Saminda, a photographer with a distinct identity | Sunday Observer

Saminda, a photographer with a distinct identity

12 December, 2021

There is a popular belief that the strings of a great photographer never go out of tune. Saminda Sadun Sri too belongs to the calibre of such photographers.

Saminda’s debut photography exhibition titled “The Sporadic Souls”, held at the Gallery Four Life, Boteju Road, Colombo 5, concluded on 08th December 2021.

The exhibition, which opened on 3rd December was viewed by a considerable number of people whose interest lies in the field of photography. The chief guest was Sujeewa Rajapakse, the chairman of Peoples Bank.

Saminda, a banker by profession is a seasoned photographer with an intrinsic and unique knack for creative photography with which he makes a difference while possessing a distinct personality in the domain of photography.

Expressing his views in an interview with the Youth Observer, Saminda noted, “I work at the Yatiyantota branch of the Peoples Bank and I truly enjoy being a banker. My central concern is my profession. My leisure time is joyfully occupied with photography and for me it has never been a business but an excellent medium of expression of my inner soul, no matter whether they are a sense of happiness, sorrow and humour.”


Cameras and spontaneous clicks are synonymous with Saminda. A self-taught photographer, he started his odyssey of photography soon after his Advanced Level examination. He reached a breakthrough in his pastime by getting noticed in a Facebook page: Art of Portrait Photography.

Although a large number of photographers, from across the world are highlighted on this page, Saminda is the only Sri Lankan photographer whose photos have distinctively been acclaimed at this specific juncture.

From among his unique collection of photos that got highlighted, a very remarkable photo had been the cover of the page during the month of December in 2020.

Commenting further on the matter of his photos coming into the limelight in a social media platform, Saminda remarked that the photos, captured on the theme of Joker as well as that of the portraits of the Mexican painter ‘Frida Kahlo’ robbed the eyes of the viewers.

During the run up to this major breakthrough, Saminda apparently developed a considerable obsession on “Joker”- a 2019 American psychological thriller film directed and produced by Todd Phillips and Frida Kahlo, well known for her coloured self-portraits that are brilliant and uncompromising.

Versatile painters

Meanwhile, Flanked and impressed by Saminda’s amazing ability and potential in photography, Chinese and Sri Lankan curators ‘Mandy Jin’ and ‘Chathuranga Biyagama’ suggested him to have his own photography exhibition which eventually came out as ‘The Sporadic Souls’ at gallery Four Life.

Jin and Biyagama are versatile painters with an outstanding track record whose lavish and sincere encouragement keeps the young and upcoming painters such as Saminda going. Saminda’s photography is his passionate emerging voice.

His clicks inspire, amaze and inform the eye of the beholder. Saminda has his own unique way of reexamining and redefining the image of the objects that he captures in his camera. First and foremost, one may find that Saminda’s photos are a catalyst or reason to motivate human actions.

Saminda elaborated, “At a glance, you may notice that every photo that I click is initially nothing but a manifestation of my innermost feelings. I don’t compromise on the naturalistic and authentic element in my photos. Photography for me is not a source of income but undeniably an amazing pastime which gives me an immense degree of mental solace and happiness”. Saminda’s photos speak.

Unique photos

As he himself noted he wishes to develop photography as a language as much as music itself does. He noted, “I often as a habit try to give a message through my photography”.Most importantly, two of his unique photos: black leopard and turtles, among many other bear testimony to the merciless killing of animals in cold blood and the destruction, done by the irresponsible disposal of polythene on the lives of aquatic animals.

In such a way, his photos speak of contemporary topics: regardless of its nature. In that sense, Saminda unarguably sorts out the kind of chaos, remaining within the society into images which bring out clarity to the freedom for everyone’s life.

Saminda in his photography becomes not only an artist but also a witness who distills both the beauty and mayhem that surround the people. On the other hand, his photography showcases his potential of defeating the time where he holds a moment in history for future generations.

It is true that photography is a universal language that can speak to the deepest place of your heart. Similarly, Saminda’s photography is rich and unique in that aspect of universality. The photographer in Saminda is a dedicated and passionate human being who quite literally gives his life in order to demonstrate us as to what is needed to be seen.

Saminda’s ‘The Sporadic Soul’ showcased intricate and majestic images. In a very personal way, you may call the images taken to the gallery by Saminda just like a poem which speaks on many different fields.

Saminda hailing from Devalegama, Kegalle is an old boy of Kegallu Vidyalaya, Kegalle. In retrospect, Saminda remarked that even during his A/L, his interest in photography was tremendous despite those days; he was still looking for a camera.

In the company of his dear friend Sujeewa Ranathunga, he reserved time to get involved with informative discussions on photography, videography and cinematology during which he got a sound insight on the subjects discussed that kept him motivated right throughout.

Short film

With the able assistance of Sasanga Gunathilake and Lakshitha Prasad Weerasena, both young film directors, Saminda, armed with a camera, tried out his potential of photography at a wedding ceremony on which he has a huge collection of fond memories to share with. Taking a further step in his much desired field of photography, Saminda made a breakthrough by making his debut short film, ‘Amma Calling’.

Meanwhile, Saminda got himself convinced that albeit film photography is a unique and exciting area with an abundance of opportunities, he deliberately wanted to spare his leisure time only on photography which is not relatively time consuming and complex as much as that of film photography, involved with a long procedure. Following his joining with the Peoples bank in 2012, Saminda was adjudicated as the best photographer in a competition held under the category of black and white photography, organised by the bank’s art circle in 2014 which as Saminda noted is a significant achievement that further shaped up his identity as a photographer with a difference. Saminda owes his indebtedness to his parents: mother Nandani Perera and father Mahinda Sri Kumara for taking his hidden interest and enthusiasm in photography off the carpet while facilitating him with the sense of freedom to own a peace of mind. His older brother Nalinda Sampath Sri also owes a debt for his kind words of encouragement.

“I am ever grateful to the Peoples Bank and its staff for the tremendous degree of valuable support and encouragement given to me in all my good artistic endeavours. All my dear friends are also my epitome of encouragement and for whom I have remarkable appreciation,” he said.