PHOTO CHALLENGE: “DEPTH” …in a rice paddy

Nyoman deep in rice
Nyoman deep in rice

They say it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village, literally, to cultivate rice. At some point in the long process, you might see most everyone in the village attending to something in the depths of this rice field that runs from here to the horizon lying beyond that dense line of jungle in the background of this shot. Maybe a villager will plow the paddy with water buffalo, or stick rice shoots into the mud, or cut weeds with a scythe, or scare away birds.

This man, Nyoman, is calf deep in rice-paddy mud. He’s deep in thought. While working, he’s deeply honoring his rice goddess, Dewi Sri. He’s pondering whether or not he’ll catch an eel for dinner (eels live in the deep water of those rice paddies, along with numerous other creatures: some of whom the eels feed on, some who feed on the eels—whoever came up with the slogan “life is a b*tch” understood the depth of suffering for all of us here on the planet.

Nyoman is considering if they’ve got the water flowing at the proper depth for this time in the cultivation process. He’s wondering how deep the pile of rice will be when the process is finished. He’s wondering how deeply the gods are appeased by the daily offerings from the village.

I am deeply appreciative that some god(s) allowed me the opportunity to live a while on the island of gods and demons. But, perhaps I overdid this “deep” thing for this Challenge? Still, I’m deeply aware how lucky I am. No…put on your rubber boots, now the kimchi is getting a little deep in here. And I’m deeply sorry you had to read all that only to end up here in the shallow end of my ingenuity.

Apparently, it takes a village to write a blog post, too.  So…what about depth would YOU contribute to this?

You can view other entries in the Challenge here:


  1. I loved learning a bit more about the life in the rice fields. That was pretty deep.
    Re the photo the yellow is too deep in the colour of the rice, so in LR or PS I would have pulled the yellow saturation back a bit. One of my pet peeves is over saturated photos. Apart from that I like it very much.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The “prompts” do make you add some aspect you might not otherwise have done. I would never have gone off this deep end otherwise. Yeah, I see what you mean about the yellow (but you know I can’t change that…yet!! And I’m dreading the LR-PS learning curve right after this WP curve. On the other hand, I’m a man teethed on deeply saturated slide transparency film. But now, there are just sooo many other ways to create great shots. More curves.


  2. so many depths here. visually, Nyoman is deep in the rice fields. that visual image gives some hint of the depths of the way he lives his life, spiritually, with respect to the manner in which he invokes the goddess of rice, Dewi Sri.
    Thank you for attempting here, to explain, how people live their life in ‘the island of the gods and demons’, where daily life is deeply connected to the spiritual.
    it’s difficult, I believe, for many people in ‘first world’ countries to have a glimpse of understanding of how people in more traditional countries live their life.

    Your picture of Nyoman DEEP in the rice fields, gives an inkling of that.
    Thank you!


    • Debbie, thanks so much for stopping by. It appears you’ve either been to Bali, or some other “developing” country where life hangs by thinner threads than in 1st-world places. I did not mean to write all that, I just started writing and that is what came out. I guess they call them “prompts” for a good reason! Anyway, glad you appreciated the attempt.
      warm regards,


    • I’m so glad you liked them. I was going to go with “depth of field” but thought, no, everyone will do that. Then, I happened on this shot, and figured, yeah, that’ll work. And ran with it. The words just sort of flowed out…without any planning or thought. Mostly luck. thanks for stopping by.


  3. You certainly captured the spirit of depth 🙂
    …but I’m still a bit hung-up on all the creatures living in the water of the rice paddy. A good reason for me to never step into one!!


    • HA! Right, and don’t fall into one. But it’s pretty easy to slip off the narrow pathways. The animals (but perhaps not insects) are all fairly harmless to humans, but who wants an eel sliding into our two feet of private space around us.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff, thanks so much, I’m glad you like it, because your photography floors me. Rice does not grow as high as, say, corn. Maybe that guy is only three feet tall? But no…you can’t easily discern, but there is a slight “step” or a lower terrace, and he is standing on the lower one. Maybe couple feet down. Thanks for stopping in.


  4. Darcy,
    Ha! Thanks very much. But I believe people sensitive enough to allow anything beautiful-in-their-eyes to tug at strings in their heart are the VERY people qualified to express an opinion about a photograph, or any art. Anyway, they are the people I’d like loving my photographs! That said, it’s pretty difficult to stand in a rice paddy in Bali, point your lens in any direction, and not take a fairly decent photograph. And thanks again.


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