Mother and child, Slave Island, May 2023.

• 70mm • f/2.8 • 1/320 • ISO1600 • Canon R6 & RF24-70/2.8L •


Hewisi Pooja, Temple of the Tooth, Kandy #4

thammettama drummer plays during a musical ceremony on the lower floor of the temple’s main shrine. The twin thammettama are traditional Sri Lankan drums, played with curved sticks called kadippuwa, in Sinhalese. Hewisi is a form of religious music once reserved for use by Kandyan royal decree. Today, hewisi is still used almost exclusively in Buddhist ceremonies, and is seen as an offering in itself. Shot on assignment for The New York Times in December 2018.

• 105mm • f/4 • 1/30 • ISO1000 •

Young Poultry Butcher, Colpetty Market

The cheerful kid dressing chickens for dinner couldn’t quite figure out why I’d want to take his picture, but decided that this hapless rooster deserved a last portrait too. Colombo, April 2014.

Old Moors

Morning chat on Old Moor Street, Colombo. September 2020.

Shot with an M6MkII and 15-45mm/3.5-6.3 lens, courtesy Canon/Metropolitan.

Overseer, Manning Market, Pettah

A colourfully outfitted overseer checks incoming deliveries in April 2018. The Manning Market, at the heart of Colombo’s market district, the Pettah, is the city’s major fruit and vegetable stock exchange, accepting lorryloads of fresh produce, grain, flour, and pulses from all corners of the country.

Deva Veediya, Kandy #11

A row of derelict Victorian administrative buildings in Kandy, not dissimilar in style and vintage from the De Soyza Building in Colombo that has recently gathered some online outrage at its imminent destruction. The buildings on Deva Veediya have become an Instagrammable feature of Kandyan urban grunge and, in spite of being right next door to the Temple of the Tooth and St Paul’s, have been clearly neglected for many years, providing cheap offices for local lawyers whose name boards festoon their facade. In this photograph, Shermaine Willis and Anuradha Perera pose for Ashraff Associates and The Radh Kandy, in October 2018.

Let Them Eat Cake

Vendors in the Maharagama textile bazaar, in April 2018. Aside from a casually affectionate pose that is rarely seen under today’s social distancing norms, the huge bazaar, sprawling across Maharagama and Pamunuwa, just south of Colombo, has been shut down as part of an ongoing series of local and countrywide lockdowns imposed by the Government of Sri Lanka in May. A year into the pandemic, the population, financially exhausted and psychologically weary, were looking hopefully to the long-awaited Covid vaccine, which was rolled out in March. But governmental mismanagement of the process has ensured relatively few people actually receive their shots. Under attack for their bungling, the government has in turn blamed the public for not following pandemic rules which are often confusing and badly articulated by the authorities. For many, including small businessmen such as these, dependent on a daily income, lockdowns and restrictions on travel can mean financial ruin and are widely seen as a government punishing its people for its own corruption and ineptitude.

Stay Home, Stay Safe #2

A mobile phone vendor, on Olcott Avenue, in Colombo, in April 2018. For small businessmen such as he, dependent on each day’s take of sales, staying home during the corona pandemic is not an option. These vendors are too small to compete online, and rely on walk-in customers; in this man’s case, mostly commuters from the nearby Fort Railway Station, the city’s main rail hub. Long lockdowns, restrictions on travel, and pressure on the public to stay home, a full year into the crisis, have made a huge dent in earnings for many like him.

Broken Trust

The face of Mr Tuan Rishard, a Muslim resident of Kochchikade, displays the shock he feels at the carnage wreaked on his Christian neighbours, by what is widely believed to have been Islamic extremists of the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), a militant group claiming ISIS affiliation. Five days before, on Easter Sunday morning, 21st April 2019, a suicide bomber blew himself up inside the crowded St Anthony’s Shrine, just around the corner from Mr Rishard’s home in Newham Square, killing over a hundred worshippers. Until the Easter Bombings, which simultaneously hit several churches and large hotels in and around Sri Lanka’s capital, the Muslim and Christian communities, both small minorities in a largely Buddhist population, had lived alongside each other peacefully. Both religious minorities have been regularly targeted by Buddhist extremist groups, with several violent anti-Muslim pogroms being initiated in the years leading up to the bombings. Shot on assignment for Polaris Images.

Beach Boy

One of the regulars on Mount Beach, making his living off the foreign tourists, selling the exotic. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines. My photo story, Colombo’s Long Sand Street‘, ran in the August 2016 issue.