Behind the lens

Darsh Seneviratne: From what you won’t forget, to who you will remember



Where are you based?


How do you make a living?

Brand ambassador for Nikon Australia

What camera do you use?

Mamiya Rb67, Minolta SRT101, Nikon AF600

How has travel made an impact on your life?

Travelling has pushed me to constantly take photographs and steered me towards a life-long love of creative output and collaboration. It has also made me realize that it shouldn’t matter what the people around you are doing, all that matters in your short time on earth is the people you love, and the experiences you share with them. And photographs. 

What is your relationship to travel/adventure, and what does it mean to you?

An adventure is anything from flying overseas to exploring the bush land over the fence. My ideal adventure would involve my best friends, a place we’ve never been before, a full esky, and the luxury of choosing whether to explore or to do absolutely nothing at all. Being able to save up, drop everything and travel for months is a privilege I take for granted so often, I’ve been trying to be more aware of how lucky I am. I like to keep a balance between visiting new places and old favourites; it keeps things fresh, whilst also forging emotional ties with locations that aren’t my place of birth.

American Spirits, please

I really enjoy spending time in the United States, and my work is heavily influenced by American youth culture and the idea of the ‘American Dream’. Driving around in Big Bear, a ski town just out of Los Angeles, I came across this house that just screamed USA at me. I would be content with life if I had a white weatherboard house with a large front porch, a Silverado in the driveway, and a black Labrador to go hiking with every other day.

Crows and cement

Jaffna was hit particularly hard by the 26-year civil war in Sri Lanka; still today the city is stuck in an unusual limbo between ruin and development. I tried to gain access to this abandoned cement factory through the heavily guarded main entrance however my tuk-tuk driver told me the guards said no one was allowed in due to the possibility of active land mines left over from the war. I went round to a side road that was unguarded; there was a flock of crows sitting in the bushes. I threw a rock on the path just as I took the photo.

Kandana coconut pickers

Down the road from my family house in Sri Lanka, these two men were gathering coconuts for sale. Each coconut was expertly judged; good ones went in the cart, bad ones on the dud pile. It’s the exact same process as it was fifty years ago, except with a bull and cart instead of a truck. Kandana, Sri Lanka

Snow Beach NY

A day after a huge snowstorm hit the city, closing all roads into and out of Manhattan, I caught the train out to Coney Island. It’s a pretty bleak place at the best of times, having been in various stages of repair after being damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The snow seemed to clean the area, covering up the beach except for the fake palm trees lining the shore. All whilst photographing, I had Ratking’s “Snow Beach” banging in my ear.

Sweltering Ceylon Sun

The waters in the Keerimalai Ponds supposedly have healing powers; from curing impotency in men and women, to transforming a princess who had the head of a horse into a beautiful human. There’s an unquestionable historical aura of the place, however once you pass the army checkpoints, you’ll find the water is mainly a massive relief

8th Av

New York is my favourite place in the world. From an inspirational viewpoint, it’s an endless giving tree. There’s nothing better than getting a dollar coffee and watching people, maybe eating some papaya king or a lamb gyros, or catching a train out to a new neighborhood every day. This was taken in Chelsea in the middle of winter, nearly a week after a blizzard hit the city.

Lambo at the Green Doctor

Venice Beach is an intoxicating strip of wealth and poverty, consumption, people, and quintessential California. For a twenty-year old Australian kid at the time it was pretty mind blowing.

Running from the storm

Canada has so many friendly beautiful people, plus Canadian maple creams from Timmy Hortons are the best donuts you can get. This was taken high above the town of Jasper in the Rocky Moutains region of Alberta, heading down from Whistlers Peak to shelter from an oncoming storm.

White wash

I was in Seattle and someone was yelling at me from their truck for stepping out in front of them. In my defence, it’s a pretty easy thing to do when you’re staring up at this.

Colour me in kindness

In the wake of the 26-year civil war ending, Sri Lanka is currently experiencing a drastic boom in tourism and wealth, with new buildings going up around Colombo and the smaller cities. Temples have always stood out in this country, even during the periods of war where dilapidated houses and empty blocks of land were all too common. This particular temple was in Jaffna, a town in the northern tip of the country that was heavily occupied by Tamil Tiger forces.