A potential customer checks his resources before ordering breakfast from a stall on New Moor Street, in Hulftsdorp. October 2022.
• 35mm • f/2.8 • 1/2000 • ISO200 • R6 & RF 35/1.8 courtesy Canon/Metropolitan
Sunrise over the Basawakkulama Tank, believed to be Sri Lanka’s oldest reservoir, built in 400BC, against the backdrop of the Ruwanwelisaya and, faintly in the distance, the massive broken Jetawanaramaya, both over 2,000 years old. The tree silhouetted against the morning is one of many that line the tank’s retaining bund. For perhaps a century or more, these broadly spread giants have sheltered farmers, workers, schoolchildren, and the occasional photographer, using the bund as a footpath into Anuradhapura. When I took this picture in January 2017, while on assignment for Serendib magazine, the trees were also home to rock squirrels, numerous nesting birds, and families of grey langurs. But sadly, it has now been reported that the government has begun felling these ancient trees because they are believed to be damaging the bund with their great roots. The perspective they have given to one of the most iconic views of Anuradhapura will be the least of the losses their deaths will bring.
• 18mm • f/3.5 • 1/250 • ISO100 • 600D & EF-S18-200/3.5-5.6 •
Dawn at Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka.
• 50mm • f/1.4 • 1/160 • ISO100 • Canon 5DMkIII & EF 50/1.4 courtesy Canon/Metropolitan.
*“Time is no longer endless or the horizon destitute of hope.”
— Charles Lindbergh
A Wolfendhal Street shopkeeper lights a bowl of incense; a daily ritual at the opening of business. The smoke will then be carried through the premises, with the dual purpose of showing devotion to the local deities and driving out out any pests (natural or supernatural) that might have sneaked in during the night. Hulftsdorp, Colombo. October 2022.
• 35mm • f/2.8 • 1/1600 • ISO100 • R6, with RF35/1.8 courtesy Canon/Metropolitan Continue reading
“Holy Smoke” →
Talalla Bay, Sri Lanka.
• 24mm • f/2.8 • 1/640 • ISO100 • 600D & EF-S24/2.8• circular polariser •
December 26th 2022 marks eighteen years since the devastating Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004, when the Indian Ocean rose up and killed over 35,000 Sri Lankans in two massive waves (the second measured as high as 11m, in places). The country suffered the second highest number of deaths in the Indian Ocean (after Indonesia which, being proximate to the epicentre of the underwater quake that caused the tsunami, lost almost 200,000 dead and missing). Over half a million people were displaced in Sri Lanka, as almost 90,000 coastal homes and buildings were destroyed by the waves. Over 250,000 people are estimated to have died in minutes, in fifteen countries, from Southeast Asia to East Africa. In island nations like Sri Lanka, the sea would never be looked at quite the same again.
“If I don’t have red,” Picasso said, “I use blue.” Dawn at Ocean Cottage, Kalametiya. September 2022.
• 24mm • f/13 • 0.80 • ISO100 • tripod • Canon R6 & RF 24-105/4-7.1 courtesy Canon/Metropolitan.
In spite of my interrupting his breakfast service, the owner of this little tea kadé refused to take payment for the glass I had when I was done snapping. New Moor Street, Hultsfdorp. October 2022.
• 35mm • f/2.8 • 1/1000 • ISO200 • R6 & RF 35/1.8 courtesy Canon/Metropolitan
Years ago, in a piece for Outlook India, I wrote, ‘Everything in Sri Lanka is either sweet or spicy. Often both. Our people; our tea.’ And that’s exactly what Rasa’s tea is like; lip-burning hot, tongue-stinging gingery, and so thick with sugar that my spit makes the filter of my Gold Leaf sticky. Prince Street, Pettah. September 2022.
• 35mm • f/1.8 • 1/320 • ISO200 • Canon R6 & RF 35/1.8 courtesy Canon/Metropolitan.
Packed breakfast in hand, an elderly resident of Hussainiya Street, in Hulftsdorp, heads out for the day. Colombo, October 2022.
• 35mm • f/2.8 • 1/800 • ISO200 • R6 with RF35/1.8 courtesy Canon/Metropolitan
Anuradha Perera, shot on assignment for Ashraff Associates and The Radh, Kandy, in October 2018.
• 24mm • f/8 • 1/320 • ISO800 •