Dinuka Liyanawatte

Dinuka Liyanawatte

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Canon R5 mirrorless and Canon 5D Mark iv+ 24-70 f/2.8 ML/ 70-200f/2.8
“Photojournalism is important because you can show the world another’s reality.”


News, Sports, Features, Daily Life

One Shot

. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Demonstrators protest inside the President's House premises, after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 9, 2022.
“This man stood on top of the guard house screaming on the day thousands of civilians stormed the presidential palace of Sri Lanka, and the president had to escape from his own country. It was an important day in the country’s history.”


I belong to a long lineage of photographers. My maternal great-grandfather founded one of the two professional photo studios in Sri Lanka in 1924. My father is a news and sports photographer whose name was a common byline in 1980s Sri Lankan newspapers.

Having grown up in a photographic family, I always lived with photographers and cameras around me. My father is my photography teacher. I learnt everything from him. I believe it’s in my blood.

My first assignment was a local motor car race. I had no idea about motor racing and never had a safety orientation for it. I was shooting from a single bend where cars came fast and always skidded. I spent about an hour there and came back to the media room to send my film roll to the office in time for the first edition of the newspaper. I looked at the track and saw a car skidding to where I was standing a few minutes ago.

Breaking news assignments are very exciting to me, and I have done many of them during past 20 years. The adrenaline rush of breaking news coverage is full of action moments that always push me to my extremes and keep me on my toes (literally!).

My biggest lesson is “Less talk, more work.”

Behind the Scenes

Reuters photographer Dinuka Liyanawatte takes pictures while on assignment, on a boat in Sri Lanka, July 29, 2022.