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 •

Happy Days
Main Point, Arugam Bay. May 2022.

• 50mm • f/1.4 • 1/50 • ISO200 • Shot on a Canon 5DMkIII & EF 50/1.4, courtesy Canon/Metropolitan

The Writer
When I remember my father, this is the image of him that is most clear in my mind’s eye; of him, hunched over his desk, his typewriter, a notepad, or random scraps of paper that he carefully cut out of previously used sheets, saving the unused spaces that he would later fill with his small neat writing. He would write at all hours; late into the night, preparing Sunday sermons; and at dawn, making notes from his endless examination of Bible commentaries. And he would write everywhere, constantly jotting down reminders to himself about things only he knew. Even after his typewriter was replaced by a computer, his only concession to the digital world was that he condescended to dictate his handwritten notes to my mother, who would type them into the ether. I took this picture almost ten years ago, on Christmas Day, after lunch. I don’t know what he was writing, but the pose is unmistakeable. Though my father never wrote a book in his life, he seemed to never stop writing; even after retirement. It was as if he knew that it was soon to be taken away. When illness deprived him of the ability to read and write, I took it upon myself to organise his desk and store away many of his books and papers, and I found his study packed with his penmanship. There were notes for Bible study groups, random mini-reviews and recommendations of books he had read, an eulogy to some unknown friend. And scores of letters to my mother, sent from all over the world during his many travels; tight lines crammed onto flimsy aerogrammes, postmarked from Switzerland and Ecuador, America and India, England and Cyprus. Many of these too had been written whenever he had a moment to spare, in airports and on trains. Writing seemed to fill the crevices of my father’s world. He now leaves a crack in mine no writing can seem to fill.

• 18mm • f/3.5 • 1/640 • ISO200 •

Peacock Dancer, Mt Lavinia Beach

Peacock Dancer by Son of the Morning Light on
Rusini Gunawardena of ‘Thiwarna‘; shot in August 2020, for Canon Sri Lanka.

A Morning Walk #3

Morning Walk, Talalla Bay #3 by Son of the Morning Light on
Talalla Bay, Sri Lanka. July 2020.

The Steep Road Ahead

The Middle Path #2 by Son of the Morning Light on
A Buddhist monk walks meditatively along a footpath through the rain forest around the Madakada Aranya Senasanaya, a monastery where monks meditate in caves in the hillside. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines. My photo story, Jungle Streams and Trails in Ingiriya, ran in the December 2017 issue.
Continue reading “The Steep Road Ahead”

Canal Canoe

Canoe Passes Under a Canal Bridge, Colombo by Son of the Morning Light on
Shot at dusk in August 2013, an outrigger canoe passes under a road bridge in a residential neighbourhood of the Colombo suburb of Rajagiriya, in the old Kotte Kingdom.
Continue reading “Canal Canoe”

Apartments by the Sea, Colombo, Sri lanka

Apartments by the Sea by Son of the Morning Light on
Colpetty, March 2018.

Sunset Over Unawatuna Bay, Sri Lanka #7

Sunset Over Unawatuna Bay, Sri Lanka #6 by Son of the Morning Light on
January 2018.