The Light of Kāmacchanda
Gangaramaya Temple, Colombo. Vesak Poya, May 2023.

• 70mm • f/2.8 • 1/125 • ISO250 • Canon R6 & RF24-70/2.8L •
• 50mm • f/2.8 • 1/125 • ISO1000 •
• 35mm • f/2.8 • 1/125 • ISO1250 •

Blind Faith
A blind woman prays at the main altar of St Lucia’s Cathedral, Kotahena. 21st April 2021. Lucia of Syracuse, venerated by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Eastern Orthodox churches as St Lucy, is the patron saint of the blind. In medieval accounts, Lucia’s eyes were gouged out before her execution during the 4th century Diocletianic Persecution, but that they were seen to be miraculously restored before her burial. Probably the best known of the Virgin Martyrs, she is one of only eight women commemorated in the Roman Catholic Canon of the Mass. St Lucia’s Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Colombo, and is said to be Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest parish cathedral. Construction began in 1872, but work was halted or delayed periodically for lack of funds and, though the cathedral began serving mass in 1881, it wasn’t until 1902 that the building was declared complete.

• 16mm • f/2.8 • 1/160 • ISO1600 •  5DMkIV & EF16-35/2.8L courtesy Canon/Metropolitan

Prayer Time in Pettah
Muslim men remove their footwear and enter the Memon Hanafi Mosque on 3rd Cross Street, for Friday evening prayers. Colombo, January 2023.

• 35mm • f/4 • 1/10 • ISO400 • R6 & RF14-35/4L •

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 •

Shall I Play for You
Children’s Choir, Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour, Colombo. Christmas, 2018. Shot on assignment for Smart Media and Gateway College.

The Temple of War #5
A devotee prayerfully circles the stupa of the Nagadeepa Viharaya, at Andaulpotha, close to Mahiyanganaya, in eastern Sri Lanka. The stupa is believed to date to the 2nd century BC, when it was built by King Dutugemunu of Anuradhapura in gratitude for his victory over the Chola king, Elara. The temple grounds also contain a small shrine built in 2009 by former President Mahinda Rajapakse, in gratitude for his own victory over the Tamil Tigers. Shot on assignment for Explore Sri Lanka magazine. My road trip piece, The Temple of War, ran in the April 2016 issue.

Out of the Land, into His Hand
A Roman Catholic rice farming community kneels in its fields, asking for blessings on their crops at the beginning of the Wap sowing season. All over Sri Lanka, groundbreaking ceremonies, called Wap Magula, are conducted by Buddhist or Hindu priests before the two major monsoon farming seasons, Maha and Yala. Except here, in Wahakotte, close to Dambulla. A Sinhalese village, converted to Roman Catholicism by the Portuguese in the 16th century, hold a unique morning mass in the fields, presided over by their own parish priest. Shot on assignment in October 2015, for Serendib, the inflight magazine of Sri Lankan Airlines. My photo story, A Missionary’s Bastion, ran the following month. It was my first work for Serendib.

Rhythmic Devotion
Worshippers and drummers at the Gangaramaya Temple, Colombo, December 2017.

The Rite of Penance
Whether in an act of devotion or contrition, a young woman walks the 50m aisle of St Lucia’s Cathedral, Kotahena, on her knees. April 2021.

5DMkIV & EF 16-35mm/2.8L courtesy Canon/Metropolitan.

Good Friday Voice
Karfreitag concert at the Stephanskirche, Simmern, Germany, in 2014.