Wild Light: the photo book in the making for more than five decades

A new photography book seeks to share the vulnerability and beauty of Tasmania’s wildest places.

Newest Tasmanian Landscape Photographer Grant Dixon book wild light is, like its previous publication, entirely self-published, and the result of more than five decades of exploring the Tasmanian wilderness.

“Wild Light evolved from my way of seeing and understanding landscapes,” says Dixon.

Quartzite Rock Folder, Western Arthur Range, Tasmania. Photo: Grant Dixon.
The new book, which will launch in November but can be pre-ordered now, is an impressive stand-alone volume but also a complement to the photographer’s 2020 photo book, winter light.

The trained geologist said that while Winter Light’s images explored Tasmania’s alpine regions in winter, he also wanted to highlight other aspects of the landscape. Tasmanian coastline, cloaks of vegetation and rocky mountains, all in the great Tasmanian tradition of landscape photography.

After a process that began with Dixon selecting many of his favorite images along with others he thought “had merit” while trawling through his catalog of Tasmanian images, the photographer opted for layouts that capture new and unique angles of the island-state.

Mossy roots of the Sassafras tree hugging a sandstone rock, Great Western Tiers, Tasmania.  Photo: Grant Dixon.
Mossy roots of the Sassafras tree hugging a sandstone rock, Great Western Tiers, Tasmania. Photo: Grant Dixon.

The result is 95 stunning images in a 128 page book.

“This book has really been evolving for a very long time. In fact, the oldest image was taken in 1983, but the majority of the images were taken within the last twenty years,” he explains.

“I have lost count of the number of trips that might have been involved in capturing these photos. The trips were mostly overnight, and a week or more in many cases, so a total hundreds of days in the Tasmanian bush, many visiting very remote places, and often solo.”

Quartzite peaks at dawn, South West Tasmania.  Of this image, Dixon says, it illustrates the rugged ruggedness of the mountains of south-west Tasmania.
Quartzite peaks at dawn, South West Tasmania. Of this image, Dixon says, it illustrates the rugged ruggedness of the mountains of south-west Tasmania. “I first saw this view on one of my first 10-day bushwalks almost 47 years ago, before I became so keen on photography. This destination requires a week to access and return on foot, and although I had the idea of ​​composition in mind, the lighting and atmosphere were fortuitous A pause in the clouds lasting only a few minutes provided the light of dawn, and the valley mist drifting in from the west was a gift I could never have predicted. Photo: Grant Dixon.

In many cases, these journeys were not just about capturing photographs, but simply about being in wild places, many of which are threatened with challenges unimaginable when the first photos in the book were captured.

“Climate change is already affecting the landscape with an increase in the frequency of thunderstorms and resulting wildfires,” Dixon said.

“The other challenge is that over the last decade there has been growing pressure for commercial development in national parks, both from government and the tourism industry. In Tasmania, this has produced a number of proposals for lodges in remote and wild locations.

These proposals pose a serious risk to the wilderness character of certain areas, a major part of their appeal.

This makes Dixon’s latest book a timely addition to Tasmania’s rich landscape photography heritage, as well as a reflection of one man’s reverence for the state’s unique environment.

wild light, hardcover, 30cm x 23.5cm, 128-page book, is printed on environmentally friendly FSC-certified paper, and can be pre-ordered now for the pre-print price of $85 (the RRP will be $95). Dixon says he’s counting on pre-orders to make the publication viable.

The book will be available in November 2022. You can order your copy here.

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