16. March 2013, 21:13
VIDEO Anfang

Enjoy the video about our class 2013! It was a great experience for me to be back in the one world foundation school and I am proud of all students, they did a great job!

If you have a fast internet connection don’t forget to rise up the quality of the video!

15. March 2013, 06:43

The exhibition was a great success and we got a lot of positive comments and feedback on it!

13. March 2013, 17:31
SUREKA: “fashion styles” Anfang

Sureka shows different fashion styles of the young generation in Sri Lanka!

13. March 2013, 16:59
WASANTHA: “Youngsters jobs in Sri Lanka” Anfang

The first work I’ll show is from Wasantha, who went to many different places to find out about young Sri Lankans’ workplaces. He talked to the people he photographed and wrote a short story about every person he portrayed. Here a selection of his pictures:

12. March 2013, 17:08
Album Anfang

Here a small insight into the albums, and a big surprise! Everyone has put lots of effort, care and patience! Have a look!

12. March 2013, 16:37
Preparations Anfang

In the last weeks, everything has been about preparing the exhibition. The students realized their ideas and topics about youth and youngsters in Sri Lanka. It was quite a process and not always easy. They had to find the right places, talk to people, and deal with the camera settings and difficult light situations: a big challenge!
Additionally, we also had to finish the albums about all the things that touch us, are important to us, and that matter in our lives.
We are working a lot, sometimes until the afternoon, but it is a great pleasure and lots of fun. We are growing together and the class has developed its own spirit and dynamic. I am surprised about the independency of the students, and their autonomous work. For all that, however, they never forget to help each other.

1. March 2013, 09:47
Invitation Anfang

Here we go!

19. February 2013, 13:34
Exhibition: ideas Anfang

After a general brainstorming of possible topics for the final exhibition projects and long discussions between the students caused by various dissensions (there are 16 of us!), we reached a consensus to build a project about youth in Sri Lanka. I think this is a great issue and it features lots of stories and perspectives to focus on. Moreover, the topic is directly related to the lives of my students, and they have the possibility to integrate their own stories and experiences into the photography. Every student had to pick one matter that they were interested in to present a wide variety of Sri Lankan Youth. The following categories will be emphasized in the serials:

- Job matters of young people in Sri Lanka
(including social differences, different kind of workplaces, hard working youngsters)
- Education in Sri Lanka
- Talents of young Sri Lankan
- Lifestyles of young Sri Lankans
(including differences between rich and poor youngsters, people on the street and the typical outfits and styles of Sri Lankan Boys
and girls)
- Free-time activities

I think it is a good mixture of personal and community photographs. After encouraging the students to start with their own work I am very curious how they will organize and realize it. Vasanta and Naduni have already started and I am sooo proud of them: it looks promising!

17. February 2013, 15:11
TRIPS Anfang

We did a few trips in the last week to practice our photography, but also to find special places that would inspire us and generate new ideas for our work. As my students rarely have the possibility to visit art galleries we went to the Saskia Fernando gallery and the National Art Gallery in Colombo. Another day we visited Dehiwala Zoo, a wish from my students.
These trips are really important, not only for seeing new things but also for building up a strong group that communicates well and inspire each other. When I started with this class it was kind of difficult to build up a stronger interaction, especially between boys and girls. The class seemed divided into two groups. As we took the train to Colombo, however, the situation completely changed: suddenly the class was united, singing and drumming all together. What a wonderful sight to behold!

7. February 2013, 07:01
Collage Anfang

Today we went through a lot of important photography websites and links looking for pictures. We wanted to find out what touches us, what are the picture that we see and keep in our mind, the photographs that we might stop at while browsing through a book.

3. February 2013, 06:58
Kinds of photography Anfang

During the last few days we have been talking a lot about different kinds of photography, and the students constructed a series of photos based on one of these styles. We had documentaries, portraits, photos of architecture or the landscape, street photography and fashion photos. Anurada, Sureka and Suboda concentrated on a fashion album featuring saris and accessories. Some pictures:

1. February 2013, 06:49
Short stories Anfang

Our small albums get bigger every day and are being filled with images of things that are important to the students. We finished the storyboard, which helped the students plan their shots. They mostly concentrated on their friends and family, and material things in their homes and rooms, such as desks, phones and computers, but nature and religion also matter in the students’ lives. We completed the albums by adding a personal short story to one of the pictures. Looks good!

29. January 2013, 19:05
Home stories II Anfang

This week we went on with our little “home stories”, focusing on things that are important to our lives. A photograph has the ability to convey ideas, messages and emotions, all of which can be used to tell a larger story. Of course, it is not always easy to capture all this in a single picture. So, to clarify their ideas, I have asked the students to create a storyboard, which should help them to plan the shots, get feedback on their ideas, and specify the context: What is the subject? What is in the background? What is their point of view? Do they want to have a high depth of field in the picture or would they prefer having a blurry background…

Some students have already realized their ideas and the results are great!

24. January 2013, 09:16
Madu River Anfang

On Wednesday we had a wonderful boat trip to the Madu River and its 36 spectacular islands. We passed many islets forested with mangroves, paused to view a 200 year old temple, watched the locals cultivating cinnamon, saw traditional fishing techniques and had the possibility to photograph a little crocodile.

On the boat my students started to sing and it was a great feeling seeing everybody happy!

23. January 2013, 01:30
Video: first experiences Anfang

22. January 2013, 11:54
Home stories I Anfang

Over the weekend the students were allowed to take the cameras home so they could get used to them, as it takes some time to get all the settings. After finding out what all the little icons and numbers on the camera mean it’s all about practice, practice, practice.
Though it is important to understand the technical basics, I think the greatest skill of a good photographer is that of observation. It defines the work and gives breadth to the stories that you want to tell. I have asked the students to document one day in their lives, and record everything that matters to them. We will now work on this topic and then make small albums from their photos.
Here some of the first results!

16. January 2013, 12:37
Photography class 2013 Anfang

I am back in Sri Lanka and started a new photography class yesterday, which is great and makes me smile!
My 20 students are open-minded to photography and new ideas. Today we designed a ‘tree of life’ to find out what makes us strong and what our dreams, wishes and expectations are. The roots represent the elements that support us, like family, friends, education and nature, whereas the treetop and the leaves symbolize personal wishes, expectations and dreams. Sri Lankan students love their nature and as I expected everyone demonstrated a lot of creativity.

5. December 2012, 05:44
Stange Lovers: The final exhibition! Anfang

29 AND 30 TH NOVEMBER 2012 we had our final exhibition…full of emotions and work, after working hard we had a lot of positive feedback.
The exhibition was great, and I must said that every students did a great job.
Everybody full and intense of emotions and meaning.
Much more than only photography.
Here you can see some of the picture my students toked during this 2 days.
The title was “STRANGE LOVERS” as we are, as nature and fear, as every opposite side of reality around us.
I must say to my students: “GREAT JOB!” This is just the starting point of a successful life!

25. November 2012, 16:15
SMALL BOOKS_ second part Anfang

we are almost ready for showing our work… for the moment we just share some more pictures from our small books!!!

1. November 2012, 17:31
Small Books! Anfang

here we are, working hard, creating, being inspired by nature, people, places… here the small books we are individually making, with our exercises, with our creativity inside…

I’m really surprised, because everybody is showing such a big talent and creativness with photography and art!

Here some pages!

22. October 2012, 15:07
inspiring moment!!! Anfang

we are starting really well! every day we have one or two hour of creativity, and than we start to use the camera in manual mode, exploring the school and the people around us, with the best lens of the kit 50mm f2.0!

we are going really fast, and we are discovering new way to look at reality! :-)

11. October 2012, 11:42
our class book Anfang

I choose to work with my students with some book, to keep emotions, feelings, histories, photos, flowers, leaves… everything that can but putted on a flat surface…

so we started the first day with a polaroid portrait, and the second day with a self portrait…

than with our expectations, from us and from photography…

we started to watch images around us, news papers, some Sri Lankan magazines (there are not so many…), internet… and now we are doing collage!

here some photos from the first day pages of our big book!

11. October 2012, 11:21
we’ve started! Anfang

Monday 8th october 2012, we started!

we are 14… all more or less really shy, but everybody with the aim to learn something new and special with photography!

Here some pictures!!!

21. February 2012, 17:01
Traditional Dancers Anfang

The final group with Kumudika, Nadeeka, Chaminda and Pradeep met up with local dancers from Ambolangoda, most of them still students and performing as a part-time job. The group agreed to dance in traditional costume for a photo shoot and we spent half a day with them, in pouring rain and hidden under porches, with a yellow wall behind us…

20. February 2012, 16:43
Teddy Bear Factory Anfang

Janika, Sanduni, Asanka and Nadeera contacted a local factory for toys – in particular teddy bears. Taking detailed photos of production facilities can be a sensitive issue – however, all four students were granted access for a couple of hours. I was not admitted in but nevertheless, I believe they did a really good job.

15. February 2012, 16:27
Sambodhi Institute Anfang

Mahisha, Iresha, Prasadi and Chanika spent a day near Galle, documenting a glimpse of life at the Sambodhi Institute for kids and adults with special needs. Attached to the institute is a Montessori school for pupils with mixed abilities. We were moved by so much kindness and generosity, in spite of this incredibly wretched state the facility is in. Marks of the 2004 Tsunami are still visible on the wall.

13. February 2012, 15:59
Sinharaga Anfang

Half my group, Mahisha, Chamika, Anoma, Pradeep, Prasadi, Kumudika, Malith, Nadeeka, Thakshila, Woshika, Sanduni, Iresha, Janaki and Nadeera traveled with me to the Sinharaga rainforest, a few hours drive from the school. We had a guide and walked through sections of this reservation, capturing bits of wild-life and fauna. I am amazed how talented my students are with nature photos, they barely needed instructions in order to capture nature in the most beautiful way!

11. February 2012, 02:43
High Risk Labour Anfang

Three of my students, Chatura, Amile and Lasandu, expressed an interest in high risk labour and visited a stone and wood manufacturing place in Koskode, a few miles up North from the school. I put up a small selection!

8. February 2012, 11:52
Batik Factory Anfang

The project period allows students to design and carry out their own projects in small groups. The first trip as part of this period led us to a rural Batik factory near Matara in the South of the island. Anoma and Lalani explored and documented the process of work with batik garment.

7. February 2012, 13:21
Sri Lanka National Day Anfang

The Sri Lanka National Day (February 4th) was celebrated at the school compound of the owf – with family, friends and foreign guests, attending a celebration of music and dance. My students were asked to take a few snapshots of the event…

2. February 2012, 12:44
Car Repair Shop Anfang

In order to gain an insight into a more technical environment, I visited with my class a rural car repair service, not far from the school compound. We practiced framing and composition, different exposure settings and ways to tell stories about the place. This is our final exercise trip, ahead of the project period (February 4 – 15). I like to note, that we work with the cameras in manual mode, setting ISO, shutter and f-stops manually. Lenses with manual focusing are used for various occasions, as well. Understanding the cause and effect of these settings allow the students to create images freely and based on their intentions. Pre-set computer programs are no longer required to take a good and lasting photo.

31. January 2012, 12:33
Colombo Art Biennale Anfang

The Colombo Art Biennale, taking place February 15 – 19th invited us to participate at the festival as part of the CAB Outreach Program. The whole photography group will spend February 17th in Colombo and document the exhibitions on display. We also have the opportunity to meet respective artists and attend lectures. Click here for more information!

28. January 2012, 12:13
Madu River Anfang

Madu River is a beautiful lagoon, just a half hour bus ride South of the school compound. We booked a boat for the whole group and had a skipper, guiding us through stretches of beauty and (for my consideration) wild nature. What a nice way to spend the day…

26. January 2012, 15:00
Aluthgama Anfang

Aluthgama is a nearby small village along a main road, busy with people and in constant move. we strolled through the village in small groups, exploring the scene and looking out for photo opportunities. My students appear to be quite shy when they approach people and intend to portrait them. There is a lot of respect and consideration in the air, a picture can only be taken if there is a common agreement to do so.

23. January 2012, 17:12
Group Photo Anfang

Two more students joined the workshop today. In total 25 students are following the course, including two teachers of the one world foundation. The names of the students are Mahisha, Achini, Chamika, Anoma, Pradeep, Chaminda, Prasadi, Kumudika, Malith, Nadeeka, Lalani, Thakshila, Woshika, Sanduni, Iresha, Sampath, Asanka, Lasandru, Sulaj, Amila, Chatura, Damal, Chamari, Janaki and Nadeera. It takes me quite a while to get accustomed with the names! And it isn’t easy to have them all on one group picture…

20. January 2012, 16:43
Visit to a Buddhist temple Anfang

We evaluated the results of our small excursion to the beach and decided to visit a nearby Buddhist temple as another photo assignment. The chief monk of the monastery openly gave us permission to explore the area. It has been a new territory for the students, moving and acting freely in a much more confined environment.

17. January 2012, 02:10
A new photography course with Laurent Anfang

I arrived at the owf in early January and began teaching a new photography course on the 10th. In total there are 23 participants, for the first time more girls than boys. Daily classes take place in a new room at the school compound, specifically assigned for the photography students and their needs. One of our first small assignments lead us to the nearby beach – with a rich variety of images to begin with! Please note, unless not stated differently, all images on display in this or later posts are taken by the students of the photography course.

16. December 2011, 12:07
time to say goodbye… Anfang

Before all else a big thank you to the paint for life foundation and the one world foundation for offering me the stay in Sri Lanka! This was an absolutely wonderful and unforgettable experience! I think working in a different culture gives you so much more: in this time i was not just a tourist, but i had the possibility to live every day situations, interacting with different people, understanding a little bit more their way of thinking and of organizing their lives! From the first day on i felt welcome and included in this country and the school! Many thanks to all the teachers, to my wonderful assistent Saloshani, who was always on my side and supported me in many situations, to the guests in the Bogenvilla and last but not least to my fantastic students: i will always remember you!!!


16. December 2011, 11:38
final exhibition Anfang

Yesterday we finally presented our works! Within the scope of the final school celebration we opened our “picture – jungle” to the public. The effort of the last days was worthwhile: the exhibition was a big success and the visitors appreciated the photographic works. We were even able to complete our little “cinema”: we projected moved pictures accompanied with music showing the best moments of our past two months together!  I am very proud of every single student:  they started out in october without any knowledge in photography at all and they presented remarkable works yesterday!



the opening:



13. December 2011, 13:30
final days… Anfang

final days before the exhibition…we were so hard working today:


11. December 2011, 05:44
creative ideas and networking Anfang

There was always plenty to do in the last time, but this past week has been particularly eventful, filled with creative ideas, new cooperations, successful team working and fun. After picking up all 150 ready exhibition prints from the photo lab located in Ambolangoda, we were thinking about the best way to present them. Luckily the two austrian architects Erik Testor and Richard Messner, who are on holidays in the Bogenvilla (OWF), were very interested in the photography project and offered their help. Within a short time period Erik designed an extraordinary exhibition concept, integrating cleverly natural composite materials such as bamboo and coir. The students were enthusiastic about the idea and we immediately set ourselves to work, investigating where to find the materials. Not easy though, but possible and all together we provided the required evergreens. On saturday Erik, Richard and me were busy with cutting and arranging the materials.

Here a short insight into all the preparations,

and many many thanks to Erik and Richard for their great cooperation!!



10. December 2011, 16:56
Lalani and Nishanthi: let`s build our country by forming Anfang

Lalani and Nishanthi focused  on agriculture, the most important sector of the Sri Lankan economy: approximately 1/3 of  the total labour force is engaged in this area. Sri Lanka has the department of agriculture, which main objectives are the maintaining and increasing of productivity. Besides research and extension a further  important function of the departement is the production of seed and planting material.

Here some pictures taken around the Labaduwa farm:


6. December 2011, 04:48
Dinesh: soldiers and their families Anfang

Dinesh focused on family relationships of soldiers: in his work he wants to show, that they are no less important than to other people.


5. December 2011, 05:15
Amodi, Imasha and Sachini: the toddy industry Anfang

The three girls went to Amodi’s home, a small place into the inland, with a huge coconut toddy production. Toddy is the sap from the coconut trees used as a beverage. Amodi, Imasha and Sachini did a great documentation about the people working in this industry! Here a small selection of their photographs:


3. December 2011, 04:25
Ishara: family relationships Anfang

Ishara realized a serial about the relationship between fathers and children.The nuclear family  in Sri Lanka is the most important social unit, and Ishara told me, that this issue is very important to him:  he appreciates very much his parents, and the values they transmit to him. We also covered the topic in our class and the other students agreed  with the statement about the importance and strenghts of family relations.


2. December 2011, 08:42

Dulshan today finished designing the invitation card:


30. November 2011, 08:43
Dhanushka Anfang

Dhanushka applied his project to aged people, who don’t receive care from their relations or have no family to help and cannot support themselves. On the weekend he went to a care home for the elderly in Balapytia all by himself. This is a small selection of the impressive and touching pictures he took:


30. November 2011, 08:07
Mayura, Dulshan and Harsha: coconut productions Anfang

The coconut three is known to have many uses, every single part of the three, from the roots to the leaves has it`s own benefit and function. In their photography serial Mayura, Dulshan and Harsha focused on the processing of coconut coir, which is used in ropes, brushes, mats, caulking boats and as stuffing fibre and on husk products. They want to give us an idea on the effort the people invest in their work and point out the hard working conditions: many of the poorest people in southern Sri Lanka work in the coir industry.

This is a small selection of their project:

29. November 2011, 07:26
two weeks left… Anfang

Two weeks left until our final exhibition and time seems to fly. We are working hard and constantly and i am very satisfied with the results achieved until now. There is still a lot of preparation left to do: finishing photographing, writing texts, planning how to present the works, finalizing the invitation, painting walls…but each day gets us closer and closer to our goal!

19. November 2011, 18:01
the first projects: Maduha Anfang

Maduha works as a Tamil teacher (which is, besides Sinhala the official language in Sri Lanka) in the OWF school and participates in my photography class during her free time. She had the idea to photograph beggars, which she encounters often in her environment. Her project aims to make them and their problems visible  and to raise awareness of the situation of this marginal-(ized) people. It’s not an easy idea to realize, and I supported her today (which I also use to do with the other project groups at their first shooting day). I was rather surprised to see her whole family picking me up at the bus terminal! After taking a coffee at her grandparents’ house, Maduha, her father and I went through Aluthgama, looking for beggars. I am sure that due to Maduha’s very cautious and sensible approach this project will work. And I am really amazed to see how her entire family backs her plan.


18. November 2011, 18:02
it’s project time II Anfang

Later in the week we were busy with organizing locations, scheduling shooting days, and finally starting the first shootings! I assigned the students to answer a few questions about their project such as why did they select the topic, what  do they want to point up, what story do they want to tell. This writing should help them to put their thoughts together and have a clear idea of what the project should be about. I think, that the best topics are the ones the students truly care about. It is great to see, that they start looking at things in a different way and explore every day life creatively!

16. November 2011, 17:57
it’s project time I Anfang

Brainstorming, discussing, rejecting, finding arguments, researching… that’s what our week was all about!  We started our projects, which will be presented in a final exhibition on December, 15th. After writing down all ideas spontaneously, the students had to pick a theme that their photographs will be centered on. Not at all easy, of course, but everybody did it and the result is considerable. The students’ work cover an amazingly diverse range of topics, such as reports about local industries, family relationships and marginal people.

11. November 2011, 17:53
Galle Anfang

Today we combined morning and afternoon class and went for a trip to the very beautiful city of Galle. We took the bus, which in Sri Lanka is always a challenge. Busses are usually overcrowded, and the drivers have their own rules: they go fast, overtake everywhere, preferably busses as if they will earn bonus for every bus they overtake. My students are used to Sri Lankan public transport and seem relaxed while I feel relieved when we finally reach Galle bus station. But Galle fort is worth the trip! The four hundred year old citadel has a tempestuous history and is considered one of the world’s greatest examples of 17th century colonial fortification. Today’s population is very colourful: multi ethnic and multi religious. On the grass – clad walls we have a wonderful view to the see and the city, and the perfect panorama for our pictures.



5. November 2011, 12:42
streets of Ahungalla Anfang

Ahungalla is the place where the main campus of the OWF school is located. It’s a small village of about 4000 inhabitants situated on the coast 50 miles south of colombo. Everyday on my way to school and back I encounter so many different people on the streets: kids, playing volleyball, woman on their way shopping equipped with huge umbrellas ( which serve to protect against sun and rain ), people in front and around their houses talking or simply reading the newspaper, tuck tuck drivers always offering their services. Most people here live in modest circumstances, big families often share small houses. The main part of life takes place outside, in the streets. In this week our photography class was focused on the streets of Ahungalla. The students had to select a topic of their choice, such as portraits, street life, shops or working people and concentrate on it. In order to understand the importance of a good and focused selection as well, they had to choose up to seven pictures ( which was not that easy considering the large number of pictures taken) and present them to the other students. Everybody had to explain and discuss the taken photographs under several aspects, concerning technical, content and compositional aspects. Ishara selected the following pictures:


2. November 2011, 20:24
portraits Anfang

Everyday when i arrive at school, before the lession starts, i see lots of children from preschool in blue uniforms playing in the school garden. They are amazing, always smiling and waving at me. And they are fantastic models for my students. The last lession was all about depth of field and the several factors by which it is determined. With subjects such as portraits a small depth of field is often used to blur the background, which has the advantage to reduce distractions from the main subject of the image. Sachini, Amodi, Sameera and Sasindu captured this very expressive faces in their images, applying their new knowledge in a clever way.


1. November 2011, 08:37
all about saris Anfang

One thing that makes Sri Lanka that colorful is certainly the sari, a traditional, common dress, that Sri Lankan woman wear in many styles. Every sari has a different color and design, there are lots of materials and it is dropped over the body in various manners. In the OWF school all female teachers wear a sari and it makes them look great. So i decided to buy one as well. It was not easy to choose one due to the broad selection of colors and materials. The sari is usually worn over a petticoat and with a blouse with short sleeves. The participants of the woman’s cooperation placed in the owf school, where woman are able to receive training in tailoring, sewed a pretty blouse and petticoat for me.
It was kind of a challenge to dress my new garment, frankly two woman helped and instructed me how to drape it.


25. October 2011, 16:27
one day on the beach Anfang

Mid week we were lucky and had a beautiful day of sunshine for taking photographs on the beach. After a little walk along the sea, we discovered a small harbour with pretty coloured wooden fishing boats.

Here a few snapshots taken by Maduha, Lalani and Mayura:

24. October 2011, 17:17
rain and thunderstorms Anfang

Week two started with rain and thunderstorms due to the rainy period.
But we don’t give up according to the motto: there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

Here some rain pictures and the famous lightening picture taken by (the very proud) Sasindu:

23. October 2011, 14:36
new students and first results Anfang

On Friday four new students joined the photography morning class:



While we started again with technical basics, the other group, who is already familiar with the main camera settings,realized their first assignment. They tried to capture characteristics of their country. Here the best of pictures taken by Isara, Maduha, Sampath and Tharindu:


23. October 2011, 10:13
first tries Anfang

In this week the students had their first experiences with the SLR- Pentax cameras provided by the Paint for Life foundation. Of all students taking the class only one girl has already shot with an SLR camera, few of the others captured photographs with their mobile phone, but in large part the students never photographed at all.

We started with the fundamental technical skills: the students should learn everything they need to take control of the digital SLR camera. This contains a lot of information about exposure and how to use the different camera settings in order to take a correct exposed and sharp photo. Beside all the technical information we did a lot of exercising around the school garden. It is amazing to see how everybody is trying hard, and also having a lot of fun with the camera: once they hold the camera in their hand it’s difficult to stop them!!!

I encourage the students every day to ask questions if they don’t understand, but quite often they don’t due to their culturally based politeness and the language barrier. The English skills vary a lot: the students from the morning class have a relatively good knowledge, while in the afternoon class most of the students don’t speak English at all.

Here some of my very curious students exploring their school in a new manner: through photography!


23. October 2011, 10:12
first day Anfang

Tuesday, my very first day of class in the owf – school!!! For the next two months i’ll teach two classes in photography: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Today i went to school by bicycle, it is amazing how friendly people in Ahungalla are: everybody smiling to me. My students are interested, smart and incredibly polite! These are the students from the morning class:

29. January 2010, 05:20
Farewell Anfang

It is time to say farewell… This is the end of my residency in Ahungalla, Sri Lanka and I leave back to Vienna on February 2. My wishes go out to Kathrin Messner, Prabath Wijesekara De Zoysa, the whole faculty at owf and my dear students… Goodbye!

29. January 2010, 05:16
Picture of the day Anfang

This most certainly is the picture of the day with the participants of the photo workshop at owf. It has been such a special time, I like to say ‘bohoma stuti’ to all of them for taking care of this project and for producing such amazing work. I’ll miss my students and take unforgettable memories back home.


26. January 2010, 05:20
Photo exhibition Anfang

The project period was completed on January 25 and I ordered about 100 prints in 8 x 12 inch from ‘Edwins’, a local photo store in Ambalan- goda. In accordance with Kathrin Messner, the founder of the owf and the school principal Prabath Wijesekara De Zoysa, my students presented their best photos at the school compound on January 28. I am very proud of all participants. They did an excellent job and the exhibition was well received by the public. If you like to review a larger selection of photo work please click here.








26. January 2010, 05:07
World of dance and martial arts Anfang

Nuwan, Milinda and Gayathri dedicated time and focus to the world of dance and martial arts. In spite of some difficulties in the beginning of the project period they managed to locate some studios where traditional Sri Lankan dance is thought as well as a training spot for Karate. Not an easy job to accomplish!




22. January 2010, 18:33
Nature photography Anfang

Hikkaduwa and Sinigama as well as Madu river are perfect spots for nature photography. Athri, Prasadi, Salo, Shashini and Tharangi were interested in the way, sunlight and the time of the day affects nature and the way we perceive – and appreciate – it. They started early, before dawn and completed their work late when the sun disappeared behind the horizone…









21. January 2010, 18:54
Wood carving Anfang

Two of my students, Amila and Kushantha went to Angolangoda, half an hour drive from Ahungalla, an area famous for wood carving and traditional masks. They explored the workshop & sales department and captured the process of work. This job was difficult to handle because of little available light and no additional light sources at hand.





21. January 2010, 17:58
A turtle farm and a zoo… Anfang

Narmika, Gauri and Dharanie focused on animals that are taken out of their natural habitat. They visited one of several turtle farms in Kosgoda, traveled up to Madu river and visited the Delawara Zoo up north towards Colombo. This is just a small selection of their work!







21. January 2010, 04:18
Balapitiya temple Anfang

Sri lanka is impossible to imagine without its countless temples and shrines. Luckly, Isuru and Dasun decided to document some of the Buddhist paintings inside Balapitiya temple, one of the oldest sacred places on the island. Some layers of colors are more than 300 years old and still visible inspite of little maintanance and restauration efforts.





20. January 2010, 15:33
Lunuganga Anfang

The first group with Praveen, Indika, Davinda and Isuru traveled to Lunuganga and Brief garden, an hour drive south of the owf school. These magnificent gardens were designed by Geoffrey and Brief Bawa from the early 50ies on. Both brothers in the meantime passed away but the gardens are well looked after and kept as a top end resort off the beaten track. A perfect place to show the beauty of nature in balance with human interaction…







19. January 2010, 18:08
White orchid Anfang

I just thought it is high time for another picture of the day… This time a close-up of a white orchid, beautifully captured by Athri during one of her assignments.


9. January 2010, 08:32
Project period Anfang

The project period just started with a number of meetings to develop a visual concept for the upcoming shoots as well as ensure logistics and permissions if required. There are six projects in total, the first group will check out the camera gear this coming Monday and drive to the famous Lunuganga garden of Geoffrey Bawa. I put up a board to keep the students up to date with emerging deadlines and changes of schedule.


18. December 2009, 08:15
Collaboration Anfang

Most of my students are assembled on these photos and I hope the images show a bit of the creativity and fun that is part of our collaboration. About half the students are so called “school leavers” and just finished their education at the owf. However, we continue working together and start a small project series in January 2010. I received about eight project applications, ranging from action photography to wedding, nature (macro) to documentary. The second image shows the school principal Prabath Wijesekara De Zoysa (center), who teaches IT at the owf.


owf one world foundation

17. December 2009, 06:44
Costumes Anfang

Talking about costumes of all kinds… this is my picture of the day!

owf one world foundation

16. December 2009, 07:30
It's a celebration! Anfang

The students at the one world foundation have their exams taken at around mid December and once all the tests are (hopefully) accomplished, the school celebrates for a full day. There is a stage set up with red curtains, stunning costumes, light, music and dance. Children are running around all over the place and the space is filled with an unforgettable atmosphere of joy and excitement. The Pentax cameras were well used and up to eight photographers captured the whole show, peeked backstage and even dared to approach some kind of a VIP section with local celebrities who came to attend the ceremony. The first image shows Kathrin Messner, the founder of the owf. A larger selection will soon be online on Facebook.

owf one world foundation

owf one world foundation

owf one world foundation

owf one world foundation

owf one world foundation


owf one world foundation

owf one world foundation

owf one world foundation

10. December 2009, 09:30
Group photos Anfang

One of the first assignments of my students were group photos of the different classes of the one world foundation. I gave them full freedom and limited my involvement to organizational assistance. Group photos are tough and apart from various lighting conditions it certainly is a challenge to arrange some twenty kids or teenagers on one spot. I enjoyed watching my students on the job and using the camera as a tool for composition and creativity.


owf one world foundation


Group picture



8. December 2009, 18:36
Close-up shots Anfang

Most students have a great talent with close-up shots and I am amazed to look through the selection of flowers and animals they capture on a day to day basis. Talking about close-up’s, this is my photo of the day!


8. December 2009, 18:31
On the beach Anfang

The school is just a ten minutes walk from the Indian ocean and there is sand for miles without end. We took two hours off and had a small photo session close to the water. More images coming soon…







4. December 2009, 10:55
Buddhist and Hindi Temple Anfang

A closely located buddhist and hindi temple area was the destination of today’s excursion and I attached a small selection of work the students produced. The task was to take all photos with manual settings and keep automatic functions on the camera switched off. In spite of difficult lighting situations the students did a really good job and I am looking forward to the projects ahead!







26. November 2009, 14:41
First photos taken Anfang

I introduced ten digital Pentax SLR K200d cameras (as a set with a standard 18 – 55mm zoom lens) to the students. These cameras are our tools for the months and hopefully years ahead. Both classes began experimenting and trying out the new gear and there is a lot of curiosity around. However, knowledge about technical equipment appears to be very different. Some students barely ever touched a camera of some kind, others are fairly familiar with technical gadgets because of friends or family. So teaching basic theory appears tricky, also due to language barriers and hesitation of most students to raise questions or concerns. However, this is just the first week and much more ahead. Stay tuned!







25. November 2009, 18:41
Back to school! Anfang

Today was my first day at the school compound of the one world fundation. I will be teaching every day two classes with in total about 40 students. The first encounter was exciting and there is a lot of respect on either sides. So far, I am the only foreign teacher apart from Markus and Joachim, two English teachers from Germany. Some kind of new world opened up when I entered the school and it will take some time to get accustomed to such a different reality.

What concerns my teaching, I intend to design the class as a workshop with students involved in exchange and teamwork. In spite of all the technical aspects of photography, our work should also be fun and a time full of surprises! The snap-shot attached was taken in the library where we had our first get-together.


24. November 2009, 18:32
Arrival Anfang

Leaving Vienna on November 22 with a sense of winter time approaching, I arrived in Colombo 15 hours later with 35 degrees C and a perfect blue sky. I was overwhelmed not only by climate and temperature, though. People appeared soft and generous, all I sensed seemed to follow a different rhythm and pace. I was picked up and brought to Bogenvillya, a building that belongs to the school and will be home sweet home for the time of my stay.

My main task is to teach photography at the school of the owf one world foundation, a free education unit, and carry out a documentary about the school as such. My stay is scheduled until the end of January 2010. Paint for Life generously sponsored the purchase of digital photo equipment and accessories that I managed to take with me to Sri Lanka.

18. November 2009, 22:26
Ahungalla, Sri Lanka… Anfang

I am leaving in a couple of days to Ahungalla, Sri Lanka for an artist in residency in close collaboration with owf one world foundation and Paint for Life. This blog will give you some insight into my work and the project as such!