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Now we must climb higher, 2014

by Mark Hopper

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 Finalist

Now we must climb higher, 2014

This portrait was taken during my 2014 travels, in a cave within Sigiriya, the UNESCO world heritage site located in central Sri Lanka. The cave holds breathtaking ancient frescoes on its walls and provides short relief from the heat before again climbing the rugged steps toward the roof of this stone monolith. Many sections of the climb are steep and treacherous and this image captures in the boys the apprehension I was feeling as I waited with a group of local school children for my turn to commence the final ascent – a spiral staircase bolted into the rock face taking us to the palace at the pinnacle.