I recently returned from a 3 week adventure in Sri Lanka. A beautiful island that I was very excited to visit thanks to Steve McCurry and his incredible photography of the island and its wonders. One of my favourite photographs ever taken was of the Sri Lankan fishermen by Steve himself and I could not wait to see them in person and hopefully capture my own photographs of them.
So one day - off I went to the coast of the island, a spot renowned for the stilt fishermen. Racing out onto the rough sand - the stilts were everywhere but no fishermen were to be seen. Regardless I got my camera out and started taking photos of the bare stilts basking in the sun.
Before I could click my shutter twice, a man raced out from in the bushes and exclaimed that I had to pay to take photos!! Obviously the locals had caught on to the fact that tourists were so eager to capture their own rendition of McCurry's iconic image - and saw an opportunity to make most likely more money posing on the stilts than actually fishing.
In all honesty I was a bit upset that I wasn't able to capture the fishermen in their true element however the gentlemen on the beach did whirl on their head pieces - grab hold of their sticks and climb on to the stilts - reenacting the traditional means for catching fish in Sri Lanka.
I guess you could call my photos - authentic to today. Capturing the locals who have seen an opportunity and have gone with it. It is their current means of bringing in income which will most likely be used to go to the local market and buy freshly caught fish for their families.
I did in the end take some gorgeous shots on the day, capturing the beautiful contrast between the blue sea and the rugged stones and stilts. Stay tuned for my next post - as I share more of my adventures through Sri Lanka - Less posed, with a powerful honesty in the eyes of each subject.
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