I was fortunate to be given permission to photograph Krya Spa at Bali’s Grand Hyatt (thanks to Sanjay and Melani from Hyatt). But the minute I was granted permission, I realize I didn’t have my top gears:
- Tripod. I had my old (and flimsy) travel tripod with me. It shakes for good 5 seconds every time I let go of the camera. Not having a cable release didn’t help either.
- Lens. I had my travel 28-120mm f/5.6. Not sharp enough, not fast enough, not wide enough.
Well… too late to back off now that I got what I wished for.
The key to this picture is timing. The lights and the sky have to have the right combination at the blue hour for the exposure to come out correctly; to me, this is about 30 minutes after sundown. But to be safe, I staked out the spa 30 minutes prior to sunset. This way, I can scout the location and check out the direction sun was setting, the framing, etc.
In addition to it’s elegance, Krya spa has a magical element to it when after sun sets. It’s serenity and healing ambiance is second to none. I stood there and watched the staff light up candles inside each of the lanterns (yes, candles; did you expect fake lanterns?); too bad I can’t capture those glistening candles. Anyway, I side track. The problem with blue hour is that it’s not 60 minutes. The magic moment where the lights are all balanced lasts about 15 minutes or so. So arriving early to the location paid off. I bracket my shots, shoot at one spot; then move quickly to the other. I repeat the process until the sky becomes too dark.
So here is the rest of the shoot.