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Behind the scenes at Plus One Photo Tours

Sri Lanka – Tour Recce Day 4


This morning was an early start before daylight on a jungle safari in Wilpattu Game Reserve. Wilpattu has not long re-opened after being closed for 30 years following violence perpetrated by gun smugglers who used the roads to transport their contraband inland from the ocean. The reserve has more dense bush compared to other safari reserves in Sri Lanka, such as Yala.

The reserve is a delight for wildlife watchers and in particular birdwatchers with an amazing array of species including Jungle Fowl, Kingfisher, and the image shown, Serpent Eagle.

This magnificent raptor was sitting in a tree above a lake and was totally relaxed and surveying it’s territory.

Taken with Canon 1DX MK2, Sigma 150-600mm ‘s’ from a vehicle with the lens supported on a bean bag at f6.3, 500th/s with a 524mm focal length. The aperture was selected to keep the subject and the branch in focus but blur the background sufficiently to give a clear yet colourful setting.


From Wilpattu we travelled to Anuradhapura historical ancient city which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and dotted with many stupas and ruined palaces. The site is still only partly excavated.

With the stunning blue sky, the white and striped stupas make for a perfect image. The image was taken to show two stupas in line against the clean blue backdrop. Lighting was very harsh, so it was crucial to select the correct angle for the shot to capture the sky without it being burnt out. There were other buildings and distractions around the stupas so the tight composition was preferred so as to not clutter the image and keep it simple.

Taken with Canon 1DX MK2, Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L at f6.3, 3200th/s using 40mm focal length.



This image was taken at one of the ruin sites within Anuradhapura historical ancient city. If one looks at detail in a scene rather than the scene as a whole, intricate images will appear. This is a shot of steps which has carvings in the stone. The shot was taken lying down to be level with the subject and composition here was crucial. The steps lead into the image from the bottom left corner and draw the eye to the carving. Depth of field is also important and focused on the carving only. This coupled with the lead-in of the steps which are out of focus immediately brings the viewer to the detail.

During processing, black and white was chosen so as to accentuate the gritty texture of the stone.

Taken with Canon 1DX MK2, Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L at f4.5, 2500th/s.


Both 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, it’s culture and way of life and offering the opportunity to capture lasting images which are not normally achievable by the regular holidaymaker.