Last year I had the exciting privilege of leaving the US at the onset of Winter and traveling with my wife to Sri Lanka for two months. She was completing a two-month Global Health clerkship in the city of Anuradhapura with three other medical students and in addition to serving as the group's designated water-carrier I took advantage of the island's stunning natural landscapeto shoot a huge amount of photos and video of the local wildlife. The goal was always to create a Sri Lanka edition of the myEARTH series I've been working on over the last three years but it took me longer than expected to get down to the actual editing process. But now it's finally done.
Sri Lanka was the first place where I really felt like I had the creative freedom to immerse myself into a totally new environment and really explore the cultural and natural landscape with a camera. I discovered soon after arriving on the island that not only are Sri Lankans generally not camera-shy but walking around with a camera slung over your shoulder will usually result in people approaching you asking you to take their picture.
I had escaped the freezing cold of the northern latitude winter and I got to spend my days hanging out with dragonflies, wandering around temple gardens and hanging out with some of the most relaxed and helpful people I've ever had the privilege of meeting. They give Palestinians a run for their money in the kindness and generosity category. One of my warmest memories of shooting in Sri Lanka was the day I climbed a parking garage in downtown Colombo in order to shoot some time lapse sequences of the street below. The structure was still under construction so when five construction workers came over to where I was shooting, my mind was still in Israel mode and I expected them to ask me to leave. Nope. They just wanted to share a joint with me on their mid-afternoon coffee break. Lovely people. Only one of them spoke a few English words but I'm friends with two of them on Facebook now. The photos from that afternoon make me smile every time I see them.
Needless to say, diving back into all of the footage I shot a year ago was a richly colorful walk down memory lane. The images I captured laying in the grass photographing monkeys beside the massive, ancient stupas in Anuradhapura will always bring to mind the distinct smell of red bricks drying in the sun and the feeling of being sunburnt, drenched with sweat and ravenously hungry yet magically content all at the same time. But that's just Sri Lanka for you.
So please enjoy myEARTH - A Touch of Magic. And please...for God's sake...watch it in HD.