Ian Lockwood


Archive for the ‘South Asian Photography Etc.’ Category

Updates to High Range Photography

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Old (2007) and New (2017) versions of High Range Photography.

Over the last several months I have been working at overhauling the www.highrangephotography.com website that showcases my fine art photography and published work. The website was originally designed in 2006 and went live on January 1st 2007. Over the last 10 years much has changed: most significantly, while still working in black & white, I have shifted to digital tools and no longer use film and a wet darkroom. The focus of my work remains South Asian ecology, landscape, conservation and culture with a focus on the Western Ghats/Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot. Web design has become more sophisticated but easier to do for non-design novices like me. People are using larger, high definition monitors so small images just don’t cut it anymore. It was the right time for a change on the site.

The Colombo-based web design company Vesses, led by Prabhath Sirisena and Lankitha Wimalarathna, had helped me set up the original website back in 2006. We designed the pages to be minimalist and to highlight the photography. Most of the images were black & white low resolution scans of 8×10 prints. Vesses was an excellent team to work with and it was natural to go back to them to help with the updated content on an overhauled website. There efforts were led by Amila Sampath over the last year.

  • For the 2017 changes, Vesses once again helped me out with ideas and setting up templates and the layouts. My goal was to be able to learn how to make a necessary changes myself. WordPress has a great platform to work with but it did take tinkering and some basic coding to get the pages to look like what I had visualized. There are several news changes:
  • The Galleries have been overhauled and updated with new content at a larger, higher resolution. I rescanned many of the images from the original 6×6 and 6×12 negatives.  Several important galleries (Bangladesh, for example) are still in the process of being updated.
  • There is a new Stories tab to highlight in-depth photo-essays and writing on themes from the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. These are built on a WordPress template similar to what was used by NIF to present my panchromatic to multispectral photo story (metamorphosis of a landscape) in 2016.
  • The Blog page has thumbnails of recant blog posts using a RSS link (featuring content from this WordPress Blog page).
  • The About page combines the old Biography and Technique pages
  • A new page about Exhibitions has been added.
  • I redrafted the logo and had it converted into a vector image to use as a watermark on new content. An exploration of the site will give you a good sense of the view that inspired my sketches that I used to draw the logo.
  • I plan to use the site to highlight geospatial work that I have been learning about and experimenting with. I have started adding simple Google maps to the Stories but hope to have either ESRI maps or OpenStreetMaps embedded in the near future.
  • The Sales page has been taken out (at last until I can set up a better printing and marketing system)

To accompany the website changes I have also set up a Facebook page and I have a Twitter account (that I struggle to find time to use).

High Range Photography Facebook page (click on image to access page)

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2017-10-23 at 8:06 pm

Sunday Afternoon at Barefoot…

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Jazz band playing at Barefoot. Jerome Speldewinde (guitar and vocals),Ray Gomes (Bass), Christo Prins (drums),Revel Crake (guitar), Rodney van Heer (Saxophone) Paths to the Peak on the side walls.

There’s no better place to be on a Sunday afternoon in Colombo.

Jazz at Barefoot with panoramic images from Paths to the Peak. Rodney van Heer on saxophone.

Barefoot Gallery on a Sunday afternoon, somewhere between the guests, the band and Gallery.

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2011-05-30 at 4:29 pm

Paths to the Peak Poster

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Paths to the Peak exhibition poster

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2011-05-22 at 5:05 pm


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Invite for the upcoming "Paths to the Peak" Exhibition at the Barefoot Gallery

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2011-05-10 at 4:47 pm

Monsoon Vignettes: An Appreciation in Black & White

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IIC Quarterly opening page of photo-essay.

In recent years my explorations in South Asia have brought me into close contact with the meteorological and metaphorical super-phenomenon of the monsoon. My focus areas of the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka are both dramatically impacted by the South West (summer) and North East (winter) monsoons. The significance of these seasonal rains on the landscapes, ecosystems and cultures cannot be overstated. Water is at the heart of the issue. The connection between healthy natural forests in the hills, water and the wellbeing of human communities is a critical link. It is a theme that has been highlighted by conservationists in the Western Ghats for the past three decades.

"Monsoon Vignettes" photo essay pages 63-75.

I had an opportunity to visually explore these themes in the summer publication of the India International Centre’s IIC Quarterly. The twelve images are from my work in the Western Ghats between 1992 and 2010. A few of the pictures have been exhibited and published but there were several unpublished images in the photo-essay. The images emphasize natural landscapes and human elements have mostly been left out in this selection. The Quarterly carried essays by Jairam Ramesh, India’s Minister of the Environment and a range of other notable writers and thinkers. I wrote a short essay on the monsoon to accompany the photographs. Here is a short excerpt from the beginning:

…In the summer months, as the earth’s axial tilt and trade winds shift, India impatiently awaits news of the arrival of the season of rain. Its timing, the predictions of its strength and how much water it will grant to farmers make the monsoon a rare geographic gem of interest to a wide segment of South Asia’s population.  The heroes making these predictions are the atmospheric scientists and meteorologists of the Indian Meteorology Department. One imagines them pacing up and down the shores of Kovalam beach looking into the heavens for signs of the shift in weather patterns, though it is more likely that they are staring at computer monitors filled with satellite imagery and mathematical models in their offices in Pune. When it arrives, the monsoon comes after a long period of intense heat, paucity of food crops and general unhappiness amongst people living with the elements. The monsoon’s arrival is often dramatic bringing an explosive rush of gushing rainfall, cool relief and a revival of life to the region. It is metaphorically projected through the exuberant release of passion and erotic energy that are popularly choreographed in innumerable Bollywood dance sequences….


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2010-10-27 at 3:07 pm

Moonlight on The Peak

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Moonlight on the eastern face of Sri Pada

As is inevitable for so many of us I’ve found that parenthood is a wonderful but rather taxing period of life that has had a significant impact on my creative instincts and need to be in the wilderness. Now that our son Lenny is becoming more independent there have been new possibilities to combine family getaways and passion pursuits in the hills. In January we returned to the Fishing Hut with several friends and enjoyed two nights and three days in the shadow of Sri Pada. On the first night the full moon of the Poya illuminated the peak in dreamlike hues. The lights of the temple and pathway lit up a crown of mist that hovered over the summit.  The next day, our group ascended the scared pinnacle along the Peak Wilderness forest path. In contrast to the first day’s cloudless skies we walked through mist and intermittent showers. Lenny was a champion hiker and made it to the summit temple with few complaints and a resilience that surprised me. If I’m correct he is one of the youngest OSC students to make the pilgrimage on his own steam.

Lenny on the trail to Sri Pada

Lenny & his father at the Sri Pada summit temple

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2010-02-23 at 5:32 pm

In Geo A Year Ago

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Main Western Ghats article (Geo, February 2009)A year ago Geo published a photo-essay and article of mine in their February English issue. This sumptuous magazine is produced by Outlook India in New Delhi and is the only English edition of the reputable European magazine group. I have now posted PDFs on my High Range Photography site for easy viewing and sharing.

The piece is significant in that I produced all of the black &white and color pictures (and also wrote the text). It’s the first time that I have been able to successfully fuse the two mediums together to paint a more vivid picture of this endangered landscape. Kai Friese’s editorial team did a fine job with color reproductions and the ingenious vertical layout. The text was cut down significantly from the 4,500-word piece that I originally submitted and there are a few obvious gaps. Nevertheless it represents the sort of effort that I am now working on putting into a book proposal for prospective publishers.

Color foldout on endemic species of the Western Ghats (Geo, February 2009).All images by Ian Lockwood

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2010-02-17 at 3:20 pm

Phyllium bioculatum

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Pyllium bioculatum, first stage.Thanks to my OSC colleague Haris Dharmasiri we are once again raising leaf insects at home. The eggs in my batch started hatching out in late November and these pictures were taken in the first few days of their life cycle with natural light. As per their dietary preferences they are feeding on guava (Psidium guajava) leaves.

Phyllium bioculatum (under side)

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2010-01-03 at 2:43 pm

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