Sunset Over the Hunsrück

Sunset Over the Hunsrück by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

Goodbyes are always difficult, no matter how beautiful they are; a sadness tinged with the hope of the next sunrise. Gödenroth, in the Hunsrück Mountains of Germany. Spring 2017.

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  • Worms

    Worms Hauptbahnhof, Germany by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Fürstenpavillon, or Prince’s Pavilion; part of the Worms Hauptbahnhof, or main railway station. While the station is the third one built on the site, in 1903, the pavilion dates to earlier constructions from the 19th century. Germany, spring 2017.

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  • Rape

    Rape by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Fields of rape in the Hunsrück Mountains, Germany. Spring 2017.

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  • The Wasserturm

    Wasserturm, Mannheim, Germany by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Mannheim’s Water Tower, was completed in 1889 to feed the Friedrichplatz fountains that had been built in 1739, and had sat there, dry, for a hundred and fifty years. It’s designed in a mix of Roman monumental and neo-Baroque styles. Germany, spring 2017.

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  • Lord of All He Surveys

    The Fernery, Hakgala Botanical Gardens, Sri Lanka

    Fernery at the Hakgala Gardens, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A fern frond greets the morning sun. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, The Nuwara Eliya Season in Spring, which runs in the April 2017 issue.

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  • Tank & Temple #13

    Tank & Temple #13 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Sunrise over the Basawankulama reservoir, or tank, with the Ruwanwelisaya in the distance. The Basawankulama, built in 400 BC by King Pandukabhaya is thought to be Sri Lanka’s oldest reservoir. The Ruwanwelisaya is relatively newer, built in 140 BC by King Dutugemunu. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, ran in the February 2017 issue.

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  • Faces on Pedlar Street #5

    Faces on Pedlar Street #5 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Pedlar Street, Galle Fort, Sri Lanka. March 2017.

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  • Burg Thrurant, Alken, Germany

    Burg Thurant, Alken, Germany by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The 13th century Thurant Castle, in the Moselle Valley, Germany. Much of the original buildings were destroyed in the 16th century War of the Palatine Succession, and were rebuilt and restored in the early 20th century. The castle was hit by a single American 155mm “Long Tom” shell two days before the end of World War II. Spring 2017.

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  • Blood Friday

    Blood Friday by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    “…And His sweat became like drops of blood, falling upon the ground.” — Luke 22:44

    Simmern, Germany. Good Friday, 2017.

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  • The Highest and the Holiest

    Highest & Holiest #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka’s sacred mountain, 2,243m high, as seen in the morning light, from the summit of Sri Lanka’s tallest mountain, 2,524m Mt Pedro or Pidurutalagala.

    Adam’s Peak is also known in Sinhalese as Siripadha, or the sacred foot. A stylised indentation on its summit is believed to be the footprint of the Buddha who is said to have climbed it in the 6th century BC. Muslims believe the footprint is that of Adam, who left it there while fleeing the Garden of Eden. Christians are undecided on whether it is indeed that of Adam, or of St Thomas. Hindus claim it is the footprint of Shiva.

    While Adam’s Peak may be climbed via a series of footpaths and stairs, Mt Pedro can only be accessed by car as its slopes are a strict nature reserve into which entry is forbidden on foot, motorcycle, or trishaw.

    Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, The Nuwara Eliya Season in Spring, which runs in the April 2017 issue.

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  • Sunrise Over Galle Bay, Sri Lanka

    Sunrise Over Galle Bay, Sri Lanka #4 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Shot from the Aurora Bastion of the Galle Fort. April 2017.

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  • The Devil’s Staircase #3

    The view across the Ohiya Gap of the steepest part of the Devil’s Staircase, in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. This is the final bit of the Stairs, the 300m climb up the Haputale Ridge, and is tough going both on foot or in a 4×4 vehicle, the latter requiring skill, patience, and nerves. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The Devil’s Staircase, ran in the March 2017 issue.

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  • Full Moonrise, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

    Face #89

    Face #90 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    You’d give your life, you’d sell your soul
    But here it comes again…

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  • Walking on Pedlar Street #4

    Racing Down the Home Stretch

    Racing Down the Straight #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A pair of thoroughbreds at maximum attack during morning training at the Nuwara Eliya Race Course. Although horse racing had begun in Nuwara Eliya in the mid-19th century, when John Baker, brother of the famous Samuel Baker, imported his English thoroughbreds, the Nuwara Eliya Turf Club was built only in 1900. Several race days will be held this April. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The Nuwara Eliya Season in Spring, runs in the April 2017 issue.

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  • Fort Railway Station, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Morning Gallop

    Morning Gallop #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A jockey races his thoroughbred down the home stretch of the Nuwara Eliya Turf Club, during morning training. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The Nuwara Eliya Season in Spring, runs in the April 2017 issue.

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  • The City of Light

    The City of Light by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Nuwara Eliya means “city of light” in Sinhalese, and the name existed long before the small town was founded by the British in the late 19th century, hinting at an older forgotten history. The photograph is of the southern entrance to the modern city, via a bridge over Lake Gregory, which was created in 1873, when Sir William Gregory ordered the damming of the Thalagala Stream, flooding the swamps at the southern end of the valley. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The Nuwara Eliya Season in Spring, runs in the April 2017 issue.

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  • Face #88

    Milkman, Pedlar Street, Galle Fort, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Milkman, Pedlar Street, Galle Fort, Sri Lanka. March 2017.

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  • Solomon’s Garden

    The riverside entrance to a landscaped garden named after a beloved former staff member of the Daham Sevana Intermediate Seminary, at Mt Eden, in Kalutara, Sri Lanka. February 2017.

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  • Father-to-be

    Priest-in-Waiting by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A young seminarian sits with his brothers at their morning lectures. In his year at at the Daham Sevana Intermediary Seminary, at Mt Eden, he will be regularly evaluated on his suitability for the Roman Catholic priesthood, and constantly encouraged to question his own calling. Kalutara, Sri Lanka. February 2017.

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  • The Age of Enlightenment

    The Age of Enlightenment by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Elderly Buddhist nuns at the Sri Maha Bodhiya, in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, ran in the February 2017 issue.

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  • The Ohiya Gap, Central Highlands, Sri Lanka #3

    The Ohiya Gap, Central Highlands, Sri Lanka #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Also known as the Nagadowa Valley, the Ohiya Gap is a deep cleft in the southern face of the Central Highlands, leading up to the Horton Plains plateau. Its northern wall is formed by the Haputale Ridge. The valley affords stunning views of the foothills, and the southern plains of Sri Lanka. On a clear night, the lights of ships off the southeast coast, over 100km away, can be seen. Shot from the Devil’s Staircase, the jeep track that was once the Kalupahana-Udaweriya Road, on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The Devil’s Staircase, runs in the March 2017 issue.

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  • Flutes & Drums, Anuradhapura

    Pilgrim Music by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Traditional Sri Lankan flutists and drummers lead a procession of pilgrims through the holy city of Anuradhapura. Established in the 4th century BC as the capital, Anuradhapura is home to the Atamasthana, eight places the Buddha is said to have visited, part of the sixteen Solosmasthana, Buddhism’s holiest sites. The long orange cloth carried by the pilgrims will eventually be wrapped around one of the city’s stupas, most likely the Ruwanwelisaya. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, ran in the February 2017 issue.

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  • Boiling Silver

    Boiling Silver by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A silver ring, freshly set with a blue moonstone, is dropped into a boiling solution to rid it of sealing wax picked up when the stone was mounted in a lapidary in Meetiyagoda, a small village that supplies most of the world’s blue moonstones. Shot on assignment for Explore Sri Lanka magazine. My story, Mining the Rare Blue Moonstones of Sri Lanka, ran in the February 2017 issue.

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  • Six-Hundred Metres and One-Hundred and Thirty-Three Years Apart

    The Jetawanaramaya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The 122m tall Jetawanaramaya, with the 92m Ruwanwelisaya in the distance. Built between 273 and 301 BC, the Jetawanaramaya is the largest and tallest stupa in the ancient world and, arguably the tallest non-pyramidal structure. The other contender is the Pharos Lighthouse which once stood in Alexandria and is variously described as between 115m and 150m tall. To get an impression of the Jetawanaramaya’s sheer size, the square structure at its top — the hathares kotuwa — could accommodate twelve Ashok Leyland buses parked end to end around its diameter. The more famous Ruwanwelisaya, situated 600m away is relatively newer, built in 140 BC. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, ran in the February 2017 issue.

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  • Hiking the Devil’s Staircase

    “If hiking is your thing, the exciting Devil’s Staircase is probably the most enjoyable and possibly the most challenging, road hike in Sri Lanka. For 4×4 enthusiasts, mountain bikers, or off-road motorcyclists, this is a trail worthy of any bucket list.” — From my story, The Devil’s Staircase, which ran in the March 2017 issue of Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines.

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  • Face #87

    Face #87 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Udaweriya, on the Devil’s Staircase, Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, The Devil’s Staircase, which runs in the March 2017 issue.

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  • The Garden of Temptation

    The Garden of Temptation #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Ranmasu Uyana, or Royal Pleasure Gardens in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, where Prince Saliya, the son of King Dutugemunu fell in love with the commoner Ashokamala and, in the 2nd century BC, gave up the throne of Anuradhapura to marry her. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, ran in the February 2017 issue.

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  • Prayer Flags at the Jetawanaramaya

    Prayer Flags at the Jetwanaramaya by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, ran in the February 2017 issue.

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  • The Devil’s Cricket Team

    Children from the tiny village of Udaweriya, on the Devil’s Staircase. In the Ohiya Gap, on the southern edge of the Central highlands, Udaweriya is one of the highest permanent settlements in Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The Devil’s Staircase appears in the March 2017 issue.

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  • Gold Medal

    Gold Medal by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Fill a 500ml beer glass with ice, then add:
    50ml red rum
    150ml ginger beer
    200ml Sprite or lemonade
    A splash of soda

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  • Dawla Drummer, Sri Maha Bodhiya, Anuradhapura

    Dawla Drummer, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, ran in the February 2017 issue.

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  • Morning Over the Kelani Valley

    The Kelani River, Kitulgala, Sri Lanka #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Kitulgala, in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. March 2017.

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  • Morning Traffic on the Devil’s Staircase

    Against all odds, a battered old Delica van from a nearby settlement negotiates the Old Udaweriya Road, better known as the Devil’s Staircase for it’s steep hairpin bends. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The Devil’s Staircase appears in the March 2017 issue.

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  • Childhood Interrupted #3

    Childhood Interrupted #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Painfully young novice Buddhist monks listen to a sermon in the hot sunny courtyard of the Ruwanwelisaya, in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. December 2016.

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  • The Haunted Forest

    Coming off the Devil’s Staircase, and descending the north face of the Haputale Ridge, toward’s Ohiya, we turned a bend and ran into this dense patch of mist. It was almost midday, but the mist hung there, unmoving. A few hundred metres on, it disappeared. On the way back, an hour later, the mist was still there, waiting, beyond a bend in the road. This time, we dismounted our truck and walked through it. Dense and still, it seemed to defy the sun. And it was quiet, which was unusual in Sri Lanka. No birds or insects. Around another bend, and it was as if the mist had never been. Looking back was like looking into a gloomy room from a sunny street. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The Devil’s Staircase, appears in the March 2017 issue.

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  • Fearless Giri

    The Abhayagiriya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The desolate courtyard of the Abhayagiriya, in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. In the 1st century BC, Vattagamini Abhaya, who had ascended the throne of Anuradhapura as King Valagamba was defeated by an Indian Chola invasion. As the king fled the capital, the chief priest of a nearby Jain monastery taunted him, saying “The great black Sinhalese king is fleeing.” Fourteen years later, King Valagamba counterattacked and recaptured the city. Remembering his insult, Valagamba executed the Jain priest and razed his monastery to the ground, building a massive stupa over it. The second part of Vattagamini Abhaya’s name means “fearless”, or “have no fear”, and Valagamba used it in naming the new stupa and its neighbouring Buddhist monastery. He combined Abhaya with Giri, the latter being, according to varying accounts, either the Jain priest’s name, or that of his monastery. Either way, the new stupa was named the Abhayagiriya; “Fearless Giri”, the priest who dared to taunt a king.

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  • The Abhayagiriya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Abhayagiri Dagaba measures 74.6m to the tip of its broken spire, making it the third tallest dagaba in Sri Lanka, though it might have once been as tall as 100m, one of the tallest structures in the ancient world.

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  • Both photographs were taken on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, ran in the February 2017 issue.

    Abandoned Tea Factory on the Devil’s Staircase

    Udaweriya Tea Estate, Devil’s Staircase, Central Highlands, Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The Devil’s Staircase, appears in the March 2017 issue.

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  • The Devil’s Staircase

    “The route connecting Kalupahana to Ohiya cannot be really called a road. What it is, is an adventure. Whether you are tough enough to walk its length or mad enough to drive it, this is a journey every adventurer should take.”

    Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The Devil’s Staircase, runs in the March 2017 issue. Check it out when you fly SriLankan this month, or follow the link to see the online version.

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  • Kuragala #2

    Kuragala by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Kuragala Escarpment with, beyond it, the Udawalawe Basin. Kuragala is home to the ruins of a 2nd century BC Buddhist monastery and a more recent Sufi Muslim shrine. Central Highlands, Sri Lanka. January 2017.

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  • Priceless Doorstep

    Priceless Doorstep by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A beautifully preserved example of a moonstone at the entrance to King Mahasen’s palace in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, dates to the 3rd century BC. A much more recent moonstone from the 10th or 11th centuries AD (late Anuradhapura period), which was removed by a Scottish engineer, William Thyne, in the 1930s and installed in his home in Bristol, was sold in 2016, by Bonhams of London, for 550,000 pounds (almost $700,000). Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, ran in the February 2017 issue.

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  • Face #86

    Face #86 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Devil’s Staircase, Ohiya, Sri Lanka. January 2017.

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  • Thammettama Drummer, Sri Maha Bodhiya, Anuradhapura

    Thammettama Drummer, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, which ran in the February 2017 issue.

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  • Blue Eyes

    A blue cat’s eye moonstone from Meetiyagoda, in Sri Lanka. Less than a dozen small mines in this little town supply most of the world’s blue moonstones, still worked by hand as they have been for over a century. Shot on assignment for Explore Sri Lanka magazine. My story, Moonstones of Meetiyagoda, ran in the February 2017 issue.

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  • Ancient Giants

    Ancient Twins #4 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Ruwanwelisaya and the Jetawanaramaya at dusk, as seen from the far side of the Nuwara Wewa, Anuradhapura.The stupas are two of the tallest monuments of the ancient world and, along with the reservoir, are over 2,000 years old. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, which ran in the February 2017 issue.

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  • Down in the Mine #2

    Down in the Mine #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A moonstone miner waits for a bucket to be lowered the 20m to him to collect pegmatite rubble which contains the rare blue moonstone. Meetiyagoda, in southwestern Sri Lanka, is the world’s largest source of blue moonstones, and some of these mineshafts will eventually go as deep as 65m where they hit bedrock. Shot on assignment for Explore Sri Lanka, as part of my story, Moonstones of Meetiyagoda, which runs in the February 2017 issue now on sale.

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  • Anuradhapura Mornings

    Tank & Temple #15 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Mirisawetiya Dagaba emerges from the dawn mists over the Basawakkulama Tank. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, runs in the February 2017 issue.

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  • A Living Temple Frieze

    Living Frieze #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Devotees wrap a 300m bolt of saffron-coloured cloth around the base of the Ruwanwelisaya, Anuradhapura, in a symbolic act of dressing. Saffron is the colour of the robes worn by Buddhist monks. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, which runs in the February 2017 issue.

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  • A Final Rest on the Edge of the World

    Rest at the Edge of the World #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A tiny burial plot at the Beragala Pass, in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. January 2017.

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  • The Isurumuniya Temple, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

    Isurumuniya Temple, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Built by King Devanampiya Tissa in the 4th century BC, the Isurumuniya rock temple has had many renovations and additions to it, however, over the two thousand years of its existence, with some of its most famous features attributed to the 6th and 7th centuries AD. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The First Kingdom of Lanka, runs in the February 2017 issue.

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  • A Late Morning Drink

    A Late Morning Drink by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    His face seemed to be looking back in time to other more crowded and noisy bars as he sipped a large White Diamond and water and finished his cigarette. He said he was seventy years old, and didn’t drink much anymore because of his high blood sugar, but allowed himself one on Fridays. The Havi Bar, Thalahena.

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  • Kuragala

    Kuragala #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The steep Kuragala escarpment with, beyond it, the Udawalawe Basin. Kuragala is one of the oldest sites of human habitation in Sri Lanka, with its caves showing signs of once being home to the prehistoric Balangoda Man. It is also the site of a 2nd century BC Buddhist monastery, and a more recent Sufi shrine. Shot from the lower end of the Beragala Pass in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. January 2017.

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  • Shroud of Clouds

    Shroud of Clouds by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Ruwanwelisaya is perhaps King Dutugemunu’s most famous work, taller than the Taj Mahal, twice the height of the Colosseum, and older than both, it was completed only after his death in the 2nd century BC. On his deathbed, the king’s last wish was to see his final creation and, to ease his mind, Prince Saddha Tissa, his brother, had the unfinished frame of the Ruwanwelisaya shrouded in white cloth, making it look complete to the failing eyes of Dutugemunu. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The First Kingdom of Lanka runs in the February 2017 issue.

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  • Down in the Mine

    Down in the Mine #5 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    “Once the pegmatite layer is reached, usually at a depth of 10-20m, mining can begin. Sometimes, horizontal tunnels are also dug outwards from the vertical shaft, in four directions, so that the maximum area of pegmatite can be exposed. Each horizontal donawa is 10m long and 2.5m square, and a miner must crawl into it to work by oil lamp or electric lights, in claustrophobic conditions, at temperatures often around 35˚C.”

    A miner descends into a moonstone mine in Meetiyagoda. This little Sri Lankan village is the world’s largest supplier of rare blue moonstones. Shot on assignment for Explore Sri Lanka. My story, The Moonstones of Meetiyagoda, runs in the February 2017 issue now on sale.

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  • Evening Over the Ohiya Gap, Sri Lanka

    Evening Over the Beragala Pass, Sri Lanka #4 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Looking southwest from the Beragala Pass, along the southern edge of the Central Highlands. January 2017.

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  • Anuradhapura: the First Kingdom of Lanka

    Tank & Temple #16 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    “For over a thousand years, the kings of Lanka ruled from one great city in the vast plains and jungles north of the mountains. Anuradhapura establishes itself in the 4th century BC, as the Hellenistic Age begins in the Mediterranean, Alexander the Great conquers the Persian Empire, and Aristotle proposes the division of the sciences.”

    The Ruwanwelisaya at dawn, as seen from across the Basawakkulama Reservoir. Built in 400 BC by King Pandukabhaya, the Basawakkulama is thought to be Sri Lanka’s oldest reservoir. The Ruwanwelisaya is relatively newer, built in 140 BC by King Dutugemunu. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story on Anuradhapura, The First Kingdom of Lanka, appears in the February 2017 issue. Pick up a copy if you’re flying this month, or check out the online version at the link posted above.

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  • Sri Lankan Black Pork Curry & “Pol Rotti”

    Poseurs in the Mist

    Poseurs in the Mist by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A herdsman and his cows wait patiently to be photographed on the Horton Plains Road, Ohiya, in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka.

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  • Grounded

    Grounded by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    An outrigger fishing canoe on the shore of the Samanalawewa, normally one of the deepest reservoirs in Sri Lanka. The water level of the Samanalawewa has dropped dramatically in recent months as the country goes through the worst drought in forty years. The high ground on the sides of the photo would usually be far below the surface. January 2017.

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  • Landa House

    Landa Houses, Belihuloya, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Belihuloya, in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. January 2017.

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  • Broken Promises

    Broken Promises by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Dark clouds pass over a paddy field in Belihuloya, in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, without shedding any rain. Sri Lanka is experiencing one of the worst droughts in forty years. January 2016.

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  • Drought in the Highlands

    Drought in the Highlands by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The 372-square kilometre Samanalawewa, close to Belihuloya, in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, was created in 1992, with the construction of the Samanala Dam. The reservoir is one of the largest and deepest in the country, providing irrigation and hydro-electricity, but the recent drought has dropped its water level dramatically. Normally, the rise in the foreground, where the photographer is standing would be underwater. Sri Lanka is currently experiencing the longest drought in forty years. January 2016.

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  • Paddy Fields, Madatugama, Sri Lanka

    Nagala Mountain

    Nagala Mountain, Kurunegala, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Polpithigama, Sri Lanka. February 2016.

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  • Oriental Darter, Diyawanna Lake, Sri Lanka

    Oriental Darter, Diyawanna Oya, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, The Capital Lake, which runs in the January 2017 issue. The oriental darter (Anhinga melanogaster) is also known as the snakebird because of its serpent-like neck.

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  • Discarded Light

    Discarded Light by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Tens of thousands of clay oil lamps, discarded after Buddhist worship ceremonies at the Sri Maha Bodhiya. The heap of lamps was still too hot to approach closely, and would have made a fine barbecue. Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. December 2016.

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  • Spear Fishing in the Morning, Puttalam Lagoon #5

    Jade at Dusk, Off Vakarai, Sri Lanka #2

    Jade at Sunset, Off Vakarai, Sri Lanka #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Jade is a 16m seagoing catamaran with a crew of three, capable of carrying eight passengers in four cabins. I took her small rubber dinghy out after sunset to shoot this photograph of her anchored for the night off the east coast of Sri Lanka; as part of my story, Racing Before the Wind, which ran in the June 2016 issue of Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines.

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  • Walking the Ramparts #7

    Walking the Ramparts #7 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Morning over the walls of the 17th century Dutch fort of Galle, in Sri Lanka. Shot from the Triton Bastion in May 2015. The rampart on the left stretches to the Vlagklip Bastion in the distance. Inside the walls is the old town. The Vlagklip Bastion (also known by its later English name, Flagrock) is the southernmost point of Fort Galle and, beyond it, the Indian Ocean stretches 8,000km, almost unbroken, to the Antarctic.

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  • Highland Fire #2

    Highland Fire (portrait) by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Sunset over tea plantations in Bogawantalawa, in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. February 2014.

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  • Drying Off

    Little Cormorants, Diyawanna Oya, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Little cormorants dry their wings after a morning dive in the Diyawanna Oya, Kotte, Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The Capital Lake, appears in the January 2017 issue.

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  • Living by Tea

    Living by Tea by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    “Line houses”, the homes of tea plantation workers, surrounded by the tea bushes that are their livelihood. Baduluoya Valley, Central Highlands, Sri Lanka. January 2016.

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  • Rugged

    Rugged by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Ancient banyan tree in the Galle Fort, Sri Lanka. May 2015.

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  • Diyawanna Oya, Kotte, Sri Lanka

    Diyawanna Oya, Kotte, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Egrets fish peacefully just a dozen metres from a busy road in Sri Lanka’s administrative capital, Kotte. The Diyawanna Oya is an artificial lake, created in 1981 by dredging the marshland to build the country’s new parliament building. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my piece, The Capital Lake, which runs in the January 2017 issue.

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  • Sri Lankan Parliament Building, Kotte

    Sri Lankan Parliament, Kotte by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Designed by the late Geoffrey Bawa, and completed in 1982, the Sri Lankan parliament building sits on the islet of Duwa, in Kotte, southeast of the commercial capital, Colombo. Kotte was once a kingdom in its own right until annexed by the Portuguese in 1597, and the islet of Duwa was a recreational area for Portuguese troops who were not allowed to drink in the nearby palace grounds. The marshland around Duwa was dredged and deepened during the construction of the parliament building, creating the Diyawanna Oya, an artificial lake. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The Capital Lake, appears in the January 2017 issue.

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  • Fishing Boat in the Morning, Puttalam Lagoon, Sri Lanka #2

    Spot-Billed Pelican

    Spot-Billed Pelican, Diyawanna Oya, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The little islets on the Diyawanna Oya in the southeastern Colombo suburb of Kotte are home to the globally threatened spot-billed pelican (Pelecanus philippensis), which is relatively rare even in Sri Lanka, though frequently seen around Colombo’s lakes. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, The Capital Lake, runs in the January 2017 issue.

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  • Morning on the Diyawanna Oya, Kotte, Sri Lanka

    Morning on the Diyawanna Oya, Kotte, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    “Sri Lanka is a land without lakes. This might seem like a ridiculous observation when one notes that it is almost impossible to travel anywhere in lowland Sri Lanka without being near some large inland water body. But these are not lakes; they are reservoirs, or “tanks” as they are called locally. Every single one is manmade. And throughout history, Sri Lankans became expert at creating the lakes we did not have.”

    My story, The Capital Lake, on exploring the Diyawanna Oya by boat, runs throughout this month of January 2017, in Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. Follow the link to read the full piece and see more photographs, or pick up a mag if you’re flying this month.

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  • 2016

    2016 was my first full year doing any sort of professional photography, and it was an amazing year, shooting mostly for Serendib, the inflight mag of SriLankan Airlines, but also occasionally for Explore Sri Lanka, the country’s premier travel mag. I had three cover features, a chance to spend the night at sea on a sailing yacht, search for crocodiles in the marshes of the Bentara River, climb Ritigala, and eat the rice that fed the kings of Lanka over 2,000 years ago. For those of you not following my blog that closely, this what it looked like:

    Serendib Cover Shot by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Climbing the Walls — cover feature on the Galle Fort — Serendib January 2016.

    Serendib Cover Shot, March 2016 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Heirlooms Unforgotten — cover feature on the historic rice of ancient Lanka, now being reintroduced to modern Sri Lanka — Serendib, March 2016.

    Racing Before the Wind by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Racing Before the Wind — cover feature on luxury sailing off the east coast of Sri Lanka — Serendib, June 2016.

    A Bell and a Mountain by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Mysteries in the Jungle — on the Batatotalena Cave, the disputed sixteenth SolosmasthanayaSerendib, February 2016.

    On the Trail of Balangoda Man by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Cave in the Jungle — tracking prehistoric Balangoda Man through the rainforest to his home in the Batadombalena Cave — Serendib, March 2016.

    The Road for Road Trips by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Road to Ritigala — a road trip along the road made for road trips — Explore Sri Lanka — March 2016.

    In the Shadow of the Mountain of a God — from Ratnapura to Mahiyanganaya; a visit to the temples of Saman — Serendib — April 2016.

    Red by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Temple of War — a west-to-east drive across Sri Lanka to find the mysterious second Nagadeepa Temple — Explore Sri Lanka, April 2016.

    Ammaduwa Devalaya, Sri Lanka #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Secluded Peace — a visit to the beautiful Ammaduwa Temple — Serendib, May 2016.

    Fish Monger in the Colpetty Market, Colombo #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Colpetty Market — some urban exploration through one of Colombo’s relatively recent landmarks — Serendib, July 2016.

    Beach Boy, Mt Lavinia Beach, Sri Lanka (b/w) by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Colombo’s Long Sand Street — a story on Mt Lavinia Beach, Colombo’s most famous strip of sand — Serendib, August 2016.

    Ritigala Ruins #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Mystery of Ritigala — a climb through the ghostly ruins of Ritigala Mountain — Explore Sri Lanka — August 2016.

    A Little Salty by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Eternal Bentota — a story on Sri Lanka’s most famous resort town and its surprisingly adjacent wildlife — Serendib, November 2016.

    Drummer, Alawala, Sri Lanka #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A Beat of the Ages — traditional Sri Lankan drum-making — Serendib, December 2016.

    Having crammed in two more shoots over the holidays, one for Serendib, and one for Explore Sri Lanka, watch this space for more of my work next year. Thank you for having followed my journey thus far. It’s been fun, and hopefully next year will be even better. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

    Hidden Loo

    Brief #5 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A bathroom opens off a small side garden at Brief, the bungalow and estate of the late landscape architect, Bewis Bawa. Kalawila, Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, Eternal Bentota, which ran in the December 2016 issue.

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  • Thammettama

    Thammattema by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Detail of a thammatama or pokuru beraya, a pair of conjoined drums traditionally played with sticks. The drumheads are stretched animal skin, lashed tight with rawhide. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my piece A Beat of the Ages, the story of traditional Sri Lankan drum-making, which ran in the December 2016 issue.

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  • Fishing Boat in the Morning, Puttalam Lagoon, Sri Lanka

    Fishing Boat in the Morning, Puttalam Lagoon #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Morning fishing against the backdrop of the Seguwantivu and Vidatamunai Wind Farms on the eastern shore of the Puttalam Lagoon. December 2016.

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  • Childhood Interrupted

    Childhood Interrupted by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Painfully young Buddhist monks visit the Sri Maha Bodhiya in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. December 2016.

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  • Hunting Breakfast

    Spear Fishing in the Morning, Puttalam Lagoon #4 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Spear fisherman, Puttalam Lagoon, Sri Lanka. December 2016.

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  • The Fortune Teller & the Camera

    Homemade Pizza #3

    Homemade Pizza #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Square-cut bacon pizza, with sweet corn and mozzarella cheese. Germany, summer 2016.

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  • Morning Over the Victoria

    Morning Over the Victoria #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Looking south from the Teldeniya Rest House. This small government hotel consists of very basic rooms with a view I have never tired of since I first saw it, twenty years ago. Central Highlands, Sri Lanka, March 2016.

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  • Drum Maker, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka

    Sri Lankan Drum Makers, Battaramulla #6 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Nimal Wickramasiri, a master drum maker strings rawhide laces through the drumheads of a Yak, or Ruhunu bera, one of the traditional drums of Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, A Beat of the Ages, which appears in the December 2016 issue.

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  • Locking Up the Gods

    Locking Up the Gods by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A locked shrine room at the Sri Sumana Saman Devalaya in Deraniyagala, Sri Lanka. February 2016.

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  • Waiting for Offerings

    Waiting for Offerings by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Beggars wait by the footwear of devotees outside the Sri Muthu Vinayakar Kovil on Sea Street, in the old Colombo area of Kochchikade, Sri Lanka. April 2016.

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  • The Chinese Fort

    Morning on the Ramparts #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A sweeping view of what is locally known as Cheena Kotuwa, or the “Chinese Fort”, an area on the western side of Galle Bay, just outside the 17th century Dutch fort. The Ming Dynasty explorer and diplomat, Admiral Zheng He, visited Galle four times in the early 15th century, with the massive ships of the imperial treasure fleet; but I haven’t been able to discover if this has any connection to the name. The photo shows Custom Road, the Galle fish market, the beach, and Galle Bay in the background, as seen from the Sun Bastion, the Galle Fort’s northeastern strongpoint. Sri Lanka, September 2016.

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  • Greater Cormorant, Bentara River, Sri Lanka

    Greater Cormorant, Bentara River, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines as part of my story, Eternal Bentota, which ran in the November 2016 issue.

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  • Afternoon Light on Water

    The Modergam Aru in the Afternoon Sun (b/w) by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Modergam Aru, in northwestern Sri Lanka, forms the southern boundary of the Wilpattu Ntional Park, the country’s largest nature reserve. February 2016.

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  • Triple-Headed Mountain

    A26 Highway by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Thunhis Gala (literally, the Three-Headed Rock), part of the Knuckles Mountain Range, towers over the A26 Highway that drops 600m down the eastern face of the Central Highlands, from Digana to the flatlands around Mahiyanganaya. The highway, which includes the hair-raising Dhaha Ata Wanguwa (Eighteen Bends), is one of the best driving roads in Sri Lanka. Leave Digana as early as you dare and beat the traffic. Shot on assignment for Explore Sri Lanka magazine, as part of my road trip piece, The Temple of War, which appeared in the April 2016 issue.

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  • Drum Makers at Work, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka

    Sri Lankan Drum Makers, Battaramulla #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Nimal Wickramasiri, a master drum maker, from a long line of traditional Sri Lankan drum makers, at work with his apprentices, in his workshop in Battaramulla, close to Sri Lanka’s administrative capital, Kotte. Three stages in the making of a drum can be seen in this photograph. The woman in the foreground is stripping lengths of heavy-duty rawhide which will be used as cords on drums similar to the one Nimal is stringing in the background. The other apprentice is smoothening the ends of a wooden geta bera body to receive the leather drumheads. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, A Beat of the Ages, which appears in the December 2016 issue.

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  • The Colombo Port in the Morning (b/w)

    Colombo Port in the Morning (B/W) by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Colombo docks, with the Ports Authority building in the foreground, shot from the Harbour Room of the Grand Oriental Hotel, Sri Lanka. September 2016.

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  • Rhythmic Work

    Sri Lankan Drum Makers, Battaramulla #5 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    “The hands and fingers seemed to work to an inner beat, to a pulse, only the drum-maker himself could hear. As wood was smoothed, leather cords tightened, and cowhide stretched, they would be periodically tested, plucked, tapped, thrummed by the fingers, searching for a quality defined by sound…”

    In Battaramulla, a master drum maker stretches and ties layers of animal hide to form the drumhead of a Yak bera, a traditional Sri Lankan drum. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, A Beat of the Ages, runs in the December 2016 issue.

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  • Drummer, Alawala, Sri Lanka

    Drummer, Alawala, Sri Lanka #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    “…He tries out various beats with his palms, his fingers, and the kadippuwa – a drumstick – the sound is almost hair raising, like the heartbeat of Lanka, racing and slowing and then racing again, unbroken through the ages.”

    A drum maker tunes a freshly made dawula, a traditional Sri Lankan drum. Next to him stands his own well-used geta bera, as well as several tabla bodies awaiting varnishing and finishing. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story on traditional drum making, A Beat of the Ages, appears in the December 2016 issue. Check it out when you fly SriLankan this month, or follow the link.

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  • The Temple of War #4

    The Temple of War #4 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Garlands and crushed flowers decorate the Nagadeepa Viharaya, 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. Shot on assignment for Explore Sri Lanka magazine. My road trip piece, The Temple of War, appeared in the April 2016 issue.

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  • The Victoria in the Evening

    The Victoria in the Evening #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Victoria Dam, Reservoir, and Golf Links, as seen from Digana, in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Explore Sri Lanka, as part of my story, The Temple of War, which ran in the April 2016 issue.

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  • Yam Hawk Moth

    Yam Hawk Moth (Theretra nessus) by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    One of the lesser known members of the hawk moth family (Sphingidae), the relatively large yam hawk moth (Theretra nessus) has a wingspan of over 10cm, and is native to the Indian subcontinent, east and southeast Asia. Colombo, Sri Lanka, November 2016.

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  • Exploring the Floating Jungle

    Mangrove Forest on the Bentara River, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Dense mangrove and nipa palm thickets grow straight out of the Bentara River, often making it impossible to distinguish between water and dry land. The best way to explore the river and its jungle banks is of course by boat, thus also avoiding the possibility of stumbling upon an estuarine crocodile lurking in the gloom of the shallows. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. For more on the Bentara River, see my story, Eternal Bentota, in the November 2016 issue.

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  • Special Task

    Special Task by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A policeman of the paramilitary Special Task Force protects the Sri Lankan Parliamentary complex on the islet of Duwa on the Diyawanna Oya lake in Kotte, close to Colombo. Clad in British DPM fatigues, he carries an American 5.56mm M4 carbine. During the Sri Lankan civil war, the STF was heavily engaged in anti-terrorism operations against the Tamil Tigers.

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  • Quarter-Pounder

    Quarter Pounder #4 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A quarter pound of pork, cheese, caramelised onions, tomato, and lettuce; from the Big Bad Wolf in Colombo.

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  • Head Shot

    Head Shot by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    One of the larger varieties of insects in Sri Lanka, the yam hawk moth (Theretra nessus) can have a wingspan of over 10cm. It is native to the Indian subcontinent, east and southeast Asia.

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  • Famous Bath

    Brief #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The outdoor bath is one of the most photographed parts of the late Bewis Bawa’s home, Brief, in Kalawila, close to Bentota. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, Eternal Bentota, which appears in the November 2016 issue.

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  • Cruciform

    Wings & Torso by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Closeup of the wings and abdomen of a yam hawk moth (Theretra nessus), one of the lesser known members of the hawk moth family (Sphingidae). The yam hawk moth is native to south, southeast, and east Asia, and can have a wingspan of over 10cm.

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  • Chop Chop

    Pork Chops #5 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Pork chops from the soon-to-be-opening Big Bad Wolf, in Colombo.

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  • Stairs at the Mirror

    Brief #9 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    You hurtled like vertigo
    Down the stairs, leading
    Through moist lilac to your realm
    Beyond the mirror.
    — Arseny Tarkovsky First Meetings

    Brief, Bewis Bawa’s landscaped garden, at Kalawila, in Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, Eternal Bentota, which appears in the November 2016 issue. Brief lies a few kilometres inland of Bentota, on Sri Lanka’s southwestern coast.

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  • Houseboat on the Bentara River

    House Boat on the Bentara River, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Probably the most relaxed way to tour this river network. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, for my story, Eternal Bentota, which appears in the November 2016 issue. For more on the famous west coast resort town of Bentota, and the picturesque Bentara River, follow the link, or pick up a mag when you fly SriLankan this month.

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  • Bacon Burger

    Bacon Burger #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A quarter-pound of pork, topped with cheese, tomato, and smoked bacon. Shot for the soon-to-be-opening Big Bad Wolf, in Colombo.

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  • Junior Lifeguards in Training, Sri Lanka

    Junior Lifeguards in Training, Sri Lanka #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Ventura Beach, Bentota. Shot for my story, Eternal Bentota, which runs in the November 2016 issue of Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines.

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  • Snakebird Over the Bentara River, Sri Lanka

    Oriental Darter on the Bentara River, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    An oriental darter (Anhinga melanogaster), often known as a snakebird for its long serpent-like neck and head, swoops in over the Bentara River, in southwestern Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, Eternal Bentota, runs in the November 2016 issue. For more on the ecosystem and wildlife of the Bentara River (including more photos), follow the link, or pick up a mag when you fly SriLankan this month.

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  • The Half-Pounder

    Half Pounder #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Half a pound of pork, caramelised onions, and that’s about it. Shot for the soon-to-be-opening Big Bad Wolf in Colombo.

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  • Bentota’s Favourite Attraction

    Ventura Beach, Bentota, Sri Lanka #9 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Relaxing, chillin’, doing nothing. Whatever you want to call it, Ventura Beach, in Bentota, on the west coast of Sri Lanka, is perfect for it. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, Eternal Bentota, which runs in the November 2016 issue.

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  • Ventura Beach

    Sundown on Ventura Beach, Bentota, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Beachgoers catch the last rays of the day at Bentota, on the west coast of Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, Eternal Bentota, runs in the November 2016 issue.

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  • Young Salty

    A Young Mugger Crocodile, Bentara River, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A juvenile saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) basks on the roots of a mangrove tree on the Bentara River, close to Bentota, Sri Lanka. While this little fellow wasn’t much more than a metre in length, adult male salties are the largest living reptiles on earth, and can grow up to 7m and weigh over 1,000kg. Females are much smaller and lighter, rarely over 3m in length. Successful conservation in Sri Lanka has seen saltwater and mugger crocodile numbers increase sharply in recent years. These growing numbers have seen an increase of crocodile sightings — and attacks — in Sri Lanka as crocodiles expand their territories downriver into more populated suburban areas.

    Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, Eternal Bentota, which runs in the November 2016 issue.

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  • Eternal Bentota

    Ventura Beach, Bentota, Sri Lanka #8 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    “For me, the very name Bentota conjures up feelings of childish excitement and anticipation; of sleepless nights waiting for the dawn. It was almost as good as Christmas. From family picnics to the beach to youthful day trips, Bentota was the place to go…”

    Late afternoon on Ventura Beach, Bentota, on the west coast of Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, Eternal Bentota, runs in this month’s issue, November 2016. Follow the link, or pick up a copy when you fly SriLankan, to find out more about Sri Lanka’s original resort town.

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  • The Ruwanweliseya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka #4

    The Ruwanwelisaya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka #4 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    One of the tallest monuments of the ancient world, standing at 103m; taller than the Taj Mahal, and more than twice the height of the Colosseum, the Ruwanweliseya was created by King Dutugemunu, and completed shortly after his death in 137 BC. At the time of its original construction, the central stupa was probably half its current height, similar to the smaller stupa in the photograph, which is one of four that surround the main structure. The original stupa was added to by successive kings, increasing its height and circumference. Sri Lanka, February 2016.

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  • Personal Shrine

    Personal Altar by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    In spite of the fact that the entire Sri Maha Bodhi Seya, in Mahiyanganaya, is a shrine covered both inside and out by images of the Buddha, someone — probably a caretaker — had installed a small makeshift shrine in a hidden nook at the rear, complete with offering bowl. The Sri Maha Bodhi Seya, a replica of the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, India, was built in 1989 by President Ranasinghe Premadasa. For more on Mahiyanganaya, read my story, The Temple of War, in the April 2016 issue of Explore Sri Lanka magazine.

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  • Ammaduwa Devalaya, Sri Lanka #5

    Ammaduwa Devalaya, Sri Lanka #5 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The view from the entrance of the 14th Century Kataragama shrine, in the foothills above Godakawela, down to the sinhasanaya where, traditionally, the accoutrements of the annual perahera are stored. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. For more on the beautiful Ammaduwa Devalaya, see my story, Secluded Peace, in the May 2016 issue.

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  • A Weather Eye

    A Weather Eye by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A crewman on the sailing yacht, Jade, watches a rain squall hit Arukarkudah, on the distant east coast of Sri Lanka. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. For more on yachting off Sri Lanka, see my story, Racing Before the Wind, which ran in the June 2016 issue.

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  • The Woman at Burg Eltz #3

    The Bride at Burg Eltz #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Burg Eltz Castle, Wierschem, in the Eifel Mountains of Germany. Summer 2016.

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  • War Horse

    War Horse by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Detail of a ceremonial cart decorated to represent the chariot of the Hindu war god, Murugan. Sea Street, in the old Colombo area of Kochchikade, Sri Lanka. April 2016.

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  • Morning on the Ramparts #6

    Morning on the Ramparts #6 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The interior of the northwest corner of the 17th century Galle Fort, shot from the Star Bastion. The building on the left is part of a military base housing the fort’s resident garrison, the 2nd (Volunteer) Gemunu Watch. The battalion maintains an outpost in the Aeolus Bastion, opposite the base. Sri Lanka, September 2016.

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  • Colourful Gintupitiya #3

    Today’s News, on the City’s Oldest Street

    News Spot, Bankshall Street, Pettah by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Newspaper kiosk on the corner of Bankshall and 2nd Cross streets, in the Old Colombo area of Pettah. Bankshall Street is the city’s original main thoroughfare and, therefore, its oldest street, the central axis of the Portuguese coastal town of Kolon Tota, established in the early 16th century, the street name derived from the Javanese word for warehouses — bangasalas. Sri Lanka, April 2016.

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  • The Kantalai Tank

    The Kantalai Tank, Sri Lanka (b/w) by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    One of the oldest reservoirs in Sri Lanka, the Kantalai Tank was built in the 7th century by King Aggabodhi II of Anuradhapura. April, 2016.

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  • Jade at Sunrise, Off Challativu Island, Sri Lanka #2

    Jade at Sunrise, Challativu Island, Sri Lanka #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The 16.5m catamaran sailing yacht, Jade, anchored off Challativu Island, on the east coast of Sri Lanka. Sailing, as a leisure activity, is beginning to gain new interest in Sri Lanka which, this week hosts South Asia’s biggest boat show. For more on the experience of sailing in the Indian Ocean see my cover story, Racing Before the Wind, in the June 2016 issue of Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines.

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  • The Akersloot Bastion

    The Akersloot Bastion by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Named after the hometown of Admiral Wilhelm Coster, the commander of the Dutch forces that captured Galle from the Portuguese in 1640, the Akersloot Bastion is one of the smaller strongpoints of this fort. The shallow waters and rocky shores at this spot provide a natural defence that didn’t necessitate the higher ramparts that face the open sea. Nevertheless, this bastion covers the approaches to Galle Bay and the harbour, and had seven cannon in position. Immediately behind the strongpoint is the Dutch Hospital, and the Akersloot Bastion was often used as a makeshift mortuary and for post-mortem examinations. The Galle Fort fell to the British in 1796 and, ever since, the bastion has functioned as the harbour master’s residence. It is one of the few portions of the fort’s ramparts that is not open to the public. Visible above the Akersloot Bastion is a breadfruit tree (Artocarpus altilis), and it is believed to be the first one ever planted on the island of Sri Lanka, by the Dutch. This was shot from the Triton Bastion and, beyond the ramparts, the modern town of Galle can be seen to the north, on the far side of the bay. Sri Lanka, September 2016.

    For more on the historic Galle Fort, see my cover story, Climbing the Walls, in the January 2016 issue of Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines.

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  • The Bawa

    Brief #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    One of Bewis Bawa’s sculptures of the male form, in an outdoor alcove of his former residence, Brief, a villa, surrounded by a landscaped garden in the midst of a rubber plantation close to Kalawila, in southwestern Sri Lanka. A renowned artist and landscaper, Bewis Bawa was famously homosexual, and rumoured to be extraordinarily well endowed; which is perhaps why, even today, in vernacular slang, a large penis is referred to as a “bawa”.October 2016.

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  • Couples

    img_3583l2
    Ventura Beach, Bentota, Sri Lanka. October 2016.

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  • Altezzas

    Altezza Owners

    Two RS200s at the inaugural meeting of the Altezza Owners Club Sri Lanka. Independence Arcade, Colombo. October 2016.

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  • Little Willys’ Day at the Seaside

    A Little Willys by the Sea #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A Willys CJ-3A in US Army livery on Ventura Beach, Bentota, in Sri Lanka. October 2016.

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  • Morning at Point Utrecht #2

    Morning at Point Utrecht #2 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Named after Utrecht, in the Netherlands, the hometown of the first Dutch Reformed priest to arrive in Galle in 1641, this bastion dominates the approaches to Galle Bay and its harbour. By 1760, it had six cannons installed, and also protected a gunpowder magazine which can still be seen today. The building on the left is the Meeran Jumma Masjid or Mosque, built in 1904 in the style of a Portuguese Baroque cathedral. The lighthouse was erected by the British in 1939, after the original one — the first lighthouse in Sri Lanka, built in 1848 — was destroyed in a fire. The fort itself is a UNESCO heritage site and dates back to original fortifications built by the Portuguese in 1505. It was then captured by the Dutch East India Company in 1640 and extensively expanded and reinforced over the next century. In 1796, the fort was captured by the British 70th Surrey Regiment of Foot under Capt Lachlan Macquarie who would later, as a major general, become the fifth governor of New South Wales. Shot in September 2016 from the Vlagklip Bastion. For more on the Galle Fort, including photographs, see my cover story, Climbing the Walls, in the January 2016 issue of Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines.

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  • It’s All About the Location

    Wedding Location by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A wedding party in traditional Kandyan regalia is photographed on the veranda of the Old Dutch Hospital, in the Galle Fort, Sri Lanka. September 2016. Built in the 17th century, the hospital has now been converted into a mall. For more photos and information on the Galle Fort, see my cover story, Climbing the Walls, in the January 2016 issue of Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines.

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  • Morning on the Ramparts #3

    Morning on the Ramparts #3 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The 17th century Galle Fort, built by the Dutch on the site of the older Portuguese fort of Santa Cruz. The latter was basically three bastions sited across the neck of the Galle peninsula, connected by a wooden palisade. When the Dutch captured Santa Cruz in 1640, they demolished the Portuguese bastions and walls and reconstructed the fort in stone, complete with a moat on the landward side, overlooked by the three largest bastions of the fort — the Sun, Moon, and Star bastions. The British took possession of the Galle Fort in 1796 and, in less than a century had, subjugated all of the island of Ceylon. With the removal of any real threat to the fort from the landward side, the British filled in the moat in 1873 and opened the New Gate between the Sun and Moon bastions to allow traffic between the growing new town outside the walls and the 17th century town within, supplementing the original Dutch-built gate near the harbour which then became fittingly known as the Harbour Gate. The entire fort and the town inside is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the best existing example of a fortified European town in Asia. For more on the Galle Fort, including pictures, see my cover story, Climbing the Walls, in the January 2016 issue of Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines.

    The photograph was shot facing west from the Sun Bastion, clearly showing the massive Moon Bastion — the fort’s largest — with the Anthonisz Clock Tower — built in 1885 — on it. Directly below the tower is the New Gate, and to the right is the Galle International Stadium. The fort’s ramparts are a favourite spot from which to watch cricket matches. Sri Lanka, September 2016.

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  • The Groot Kerk, Galle, Sri Lanka

    The Groot Kerk by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The Groot Kerk, a Dutch Reformed Church, is one of the oldest functioning Protestant churches in Sri Lanka, completed in 1775, on the highest point of the Galle Fort, 12m above sea level. Though built in the Doric style of the time, the double-scroll moulding along the top is unique to this building. Church Street, Galle Fort, September 2016.

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  • Sour Arrack

    Arrack Sour by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Pour 100ml Vat 9 arrack and 50ml lemonade over ice; top up with soda.

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  • Sunrise Over Galle Bay, Sri Lanka

    Morning Over Galle Bay by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    The morning sun peeks through an approaching rain squall, as seen from the Sun Bastion of the 17th century Galle Fort. This bastion is one of the three largest strongpoints of the fort, built by the Dutch in 1667, shortly after the fort’s capture from the Portuguese. Named the Zon or Sun Bastion, it replaced the original Portuguese Sao Lago Bastion; built to dominate the Port of Galle, with 17 cannon emplaced by 1760. On the right, you can just make out the base of the Zwart (Black) Fort, the bastion commanding the approaches to the port. Galle, September 2016.

    For more on the Galle Fort, see my cover story, Climbing the Walls, in the January 2016 issue of Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines.

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  • Morning Over Galle, Sri Lanka

    Morning on the Ramparts #5 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A panoramic view of Galle Bay, with the harbour in the far distance, from the Moon Bastion of the Galle Fort. In the foreground is the northern rampart, stretching away to the Sun Bastion which overlooks the bay. The Sun and Moon bastions were built in 1667, after the Dutch capture of the Portuguese fort of Santa Cruz and the demolition of the original wooden palisade walls. Set into the ramparts between these two bastions is the New Gate, the main access between the modern city of Galle on the left, and the 16th century town within the fort, on the right. Sri Lanka, September 2016.

    For more information on this fascinating piece of our colonial heritage, check out my cover story, Climbing the Walls, in the January 2016 issue of Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines.

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  • The Wind in the Mountains

    The Wind in the Mountains by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Wind turbines in the Hunsrück Mountains, close to Salzkopf, Germany. These towers have become a regular sight throughout the Hunsrück, an area of small traditional farming communities, between the Rhine and Moselle rivers. Many inhabitants complain that the wind turbines, while supporting the efforts of sustainable power, mar the beauty of this high plateau, and affect tourism. The complaint may be valid when considering how few wind turbines have been constructed in more popular tourist destinations such as the nearby Rhine and Moselle valleys. Germany, summer 2016.

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  • In the Corners

    Corner Sales by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    An ancient woman sells little daily essentials — from ballpoint pens to Panadol pills to soap and boiled sweets — to office workers from a makeshift stall in the shelter of the Bristol Building, on the corner of Prince and York Streets, in the Colombo Fort, Sri Lanka. September 2016.

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  • The Pagoda Tea Rooms

    The Pagoda Tea Rooms by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Number 130, Chatham Street; the famous Pagoda Tea Rooms, which opened in 1884 in the Colombo Fort, and immortalised by Duran Duran in their 1982 music video, Hungry Like the Wolf. Sri Lanka, September 2016.

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  • Ammaduwa Devalaya #8

    Ammaduwa Devalaya, Sri Lanka #8 by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    Buddhist shrine at the Ammaduwa Kuda Kataragama Devalaya, close to Rakwana, in Sri Lanka’s Ratnapura District. While the Kataragama deity is essentially Hindu, some Hindu gods are deeply connected to Sri Lanka’s Buddhist psyche, hence the shrine. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story, Secluded Peace, ran in the May 2016 issue.

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  • The Colombo Port in the Morning

    The Horse Farm #2

    May by Son of the Morning Light on 500px.com

    A farmer with three-month-old May, named for the month she was born. Hunsrück Mountains, Germany. Summer 2016.

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