Capturing Nature

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Who doesn’t love travelling, visiting new places, and going on adventures? And who wouldn’t want to capture these memories and look back at them later? Travel and adventure photography often involves storytelling and focuses on capturing special moments and atmospheres.

Travel photographers are their own unique breed. They possess a level of patience that only the Dalai Lama himself has mastered. Their eyes are creatively attuned to seeing a photograph in everything they look at.

They have incredible stamina and unbreakable flexibility. Not to mention an inspiring passion for travelling and taking pictures that fuels their unwavering dedication to the art and work of travel photography.

Ashan Upekshaka is a 29-year-old, former student of the Ananda Maithreya Central College Balangoda. He pursued his higher education at the University of Moratuwa. Ashan has always shared a keen eye for photography, and a passion for photography and travel.

Recalling his memory, Ashan shares, “It all started at Moratuwa University. One of my roommates had a DSLR camera. I was lucky enough to use that for some time. At the same time, I’m a nature lover since my childhood. During my university days, I travelled a lot around Sri Lanka and explored plenty of unknown places. At that point, I thought I should buy a camera to show the world, what I see.”

In 2015, he bought his first DSLR camera and it changed his entire life. With his passion to explore unknown places, for some months he even travelled every weekend. The idea of capturing nature through the viewfinder and showing how beautiful the world is inspired Ashan. So, he started exploring nature, taking photos and learning more about photography.

“My passion is the only reason that drives me to do photography and travelling while managing my life and other stuff. Whatever you do if you are not passionate about it, then there are only fewer chances to be successful. Even if you are successful, what’s the point if you are not happy. If you are unsuccessful but still happy, that’s ok. When I capture a mountain or a waterfall while I am close to nature, I forget everything. I live in that moment and that matters to me the most. When you are doing something that you are passionate about, you will never get tired,” Ashan stated.

He captures stunning landscapes and adventures, mostly in a location surrounded by mountains and cliffs. Ashan does an excellent job at visualising stories through his images. His style revolves around cold colours and a scenic atmosphere. His passion for travelling shines through his photographs. His compositions are top-notch, often created with an extra touch of drone perspective.

Largely focuses on mesmerising surfscapes and landscapes during his travels. As a travel photographer, he thrives to create something that other people haven’t witnessed. To do this sometimes, he has to wait four to five hours at the same place to capture a perfect shot. He even recalls incidents of coming back empty-handed after walking many kilometres. There is a lot of hard work behind a unique image. “For me when I’m able to capture a perfect unique shot, that joy and happiness I can’t buy from anywhere. I have no words to explain that feeling. I never get bored of seeing those images number of times. Always that unique capture looks fresh to me. When someone sees your photo somewhere, without your name or logo, they identify that this is your work and that’s the unique brand name you create,” Ashan explains.

He takes advantage of gorgeously colourful skies and landscapes all around Sri Lanka. His way of using a central composition proves that this technique is definitely not as cliché as some think. Ashan perfectly combines landscape and travel photography. Wherever he travels, he tries to take a photo of the hidden gems of the place. Tiny houses, forest trails, and local animals are all common subjects of his photography.

“I owe everything to Sri Lanka. To these mountains, the ocean and I live in the most beautiful place on Earth. Whenever you travel, you must be responsible. To make sure it will never lose its beauty. Make sure that the footprints that you leave on this earth are good,” he concludes.

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By Shafiya Nawzer