Reviews for Southern Light

"This is Antarctica as you have never seen it: close-ups of giant icebergs; sublime frozen landscapes taken in the warm glow of late-afternoon or midnight sun; gentoo penguins at play; pristine icy vistas where the air is clear and there is no sign of human activity or pollution; craggy coastlines covered with millions of chinstrap penguins; vast plains of ice cracking as summer conditions break up the floes; crowds of emperor penguins in their formal attire, standing like men waiting for a Masonic Lodge meeting; Neilson’s tiny yacht dwarfed by the enormity of the landscape. This is a truly great photographic record of the continent. It offers images that are deeply personal and far beyond the usual photographic cliches."

Bruce Elder – The Age and Sydney Morning Herald


"This is a magnificent collection of images, evoking the extraordinary beauty of the Antarctic landscape, its wildlife and its human story……I have been to some of the places that are portrayed in this book and I can say that the images ‘feel true’ to the spirit of the place…..This book speaks to the importance of the Antarctic Division’s arts fellows program. This program, and others like, it have helped develop a strong tradition of artists, writers and musicians who have made a significant contribution to the total picture of human endeavour in Antarctica – in tandem with the science…….The first images that came back to the rest of the world from the South – the pictures of Hurley and Ponting and other expeditioners – captured the imaginations of people – it gave those who would never see Antarctica for themselves a sense of the place – the isolation and the scale and the beauty. David Neilson carries on that tradition. And he does it at a time that is critically important for the future of Antarctica. We need the people of Australia and the world to understand the magnificence and importance of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean."

Dr Tony Fleming – Director of Australian Antarctic Division – on launching Southern Light in Hobart

The stunning beauty of Antarctica has never been celebrated better than in this magnificent big book.

Noel Shaw – The Examiner

"Southern Light is more than just a visual feast – it also gives historical notes, details about the photographic expeditions, and technical specs. Photos are grouped by colour or black and white, then by region. There are brilliantly detailed wildlife and landscapes – including a surprising array of plant life. Majestic ice sheets and glaciers, older than we can imagine, are captured in all their frozen glory. The eerie golden light of the midnight sun cloaks penguin colonies and close-up shots of chicks are so vivid, it seems the page should be furry to the touch like their soft downy fibres.
Photographic notes, including the equipment used on each trip sate those with a technological appetite. I particularly enjoyed reading about the conditions of each trip, including notes on penguin rookeries and nest-building behaviours.
Southern Light is a gorgeous piece of work that quickly induces a fervent desire to visit this incredible piece of the world in all its icy splendour."

Belinda Smith – Wild Magazine


"Much like the land it illustrates, this coffee-table book is big and beautiful. David Neilson has catalogued the spectacular expanses of the Antarctic in the course of his expeditions over the past decade in this 300-page, 30 x 30cm tome. Packed with large, luscious photographs of landscapes, rocky shorelines, penguins and brightly coloured lichen, this book shows us the stark beauty of this landscape and the animals that inhabit it."

Australian Geographic Magazine


"This book of Antarctic photographs by one of Australia’s pre-eminent wilderness photographers documents six separate trips to Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands. It beautifully captures the frozen landscapes of this incredible environment, as well as the animals that live there – including many different species of penguins, seals and albatross. The landscapes captured are starkly beautiful, while the wildlife shots are intimate and crisply detailed. At 306 pages and with seven gobsmacking gatefold panoramas it’s a serious tome that would make an incredible gift for those fascinated by this last truly wild continent."

Ross Taylor – Get Lost Magazine


"In my sixteen years in the Senate I have launched many magnificent books – but I’ve kept the best for the last. Southern Light encapsulates Antarctica’s grandeur – its teeming wildlife, stunning scenery, remoteness and wildness – as no other book I have seen has ever done. The sheer drama of David Neilson’s photographs, the clarity and scale, transported me to Antarctica. From these wonderful scenes, for those of us who may never go there, the mystique of Antarctica seeps into our sole. Southern Light is a grand testament for Antarctica being listed as the planet’s pre-eminent World Heritage property."

Bob Brown – former Green Party Senator – on launching Southern Light in Melbourne. (Photo by James Bell)


29 May 2012. Radio Australia

Interviewed by Richard Ewart. (Please note: the introduction and concluding remarks for this interview are not available)


29 May 2012. 774 ABC Melbourne: The Conversation Hour

Interviewed by Ali Moore with co-host Casey Bennetto. First guest is cellist Zoe Keating. Interview with David Neilson starts at 29m 11s.


21 October 2012. Radio National: Ockham's Razor

Talk on the effect of climate change in Antarctica


12 November 2012. Radio National: RN Drive

The Drawing Room : The pull of the Antarctic

Interviewed by Jonathan Green with second guest Rusty Berther, comedian and Antarctic marathon runner.