Dragon Light

An intricately designed Vesak lantern by the roadside in Colombo. Most Vesak lanterns are simple 12-panelled bamboo and paper constructions made at home, but not so these huge two-storey electrically powered rotating contraptions that compete with each other for the crowds (and often for a cash prize). In the past, many of these were commissioned by trade unions, craft cooperatives, and other social clubs, but today, they’re most likely built by the military, under orders to make this Buddhist celebration a success. Sri Lanka, May 2023.

• 48mm • f/2.8 • 1/125 • ISO2000 • Canon R6 & RF24-70/2.8L •


Thelme Dancers

Navam Mawatha, Colombo. Vesak Poya, May 2023.*

• 50mm • f/2.8 • 1/125 • ISO26500 • Canon R6 & RF24-70/2.8L •

Colombo Celebrates Vesak

City skyline over the Beira Lake. May 2023.

• 24mm • f/2.8 • 1/125 • ISO1000 • Canon R6 & RF24-70/2.8L •

Thelme Dancer

Navam Mawatha, Colombo. Vesak Poya, May 2023.

• 50mm • f/2.8 • 1/125 • ISO20000 • Canon R6 & RF24-70/2.8L •

Blue Door

No 35, Hussainiya Street, Hulftsdorp. October 2022.

• 35mm • f/2.8 • 1/1600 • ISO200 • R6 & RF35/1.8 courtesy Canon/Metropolitan

“Those Days when We were Young…”

Thus begins the familiar tale often heard when older people lament the prices of things today. But in a Sri Lanka staggering under an economic disaster unknown in modern history, skyrocketing inflation has made the ‘Good Ol’ Days’ seem like just yesterday. In this April 2018 picture, shot for a J Walter Thompson market study, salted prawns at the FOSE Market, in Pettah, Colombo’s main market district, go for just Rs100 (about 65 US cents at the time) for 100g. Today, the rupee price of this is almost seven times higher (though still just under $2, due to the nose-diving rupee).

• 105mm • f/4 • 1/50 • ISO400 •

Hulftsdorp Architecture

Old and new, functional and fantastic; all crammed together on Messenger Street. Colombo, September 2020.

• 15mm • f/5.6 • 1/4000 • ISO400 • M6MkII & EF-M 15-45mm/3.5-6.3 courtesy Canon/Metropolitan.

Patriotic Flavour

In the rain and dark of what is now being called ‘Gotagogama‘, the settlement of tents, field kitchens, and mobile toilets thrown up by the protestors on Galle Face Green, Colombo, a betel seller moves through the crowd, his cry of “Saaaaara-vita!” punctuating the ‘Gota go home!’ chants of the dissidents. 11th April 2022. National flags and colours have been prominent in the demonstrations calling for Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and his entire cabinet to resign, accused of corruption and ineptitude, and blamed for a crippling foreign exchange and energy crisis that has seen Sri Lankans suffer rampant inflation and long powercuts, as well as critical shortages of cooking gas, fuel, food, and medicine. Protests that began spontaneously and sporadically in March have grown steadily, culminating in a massive 9th April demonstration in downtown Colombo that claimed as many as a million protestors. After futile cabinet reshuffles and opposition posturing in parliament, the legislature went into recession for the traditional mid-April Sinhalese and Tamil new year holidays. The protestors, however, have vowed to stay, turning what was planned as a 24-hour protest into something set to go on through this holiday week.