I believe that water is the closest thing to a god we have here on Earth.”
— Alex Z Moores Living in Water
The Randenigala Reservoir, surrounded by the jungles of the Rantembe Reserve. December 2018. If water is the one true god of our planet, then the reservoirs we’ve built over millennia must be its greatest temples.
• 24mm • f/8 • 1/1600 • ISO800 • 5DMkIII & EF24-105/4L •
Kotte, Sri Lanka. February 2023.
• 14mm • f/4 • 1/800 • ISO100 • R6 & RF14-35/4L •
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
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.
The Moselle Valley, and the village of Alken, in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. Shot from below Thurant Castle, in spring 2017.
• 18mm • f/3.5 • 1/160 • ISO100 • 600D & EF-S18-200/3.5-5.6 • circular polariser •
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 •
Also known as bayhops and goat’s foot, Ipomoea pes-caprae sprawls across the sunlit morning beaches of Waikkal, north of Colombo. These are recent re-edits of pictures I shot for my very first Explore Sri Lanka assignment, in November 2015. My piece, Waterworld Waikkal , ran in the December issue that year.
• 24mm • f/2.8 • 1/400 • ISO100 • 600D & EF-S24/2.8 • circular polariser • Continue reading
“Beach Morning Glory” →
A brace of tourist boats race home through the evening golden hour cloaking Lake Gregory and the Nuwara Eliya Valley. This is a recent reprocessing of one of a lengthy set of photos I took of the lake, through the evening and into the night, in February 2017, for Serendib, the inflight magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines. My photo story, The Nuwara Eliya Season in Spring , ran in the April issue.
• 18mm • f/8 • 1/160 • ISO400 • 600D & EF-S18-200/3.5-5.6
Narigama Beach, Hikkaduwa. January 2022.
• 105mm • f/4 • 1/2000 • ISO100 • 5DMkIV & EF 24-105/f4L, courtesy Canon/Metropolitan