No 13A in Tamil Town
A busy Friday evening in Pettah, Colombo’s main shopping and market district. January 2023. Interestingly, while the city of Colombo is mostly Tamil-speaking (over 60% of the residents are Tamil or Tamil-speaking Moors), the sign in the foreground prohibiting parking is only in Sinhalese (the majority language of Sri Lanka), reflecting decades of Sinhalese-dominated governance that many believe has contributed to ethnic conflict. The controversial 13th Amendment to the Constitution, passed by Parliament in 1987, legislated that, amongst other things, Tamil be elevated to the status of an official language, alongside Sinhalese, and that all official communications be in both languages. However, more than thirty-five years later, many clauses of the amendment remain unenforced, despite Tamil demands for equal treatment.

• 35mm • f/4 • 1/100 • ISO2000 • Canon R6 & RF14-35/4L •


Sometimes Life Gives You Oranges
Six for two-hundred bucks, on 2nd Cross Street, Pettah. January 2023.

• 35mm • f/4 • 1/125 • ISO1250 • R6 & RF14-35/4L •

Evil Eye
Sri Lanka’s Lotus Tower is probably the most easily noticeable symbol of the government corruption and ineptitude that brought on the worst economic catastrophe in the island nation’s history. Ordered by former President Mahinda Rajapakse in 2012, the tower, the tallest in South Asia, and visible from practically every part of the capital, Colombo, is viewed by many as a vanity project, costing as much as $104 million to build, but with little use beyond glorifying the leadership of the former president and his party (the Sri Lanka Podujana Pakshaya’s symbol is a lotus). This photograph was taken from 5th Cross Street, in the city’s market district of Pettah, in January 2023.

• 35mm • f/4 • 1/100 • ISO6400 • R6 & RF14-35/4L •

Karawala Karayo

Dry fish merchants, surrounded by their pungent stock. Keyzer Street, Pettah. January 2023.

• 14mm • f/4 • 1/125 • ISO2500 • R6 & RF14-35/4L •

A Spot of Light Shopping in Pettah
Sri Lankans shop for rechargeable light bulbs as the country continues to face widespread power cuts for the second year running. The worst economic catastrophe in Sri Lankan history arriving amidst an already rising energy crisis has left the population struggling to run both businesses and homes. Prince Street, Colombo. January 2023.

• 35mm • f/4 • 1/80 • ISO400 • R6 & RF14-35/4L •

Evening in Pettah
Prince and 2nd Cross streets, Pettah. January 2023. If there ever had been a Tintin in Ceylon, this would be the place in one of those large illustrations a la The Calculus Affair or Tintin in Tibet.

• 14mm • f/4 • 1/100 • ISO1250 • R6 & RF14-35/4L •

A Soupçon of Refreshment
Glasses of hot soup are served up from a cart on 3rd Cross Street, for labourers, vendors, and evening shoppers in Pettah. January 2023.

• 35mm • f/4 • 1/125 • ISO4000 • R6 & RF14-35/4L •

Evening Tea in Pettah
A kiosk on the corner of Keyzer and 3rd Cross streets provides sustenance to shoppers and departing city workers alike. Colombo, January 2023.

• 26mm • f/4 • 1/125 • ISO4000 • R6 & RF14-35/4L •

Family Time at the Bay
Evening at Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka. May 2022.

• 18mm • f/3.5 • 1/250 • ISO400 • 600D & EF-S18-200/3.5-5.6 •

Twilight of the Kings
Last light over the almost completely dry bed of the Habarana Lake, in northern Sri Lanka. One of the country’s oldest historical reservoirs, the lake is believed to be the ancient Aggivaddhamanaka Tank, built by King Vasabha of Anuradhapura at the end of the 1st century AD. Shot on assignment in January 2016, for Explore Sri Lanka magazine.

• 18mm • f/3.5 • 1/40 • ISO400 • 600D & EF-S18-200/3.5-5.6 •