Photography is something that we all enjoy. Whether its getting that perfect selfie on your phone, or shooting the sunrise on top of Lipton’s Seat, capturing our memorable moments is a favourite pastime for most of us. But of course, some tend to take this a bit more serious than others. Meet Lakshitha Karunarathna, the Lankan wildlife photographer extraordinaire.
Who is Lakshitha Karunarathna?
For those of you who don’t know, Lakshitha is one of the most recognized wildlife photographers in the island today. His talent and skill in the profession awarded him many awards. To date, Lakshitha has bagged over 250 awards so far. Not bad for someone who started wildlife photography a little less than 2 years ago.
Its not just about his amazing photographs, but his story on how he came in to the profession is quite interesting as well. Back in 2014, Lakshitha decided to get married. His wedding photographer was Rasanga Dissanayake. It was Rasanga’s creative and interactive photography as Lakshitha puts it, that spiked his interest in photography.
As curiosity set in, Lakshitha ended up leaving for Dubai to get himself a camera. Coming back to Sri Lanka, he even grabbed a few third party lenses as well. With everything geared up, he kicked things off with bird photography.
Hailing from Rathnapura, Lakshitha was educated at Ananda College in Colombo. Talking about his early life, he mentions how photography was never on the cards for him growing up. During his younger days, Lakshitha was obsessed with documentaries. At the time, these documentaries came in VHS were hardly found freely even in Colombo.
“My biggest inspiration was British broadcaster and naturalist, Sir David Attenborough. Over time, I collected nature related documentaries and built a huge library. I was more of a wildlife enthusiast and later on decided to work on acquiring my own collection of originals and updating my database,”
By profession, Lakshitha Karunarathna is a tea taster and has been one for 17 years. A little less than a decade ago, he decided to make it out on his own in the tea business. Once settling down in the business, he made time to travel to different countries. So far he has traveled in 52 countries. Something says that number will just keep on increasing in time to come.
With a little over 2 years in the field, Lakshitha certainly isn’t short of recognition. His long list of accolades include 79 gold medals, 20 silver, 24 bronze medals, and of course 129 other awards. This recognition largely comes in the form of distinguished photographic associations such as the Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique (FIAP), Photographic Society of America (PSA) and Royal Photographic Society (RPS). Commenting further he mentions, “to date I have secured 15 FIAP Gold Medals and that in itself considered a big achievement, as it isn’t always easy to win FIAP awards”.
In case you’re still not convinced, here are few of the most memorable snaps from Lakshitha.