Dragon Light

An intricately designed Vesak lantern by the roadside in Colombo. Most Vesak lanterns are simple 12-panelled bamboo and paper constructions made at home, but not so these huge two-storey electrically powered rotating contraptions that compete with each other for the crowds (and often for a cash prize). In the past, many of these were commissioned by trade unions, craft cooperatives, and other social clubs, but today, they’re most likely built by the military, under orders to make this Buddhist celebration a success. Sri Lanka, May 2023.

• 48mm • f/2.8 • 1/125 • ISO2000 • Canon R6 & RF24-70/2.8L •



A St John’s Ambulance sergeant on duty during Vesak. Navam Mawatha, Slave Island. May 2023.

• 70mm • f/2.8 • 1/250 • ISO4000 • Canon R6 & RF24-70/2.8L •

Light #2

Paper Vesak lanterns in a locked down suburb of Colombo. May 2021.
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The rain-heavy wind whipped at the lanterns til they flapped and danced on their tethers like silenced and desperate birds of paradise; mutely replicating the fluttering hearts of their creators who looked up each time a vehicle slowed down, hoping for a potential customer; on this the only day of respite in another locked down Vesak. Attidiya, May 2021.