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Behind the scenes at Plus One Photo Tours

Sri Lanka – Tour Recce Day 2


This morning started off with a walk to the Pidurangala Rock Monestary. The walk is steep on uneven steps for most of the way then transfers to a climb through rocks with limited clearance to the summit. Once there, one is treated to a peaceful rock plateau overlooking the lush jungle and offers an unrivalled view of Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

The silence is deafening and it would be easy to spend hours sat on the rocks taking in the breathtaking views. Placed on the plateau are several rock piles or ‘Boka’ which are built by visitors and are believed to provide good luck.

The image shows the rock piles with a view to Sigiriya.

It was captured by lying on the ground and selected depth of field to isolate the rock piles with the beautiful view behind. This type of image would not normally be taken in this way by the majority of travellers.

Taken with Canon 1DX MK2, Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L at f9, 300th/s with very minor adjustments within Adobe Lightroom during processing.

For those who do not make the climb to the summit, there are plenty of photographic delights at the base.

The image here is of elephant tracks which have been left as it has wandered through a rice field. This is something that may be easily missed but was pointed out by a local man who acted as an impromptu guide.

The image has been taken in portrait aspect to give the viewer the chance to see the tracks as they lead away through the field.

Taken with Nikon D4, Nikon, Nikon 24-120mm, at f5, 400th/s. Due to the harsh lighting and reflections on the puddles the exposure was compensated to -0.7 stop.


Next stop was a walk through a typical, rural jungle village where a husband and wife team spend their long, hot days making bricks.

The husband gathers the wet mud and puts it into moulds which are then laid out in the sun to dry. Once dried his wife stacks them in large piles where they are heated by fire to set. This is a very hard life and they work tirelessly and in silence. At the time of shooting there was very little demand for the bricks, yet they carry on regardless.

The images were taken whilst the husband worked on moulding the bricks, which is a tough and dirty job.

His wife can be seen in the background stacking while he makes more… a very small but busy production line.






This was a very privileged opportunity to witness this Sri Lankan life not normally available for many.

Taken with Canon 1DX MK2, Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L at f3.5, 600th/s and f3.5, 1250th/s respectively. Due to the harsh light, fill in light was used. Rather than flash, the camera was mounted with a Monfrotto Lumimuse lamp.


Harabana was the next stop with a wander around a typical Sri Lankan village market. This is not a tourist market and is solely for the locals to trade their crafts, foods and pick up supplies. The stall owners have worked here all their lives. The place is a feast of sights and the photographer could easily spend hours looking at the many characters and goods.

The images were taken to capture the people who live and work here. They are all happy and friendly and more than willing to have their picture taken. The detail in their faces is a story alone.










The image of the woman was taken though the scales she was using on her stall. This was done to show her trade and taken at ground level to capture the eye contact. The man smiles with his mouth open revealing his bright red and damaged tongue caused from decades of tobacco chewing. They are both typical examples of local, rural residents.

Woman – taken with Canon 1DX MK2, Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L at f3.2, 80th/s, the depth of field was carefully selected to ensure that she was in focus but the scales were not.

 Man – taken with Nikon D4, Nikon, Nikon 24-120mm, at f5.6, 100th/s.


Dambulla Cave Temple is a moderate uphill walk on a rocky slope. Here there are 5 caves, 4 natural and one man made dating back to Centuries BC. They house many Buddha statues in all 7 poses of Buddhism. The lighting here is very dark so the shot was a challenge. No tripods are allowed and rather than use flash, the natural light was utilised. This was shot with very shallow depth of field and focused on the eye from lower ground level whilst the image runs up along the arm of a lying Buddha.

Taken with Canon 1DX MK2, Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L at f2.8, 30th/s ISO 4000. Some noise reduction was required in Adobe Lightroom during processing.


All locations for these images form part of tours operated by Plus One Photo Tours where guests are taken to less touristic areas in order to give a true flavour of the country, its culture and way of life and offering the opportunity to capture lasting images which are not normally achievable by the regular holidaymaker.