Every now and then all the elements needed for a fantastic shot come together: the right light, the right settings, the right subject, and a huge slice of luck. This was one of those times. My thanks go to this splendid camera-friendly crab.
Having been in the capital for five weeks it was high time to get off the beaten track. We left Colombo for Puttalam, described by the Bradt Guide as a town with ‘the air of a forgotten frontier’. For four hours the train bumped and swayed its way over mangrove swamps, past rusting carcasses of old carriages, and through varying degrees of habitation from the lights of Negombo to palm-lined huts on windswept plains just south of Palavi.
We’d come to visit our friend Bill, fellow volunteer, and resident of the mighty Puttalam. He’d arranged for us to spend Saturday at a small resort on the Kalpitiya peninsula between the Indian Ocean and Puttalam Lagoon. A 20km tuk-tuk ride ended on thin sandy paths past fields of watermelon and green chillies.
As the sun set the beach became the setting for an elaborate display of crabs, scuttling to the water’s edge, back to their holes in the sand, and so forth. For the most part they seldom stopped still long enough for a photo, especially not when we approached. But, as the light turned dark pink in its final throes for the day, this one curious crab stopped just long enough to get this shot.