Available Light: A Photographic Journey

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Nicholas Sumner is a photographer whose work has been published in twenty nine travel guide books. This, his first travel narrative, recounts the story of a seven-year journey across Asia in pursuit of beautiful pictures. Before I left home, I thought that I knew something about photography, but I found that what knowledge I had was more hindrance than help and I had to admit, that really, I didn't know anything at all. This was humbling, and a little frightening, but it was also the beginning of a process of discovery in which my expectations as a photographer and as a traveller were constantly challenged, reassessed and revised. I experienced moments that were terrifying and sublime, hilarious and tragic. I was mugged, threatened with guns and arrested; I journeyed among mountains, through jungles and cities, I encountered deserts both spiritual and physical, saw things so beautiful that they moved me to tears and received kindness so absolute that I can never repay it. I knew both joy and despair, I ate kangaroo pie, discovered the exact monetary value of my eyebrows and I fell in love. Twice. His journey became much more than a quest for great images. Travelling and photography are pursuits of the curious, they complement and sometimes conflict with one another but both are driven by a desire to observe and a hunger for insight. Both can touch the spirit, move the heart, and both can reveal truth.