Driving back to Beirut from the Saint Charbel Monastery the sun was setting and so we decided to pull over and enjoy the view. The colours are so radiant and ever changing, for a photographer there an infinite number of possibilities when setting up to take a shot under these conditions. Don’t overthink it, keep it simple and take the shot that you love.
On one afternoon, I was taken down to Hikkaduwa beach to see the coral in the Indian Ocean. The weather couldn’t have been better and we made in just in time before the evening sunset. Along the drive you can see some of the damage caused by the Asian Tsunami (2006) but nothing can show you the depth and scale of it until you see the coral reefs. The rickety glass boat, with some garbage and scrawling cockroaches, was brought ashore by a local boat operator. We boarded hurriedly as the waves got stronger each tide coming in.
A moment of misfortune resulted in my camera being deluged in a wave of water which resulted in un-intended consequences, namely it taking a life of its own. After resigning to the fact the camera may not work any longer (which was admittedly sorely disappointing) it came back to some normality allowing me to take a few photos of the boatman and the corals. The searing heat of the day was ending as I took this picture.
The worlds generosity post-tsunami was fundamental in getting the country back on its feet, my hosts informed me. It was this that helped fund rapid reconstruction of the tourist services along the beach fronts and give the locals a kick start to get their economy going again. But it is difficult to see how low paid service sector jobs will actually benefit those living day-to-day here. Their hard work and perseverance under very tough conditions, the intense heat by day, long hours with low pay will result in long term meaningful development. The coral suffered very heavy damage and it will take decades before they will come back to the vibrant, colourful state that they were once before.
The evening was setting in as we walked along the beach. The deep colours of the sky were simply stunning to view as I tried desperately to capture a moment which could encapsulate it. Locals were enjoying an evening dip in the warm waters as divers emerged out of the ocean after a long days work. The colours of the sky disappeared deep in to the horizon where the sky and the ocean met, changing from yellow, pinks, dark reds and purples every few minutes before bringing in the darkness of the night sky.