Meet Siri, an ocean photographer born in Thailand and raised in Belgium. We had the pleasure of meeting Siri in Sri Lanka and this is her story.Siriwan Portrait aka Siri
You’re an ocean photographer so you must have a deep affinity with the ocean. Tell us what you love about the ocean?
Being in the water makes me feel calm and free but also really vulnerable.
When and what made you want to start ocean photography?
A year ago I started to do ocean photography. It was my last year of uni and for my final project I decided to capture Ryan in his natural habitat, water, the ocean. We both share this love; being in the water.
Do you prefer colour or B/W images and why?
Hmm, that’s a hard question. I enjoy both colour, and black and white. However I do love shooting in black and white when it comes to presenting a certain message. The reason being that colour can distract from what’s happening in the scene, guiding you to a different feeling.
Where is your favourite location to shoot?
That would be the south of Sri Lanka! The colours of the ocean are more magical than expected, with exotic backgrounds so unique you won’t find it anywhere else. Once you step out of the ocean you’re greeted by this explosion of colour and character, in the streets and in the people.
Have you ever been injured in the ocean whilst trying to shoot?
Yes! Once a foamy hit me in the ribs. If you ever had a rib injury, you know how painful it is and how long it can take to heal. Luckily it wasn’t something major.
Where is your favourite place you have traveled to, and why was it so unique?
Sri Lanka and Sumba (Island in Indonesia).
Sri lanka is a place close to my heart. I have met so many incredible people that have become close friends. The vibe is super chilled and creative. Everybody supports one another. Especially in these times, it is the best feeling ever, to not feel alone here in this world.
Also Sri Lankan food is bombs! I’d do anything right now to have one more rice and curry with poppadom. My favourite surf spots are Marshmellows, Gas Station, Driftwood, Sion and Hiriketiya. Hiriketiya is a more friendly wave for long boarding. Gas Station and Driftwood are also my favourite places to take pictures. Hopefully we can travel again soon, I’d love to return to Sri Lanka!
Sumba is one of these magical places that you think would have disappeared. They still exist. Sumba is a super remote island, only one hour flight from Bali. There’s not much to do there, other than surf. People in Sumba are super friendly. Although they generally don’t speak any other language than their own, they’ll still give you a kind smile.
I cannot describe the feeling when you surf in Sumba, it is so magical and peaceful. Not a lot of people, long waves for days, on a mesmerizing backdrop of greenery.
One day (this day I’ll forever remember) it was a struggle to choose whether I should go out with the camera or just go for a surf. I went out for a surf with the guys. While we were waiting for a set to come in suddenly these darting, dark shadows appeared, swimming towards us. It wasn’t until they popped out and surfed the waves that I realised they were dolphins. They were so close! I couldn’t believe it was real. It was truly magical…
All image credit: Siriwan Champorn