Ken's Adventure Story of the Month
From the African Savannah to the beaches of Queensland, the streets of Italy to the deserts in Africa - Ken Duncan has visited many locations worldwide, and has in the process given viewers of his photography the chance to witness these lands through new eyes. Now, Ken explores some of his favourites each month and lets you know the story of the experience.
Brightly robed tribesmen, posing in front of their tiny village, provide a wonderful contrast to the lush green of their pasture lands. This photo was taken not far from the famous Ngorongoro Crater, though the crater itself is outside the shot. When coach-loads of tourists pass by, the tribespeople look on with some bemusement. It is a momentary clash of cultures, gentle yet profound. On one hand are western tourists, with their modern clothes and gadgets, and their wallets full of cash. On the other (as in this shot) there is a small Masai community, living much as they have for centuries. I was privileged to get to know some of these people. Their wealth was in their cattle and their families. Their lives had a simple reality that compelled me to pause in respectful contemplation.
This photograph celebrates an era of legends, when cattlemen roamed the high country of Australia´s southern range. In winter, these regions are blanketed with snow. But in the summer months, not so long ago, stockmen used to drove their cattle into the hills. This hut - at Falls Creek in Victoria - was one of the men´s old ramshackle resting places. It is captured here in the first light of morning between the spreading snow gums, a scene both of beauty and nostalgia. The good sense of those days is highlighted by the horrendous fires which now so often threaten these "protected" places. The cattle which once kept the undergrowth in check are gone. Many people (myself included) believe they should now be allowed back.
SEASONS OF CHANGE
A touch of mist plays with the tree-tops in this dreamy view of a snow gum forest in Victoria’s Alpine National Park. Before we reached this location, we had driven through huge areas devastated by the 2009 bushfires. How refreshing it was to discover such a wonderful spread of untouched bushland after so many miles of scorched countryside. Here the snow gums stretch into the distance, each one as straight and sturdy as a massive pillar reaching high into the air. The colours of the bark make striking patterns up and down the trees’ trunks and at their base a slough of older bark brightens the forest floor. It is a scene of wonderful strength and serenity – these gentle giants like guardians over the land.
LEST WE FORGET
A narrow path cuts a swathe through a mass of bright purple flowers, planted to honour the thousands of courageous young men who fought and died on these shores. On April 25th, 1915, at ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli, young men who had really never experienced a war landed here to hold back the Turkish invasion. They didn’t know they were going to come under fire straight away. The Turkish were up on high ground, and the Australians and New Zealanders were sitting ducks as they came ashore. More than 1500 were killed as they were landing and trying to take cover. But you know, those Australians didn’t give up. They fought so hard. It is an incredible story of endurance, and when I was there I couldn’t help but feel the pain of the blood that was shed in this place. My grandfather fought on this very beach, so it holds special significance for me. Photographing this area was very difficult, because it’s not necessarily a beautiful beach or a spectacular scene – what is important are the events which happened here. All of a sudden I saw the flowers down the beach - grown as a memorial to the lives that were lost – as a symbol that out of the blood that was shed on this sand, hope was given to others. The path through the flowers shows there is a way, even through the pain and suffering that went on. I’m really honoured to release this photo because it is far more to me than just a location – it has deep significance. This place is a shrine to us as Australians, reminding us not to take our freedoms for granted. Without the sacrifices of those brave young men, we would not be able to enjoy the wonderful lifestyle that we often take for granted.
Many people have the impression that the heartland of Australia is just arid desert, but this isn’t the case. Stunning waterholes are scattered throughout our vast outback; and wherever water comes to the surface, there is life. Our desert and wilderness areas are some of the greatest treasures on earth. The way you find these special places is by spending time with people. Every person we meet has some wonder to share if we will but listen.
REACH FOR LIFE, RUSSELL FALLS, TAS
Plunging water forms a gossamer veil behind an ancient tree fern that has withstood the test of time. The fronds of the fern dance lightly, like a conductor´s baton prescribing the rhythm of a sensual song. The river has cut a path through the thick rainforest, giving this grandfather of the bush the chance to defy the laws of gravity and reach out for light and life.