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Behind the scenes at Plus One Photo Tours

Sri Lanka – Tour Recce Day 3


Today was a visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy. This is a large Buddhist temple which houses one of Buddha’s teeth within a golden box. Buddhists visit from around the World to pray and offer gifts. During the morning musicians gather around the shrine and play music for visitors. The shrine is popular with Indian, Sri Lankan and Chinese and has several rooms containing various praying areas and statues.

The image above was captured in front of one of the shrines. It was important to record the worship but without intrusion so this was composed along the table of flowers with shallow depth of field. The vast array of colour is portrayed here also which is typical of such temples.

Taken with Canon 1DX MK2, Canon 24-70mm f2.8 at f2.8, 60th/s and ISO 400.

It was noticeable that the tourists and visitors were stood in front of a shrine which contained a large Buddha, flowers and smaller statues. All photographs being taken were of the entire shrine and from a standing position.

This image was taken from a kneeling position along the surface of the table at the front of the shrine. The small statue was the key focal point here, in order to offer a different perspective and to show the bright colours. Shallow depth of field was selected with a right of centre focal point again to give a more interesting image.

Taken with Canon 1DX MK2, Canon 24-70mm f2.8 at f2.8, 30th/s and ISO2500.


The next stop was a tea plantation and factory in the Sri Lankan mountains. The plantation produces white, green and black tea depending on which part of the leaf is used. Sri Lanka exports the vast majority of its tea so that which is drunk domestically is usually the poorest standard product.

The leaves are picked from the bushes by women and then taken to the factory further down the hill for processing.

This image is a typical image of tea pickers from this area. They wear the baskets on their backs supported by a band on the forehead.

Taken with Nikon D4, Nikon, Nikon 24-120mm, at f5, 400th/s, ISO100.


The tour around the factory showed the whole tea making process from drying the leaves, fermenting, sorting into white, green and black tea and the bagging for transport. It was a unique experience to see the industry we take for granted at work and to be able to capture images within this environment.

This image shows one of the tea pickers holding tray with three sections. Each section contains a different type of tea and can be seen to be different shades and coarseness. The image was taken from a kneeling position on wide angle focusing of the tea picker. This dynamic composition and depth of field give the feeling of the tray being offered to the viewer with an invitation to look.

Taken with Canon 1DX MK2, Canon 24-70mm f2.8 at f2.8, 80th/s and ISO1600.

This image was taken of a tea picker showing a leaf with the three different elements for different teas. It was shot to show the leaf but also the picker and the expanse of the factory behind her. The shallow depth of field gives a more creative view instead of a ‘snapshot’ of the work area. Lighting was from the windows to the left and helped illuminate the hand whilst giving depth to the image behind.

Taken with Canon 1DX MK2, Canon 24-70mm f2.8 at f2.8, 100th/s and ISO1600.