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Southern Light: Images from Antarctica
By David Neilson

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.”
—Wild magazine

Wilderness photographer David Neilson unveils a collection of photographs that reveal the mysterious beauty of the great southern continent of Antarctica in his new book, SOUTHERN LIGHT (September 3, 2013; hardcover, $85.00). Between 1990 and 2009, Neilson made six journeys to Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic in a quest to capture the exquisite light of these southernmost lands. This large volume (12 inches wide and 11 5/8 inches high) presents the spectacular results of his efforts; its 130-color and 100-black-and-white photographs portray the dramatic topography of the Antarctic Peninsula; the icebound expanses of East Antarctica; the Ross Sea region, which witnessed the heroic age of Antarctic exploration; and the sub-Antarctic islands of South Georgia and Macquarie, with their profusion of wildlife. Accompanying the photographs are a narrative of Neilson’s Antarctic journeys, essays on conservation and climate change, and five full-page maps.

The landscape photographs were taken with a large-format view camera for maximum detail and tonal subtlety, and several are reproduced as panoramic gatefolds, showing the true vastness of this great southern realm. The images of wildlife, many of them remarkable close-ups, include penguins, albatross, and seals.

Southern Light appeals to anyone who has visited Antarctica personally, adventure travelers, and those who prefer to admire the frozen beauty of the great southern continent from a more temperate clime.

David Neilson is an experienced mountaineer and rock climber as well as a wilderness photographer. Based in Australia, Neilson is the author and photographer of three previous books: South West Tasmania: A Land of the Wild; Wilsons Promontory: Coastal Wildness; and Patagonia: Images of a Wild Land.

Southern Light
By David Neilson
Hardcover, 306 pages, $85.00
135 full-color illustrations, 100 duotones; 7 gatefolds
Publication date: September 3, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7892-1155-2

David Neilson is available for phone interviews. To request an interview, please contact Diana Griffin, Publicist, at 212-366-5585 x25 or

Praise for Southern Light in Australia

“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 clichés.”
The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald

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

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.”
Wild magazine

“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 their incredible environment, as well as the animals that live there.”
Get Lost magazine


David Neilson has taken photographs in a wide range of wild places including western Tasmania, Patagonia, Greenland, the Karakoram and Antarctica. Much of his early photography was undertaken during mountaineering and exploring trips and he was for many years an active rock climber.

He is the author of and photographer for three books. South West Tasmania: A Land of the Wild, published in 1975, was an early publication to highlight the threatened wilderness of western Tasmania. Wilsons Promontory: Coastal Wildness, published in 1996, celebrated the beauty of one of Australia’s foremost national parks. Patagonia: Images of a Wild Land, published in 1999, drew on his climbing expeditions to the Andes of southern South America.

He has received an Antarctic Arts Fellowship from the Australian Antarctic Division and his Antarctic photographs have been used in various books and calendars and reproduced as posters. They were also used extensively in the joint Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery and Museum of Victoria exhibition Antarctica—Secrets of the Frozen World.

He worked for the Australian Conservation Foundation for ten years as a graphic designer and pictorial editor and his early working life was spent as a civil engineer. With his partner Karen Alexander he lives near Emerald to the east of Melbourne and runs the small photography and publishing business Snowgum Press.


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