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I’d never really travelled in a tuk-tuk before I came to Asia for the first time at the end of 2016.

I’d travelled once or twice in the tourist-toting bicycle rickshaw versions that ply London’s West End, but these don’t really count. (And if any readers are planning a visit to London – don’t bother with these, they’re ridiculously expensive.)

In countries like India and Sri Lanka tuk-tuks can be found on every corner, and they’re the perfect way to get from A to B on roads often poorly suited to walking.

They also make a great vantage point for photography.

If you’ve ever taken a tuk-tuk through the clogged roads of a big Asian city, you’re unlikely to forget it. They weave in and out, passing cars, buses and belching lorries, sounding horns constantly. Sitting in one gives you the perfect seat for a different kind of street photography.

This shot was taken in Kandy in Sri Lanka. It’s an appealing place, built around a man made lake that attracts everything from birds to giant monitor lizards.

I took tuk-tuks several times from my hotel to the town centre in the other side of the lake, all the while keeping my LOMO LC-A or Olympus Trip 35 to hand.

The LC-A proved to be a great camera for shooting the action from a passenger seat. The lens is wide enough that you don’t lose the context of where you are, inside a vehicle, but it gives that widescreen wide angle feeling.

The two women in brightly coloured saris were completely oblivious to me – a tuk-tuk isn’t a novelty on the streets of Kandy.

The mirror on the left-hand side adds a little balance, and the cabin of the tuk-tuk creates an artificial frame. The woman on the left’s head is just contained within the metal handle; the woman on the right walks within an oddly coloured space (this is from the plastic rain cover on the side of the tuk-tuk).

There’s little here to tell you this is from 2017… it could be from anytime since the birth of colour film.

It’s nice to finish this series with one of my favourite pictures I’ve ever taken.  I hope there are many more like this in the years to come.

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Stephen Dowling
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