10 Photos of Sri Lanka in Black and White, Part 1

Sri Lanka Buddha Black White2

Even though Sri Lanka is a very colorful place, I found myself thinking in black and white while walking with my camera. I am a big fan of high contrast black and white photos. To me, photos with pure blacks and very bright whites really pop. All over Sri Lanka, I came across the type of high contrast scenes I like to shoot in black and white.

First off, the Buddhist temples have gleaming stupas and white statues that contrast dramatically against the deep blue sky, and the people often wear white when visiting temples. As a result, the temples were a treat to shoot in black and white.

Sri Lankan women often wear bright saris that not only glowed in the tropical sun, but the patterns on the clothes made interesting textures in black and white. And speaking of tropical sun, the clear light created deep shadows and made the highlights pop.

10 Photos of Sri Lanka in Black and White

1. Woman praying in front of a 12th century Buddha carving in Polonnuwara
Buddha and woman

2. Women with umbrellas in Galle Sri Lanka street photo umbrella

3. Praying at a temple in the ancient city of AnuradhapuraAnuradhapura Temple
4. Buddha at MintahaleBuddha black and white

5. Bus repair in Nuwara Eliya
Sri Lanka Street Photo black white

6. Buddha on Buddhablack and white buddha

7. Boys on the way to school in Galle
Sri Lanka street photography

8. Temple at Mintahale Mihintale Sri Lanka

9. School in GalleGalle school kids street photography

10. A couple seeking a little privacy in ColomboGalle Face Green Street Photography

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19 Comments on “10 Photos of Sri Lanka in Black and White, Part 1

  1. LOVE these and so much to take in and savor- and umbrella photos are cool in general – but the ones here – with the pattern and contrast – have nice umph.

  2. Fabulous photos! Terrfic collection of images. I particularly like the stillness of Buddha on Buddha, and in contrast the action in the photo of schoolboys running across a field.

    Peta

  3. You make me want to take some black and white pics. Besides digital, I am using a film camera at present, so pretty excited to see what it would all look like.

  4. I would never have thought to photograph somewhere as colourful as Sri Lanka in B&W but you’ve seen something that I haven’t and made it work. I like all these photos, but my fave is the couple seeking privacy.
    Alison

    • The umbrella pic is one of my favs from the trip. The pattern on the umbrella and wall make it a good black and white photo, I think.

  5. Great idea! As a novice photographer, I would never have thought of B&W’s ability to capture some of these contrasts. I like the Buddha at Mintahale for both its tiny details and overall contrast with the blackness behind, and like everyone else, I admire the umbrella shot!

    • Ironically, colorful scenes often have the highest contrast and work best in black and white. Those gleaming Buddhas and stupas were really hard to look at in the mid-day sun!

  6. Excellent set of images! I think privacy is my favorite. It really makes the viewer use their imagination, wondering are the napping or smooching ? Could be anything.

    • Public displays of affection are taboo in most of south Asia, so yeah, not sure if they are smoothing, talking, or what. I think that is my favorite image from the whole trip maybe. Thanks for commenting!

  7. I agree with the commenter who said the couple behind the umbrella is the most riveting photo of the group – hard to choose, though, I really enjoyed them all. Is PDA culturally disapproved of in south Asia, or it illegal?

    • I don’t think it is illegal, but it culturally taboo. Even in Thailand where the sex trade is out in the open in places PDA is still disapproved.

  8. Pingback: Sri Lanka in Black and White, Part 2 | Planet Bell

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