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Tegalalang at Sunrise

Pierson X


Behind the Shot

Revered Hindu holy man Rsi Markandeya traveled to the Bali region in the 8th century to spread Hinduism to the island people. Markandeya felt drawn to the area known as Ubud. From the word “Ubad,” which means “medicine,” Ubud was named for the abundance of medicinal plants native to the area. During his time in the region, Markandeya left a strong impression. His religious teachings were adopted by the locals, along with the new techniques for farming and irrigation he shared with his followers. One of the most obvious signs of his legacy are the terraced rice fields found nearby that are fed by a sophisticated irrigation system called subak. Subak-fed rice terraces are found in the villages of Tegalalang, Pejeng and Campuhan.

Pierson visited the UNESCO World Heritage Site near Tegalalang, Bali in August. “The only way to do Bali as a photographer is to be here at sunrise. If you go at noon, the place is packed. You can’t even move around. The colors at sunrise are amazing. The greens are the deepest greens I’ve ever seen. From the morning light, the textures and the colors are so accentuated. It’s unlike anything. To really grasp the scale and scope, you have to see it from above. You can see the geometry, the layers of the terraces and how detailed they are.”