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 diversity system.
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 several notches.

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 protectiveness.

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 packed.
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 exhibition.
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 tiny texts.

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 with wildlife.
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.


Virtusans capture ‘Colours of the World’

Colombo : Showcasing works of art of employees from the Virtusa Corporation around the globe, ‘Silver Pixels’ - the annual digital photography exhibition - began on November 10 at the Sri Lankan office at Orion City, No 752, Dr Danister De Silva Mawatha, Colombo 9, and were on display till November 12.
Under the theme ‘Colours of the World’, this year’s exhibition saw Virtusans world over send in their entries, more than 250 in total, relating to the categories of people, abstract, places and nature, with all exhibits being viewed by an employee base of more than 4,500 Virtusans along with their families and friends.

(Pix by Ravindra Dharmathilake)