join her. An unusual move for me, but I knew I wanted to go, and that going alone wasn’t an option. Shilo Shiv Suleman How blessed I was. I not only had the pleasure of Shilo‘s company, and her partner Avijit Michael for the journey, but I got to witness and document Shilo painting a mural on the banks of the Ganges as part of her Fearless Project. Epic Read more!
For the inaugural cover photo of Inspired Bali magazine, I met featured two of the key yogis in Ubud at the time. Bex Carlos Bex Tyer and Carlos Romero, yoga teachers at The Yoga Barn, pretty much led the acro yoga craze in Bali. You couldn’t move for yogis hitting the floor and flying each other. ‘Let me fly you’ became the hottest pickup line 🙂 Read more!
I had the joy of a sunrise shoot at Ananda Cottages Ubud, with Katie Armstrong, renowned hula hooper Jocelyn Gordon and acclaimed dancer Shakti Sunfire for launch of Katie’s new fashion label. Om Collection Since this day, the Om Collection has gone from strength to strength! Inspiring to watch Katie start Om and then run with it. Read more!
These skies. This place. Aboard The Arenui. Raja Ampat There’s a longer story about how I came to be here. It was an epic turning of celestial cogs, lets say. More about that later.. Read more!
A tired student after a hot day. I love this school. I love these kids. Nan Thailand I took a teaching job in Thailand. I landed in Bangkok, and was shuttled to some house in the middle of nowhere, before being driven north, all night, to Nan. Just a place on a map. Now a place in my heart. Read more!