WHETHER it's an image of horses galloping across the Snowy Mountain foothills, a table of home-grown apples in a local show produce hall, a bull rider hitting the dust, Indigenous dancers, or children on a slide, there's something truly evocative of Australia in the photographs of Nick Rains.
The award-winning, professional photographer has photographed people and places across Australia for 35 years and in that time he has met people from all different walks of life - people living in remote communities, coastal and urban dwellers, Indigenous Australians, battlers and those who are just plain strange.
But the people he's found the most fascinating are the unsung local heroes who go to extraordinary lengths in the name of community.
"I realised the capacity for Australian communities to put on some kind of 'do' was effectively limitless," he said.
This fascination with the Australian concept of community led Nick to produce a stunning new book, Heart of Australia filled with images of those people who dedicate themselves to the vast array of community events occuring on any given weekend around the country.
From the dust of the Deniliquin Ute Muster or the Utopian ideal of the Woodford Folk Festival, to the glory of tulip time at Bowral, the quirkiness of the Parkes Elvis Festival, the drama of the The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival, or the completely tongue-in-cheek Henley on Todd Regatta, the images in Heart of Australia epitomise the sense of community and togetherness at the heart of our nation.
Inspired by everyday Aussies, several hundred photographs from across the country capture the fun and spirit of the best of the Australian way of life in all its forms.
How often do you see a bunch of adults dressed as pirates or Vikings, charging around a sandy river bed on modified tractors, hurling water bombs at each other.
About the author
Nick Rains has been a professional photographer for more than 35 years, starting off in the UK with sports and commercial work before moving to Queensland in 1998. Since then he has concentrated on landscape and travel images, photographing all over the world for books and calendars.
Nick is a Leica Ambassador and, in addition to his current documentary work guides other aspiring photographers to different parts of the planet.
Nick was named Australian Geographic's Photographer of the Year 2002 and in 2014 was awarded the Australian Institute of Professional Photography Travel Photographer of the Year.
He has published a number of books including Australia - The Photographer's Eye, Country Australia and Aerial Australia.
Heart of Australia by Nick Rains. Hardie Grant Books, www.hardigrant.com
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