Ralph Childs is a five time participant in my photo~expeditions, and is the seventh to submit samples of his work made during the Bali: Island of Odalan Photo~Expedition.
The above photograph, which I view as one of the best ones in his Bali portfolio, is of a devotee in a trance during a melasti ceremony at Masceti beach. These trances are not play-acting by any means, and are genuine manifestation of religious fervor which may reach a peak during such important celebrations and rituals.
The above photograph was made during a traditional procession on the same Masceti beach on the Balinese eastern coast during one of the melasti ceremonies we photographed. Melasti is the purification of the Pratima deity and other symbols at a beach, and is a fundamental ritual of a temple's anniversary.
This is one of the candid photographs that Ralph seeks whenever he's traveling. He pursues the theme of "father & son", and this one of the young boy and his father (under the spring's spout) was made at Pura Tirta Empul, where hundreds of devotees come daily to bathe in the temple's sacred springs.
The above photograph is of Kecak dancers in an unusual pose, which I believe is towards the end of the performance. The Kecak dance is a comparatively modern Balinese dance, and is also known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant. It is performed by a circle of many performers wearing checked cloth around their waists, chanting "cak" and throwing up their arms.
Chicago-based Ralph Childs maintains the blog RNC Photography where he posted more of his Kecak photographs. He also photographs local assignments during week-ends, and works for one of the largest American aerospace and defense technology company.