personal Work

Since mounting his first international photography exhibition early in 2014, David has continued to set aside his favourite photographs for release as Limited Edition Prints.

Only 25 prints of each of the photographs presented in this gallery will ever be sold. While the first 10 prints in a series will sell for AUD$550 each, the price of each of the next 10 prints will rise to AUD$1,000, then to AUD$5,000 for the last five prints in the series.

Each A3 sized photo will be be printed using achival inks on museum-grade Gloss or Matt stock. Larger sizes can be ordered. David will personally check every print, which will then be authenticated with a reference code and despatched with a signed certificate.

To order your print, e-mail David directly at david@kirklandphotos.com

 

 

Land dive (1/3)

$550

Once a year, on the tiny island of Pentecost in the South Pacific, men from villages in the south collect lianas, and build a tower of timber scaffolding that stands 30 metres high in anticipation of a custom that will see up to 20 men risk their life to ensure a bountiful yam harvest. The vines, which will be tied to the diver’s ankles, are carefully chosen to snap taught just centimetres before his head crashes into the ground. This is the first of three photographs that captures the last diver's descent.

Land dive (2/3)

$550

 

Salutations are made and a speech is given before the last diver claps his hands together above his head and majestically hurles himself skyward, arching towards the ground as the vines grasp at his ankles. The last dive is the most anticipated, with the event’s success measured by how close the diver's face comes to the ground. This is the second of three photographs that captures the last diver's descent.

Land dive (3/3)

$550

It's a measure of a land diver’s bravery that he looks straight ahead as the ground rushes to meet him. Suddenly, the vine snaps taught and the platform over which his vine is hung collapses from his weight and the momentum, before the diver recoils back towards the tower. That’s if the vines don’t break - which is often the case. This is the second of three photographs that captures the last diver's descent.

So close

$550

A successful dive is determined by how close the diver comes to the ground - which is no mean feat given the hight of the tower and that a jungle vine tied to each ankle is the only thing that will stop him crashing head-first into the ground. Status is given to the diver who shows no hesitation leaving the platform, who holds his pose as he plummets earthward, and who stands uninjured at the end of the dive.

Land Diver

$550

I photographed Allen more than 20 years before shooting this series, when he was the last to dive from the top of a tower. So, you can imagine my delight to see him again. His responsibility this time was to ensure the safety of each of the divers. He would oversee the construction of the tower, ensure strict cultural practices were followed, and choose each of the jungle vines which - if too long or too brittle - could lead to the death of a diver. In the known history of the event, only one person has ever died. It occured when the ritual was practiced out-of-season for visiting english royalty.

Huli

$550

I have photographed many of Papua New Guinea’s Huli Wigmen but this photo captured by a waterfall near Tari, in the Southern Highlands, is my favourite.

Jumping Monk

$550

After more than 20 years as a photographer, this photographs of monks playing in a monastery on the outskirts of Myanmar remains my favourite. Look at the range of emotions captured on the faces of each of these monks - the elation, the resignation, the determination, the joy and the surprise. This is one of those rare fractions-of-a-seconds we photographers live for.

Heritage

$550

The Guardian

$550

Oro

$550

Milne Bay

$550

Malili

$550

Stingray Fisherman

$550

Malangan

$550

Clouds 1

$550

Bougainville Girl

$550

Samoa sunset

$550

Initiation

$550

I continue to see a sensual beauty in the patterns carved into the bodies of the young men who undergo the crocodile scarification ritual of the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. It may well be associated with the gentle nature of the initiates I have met, contrasted by the striking representation of one of the most powerful creatures on earth. The young initiates undergo a painful ceremony that can see them hidden away in a traditional spirit house over several months as their bodies are scarred and allowed to heal to resemble the head of a crocodile.

 

Crocodile clan

$550

I photographed these two young men along a tributary of the Sepik River, as they told me about the ritual of scarification they went through to resemble a crocodile. Tiny incisions were made to their bodies in the pattern of a crocodile’s head - you’ll note the eyes around the nipples, and the snout extending down the torso The wounds were then packed with mud from the river, scraped once they had healed, then packed and scraped again, until the callouses formed on their bodies. The crocodile is revered along the Sepik for its strength.

Solomon Islands

$550

Bubbles

$550

Above and Below: It was by chance I invited these two young boys to join me as my boat set-off so I could photograph a small atoll in the Solomon Islands. While the journey may have begun with me being the centre of attention, that disappeared the minute they donned goggles and began searching for shells. If they had their way, we would still be there today.

 

Bubbles 11

$550

Aitutaki

$550

Aitutaki lagoon in the Cook Islands is one of those locations you’re unlikely to forget visiting. It’s simply stunning - the irridescent blue of the water, the fine, white sandbars that emerge from the falling tide, the inviting palm trees that line the shores of its tiny atolls. I have captured thousands of photographs of One Foot Island but this arial photograph of the lagoon, which appears like an abstract painting, is one I have never tired of looking into.

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Kimberley dreaming

$550

I met these three gentlemen - Sandy, Mick and Tedddy - at the Imintji Store along the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Mick was keen to negotiate a price for the painting he was standing in front of (I wasn’t sure if it was actually his to sell as they later said they were ringers from a nearby property). And it was a handsome sum they were seeking. As I merely wanted to photograph the three of them, we wrangled fiercely until - in exchange for this photo - we settled for four ice-creams and a bit of a laugh on the verandah.

 

 

Lakatoi

$550

Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, was transformed with the development of the Ella beach foreshore and the building of APEC House - an event venue designed in the shape of a giant Lagatoi or traditional sailing vessel. Its distinctive shape provides a striking feature from the air in what appears more like an abstract painting.

 

Sorcerers of Ambrym

$550

Once a year, the villagers of Vanuatu’s Ambrym Island - known throughout the archipelago for its black magic - stage a performance of sorcery for visitors. In the shade of the large volcano in the centre of the island, rituals are practiced, pigs are slaughtered and tam-tams (drums) are beaten in testament to the magical powers of the island’s inhabitants.

 

Mekeo

$550

Goggles

$550

Niue

$550

The yam harvest

$550

I should point out that the exuberance in this photo was not shared by me as I'd been told that during the month of the yam harvest in the Trobriand Islands, women - in keeping with ancient custom - are "allowed to choose any man they like, and take him off into the bushes to have their way with him."

So, you might imagine my anticipation as I stood in the path of this procession of young, bare-breasted women making their way towards me, only to have it part and pass around me faster than the flow of water around an upright stick. That was until the last four women - each well over 80 I'd estimated, with barely a tooth between them - decided I was ripe for the picking.

 

Regardless, this photo lives with me as a lasting reminder of the joy I witnessed during my visit to the Trobriand Islands (and the sacrifices I have been called on to make in my duties as a photographer).

 

EXPLORE WITH ME

A successful promotional photograph starts with knowing what you want it to say and who you want it to appeal to - before you even bring the camera to your eye.

 

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E-mail: david@kirklandphotos.com

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