The Current Issue
Nikon Owner Issue 22
Around the World with Andrew Main Wilson - Part I
Gillian Greenwood introduces us to Andrew Main Wilson who launches the first of his unique seven-part World of Wonders Series. Andrew highlights the fruits of his epic journey in Part I: Asia.
Andrew Main Wilson, a dedicated Nikon user and a subscriber to Nikon Owner, dreamed as a child of visiting and photographing every country on Earth, creating a unique photo-library and telling the story of Planet Earth's most magical travel experiences.
In this completely unique seven-article series, which begins in the current issue of Nikon Owner, we will feature some of Andrew's most memorable images and stories from 125 countries, continent by continent. Andrew will share his photographic tips and techniques in seven different aspects of travel photography, which will encompass portraiture, wildlife, culture, cities, nature, architecture and the environment.
Born in London, Andrew was educated at Dulwich College, Birmingham University and the Harvard Business School. A passionate traveller, photographer and writer, he also has a detailed understanding of the global travel industry, having formerly been the Marketing Director of the world's best-known travel agency, Thomas Cook. An experienced presenter, Andrew has also interviewed many of the world's leading stars, sporting heroes, business gurus and political leaders, and was granted the last ever filmed interview with Lady Thatcher.
He is well on the way to fulfilling his childhood World of Wonders dream. Andrew has scoured the world to capture the most beautiful, astonishing and unexpected images and adventures. He has so far travelled over a million miles on the road to fulfilling this ambition to photograph every country on Earth, undertaking assignments in all seven continents and shooting over 50,000 images so far, in 125 of the world's 193 countries. This is a monumental accomplishment.
We launch the series in this current issue with a feature on Asia and Andrew's odyssey to discover some of the most unusual and colourful people on Earth.
When did you first become interested in photography?
What was your first camera?
Why did you decide to use the Nikon system?
Which photographers or artists influenced you the most in your early years as a photographer?
In recent years, Yves Arnauld Bertrand's The Earth From The Air has been a superb project, beautifully executed too. World of Wonders is perhaps even more extensive, in that I plan to feature every country - in a way The Earth From The Ground, I guess - all 193 counties of it!
What particular images excite you photographically?
What has been your biggest challenge so far as a photographer?
The imagery of your work is very rich and evocative. How has this been achieved technically?
I believe in principle you tend towards forward planning as a photographer, yet the images themselves seem remarkably spontaneous. How have you been able to accomplish this?
On location I often sit down the evening before each shoot and draw my ideal images. With lenses, angles and lighting partially prepared in advance, all my shooting attention can be focused on creativity and spontaneity. That said, a third of my best shots come from speed of reaction to an extraordinary sight. If something happens suddenly, for goodness sake fire the shutter! You can always perfect the shot a few seconds later … if your subject is still there.
World of Wonders is a phenomenal concept. Was there a specific catalyst that caused you to embark upon this project?
What you would like to achieve with World of Wonders?
In Part I of this outstanding seven-part series, Andrew Main Wilson takes us through his extraordinary journey across Asia as he focuses on a selection of the portraits he has shot of people living in some of the most remarkable and often inaccessible places on Earth. In addition, he offers photographers interesting insights into the portraiture aspect of travel photography and shows us with clarity how to maximize the potential of situations we might find ourselves in, both with the kit we choose and the preparation we make.
For me, Asia is all about colourful characters - sixty per cent of the world's population crammed into just thirty per cent of the world's land mass.
From the oil sheikhs of Saudi Arabia to the beggars of Bangladesh, Asia also provides the most dramatic contrast between rich and poor.
The Water Baby
Brunei's Kampung Ayer is the world's largest water village. Here on the outskirts of Bandar Seri Begawan, the nation's capital, 30,000 people live, literally, on stilts. A labyrinth of wooden walkways connects the wooden houses of a community always on the lookout for two dangers - fire and water. Every child is taught to swim almost before they can walk - otherwise one slip off the walkways and you may well drown.