Giacomo Bruno’s Documentary Photography of the Cinnamon Harvest in Sri Lanka

All images by Giacomo Bruno. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Whenever we take a look at the works of Milan-based Giacomo Bruno, he proves each time that he should be on everyone’s list of exemplary documentary photographers. Today, we place the spotlight on another beautiful set from his visit in Sri Lanka, this time telling us about one of the country’s raw gold agricultural products: cinnamon.

We have previously featured his two other impressive sets taken in different parts of Sri Lanka; the daily life in Ceylon Tea plantations, and famous stilt fishermen of Koggala. These two sets give a close look at the industries and way of life that perhaps many of us haven’t heard about. A set showing how cinnamon is harvested and processed by traditional means is definitely a great addition to Giacomo’s Sri Lanka adventures.

As with the two other sets mentioned, Giacomo’s eye for intimate documentary portraits shine throughout this body of work. Anyone who is learning for the first time about how cinnamon is harvested will get plenty of visual insights from this collection of photos. We also get to meet the people of Sri Lanka who toil everyday to bring this fragrant and flavorful spice to the rest of the world.

They strip the soft outer bark of the cinnamon wood using a fine and rounded rasp knife. As the photos show, the workers also add the leaves to make cinnamon bark essential oil. It’s sometimes used to flavor food, but mainly used by perfume makers. Maybe this is just me, but the scenes he captured makes me imagine how the entire workspace and its surroundings smell strongly of the highly aromatic spice.

According to Giacomo, the country produces 80-90% of the world’s supply of cinnamon, making this set an even more compelling peek into one of Sri Lanka’s major industries.

Visit Giacomo Bruno’s website and Behance portfolio to see more of his documentary work.