I woke up on Christmas morning to flashes of light. It was probably about 3:00 or 3:30 in the morning and it took me a few moments to realize what was happening. There was no sound of thunder and only a slight breeze, but off the northern coast of Bali, a lightning storm was raging.
I really did have a tough time getting up. I was convinced that as soon as I got myself out of bed, got my camera and tripod, set them up, and hit the shutter, the storm would finish. I was very close to being right. This shot is the last big strike the storm made before dissipating into the dawn.
This was in 2004, the day before the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Bali’s shores were safe from those waves, and as I had been staying in a fairly remote village called Amed (see more photos from that village here) with no real media outlet to inform me of the disaster, I didn’t even know what had happened until a couple days later. I got to check my email and found a number of concerned messages in my inbox. I was fine, but had the earthquake happened a week later, I was slated to be in an area hit by the waves in Malaysia.
The Christmas storm I witnessed was, of course, unrelated, but when I see this image, I always make the association with the tsunami. The ocean that looks so peaceful here was soon to be so murderously turbulent. And the sky that was unaffected by the waves is here, in this image, in chaos. A reversal of the next day’s sea and sky.
My fantastic winter vacation to Bali and Malaysia has gone largely undocumented in the written word. My camera, however, was rarely resting, so some idea of my trip’s stories should be available by browsing through my many pixels.
January was largely occupied by re-acquainting myself with Japan and my work routine, developing a (rejected) proposal for taking paid leave during the March school break, attempting to figure out what I wanted to do with my life in the near future and dealing with all of the ensuing drama and stress.
The dust has now settled and here’s what’s in store for me: When my contract with JET is finished, I will be accepting an invitation to come to Kuala Lumpur to be the roommate of my earstwhile travelling partner. There, I will be allowed to enjoy a low cost of living and build up my business as a full-time photographer. It’s scary as hell, but pretty damn exciting too.