Life's a Journey

As perhaps Australia's best-known photographer, Ken Duncan has always taken the wide view of this wide brown land which he calls home. His panographs have celebrated Australian skies and seascapes, the desert and rainforests, its people and wildlife. 

As the years have passed he has travelled worldwide as well, always seeking to understand the people he meets and respect the environment. His strong Christian beliefs have informed his view and his reverence for all of Creation is well-known and also spelled out in word and pictures in this huge and unique work.

This book has been thirty years in the making, he states. It's a documentary of his photographic career, yet it is also much more. Part memoir, part travelogue, it is also a tribute to the land that he knows intimately, having travelled to almost every corner of Australia, and to its people, many of whom make an appearance in the pages.

For overseas visitors, this makes the ideal souvenir; for Australians, it is a coffee table book which will be opened at random many times and enjoyed.

From childhood, when Ken Duncan's parents worked with indigenous people in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, he has been mindful of the first inhabitants of this country. In fact the book is more than just beautiful images. There is a message in the text that covers so many aspects of life: discrimination, care for the environment, global warming.

Yet it's a personal book too. When once asked at a conference what was the hardest part of photography, he replied "the hardest part is getting out of bed. Lots of people have dreams and ideas, but they need to stop procrastinating, get out of bed and get on with it."

And where does this come from? In the first chapter where he shares family photographs, he credits his parents  "for daring to pursue their dreams, and for helping to give our family the faith and courage to pursue ours."

'When we dare to follow our dreams,' he writes, 'the repercussions go beyond the lives of the dreamers - they leave seed for future generations.'

In this far-reaching and glorious book, inspiration is on every page. It's part of a journey that will never end.

Life's a Journey, by Ken Duncan, published by Panographs Publishing, 2013, hardcover, rrp AUD$60. ISBN 978 098 729 859.

 

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