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"Magnificent is not a word I tend to throw around lightly, but it's hard to find a more apt word to describe David Neilson's latest book. David has spent a lifetime chasing, as the title says, "the mountain light." He's travelled the planet on his quest and this book captures the very best of the fruits of his labours; more than 150 landscape and wildlife images, all processed superbly, to create one of the most stunning coffee table books I've ever seen."

James McCormack –– WILD magazine Editor

"This book is simply fabulous. It is the greatest delight to have it on your lap and you need to it's so big and to turn it around, but it needs to be big to allow us into the space that David was in when he took these photographs. What is so wonderful about this book is that it is also a biography. And it's beautifully written, and it takes you right into the places in the world that you can only dream about going to."

Bob Brown –– former Australian Greens Senator



A Life photographing Wild Places

By David Neilson

Australian photographer David Neilson’s life-long quest, chasing the mountain light, has resulted in this striking collection of 150 black & white landscape and wildlife images from South West Tasmania, Patagonia, Antarctica, Karakoram and the Australian, New Zealand, and European Alps. The text describes the author’s early mountaineering activities and his evolving interest in photographing wild places and their conservation .

Hardcover, 305 mm x 325 mm, 264 pages, 190 black & white photos reproduced in duotone, 8 vertical double-page images viewed by turning the book sideways, 50,000 word text, 5 maps. ISBN 978-0-9872980-1-0 RRP A$89


A$99 includes $10 postage contribution for anywhere within Australia

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Published as a co-edition with Abbeville Press, New York and distributed by Abbeville to all territories outside Australia and New Zealand. See www.abbeville.com

Distribution to book shops around Australia by Peribo Pty Ltd: www.peribo.com.au


Interview with Andy Park in The Drawing Room, ABC radio:

Radio National RN Drive on 2 November 2022

Article in SIERRA, the magazine of the Sierra Club:

Sierra, January 2023

Click here or any image below for further SAMPLE PAGES



Areas covered:

South West Tasmania

Alpine New Zealand


Tierra del Fuego

Wilsons Promontory

Australian Alps

South Georgia

Antarctic Peninsula

East Antarctica

Ross Sea

European Alps

Central Andes





DAVID NEILSON is the photographer and author of four previous books. South West Tasmania: A Land of the Wild highlighted the threatened wilderness of ­western Tasmania. Wilsons Promontory: Coastal Wildness ­celebrated the beauty of one of Australia’s foremost national parks. Patagonia: Images of a Wild Land drew on his climbing expeditions to the southern ­Andes and his most recent book, Southern Light:­ Images from Antarctica, was the result of six journeys to the ­Antarctic.
In 1990 and 2004 he received Antarctic Arts Fellowships from the Australian Antarctic Division that enabled him to spend two summers taking photos in East Antarctica. In 2021 he was one of four Antarctic Arts Fellows to be featured on a set of Australia Post stamps.



Patagonia and Antarctica are major themes of this book and several of David Neilson's journeys to these places were by long sea voyages, including sailing on a yacht from Edinburgh to the Strait of ­Magellan. The yacht enabled him to photograph and climb in remote parts of Tierra del Fuego and to access the start of his crossing of the Southern Patagonian Ice-cap. Later he sailed three times from Ushuaia in southern ­Argentina to ­photograph the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia in the South Atlantic.
The text begins with ­his childhood adventures which were the catalyst for his evolving love of wild places and mountains. These adventures led to early walking and rock climbing in South West Tasmania, and later, mountaineering, and photographing in distant parts of the earth. Also described is his interest in using photography to help with the ­conservation of the natural environment.
The last chapter contains photos of some of the most dramatic mountains on the planet focusing on K2, the second-highest peak in the world. These mountains are situated in the Karakoram range in far north-east Pakistan and were accessed by a journey starting in Askole and trekking up the Baltoro and Godwin-Austen glaciers to the K2 base camp.



Great Trango Tower above Baltoro Glacier, Karakoram


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