Indonesians generally enjoy being photographed. But, if you are in doubt
or the situation seems awkward, it is polite to ask. Some religious
activities, cockfighting (which is officially banned), eating, and bathing
are inappropriate subjects.
Beware of the strong shadows from the equatorial sun. Late afternoon
and, especially, early morning, provide the most pleasing light and
the richest colors. The only way to deal with the heavy shadows at midday
is to use a fill flash.
The heat and humidity of the tropics is hard on camera equipment. Be
particularly careful when moving equipment from an air-conditioned room
to the muggy outdoors. Moisture will condense on the inside and outside
of the camera, Wait until it evaporates; don't be tempted to wipe it
off. Also, check the location of your camera bag and film. Temperatures
in hot cars or on boats can be searing.
In general, stick with reliable equipment you are familiar with and
bring extra batteries.
Some 35mm Fuji and Kodak film is widely available in Indonesia, including
color print film from ASA 100 to 400 and Ektachrome and Fujichrome 100
ASA daylight transparency film. In larger towns you can buy Fuji Neopan
100 ASA black and-white negative film and Fuji Velvia. Kodachrome (with
processing included) and medium- and large-format emulsions are available
only in Jakarta and Bali.
P.T. Modem Foto is the Fuji agent in Kuta, just opposite the gas station
and Gelael Supermarket. It has fresh film and good E-6 processing. For
prints, there are many instant minim labs with while-you-wait service.
In Denpasar, Tati Photo on JI. Sumatra 10, and Prima Photo on JI. Gajah
Mada 14, have a complete range of equipment and supplies.
You can get dressed in traditional Balinese costumes and have your picture
taken in front of a kitsch backdrop. It's a one hour service and costs
$10. For the best backdrops in Denpasar go to Diamond Foto on JI. Thamrin
5, or JI. Diponegoro 100, Blok A-2.