Galle Fort, Tourists and Street Photography

Sea Wall - Galle Fort

The Galle Fort, which was first built by Portuguese in 1588, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century is a historical, archaeological and architectural world heritage monument (Source; Wikipedia). Last week 10 of us, all members of the Round Table Camera Club visited the Galle Fort for an evening of photography, fun and education.

Round Table Camera Club Members - Galle FortImage courtesy of Chris & Mayu Photography


Galle Fort is still quite posh for its age. It is one of the oldest living cities in the world and attracts many tourists every year.

The day of our visit was bright and sunny. The Fort was filled with tourists and each and everyone of them was taking photographs!

The Fort has always been a popular destination among street and architectural photographers. However, what struck me was the number of tourists capturing images, mostly of themselves, and the way they were doing it. At times I wondered whether they were experiencing the place or obsessed about capturing memories. I’m not saying one is right and the other is wrong; I’m not judging people in any way, but what I saw really fascinated me.

So I decided to capture the  tourists capturing memories and “selfies”…….


The place the above couple is shooting a “selfie” and the young lady in the below image is dancing is the old ammunition store of the fort. This was the first time I saw a ‘selfie stick’ up close!

The young lady came there with a couple of friends. They were shooting with their own phones. She gave her phone to the gentleman in picture and requested him to capture her images. Then….. she started dancing…..


I didn’t expect her to stretch this much, so I completely missed the focus!!!!!! Apologies for the soft image!


In my defence; I didn’t have the “luxury” of a tiny sensor with an infinite depth of field (pun intended)………….they seemed to be quite pleased with the gentleman’s photos


The “sea wall” of the Fort is said to have been built in 1729 to complete the defences of the city. Initially the seaward side was believed to be impregnable.


After years and years of shooting I’m bit indifferent towards sunsets.However, the sunset at Galle Fort is a spectacular sight! People wait in anticipation to capture it!


Hitting the ground while shooting on streets at times could be quite rewarding. People could walk into your frame and do interesting things without being aware of you being there literally at their feet. A D800 with a 24-70!


Finally the Sun became a red ball of fire and started to go down. Everyone around me started shooting. I had to go with the flow…


And then, this little fella snapped off his Dad’s hand and decided to “photobomb” the Sunset  – Thank you little man!

BTW, I’m not too sure which one came first, ‘photobomb’ or ‘selfie’?


The wonderful ability of modern sensors to create signals with minuscule amounts of lights has opened new opportunities for all of us. This was shot with my D800E at ISO 1600 after the sunset; looks like their phone too, is able to shoot low light!


I’m not too sure whether this bunch got anything worth showing in this darkness with that phone, but hey; taking photos is fun!



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