Photographer Michael Matti couldn’t have grown up in two locations more opposite of each other. After being born in Indonesia and spending the majority of his childhood moving around the lush tropics of Southeast Asia, the Matti family picked up their belongings and moved among the cornfields of Indiana. After college, Matti settled in the Pacific Northwest, setting up his blossoming photography business in Seattle, Washington. But he often reminisced about his younger years in Indonesia, so when the opportunity to return came, an excited Matti did not hesitate. Matti told Resource Travel:
I was born in Indonesia and lived there for the first 3 years, then the Philippines but made many trips back to Indonesia growing up. I went once at the start of college with my family but this was my first trip by myself, as an adult. Indonesia has always been a special place for me so I’ll always look for reasons to go back. This time I just saw a good deal on flights and booked it. This was my first trip without my parents planning and arranging things so it was definitely different to make the decisions on this trip.
Matti, who just recently became interested in filming with his DJI Phantom 3 drone, says the local residents were excited and curious when they would see his drone in flight.
I had no issues with the drone while in Indonesia. People were super intrigued by it. I have few pictures where there’s Indonesians around me watching as I fly. I was just careful to be respectful when flying near temples and didn’t get too close. A lot of the places I went weren’t very touristy and at the main tourist places, I made sure to go at sunrise. I had a couple Balinese guides with me that helped show me around so I think that helped too.
Having been to Bali, I am well aware of the island’s paradise-like beauty, but seeing the land from the lens of Matti’s drone has given me a new appreciation for one of Southeast Asia’s most treasured locations.