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A few weeks back I returned from a vacation to Bali.

I must admit that, in terms of photography, it was pretty uninspiring. The light contrasts were basically always extreme - I mostly took photos just for the sake of it. And during post-processing, I had to apply a substantial amount of highlight/shadow correction.

Photos taken with the X-H2 w/Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8

Any suggestions on how to do better the next time in the tropics (other than not catching gastro, which put me down for a week)? Extreme contrasts are probably unavoidable in these regions.
Chief Editor -

Doing all things Canon, MFT, Sony and Fuji
Often when I'm on vacation I just suck it up that the lighting conditions are often not going to be ideal. Besides weather and time of day concerns, I often don't have time to get a shot I want while visiting a site or in this post COVID travel frenzy, get the shot I want without a ton of people.

What I do, besides taking pics to document my trip, is explore new compositional ideas. Then if I see something I like when reviewing pics back home I bookmark it my head for next time.

It still looks like you had a great time!
There are 3 points to consider here:
1) If you feel uninspired this doesn't mean that your photos aren't good, you have some pretty awesome shots here.
I am sure from this trip, you have more keepers and better photos than from trips back when you were a young unexperienced photographer. At that time you used to feel inspired and motivated but now you are far better, the problem is that your standards are higher and you have very high expectations.

2) the weather and conditions are never excuses, it's just that you aren't anymore ready to rise at 4 AM to take the perfect shot which is totally understandable: you are on a vacation to enjoy yourself and have some good time, you are not a professional landscape photographer selling prints for a living.

3) In new places you have to adapt, your can't apply shooting habits and style from Europe and Australia to Bali, get creative and use what you have to make good shots, when I first arrived to Qatar I found practically nothing to shoot, even for sunsets the sun rises from the sea to set on the land, in an absolutely flat country, not a single mountain, nor a single natural river.
It took me some time to learn how to shoot mangroves, sand dunes during tides, saltwater lakes, I even discovered salt flats (Sabkha) that can be magical to shoot. A good idea before traveling somewhere is to see photos others have taken, to know what to expect and what gear to use, and some extremely useful tips, for instance in Qatar if you don't pay attention to water condensation and take your camera from 20 degrees inside immediately to 45 outside you will have water condensation on the lens and you won't be able to take a single shot.
I bought a Sigma 18-50 in early spring, so I have used it for about half a year. In most ways it is a very
good lens. I like the compactness and can´t complain about the resolution. It works fine for most
everything but not for landscape - something  is missing, there is not enough punch in the photos.
Maybe I have to high expectations as I am mainly a prime shooter.
While I like the Sigma 18-50mm, it's no match for the X-H2. I doubt that there's any zoom lens in the Fuji platform that is much fun at 40.
And at the end of the day, a decent prime lens will beat a zoom lens, of course.

That being said - other than allowing for a shallower DOF, I doubt that a prime lens would have helped me improve these scenes.
Chief Editor -

Doing all things Canon, MFT, Sony and Fuji
Honestly I don't see bad stuff in the gallery.

Quote:The light contrasts were basically always extreme - I mostly took photos just for the sake of it. And during post-processing, I had to apply a substantial amount of highlight/shadow correction.

Curiously this happened to me too, for a week: just after the half of August temperatures in Italy touched 39/40°C and, while being near to Val d'Orcia and other wonderful landscapes, I preferred to move to the only tall mountain in the area to enjoy fresh air and walks under the woods. But of course a sunny day under the wood means extreme contrast. In this season no interesting macro subjects in the wood. I took the opportunity to exercise with HDR, but I still need some hints for post-processing better.


Sony a6300, Sony a6000, Sony NEX-6, Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS, Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS, Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS, Sigma 150-600mm Æ’/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary, Samyang 12mm Æ’/2, Sigma 30mm F2.8 DN | A, Meyer Gorlitz Trioplan 100mm Æ’/2.8, Samyang 8mm Æ’/3.5 fish-eye II | Zenit Helios 44-2 58mm Æ’/2 
Plus some legacy Nikkor lenses.
Klaus, it is not easy in the tropics...
Here is my experience: Temperature, air humidity, days are long which makes it really brutal to get up early (too many people around in the evening). There is no free access to the historical sites 24/7. In short it is very hard to chase the good light.
If you get a chance try Hawaii or California during your summer.

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