In pursuit of the wild and elusive


Photographs of charismatic animals like leopards and elephants are the most popular; but Sri Lankan jungles are home to a wide array of creatures that need patience to spot. Following their trails for many years, four veteran wildlife photographers – Gehan Rajapakse, Namal Kamalgoda, Palitha Antony and Sarinda Unamboowe have a new book and exhibition ‘Elusive – A Journey through the Wild’.

The book will contain probably the best collection of images of some of Sri Lanka’s rarest subjects which include the Indian Courser, Jungle Cat, Grey-headed Lapwing and the Black-naped Oriole to name a few. The pursuit of the elusive meant that their travels have taken them further and further away from the beaten track posing many challenges in terms of the time, effort, information and access needed to take these pictures. Gehan, Namal, Palitha and Sarinda are all in different professions, so their efforts are indeed laudable.

“Elusive” is the third book by these four friends after they formed Zero3 Images in 2003. Their first book was “Encounters -A Journey through the Wild”‘ published in 2004. Their second book came out in 2007- “Enchanted: A Journey through the Wild”. “Elusive” will contain the best shots these veterans had taken during the past six years, they say. Their previous books were well received by the wildlife loving public, and the third book too has been compiled in similar format.

The four of them came into wildlife photography in the early 1990s. Namal Kamalgoda recalls that circumstances have since changed with digital technology but advises that amateur photographers should first master the skill of wildlife photography before investing in expensive equipment.

With their priority being the conservation of the environment, a portion of the income from their first two books was donated for conservation work in Kumana, Wilpattu and Bundala. The photographers also want their images to raise awareness on Sri Lanka’s wildlife for the public to appreciate the country’s wealth of natural beauty. They believe this will bring together a louder voice to carry the message of conservation.  This is not only a book for glancing through the images, but a publication that has to be enjoyed leisurely by reading the text.

Published on SundayTimes on 24.11.2013 

Launch of book and exhibitionGehan Rajapakse, Namal Kamalgoda, Palitha Antony and Sarinda Unamboowe will launch their latest photographic book ‘Elusive: Journey through the Wild” with an exhibition at the Harold Pieris Gallery, Lionel Wendt next week. The exhibition will be on November 30 and  December 1 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will have over 140 images from the book, none of which have been photo shopped.


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