these fisherman lived in a village swept away by the tsunami. their resettlement area is 3km far away (plus crossing the lagoon by boat), but they still come to their old place to fish in the sea. knowing that their families are now safe from further waves is a great pacification for them.

the city of Munich’s help tsunami help project built a stretch of road for them, so they can sell their catch now to remote markets (say: Colombo) for a sometimes better price.

This time i was accompanied by a co-worker who is a trained psychiatrist. she openened my eyes in explaining the fishermen’s behaviour still so strongly influenced by the tsunami and their feeling of helplessness and ongoing feeling of guilt. the trauma still lives on in them and expresses itself in their eyes, their words, their gestures…

fishermen at batticaloa beach

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4 thoughts

  1. Pretty impressive background story. I don’t thing I can really imagine how things must have been down there and how one would feel after such an experience…

    Photographically speaking, the major problem that I have with the picture is that the face of the fisherman blends too much into the background. That’s really a pity – although it most likely couldn’t be avoided. As soon as you start focussing on his face with a consicous effort, the photo really “snaps” into place…

  2. Tena koe ehoa
    It is devastating to merely think of the trauma these people went through, let alone imagine the enormity of it.

  3. Very impressive image. There is only one thing that I wish would be different: the light source on the left side. As it is, I am very much pulled to the high-contrast zone along the mid-upper left edge. Cropping from the left is not a solution, as it would take away too much of the catch, so I have just tried to stretch the background. See for yourself: markus_spring-fishermen.jpg.

    I guess this solves Thomas’ problem as well.

    Andreas

  4. Andreas, you are definitely right. I loaded the image into lightzone this time – I love it’s region features – and the result is much better in terms of not diverting from the main subjects.

    Thanks for the comments and the suggestion – Markus

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