Thalangama Lake, February 2023.

• 35mm • f/4 • 1/640 • ISO100 • R6 & RF14-35/4L •


Afternoon Over Thalangama Lake
Kotte, Sri Lanka. February 2023.

• 14mm • f/4 • 1/800 • ISO100 • R6 & RF14-35/4L •

The Doomed Giants of Anuradhapura
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 •

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 •

Suburbia Sri Lanka
The other Sri Lanka. Thalangama Lake, Kotte. April 2022.

• 18mm • f/3.5 • 1/500 • ISO100 • c/polariser •

The Victoria in the Dry Season #2
A sunny morning view southward from my usual spot at the Teldeniya Rest House. 2017 was a year of drought across most of Sri Lanka; evidenced here by the distance from the water to the jungle’s edge; the high-water mark. This photo was taken in early June. The terraces cut into the banks are not manmade; each line representing a water level that has dropped steadily without rain. By July, the ruins of the original town of Teldeniya would be revealed, drowned in the early 1980s when the mighty Mahaweli was dammed at the end of this valley to create the Victoria Reservoir.

Victorian Gloom
An uncharacteristically different angle (for me) of the Victoria Reservoir; looking northwest from Mahadoraliyadda, on an overcast afternoon in June 2017. Just out of sight, around the headland to the left, is the dam itself, harnessing the mighty Mahaweli whose valley this lake once was.

From Darkness to the Light
Happy New Year, everybody! Water lilies (Nymphaea nouchali) bloom from the depths of the Maminiyawa Tank, close to Kekirawa, in north-central Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Explore Sri Lanka. My photo story, The Road to Ritigala, ran in the March 2016 issue.

The Only Gold
Sunrise over the Kandalama Tank, in north-central Sri Lanka, in February 2018. A low water level reveals the remains of trees drowned in the 1950s reconstruction of this 1st century BC reservoir, built by King Vasabha of Anuradhapura. Towering over the tank is the Earawalgala Ridge, cloaked in the dense Kaludiya Pokuna Forest.