Zooming in on wildlife
Lalith clicking with
success as action-packed photos go on show
By Sarasi Paranamanna
Sri Lanka needs no introduction when it comes to the
wildlife beauty as our country has a rich bio
But how many people capture the unique moments of
Sri Lanka’s wilderness or how many get to witness
these unique moments?
Only a handful of people capture these moments on
their camera during their visits as it requires time
and patience more than anything else.
Dr Lalith Ekanayake is one such person who has flair
to capture the actions and events that take place in
the thick wilderness.
Launching the book The untamed road: A visual
miscellany of the Sri Lankan wilderness, Dr Lalith
Ekanayake held his first wildlife photography
exhibition at the Harold Peiris Gallery of the
Lionel Wendt Theatre on November 12, 13 and 14.
Wildlife photography is certainly an interesting
subject but you least expect somebody in the medical
profession to hold an exhibition and that too one
who is attached to the Navy.
Dr Lalith is a consultant physician and the director
of the Navy’s medical services.
Through this exhibition, Dr Lalith has presented his
leisure time indulgences to the observers.
“I do not have much free time and due to the time
constraints, I mostly travelled through the dry
zone,” he said.
His liking towards the wildlife and what he started
as a semi-professional photographer has enabled him
to raise the standards of wildlife photography by
If one observed his photography, he would definitely
agree with the above statement as the moments he has
captured not only defines Sri Lankan wildlife, but
allows us to sneak deep into the wilderness to enjoy
the rare moments which few people have witnessed.
The exhibition takes the observer on a wildlife
journey and each moment captured through Dr Laith’s
camera is very edifying or artistic.
Some pictures like the one where a leopard gnawing
on a monkey’s head or a leopard preying on a deer
portrays the jungle law that prevails hidden among
the thorn and thickets.
The weak defeated by the strong and mighty is
pictured through some of his photographs depicting
the brutality in wildlife and at the same time he
has captured moments like the ‘elephant trio’ which
illustrates qualities like caring and
The elephants walking side by side keeping the kid
elephant safe portrays the love and care giving that
exits in the wilderness even among the wild animals.
The photographs go beyond the usual portraits we see
of elephants and leopards.
The collection of photographs depicts his skill and
creativity both as the photographs are action
He has captured colourlful scenes where birds take
flights which almost look as if a painter had used
bold colours creating live wildlife scenes.
The photographer manages to mesmerise the observer
with unique moments of wildlife behaviour whether it
is preying, battling, mating or feeding.
Dr Lalith has gone to several locations in the dry
zone like the Yala National Park, Minneriya National
park, Willpattu, Thalaimaanar and to Singharaja in
order to capture the scenes from the wet zone.
Several photographs have been taken in Masai Mara
which one of Kenya’s finest wildlife reserves.
Dr Lalith says that capturing moments of wildlife
requires a degree of experience.
“Normally when you observe wildlife you enjoy it and
after some time forget it. But a photographer has to
register what he saw in his mind and visit the place
several times to take a perfect shot,” he said.
Explaining about how he indulges in wildlife
photography Dr Lalith said “sometimes it depends on
your luck as well. Because some days you can get a
perfect shot without spending hours in the park but
some days I used to come empty handed after spending
days inside these parks”.
Dr Lalith Ekanayake’s book The untamed road: A
visual miscellany of the Sri Lankan wilderness
contains all the photographs, he exhibited at the
The cover, which contains two elephants battling
amidst a cloud of dust and a kid elephant hiding
behind his mother, says it all.
The book takes us on a memorable journey as majority
of the pages are action packed and it might seem to
the reader as if he has been at the right place at
the right time.
Dr Lalith, explaining how he came across these
moments, said that sometimes he had to wait for
hours and hours observing the animal until it showed
some particular behaviour.
“You have to be constantly sharp and ready to click
away anytime when you are doing wildlife
photography,” he said.
The book does not contain the daunting descriptions
of scientific information or research experiences in
It allows the observer to enjoy page by page without
any distraction and the pages being all black aptly
highlights the unique shots.
For wildlife enthusiasts, this book will be food for
thought as it contains the diverse behavioral
patterns of the wildlife.
For the lay man it will be a book filled with unique
shots which will take the reader to a world rich
However, the book as well the exhibition has managed
to add value to Sri Lanka’s wildlife as it shows the
hidden cross-sections of paradise a deep within.